Loving my daughter is easy. The first month of being a mom? Now, that’s been a bit of a challenge.
While perusing Facebook in the wee hours of the morning, with my tiny human holding me hostage by the nipple, I came across a clip from football coach and former ESPN analyst, Lou Holtz’s undergraduate commencement speech… from 2015. (Side note: Could you guys start posting more on Facebook so I don’t have to watch commencement speeches from 2015, please?) In his speech, Lou says that you shouldn’t tell people your problems because no one wants to hear about them and those that do are happy you have them. As I sat there rocking my angry, screeching, pterodactyl of a baby, I thought to myself,
fuck that “Mr. Holtz, I respectfully disagree with you” and decided to write this very post.
Nobody tells you how challenging it is to bring home a new baby, or maybe they do but you’re not really listening because it doesn’t quite effect you yet. Let me tell you friends, this new mom thing, it’s hard.
Our first week with Stella, was the most draining week of my life. First of all, you come home from the hospital and not only have you been awake for 48 hours, but your body has also been through something pretty damn traumatic. Then while you are trying to heal, you have to take care of this teeny, tiny human who is a little annoyed that her world has been rocked too.
I was a zombie, an absolute mess, everything seemed a lot more difficult than I had imagined, especially breastfeeding. (It turns out, I should have been worried about more than just my vagina, ouch!) Everything seemed so straightforward in our prenatal class, when we weren’t completely sleep deprived trying to please a hysterical baby.
Friends and family asked how I was doing and I couldn’t help but respond with “I feel like I’ve been hit by a truck.” Lou Holtz would not be impressed, but it was the truth. I felt like I should pretend that I was doing amazing, but I just didn’t have it in me. I felt like a bad mom letting people in on my little secret, but I’m a terrible liar.
After awhile though, I started to notice something: everyone who was already a mom said the same thing, “yeah, the first few weeks are the worst.” These mamas told me stories about how difficult their first month was, the sleepless nights, the postpartum surprises, the anxiety and frustration. I felt better knowing I wasn’t alone. I spent so much time focusing on my pregnancy and labour that I didn’t really prepare myself for when I would actually have to care for my baby, earth-side.
Stella is six weeks old now and honestly, the whole first month feels like a complete blur. The good news? Every day, things are getting better and better. In fact, I waited two weeks just to post this, to make sure that I wasn’t lying!
So all you new mamas out there, I see you, I know your struggles. Don’t be afraid to tell people when you feel like you’ve been hit by a truck, you’ll happily find out, that they did too. And if you’re visiting a new mom, take a lesson from my friend Quinn who said to me, “how’s everything going, and you can say it’s awful, because honestly the first few weeks kind of are.”
Thank you to everyone who helped me (us) get through the first few weeks of motherhood, I am so grateful for all of your honesty, support and cooking!