Whoops. Where’d the past month go? We’ll blame it on the newborn haze phase.
There’s so much I want to say about my first month postpartum, but I’m struggling to find the right words. There’s not really an eloquent way to discuss leaky boobs, a saggy belly and crazy hormones.
To be completely honest, I’ve had this post drafted in my computer for over a week now but I stop myself whenever I begin to write. I worry that what I have to say will be too negative. or too whiny. or make Baby Charlotte feel bad if she were to read it years from now…so I stop.
Don’t get me wrong – having a baby is all sorts of awesome. You have this amazing little creature in your life now and her learning to make eye contact is like Neil Armstrong walking on the moon and you want to throw a parade when she burps. However (and this is where things get tricky), post-partum reality is bananas. You’re tired and hormonal and your entire universe has just been flipped on its head. (You’re also sweaty. So very sweaty). For every ounce of awesomeness, it’s equally difficult as well.
But no one openly discusses that part.
Take breastfeeding for example: I read approximately 90934923497 blogs, books, articles and forums on pregnancy and labor. Yet, I only read one book and took a singular 3 hour class on breastfeeding. I took a twelve week class on giving birth – something that only happens for a day. Why didn’t I realize how challenging breastfeeding would be? It wasn’t until I started talking to other moms that I learned I wasn’t alone in this. Big, fat ugly cries during the 3 am feedings are totally normal in the beginning (for both the baby and you). You’ll want to quit and more than once, you’ll pray to the gods of all things holy to give your husband a pair of working boobs. It’s all par for the course. So why don’t we share that more?
I blame the internet. Blogs and social media make pregnancy and post-partum life look like a blessed breeze where the pregnancy weight just melts away, babies are geniuses who sleep and feed without any issues, and as the mom, you’re just happy to be a part of it.
Errrrrrrr. What? Am I missing something here? Was there a magic potion the hospital gave out that I skipped?
Just once, I’d like to read a REAL blog post from a mom with enough balls to put it all out there. Instead of showing her thigh gap in yoga pants, she’d show her squishy stomach and c-section shelf. She’d talk honestly about those first weeks of incessant worrying and Googling (“Why does my baby sneeze? Are cross-eyes normal? Is my grunting, projectile pooping kid an alien?”). She’d admit that sometimes she just wants her skinny jeans, a stiff martini, and her old life back – just for a few hours.
Why is it so hard for us to do that? Even now, as I dance around the issues in this post, I feel that mom guilt creeping in. Am I a giant asshole for not feeling blessed and grateful and happy 24/7? Does Worst Mom of the Year Award go to me for hating breastfeeding sometimes? Should I not publish this post because it makes me look like I don’t love my kid? Sigh.
As I slowly return to normalcy and hope to start blogging more frequently, I need to find a voice that works for me on here. I typically take a satirical, tongue-in-cheek approach to the topics at hand. I don’t take myself too seriously and I want to continue in that vein, sharing the good, the bad and the ugly. So sometimes I’ll humble brag about my kid (She slept SEVEN HOURS once. Obviously that means she’ll be the first female President of the United States), and other times I’ll be a giant Wendy Whiner (None of my clothes fit, I need to lose 50lbs and I’m going on a sugar detox. In December. Kill me now).
If nothing else, maybe I can use this blog to set up a secret social network of moms where we exchange hand signals and code words for things like, “I don’t remember the last time I showered” and “I’m wearing 7 pairs of Spanx under this outfit”. Maybe then, I can bump into someone at Target and we’ll both raise our right eyebrow and immediately know that means Happy Hour begins at 3pm in our households that day.
In the meantime, I’m going to take the advice of our pediatrician: “Buy more underwear and do laundry less”.