Ok, you have a new baby at home and this is all new for you. As a gay parent, you more than likely, went from a quiet household where a glass of wine every night was relaxing to all of a sudden, having a screaming child in your household and your life has completely changed. Trust me, I get it!
We went on our journey with our surrogate for over 10 months. While, we were so close to our surrogate, we weren’t pregnant. As a gay couple going through surrogacy, they don’t prepare for the 9 month waiting period. Sure, we did a gender reveal party and even a baby shower, but at the end of the day, we were physically not pregnant. Fast forward to the birth of our girl and it’s like ripping the bandaid right off. She came into the world with a full set of lungs and what was a thought, idea and exciting moment we anticipated was now a reality that set in with a new life that needed our attention 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for the rest of our lives.
One of the hardest things is to hear your baby cry and scream without any knowledge of what they want or need. It’s tough. VERY tough. I found myself very frustrated whenever she would scream during her first 12 weeks of life. While she’s learning the world, we’re learning her and it’s a lot of trial and error. When she should scream, I would go through my check list to help settle myself down. Here’s what I found to be helpful:
- Ask Yourself: When was the last feeding (if it was less than 2 hours ago, that’s probably not it)
- Check: Is the diaper soiled or wet? My baby loved a clean diaper so that would sometimes solve it.
- Ask Yourself: Is she gassy or maybe hasn’t had a poo diaper in quite a while. Maybe she needs gas drops.
- New Position: Have I tried putting her on her tummy on me and rubbing her back?
If I did all of these things and she was still fussy, I would just sit with her and tell her how much I loved her and sing to her. While it may not have always worked, I had to come to the realization that sometimes babies are fussy and cry and it’s something I had to get used to.
One of the worst times that I would get frustrated would be at 2am when baby girl couldn’t stop screaming. I would find myself SO frustrated from lack of sleep that I would be angry. I made a rule to count to 3 before I ever walked into her room. It’s natural to be frustrated but we have to remember that it isn’t their fault. Counting to 3 centers yourself and calms the nerves before going in. While not always easy, it’s a method that worked on my house.
Crying babies is hard, but working out a method to cope with it is a solid strategy to ensure everyone can get through those moments successfully.