In the light of one of my friends just having her first baby, I can’t help but think about those first few weeks after having my daughter, Olive. They were amazing, they were life changing, and they were absolutely horrible. You have this thought while you’re pregnant that everything is going to be sunshine and rainbows when your baby is finally here. I mean, come on, you’ve been waiting 9 full months to see what this little human looks like and you sure as hell are going to love every second with this beautiful baby.
Then something happens… something nobody warns you about, something you don’t really read or hear during pregnancy. So, I’m going to give it to you straight. Those first weeks, which went beyond weeks for me, are hell. And it’s mainly because your hormones are so jacked up.
These hormones don’t make their appearance until you get home from the hospital. So here you are excited to be home, shower in your own shower, sleep in your own bed, and finally start your new life as a family of three. And wham, you’re hit with the hormone fairy. You don’t want to do anything except cry for no reason and worry you aren’t doing the right things for your baby. You feel like you are failing already at being a parent and this makes you constantly think what the heck did I get myself into.
You don’t get to sleep anymore. Like, at all. Especially if you choose to breastfeed because your doctor tells you all the horror stories about nipple confusion. That means you’re the only one that can feed your newborn in the middle of the night. No shifts for this mom. You get them all. Oh, and don’t forget, falling asleep while nursing your baby or holding your baby is a big no-no.
Speaking of breastfeeding… it’s not some magical bonding moment that effortlessly happens. It’s a lot of work. You’ll struggle, you’ll worry, and you’ll want to quit. In the hospital, Olive was a champ at latching on and feeding. It wasn’t painful, just a little tender and sore. Then for some reason, the moment we stepped foot into our house she forgot how to do it. We weren’t getting the latch right anymore and my nipples looked like a horror scene. I’m talking, way worse than the cracking and bleeding that is typical that first week. I had chunks taken out, open sores, and blood that would not stop. This pain mixed with your postpartum hormones are no match for a new mom. In all honesty, it makes you want to throw in the towel and be done nursing.
You become needy. This is just another thing these damn hormones do to us new moms. I am not a needy person by any means and the only thing I wanted was to be around my husband, especially at night when we put Olive to bed. I wasn’t even content with him sitting beside me. I was practically on his lap with my head in his chest all the time. It’s the only thing that allowed me to think clearly and realize everything I was experiencing, and feeling was just hormone related and that I wasn’t actually psychotic. It made the day I just had seem tolerable and I felt a little life come back to me. This feeling made it possible to do it all over again the next day, which is exactly what a new mother needs.
Take each day at a time and soon enough your hormones will balance out, you’ll remember why you wanted a baby in the first place, and you’ll actually find joy in being a mom. Shoot, maybe you’ll even get to that sunshine and rainbows we all dreamt about.
Lyndsay lives in Michigan with her husband Brock, daughter Olive, and maltipoo Toby. She spends her days as a work-at-home mom as a Content Manager. In her free time, Lyndsay has a blog, loves going on adventures with her family, drinking wine, and working out. You can find her on Instagram, Facebook, or check out her blog at www.justsomemom.com.