About being a new mom.
1. You’re going to be petrified. Of hurting your baby, of not knowing what to do when she cries, of not being a good mom, or making the right choices. You’ll google everything and find answers on both sides of every argument. (On demand? Schedule? Bath every night? Bath 2 times a week? Am I playing with her enough? ) You’ll also compare yourself to other moms, and to the mom you THOUGHT you would be.
2. Breastfeeding is hard. And painful, and everyone will see your boobs. And talk about your boobs. And your life will pretty much revolve around your boobs. Getting breastfeeding figured out is hard, and scary, and I’m 3 weeks in and I’m still figuring it out. Olivia is eating well and gaining weight- but I know I don’t have it all down pat just yet. I need my Brest friend pillow, and my lanolin cream and a whole slew of other props and cannot at all envision myself being able to go out in public and have to nurse her. Hopefully soon I can wrap my head around it.
3. Your body is in a strange place. I gained a decent amount of weight while pregnant. Okay fine, I gained 40 pounds. Okay, I gained 45. I want to admit that because I’m tired of reading blogs where women only gain 20 pounds and are still freaking about it. I gained 45 pounds. Since coming home from the hospital I lost 23. But I’m still in maternity clothes, I still have a lot to lose, and my body is so….smushy, and wide. I’m not worried about losing the weight right now- but I do plan to join weight watchers when I get the okay from my doctor.
(3 weeks post partum)
4. Life as I know it has changed. And there have been times where I feel like it is over. Sometimes when it’s 3am and I’m alone feeding Olivia in the nursery I stare out the window and wonder if I’ll ever sleep again. And then I get a grip. But trust me, when you’re inside the house for weeks at a time and are a slave to 3 hour feeding windows and 1 hour napping windows, it just doesn’t feel normal. The other day I had finally set Olivia down for a nap and just barely finished making eggs before she cried. I tried to eat some of the egg, got yolk all over myself and burned my throat so badly because I tried to eat the egg before it cooled so I could get to the basinet in time to rescue the baby. It still hurts to swallow.
5. I watch more TV, but appointment television is OVER. I almost cried tears of joy when Joe and I got to watch Modern Family the other night.
6. I cry a lot. Happy tears, sad tears, scared tears, hormonal tears…you will cry.
7. And I sweat a lot. I have major night sweats (normal after birth as your body rids of extra fluids).
8. I’m terrified of my breast pump.
9. I’ll never view mothers in the same way again. I cannot believe how hard this is. And now I look at every mom I know that has been through it, and I am so impressed and in awe.
10. I don’t think I’ll ever see my husband the same way again. Seeing Joe as a father is the most incredible thing. I just can’t get enough of the way he rocks her, swaddles her, calms her, and calms me when I am a complete sweaty basket case that thinks I’m not good enough at this, or capable of doing it alone when he is gone.
The love overwhelms it all, and ultimately I am so happy- but I wanted you to know that it’s not all rainbows and butterflies, and it’s not all natural. You will need help, and advice, and you will be scared. But it’s all worth it, and I’m hoping that with each day it gets easier for me.