Life now.

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Of course I knew that having a baby would change my life.  I knew I’d get less sleep and that it would become more difficult to go anywhere or do anything.  I knew that there would be a physical recovery and I knew that my emotions would be all over the place.

Still – knowing all that I knew (little that it was, admittedly), this being a mother thing is so much harder than I thought it would be.  Not the loving her part.  That has come so easily.  But the day to day BEING A MOTHER part is hard.  It almost seems unfair that it is so much at once.  First, you’re tired because you’re nine months pregnant and that’s exhausting in and of itself.  Then you have the labor phase, which is – as the name implies – work.  Immediately after that is the beginning of the physical recovery – probably my least favorite thing ever and seemingly never ending  And simultaneously, you’re learning about this little human for whom you are responsible.  Feeding, bathing, soothing, deciphering every little whimper and wail.  It was a lightbulb moment when it occurred to me that a baby needs care 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.  I couldn’t just put in a solid 8-10 hour day and call it good.  Leave the work to pick up again after a good nights sleep and some Amy time.

I am completely and utterly aware of how blessed I am.  I have a wonderful, supportive husband.  An amazing group of family and friends.  A safe and warm place to live.  I have good health insurance and the financial resources to keep stress at bay as the hospital bills started rolling in.  My baby is healthy and very easy.  I am so, so blessed.

But even with all of that, in an effort to keep it real – the past two months have been the hardest of my life.  Postpartum blues sent my emotions into complete chaos – I haven’t kept a tally, but I think I’ve cried at least once on more days than I haven’t cried, often for reasons that I can’t even put into words.  The tears come because I’m overwhelmed or tired or hurting or scared or happy or amazed or sad or because my heart is so full that I think it will burst or because there’s a Subaru commercial on TV.

I have never blogged because I like writing.  I don’t mind writing, but it is not a passion that I love to coddle and cultivate.  I enjoy reading back on past blog posts and I know that I’ll treasure the ones that talk about Ava, so it makes me a little sad that I didn’t prioritize writing more consistently during her first eight weeks.  But there were days when I was just focused on survival, yo.

And surviving I am.  I love spending my days with Ava and think that she is the coolest little girl.  I am trying hard to not be too Type A about the tidiness of my house or the number of items I check off my mental to-do list each day.  These newborn weeks are precious, I know, and I want to savor them.  Even if the feelings are sometimes overly robust, I’m thankful for them because they remind me how full of love I am for my two favorites – my daughter and her father.

Have you ever been surprised by how you were affected by a life-changing event? 

 

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12 thoughts on “Life now.

  1. I always felt that the emphasis placed on pregnancy in our society overshadowed the real event: Having a child. Having it, and having to take care of it, away from the warm public approval that makes it all look so exciting and BLESSED.
    Don’t ever feel like having to apologize for how hard it is, most of the time.
    I never had babies, but I had young kids part-time, and I know how that feels. Mothers have such a difficult time admitting to the difficulty of it all, because they are so afraid of the opinions of others: of being labelled ungrateful, spoiled, or the worst of all, a bad mother.
    It’s hard. Unimaginably hard. Not least of all because of all the expectations placed on the mothers.
    Don’t ever feel like you have to apologize.
    You are a loving mother, you are doing the best you can, and you are doing much better than you give yourself credit for.
    Give yourself a break, dear Amy! You are doing absolutely, fantastically, 100% AMAZING.
    xo Miriam

  2. It is extremely overwhelming when you suddenly realize that THIS is your life now, and this person needs you every single moment. It’s exhausting to be a parent, but it’s also so true what they say that it’s a joy and a huge blessing to care for this person because you love them so incredibly much! You are doing a great job!

  3. Being a new mom is soooooo incredibly tough! And you’re right, it’s 24/7. I remember the first time that really hit me… Brady was waking up every two hours throughout the night. And as I slid under my covers after a long day, I realized that there was no relaxing for the night to recoop. I had to wake up when he did… There was no break.
    It’s a HUGE change and a complete identity shift, never mind the fact that this is all happening while you’re exhausted and recovering physically.
    All I can say is ‘hugs’ and ‘hang in there’! I remember a friend telling me that I’d feel as though I might die, and – during the newborn stage – I really did feel that way. ;) BUT the good news is that it does get easier.
    Brady sleeps through the night now and is learning to play a bit on his own.
    So try to breathe in that sweet newborn smell and let your lips kiss that soft, newborn head. Because it really will be over all too soon. But at the same time, realize that you are undertaking THE hardest job ever, and you are doing an amazing job!!
    I loved your honest in this post, because I think it’s so important for moms-to-be to realize just how tough the first few months are. They’re precious… But they are also quite overwhelming!
    P.S. I totally cried over commercials too during the first few months. Ha, ha! I can SO relate to that!!

  4. Yo, I couldn’t have described it better myself. Being a mother is the most selfless job. Sometimes I love being one, sometimes I don’t. But I always lover HER. And people lie when they say “It gets easier”. Take it from the mommy of a 18 month old. It doesn’t get easier. YOU just get better at it with time. Hang in there, mommy.

  5. I think it’s great for you to blog about this! And any internet naysayers who would criticize you are probably not moms. People need to keep it real regarding motherhood, because if new moms think that it’s all bliss and Instagram moments, they’re going to feel like they’re doing something wrong when it doesn’t turn out to be that way. Being a mom IS hard, but everything worthwhile takes hard work. I think it’s okay if you don’t enjoy every moment of it (like many people annoyingly urged me when Jake was first born). I will readily admit that I didn’t enjoy being the mom of a newborn. I started having a lot more fun when Jake could crawl and play and really belly laugh. This is a great post! I hope you have a group of local moms who you can hang out with and ask questions and just generally commiserate with when things get hard! Having that support is so important! It’s ten times easier when you realize that you’re not alone.

  6. Those darn Subaru commercials. They make me cry, too. I think there was a dog one (unless it was Volkswagen?) where the dog was turning 14 or something and the owner was making a bucket list for the dog. Every time I saw that commercial I wold tear up. Then I think anoter Subaru commercial–where the dad looks at the daughter as she’s growing up–just kills me. Anyways, thanks for keeping it real here, Amy! It really is amazing with blogging to be able to look back on everything and remember how you felt at the time. The thing I hear most about having babies is that it gets better and that each phase passes. That always reassures me if/when the time comes. Another thing I always think about is that it must be worth it to have babies because so many people decide to have more than one! Being a mom is something that takes a lot of time to adjust to, too. Just like being married or starting a new job, it’s a huge change. A very good change, though, because you have the cutest baby out there. :)

    Sending you lots of love!

  7. Amy!!!
    Hey girl, appreciate the transparency. You are and always have kept it real, that’s what I like about you and the way you write. I had meant to ask you about postpartum, my mom had it. I myself experienced depression due to hormonal imbalance, felt like death for 6 months. I can’t imagine having even a glimpse of that while caring for another, and a newborn at that! :( And yes, I know you love Ava so very much! How confusing it must be to love her so much and yet she is the one who is a big part of why you feel the way you do.
    I feel like people never talk about this, leaving the rest of us in complete shock when we experience it for the first time! So again, thanks for your transparency. If you ever want an hour or two to just be on your own I’d be more than happy to hang out with Ava or go and hang out with you! I’m sure you have some loving grandparents who would love to babysit also. ;)

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