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Friday, March 06, 2009

Motherhood is Hard

A friend and I were recently talking about how hard the first few months of motherhood can be. She just recently gave birth to her little girl and being a mommy is quite new. "You told me it was going to be hard", she said, "I just didn't realize how hard it was going to be". It's so true! You don't realize how hard it is until you're living it. A million people can tell you that it's hard at first but you just can't imagine it. The wonderful thing is it gets easier!
I remember coming home from the hospital thinking that the worst was behind me. The labor and delivery had gone pretty well and I was feeling remarkably good. I didn't know that for me it was the easy part. The next month was going to be a learning experience like none I had gone through before.
Learning to nurse a newborn was one of the hardest experiences of my life. Many of my friends had gone through the same thing and I had listened to them talk about working through it. I wish I had really been able to understand at the time in order to prepare myself for what it was really like. It was hell, plain and simple. My hubby was so supportive but he thought we should consider a switch to formula. It's not that I'm against formula but all of the research I had done stated the numerous advantages of breastfeeding. I wanted the very best for my baby and to me that was not formula. To the lactation specialist we went, so much for nursing being cheaper.
Thank goodness for these lactation specialists. All of my friends had gone to the same woman, the "breastfeeding Nazi" she's been nicknamed by some, "a miracle worker" by others. I'll say maybe a little of both but if it hadn't been for her I probably would have lost my mind. Two sessions, phone calls, a few hundred dollars and a month later my little guy got the hang of it and life is much better.
I think one of the hardest things in the beginning is the complete and utter lack of sleep you get. I mean, who functions well waking up every two hours? I know I don't. Those first few months I was not a very pleasant person. There were many times I resented my little guy for waking up and then felt guilty for feeling so. He's gotten so much better now but it was quite a ride getting to where we are. Unfortunately his stuffy nose has made him regress in this area and we're back to waking up one or two times a night. Although, after living through getting almost no sleep four hours at a time seems like a gift.
Even though the first few months of motherhood may be the hardest thing I've every experienced it is by far the most rewarding. I wouldn't trade it for anything. I love that child more than I knew was feasible. I'm sure my husband agrees. It was quite an adventure for him as well. Thankfully I have the most supportive husband. He was up with me each and every time I got up those first few months until nursing was no longer a complete obstacle. I appreciate him more than I can ever express. I know he took a bit of a beating those first few months with the hormones, lack of sleep and overwhelming change but he was a trooper and I'm so glad I didn't have to do it without him.

sarah,
HUGS for you!
being a mom is THE hardest thing ever. mine are now 4 and 5 and somedays are great and other days i feel so lost and alone and scared all over again. BUT, with the support of your husband and family and friends, and relying on the promise that God has given you a treasure, you will make it. im so glad to know john paul is feeding and sleeping better. i think one big issue is that we as moms dont really share all that we're feeling and we arent honest about how hard and scary it really, really is. when i had hegin, my oldest, i remember thinking that no one ever told me this or that or those things...and it would have been easier had someone told me. at least i wouldnt have felt so unworthy, like i was wrong for feeling this way. it's important that we share the burdens as well as the joys with our friends. your little man is adorable. im glad you are so happy!

By Anonymous chris-robin, at 1:24 PM  

Sarah,

Wow! Thanks for your very honest and insightful reflections. I enjoyed reading it. Please post more often so we can see more pics of John-Paul.

By Anonymous Danila, at 1:24 PM  

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