I gave birth to a beautiful baby boy in August of 2015. The first few months I was so overwhelmed by the love, lack of sleep, adrenaline, and sheer amazingness of making a HUMAN BEING, that I was a giant mess of me. I had never known love like this, and with that love came great responsibility, but also great irritation, frustration, heartache, and a million other emotions. As if having a newborn isn’t enough.
It took me until my little guy was about six months old before I finally felt like me again. During those six months, I found myself struggling as a new mama. Those just-popped-out-a-baby hormones, issues with breastfeeding, and being a sensitive person to boot made a big bag o’ crazy. Now there are many things that are hard, but for me, these were the hardest parts of being a new mom.
I tried my darnedest to breastfeed, and my milk wouldn’t come in. For the first six weeks of my little guy’s life, I didn’t sleep for more than an hour at a time. I was pumping every three hours and feeding every two. My efforts included stimulating my nipples, taking herbal supplements and teas, taking hot showers, increasing my thyroid medication, meeting with lactation consultants, skin-to-skin contact, taking a prescription with side effects of FACIAL SPASMS, and more! I did it all.
Finally, after six weeks of tears, screams from my hungry baby, and two exhausted parents (hubby got up with me for every feeding–those ridiculous SNS tubes fell out of babe’s mouth all the time), we stopped and went to formula. I had done zero research and knew nothing about formula, which is a nightmare for my type A, plan-every-detail personality. On top of this, people would ask me about breastfeeding, and it was really hard due to my sensitivity on this (still) open wound. I could tell myself that fed is best, but my mommy and/or catholic guilt still makes it sting.
I had to tell myself over and over to be thankful I was born during a time where my baby didn’t die, because there was an alternative. Looking back now, all of this was a great lesson in parenting–sometimes things don’t work out, and you just gotta go with the flow.
Some people get morning sickness, some are weepy, and others get tired. I got rage. Like, I wanted to kill my husband, and at the same time I would cry because I never loved him more. Then I’d get mad because I was crying. Poor fella.
Leaving your baby when you go back to work.
Leaving him that first day was about the hardest thing I have ever done. I was glued to the clock waiting for the exact second that I could run back to my car and race to get him. It got better every day, but even now, some days I still want to die a little when I walk away after dropping him off.
When someone touches your kid when they’re sick.
Gross. Rude. Be gone, germ fool! If you are sick at all, offer to reschedule your visit. These wee ones be delicate. Even if you’re not sick, when you get there for your visit, wash your hands so we don’t have to ask. K, thanks.
Did tragedy in this world escalate after I gave birth? No. Now that I have a child, I imagine any and all bad things happening to him. Tragedy has taken a whole new meaning. All these stories make me sick–sometimes, dry-heave sick. Tears while reading the news sick. Mass shootings, child abuse, murder, suicide, rape, bullying. These stories are in the news multiple times a day. I think about this crazy world I have brought him into. I wonder about the victims and why this happened. Wracking my brain, I wonder how we can get this to stop. Wanting to help in any way I can, I pray, I plead, I cry. I tell God I will take them in, all of them, and to please free them of pain.
Then I tell myself to focus on my boy or I will be forever lost in all the tragedy.
I totally research the snot out of stuff. Books, blogs, Pinterest, Facebook, mommy groups, friends, family, etc. I finally had to just stop and throw most of those books and articles away. Mom instinct is for real, so listen to that. However, you cannot throw people away (they don’t fit well in the blue recycle bins), so you have to grow some tough skin as a new Ma with the unwanted advice and comments that will come your way. He’s eating again? Didn’t you just change him? Is he sleeping through the night yet? He isn’t crawling? Why don’t you give him some rice cereal in his bottles? Geesh, people, just give a compliment and talk about the weather!!!! (There it is–there’s the rage.)
What do you think was the hardest part of being a new mama?