Deacon Paul and Helen McBlain, members of St. Joseph Parish in Collingdale, have been married more than 50 years and have seven children, 21 grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.

She says:

Lana says:  Kurt and I had been married for five years before we conceived our little baby girl.  To say we looked forward to becoming parents is an understatement! We were so excited throughout my pregnancy. We had all the preparations complete before her birth, but we were not prepared for the sleepless nights, the difficulty getting her to latch on so I could breastfeed, the exhaustion, the emotion that overcame me.

I cry a lot. I cannot say I have post-partum depression because I do get up and out of bed and do try. I just cannot seem to get this baby on a schedule. Maybe I would be less prone to tears if I got more than a few hours of sleep at a time. I am at my wit’s end.

Kurt has been helpful providing emotional support, helping with getting up at night and with feedings when I have pumped milk for her. Kurt keeps saying things will improve, but at this point, I question that our lives will ever be normal again. What more can I do? I feel like I am falling apart over the best blessing we have ever encountered!

He says:

Kurt says: Lana and I have always had a fun-loving relationship. We travelled the world on vacations prior to our baby’s conception. Climbing a mountain or blazing new trails was exciting and fulfilling for us. We figured having a baby would be a piece of cake.

Boy, were we wrong! We have had our lives turned upside down. It has been such a challenge to care for this gorgeous wriggling bundle that both of us are ready to check into the funny farm.

Lana really tries her best every day with our little baby. I feel so beyond being in control when I see her crying over the baby not latching on correctly or because she did not get much sleep. Hearing the baby cry in the middle of the night now is an alarming sound for the both of us.

We have shared our difficulties with friends who laugh and assure us that “this too, will pass!”

We have tried everything to calm the baby down and to get her to be less fussy, especially at night, but nothing seems to work.

I am exhausted at work … and fear that will impact my ability to do my job well.  We have no parents or close relatives who are able to help us. Other couples handle babies … why can’t we?

What should do they do?

Being a new parent can be stressful under any circumstances, but at the same time, it is a memory you will deeply cherish as you look back. You will be able to experience it just once with the child you are now holding.

Lana and Kurt are going through the adjustment period that all first-time parents go through. Caring for a baby for the first few months has to be a priority. It is OK to focus only on parenting and putting other concerns aside until time allows for more “normalcy.”

The important thing to remember is that God is with you. He is faithful, and he will see you through.

Your friends are correct: “This too will pass.”

Lana needs to sleep when the baby sleeps. You will begin to see the baby develop her bio-rhythm. She will gradually begin to sleep more hours during the night.

Long term, this daughter will bring much joy to this couple. Going through this process (believe it or not) will provide improved strength, patience and fortitude for Kurt and Lana. They will emerge with a tremendous feeling of accomplishment for creating and providing for the needs of this little one.

It is important in all of this that they remember to keep their relationship and love alive. Supporting one another through the sleeplessness can be difficult, but going through the process will strengthen their bond of love for their baby and each other.

“Just as you know not how the breath of life fashions the human frame in the mother’s womb, so you know not the work of God which he is accomplishing in the universe” (Ecclesiastes 11:5).