I can’t speak for every mom out there, but I honestly had no idea the extent of recovery my body and mind would need after delivering Emory. It’s painful, confusing, lonely, physically & emotionally draining and most days you smell like a combination of spit up, breast milk/formula and poop.
After 9 months of my body not being my own, I was desperate to start feeling like my old self again and thought there was no way PP would be more challenging than being pregnant. I was naive. My body just birthed a human (a perfect one at that), I was bleeding, I struggled sleeping even during the 1-2 hour stretches Emmy would give us, my boobs hurt so much even a slight touch would almost bring me to tears, my hormones were all over the place that I would spontaneously burst into tears for no reason and not to mention the anxiety over doing something “wrong”. Is she eating enough? Is she too cold, too hot? Why won’t she sleep? Why is she crying? Is that NORMAL?! Those were just the tip of the iceberg as far as the number of thoughts and concerns I had/have. Pretty sure my pediatricians office knew my number by heart by week 3, shout out to the office staff for humoring me every time I call, I appreciate it wholeheartedly! One time I called because Emmy rolled over during tummy time and I was nervous she endured a concussion, super rational, I know! But whatevsss, I’m a new mom, I’ve literally never had this amount of pressure and responsibility in my life and I have no idea what I’m doing!
Needless to say, taking care of a tiny human is a 24/7 job & can be extremely overwhelming especially when your body is still recovering from birthing said tiny human. So how are we supposed to take on this new role of motherhood successfully when we don’t even know who WE are anymore?
I wish I had the answer, but the only thing I can say is seek help when you need it & be upfront and honest with your emotions and state of being. I cried to Drew over absolutely nothing a number of times, just letting it all out made me feel 10x better & my mom made the 6 hour drive out to me on a moments notice because she could tell I wasn’t in good shape. Don’t be stubborn and think you have to do it all on your own, talk to those around you, people WANT to help you!
Of course the wonderful & joyous moments outweigh the hard times, but there is no shame in admitting to yourself and others that you’re not happy ALL the time. It doesn’t make you a bad mom or love your baby any less, it’s makes you human. I’ve also come to discover that literally NO ONE knows what they’re doing. So when you feel like you’re alone, take some comfort in knowing that you are not the first and certainly not the last mom to have the concerns & feelings you’re having. And honestly call me up because there’s a good chance I’ve googled and lost sleep over whatever it is!
3 and a half months in I’m not going to pretend like I’m an expert but I will say, for me, the grey clouds started to lift after about 1.5-2 months. I was able to workout and start teaching classes again which made me feel like I got a little piece of myself back, Em and I started to get into the swing of things with nursing and in general just started to get to know each other better. The physical pain lifted and my emotional state started to balance off again. I still smell like spit up, breast milk and poop most days (occupational hazard yannoo) and taking a shower is now considered a luxury, especially on the days I get to wash my hair….it honestly feels like a 10 minute tropical vacation! As far as sleep goes, just hang in there…once you reach that 4 hour stretch you’ll seriously feel like you can take on the world. And take advantage of the snuggles from what people tell me they don’t last (you mean she’s not going to want to nap on my chest when she’s in high school?!)
So anyways, for all the new moms out there who can relate, I’m with you and here for you. For all the expecting moms, you’re rockstars and you WILL get through the rough days. Creating a human is a crazy and wild ride, give yourself a little grace and credit especially during those extra challenging times. Every month, week, day, hour and minute is a milestone for not only your baby but for you too. Cherish and embrace it all. I was desperate to feel like my old self again but in reality my old “self” doesn’t exist anymore. I’ll never be the same and I’m thankful for that because the reason why is spectacular. I look at Emory every day and can’t imagine a more perfect baby and how in the world we got lucky enough to have her.