First let me note that the pictures in this post were professionally taken and look great thanks to Photoshop and my Bobbi Brown concealer. Don’t assume that I was sitting in the rocking chair peacefully all hours of the day after I had a baby reflecting on how much I love life. Don’t get me wrong, it HAS been the sweetest time of my life. And the hardest. I’ve been so deep in the newborn trenches for six weeks and the question I have been asked the most (besides “when are you having the next one?” —- seriously people?!) is “Is there anything you didn’t expect about having a newborn?” I put the top five things in this blog. I probably could have kept writing and writing but here are the big ones. Oh but first, this meme, which sums up my dark postpartum moments:
- All the tears. In the first two weeks after I had Ruthie, I never knew I could cry so much. I cried from happiness: watching Dave become a dad, becoming a family of three, looking at Ruthie’s sweet face. Crying from being hormonal: when Dave walked too far ahead of me at the grocery store, accidentally ordering RedBox to the wrong place, dropping a fork on the floor of our kitchen. Crying from frustration: over breastfeeding, over Ruthie breaking out of her swaddle for the 230923 time that day, over the fact that I really have no idea what I’m doing and I’m just faking it until I make it with a newborn.
- Speaking of hormones, they are crazy. More than when you were thirteen. More than when you went on birth control. Mine started to even out after a few weeks and now at almost six weeks postpartum, I start to think they’re under control and then I have a breakdown the next hour.
- Breastfeeding can be super challenging and you might want to quit. I knew before I had Ruthie that breastfeeding would be one of the hardest parts of having a baby and is it, so maybe this isn’t so much of a surprise. But I still thought that it would come easily to me. I think I’ll write a whole separate blog post about this because I have so much to say on this topic. Man, it was so hard in the beginning and I’m just going to be real with you now – the majority of the time I do not love breastfeeding. I have wondered so many times that if breastfeeding is natural and if God created our bodies to do this, then why is it so hard?! Luckily I feel like almost every mom has there own initial struggles with breastfeeding so you and your mom friends can all be in the Breastfeeding Sucks club together and vent about it. Also I do want to note that I am typing this paragraph with only one hand and a baby on my boob right now so this is clearly my huge BREASTFEEDING WIN OF THE DAY.
- I’m still getting to know my daughter. I thought that because I carried her for almost ten months, I would know her automatically. We would be like best friends. I thought she would look just like me because, well, she’s a girl and I’m a girl. Then when Ruthie came out I realized I loved her so much, but I didn’t know her. She doesn’t look like my twin and we don’t have this cool ESP where she cries and I know exactly what is going on. There was a long time I thought our relationship was solely based on feeding and we are just now breaking out of that stage as she becomes older and is able to interact more.
- People will show up to support you in a huge way. There can be so much judgment in motherhood in everything from feeding, to using a pacifier, to how much someone leaves the house in the first month with a newborn. I was worried that having a newborn would distance me from people but instead I feel like it’s done the opposite. We have such a great family and community that supports us with food and prayers and shoulders to cry on. I couldn’t make it without these people.