Thursday, September 29, 2016

Postpartum

I didn't transition into motherhood very gracefully. I cried A LOT. Sometimes because I was worried about Lewis right now.. Is he getting enough to eat? Are we taking care of him? Is he cold/hot? Sometimes because I was worried about Lewis in the future... what if he gets sick? What if we lose him? What if he makes bad choices? Sometimes because I was worried about my future... what if I get sick? What if I don't live to see him grow up? Very dramatic, huh?  I felt a lot of anxiety in the first weeks too. Not all the time, but almost once a day, and usually in the evenings, it would hit me and I would feel very out of control and panicky. When we took him to his first pediatrician appointment I felt extremely anxious about him getting sick from the waiting room. I felt like I was already at capacity in my life in terms of what I could handle, and the thought of him getting sick panicked me.  One day, Greg and I went on a short walk downtown, and whenever we passed strangers, I felt so scared that they were going to do something to us. Fortunately, the anxiety quieted down within the first two weeks.

The main thing I struggled with was this total shift in my life, the realization that the quiet, simple, selfish life of just a few days prior was over. I was so tightly tied to this little person who depended on me so completely for his survival. I couldn't just decide I needed a nap or needed to go to bed or needed to run an errand whenever I wanted to. I felt like I couldn't do ANYTHING because I was so tied to his feeding schedule. Hmm... no time to go take a shower cuz he'll need to eat again in 30 minutes. It no longer mattered what I wanted, because I would do anything for that little man, to keep him happy, even at my expense.  I mourned my old life heavily, and this new life felt so hard. I knew that having a baby would be a lot of work, but knowing it and living it are two very different things. I had no idea the emotional toll it would take on me. I am a creature of habit and I thrive off my routine. It was so hard for me to adjust to a life of total unpredictability.

I was even emotional about how emotional I was being. I had looked forward to being a mom for so long... Why was I not enjoying it? Was I wrong to think I wanted to be a mom? I had these ideas of having at least 3 kids, but I honestly couldn't fathom ever doing this again. Was this family I imagined not going to happen because I was so not cut out to be a mom? I really struggled with why I was struggling so much and what it meant about me.

I saw other women who were still pregnant talk about how they couldn't wait to have their babies and I just wanted to shout "stay pregnant as long as possible! This sucks, avoid it as long as you can!"


It took several weeks until I started to feel anywhere close to normal. I'd say at 5 weeks postpartum I've only started feeling better in the last week or so.

Lewis has already grown so much in the past 5 weeks, but I honestly can't say that I want time to slow down. He's tiny and adorable, and I love that, but knowing that the newborn stage will end is the only thing that keeps me going sometimes. I'm not sure anyone talks very openly about how awful the newborn stage is, we all just share adorable picture that make it seem like it's all rainbows and sunshine. Maybe some people really do think it is rainbows and sunshine. But for me, it's been extremely hard, discouraging, and generally unpleasant. Don't get me wrong, I won't trade this time in because it means we have Lewis in our life. But I have to admit it's generally been pretty unpleasant.

There are happy times. When he is awake and focusing and looks me in the eye. When he wakes up at night to eat and I marvel at his tiny little bottle that I am sustaining. When is sleeping so adorably, with his hands always up by his face. When he's sleeping on my chest and I feel so proud to be providing the peace and comfort he needs. I'm feeling a lot more in control of my emotions, a lot more adjusted to my new life, a lot happier. But, it's still extremely difficult!

Lately what I struggle with is lack of sleep (it's hard to feel like I have the energy to do everything it takes to try to keep a fussy Lewis happy when all I can think about is sleep) and a minor lack of identity (I feel like I don't have much to say about my day when Greg comes home from work. But I feel like myself, I'm not crying everyday anymore, and I'm figuring out this new life.

3 comments:

  1. Amen to this post!! I hate newborns: always have, always will. And I also hate how everyone acts stoked on them (although some people do like them). I recently talked to another new mom who admitted that she was having a hard time and didn't really like newborn babies either, but her Instagram posts would say otherwise. But fortunately they grow up! You are amazing and you can do this. Motherhood is the biggest sacrifice a person can make and for that reason it is a sacred calling with huge rewards (mostly later).

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  2. There are going to be things that you love and hate about every stage your child is in. I liked the newborn stage with my first, but I loved even more to see her develop and become her own person as she got older. But this also comes with her developing her own opinion and stubbornness, whining, temper tantrums, etc. So by the time I had my second baby, I was able to like the newborn stage a little more because newborns can't talk back to me, say no, whine, etc. I'd still prefer a 1 year old to a newborn. But it's cool to see how far they have come. They grow up fast, so you just learn to love each stage they are in!!

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  3. I hate newborns: always have, always will. And I also hate how everyone acts stoked on them (although some people do like them). I recently talked to another new mom who admitted that she was having a hard time and didn't really like newborn babies either, but her Instagram posts would say otherwise. But fortunately they grow up! You are amazing and you can do this.


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