Motherhood. It’s a journey, y’all.
First there’s the excitement of pregnancy. Everyone is all about it. Asking how you feel, what you’ve purchased so far and comparing labor and delivery war stories.
Then the day comes: you bring your new bundle of joy into the world.
Hot out of the oven, errrrybody wants to see your baby. I mean, people come out of the woodworks! They ask how you’re feeling for those first few weeks, but then, oh, then, things change.
Now you’re one of them. You’re a member of the society of sleep deprived, un-showered, “Did I wear this yesterday? *sniff* It’s good another day!” mommas.
This part of the journey was eluded to, but I feel like no one really gets it until they’re living it. Why? When you’re pregnant, while miserable at times, you’re still optimistic. You’re still in rainbows and unicorn land when you think of parenting your precious little one.
As far as my journey so far? This is what I know:
1. Those mesh undies they give you at the hospital? No. Just no. Go buy depends diapers and invest in security. Do NOT trust those mesh things. I’m telling you.
2. Holding your baby Is. A. Full. Body. Workout. Especially if you’re breastfeeding! My arms were and still are sore nearly four months later. You work some, muscles that for me, I don’t think I’d ever worked in my entire life. It was like restless leg but in my arms. Go lift weights NOW. If not for the sake of nursing, do it for the car seat carrying you’ll be doing. If Ryan could talk he would tell you how miserable it is getting lugged around by me all clunkity clunk, hitting my leg like I’m dragging a 100-ton sack of potatoes from the car to the back door. He would also tell you he prefers when Daddy is on car seat duty as things are a lot smoother.
3. I was warned that while I felt tired pregnant, I still didn’t know tired. This is true. I now know tired. I’m currently living in tired. I exist only in tired. Tired is a verb. Tired is me.
4. You’ll cry. You’ll feel out of your mind and don’t even get me started on when you go back to work. The hormones have definitely cooled their jets, but that first week back to work? One word: Psycho-insane-crazy-vicious-momma-bear-lunatic. 🙂 Bring in more milk the daycare said… What I heard? “You’re not feeding your son enough, are you not producing enough milk? You don’t know what you’re doing. He’s starving.”
Cried my eyes out that first night. Told Shannon I was quitting my job and wanted to light people on fire. Slash their tires. Protest the world. Obviously the daycare was anti-breastfeeding so I had to now become an extreme activist. Yup. Told ya. PSYCHO!
What they meant? “Sometimes there’s an adjustment period and he might eat more than usual; pack an extra bottle just in case. We will get in a routine after a few days, no worries, momma!”
We good now. We’re tight. Did I call too much those next few days? Ask too many questions at pick-up or drop-off? Who cares?! We’re on track now and that’s all that matters.
5. I mentioned your arms being sore, but trust me, it doesn’t stop there. My whole body ACHES. Neck, legs, back, hips, head, wrists… on and on. I pop, crack, snap, I’m freakin’ Rice Krispies people!
6. The most important thing? Love your partner. Love on them. Remember who you were before baby. Remember you are a team. He doesn’t know how emotional you feel unless you tell him. He doesn’t know what you need unless you tell him. This is new for him, too. The baby, the you as a momma, the him as a daddy. You’re all three in this together. You, dad and baby have to figure it all out, one thing at a time. From having to “go in” to help baby with his upset tummy, to the first bath with baby crying so hard you start crying with him. You’re a family. You’re in the trenches. Love hard, love fully, love every single minute and enjoy the ride.