Monday, March 18, 2013

reality

I've been meaning to write this post for a couple months now. It's not going to be a "happy, life is so perfect" kind of post, it's something I went through that I don't want to forget. It was real life for me. Actually, I'm just putting these thoughts down because you truly do forget... and I want to be reminded in case I ever have the urge to get knocked up again. Ha, I'm totally kidding..... sorta ;)
In all seriousness, Mia is the best part of Eric and I. We are in awe that she took a little something from each of us and grew into a perfect baby girl. I pray to my Heavenly Father a thousand times a day thanking Him for my angel baby. But those first 2 (or more, probably more) weeks of Mia's life were the hardest weeks of my life!
I don't really know how to describe what I went through without sounding like a crazy.... but here goes! I thought my world ended when we took Mia home from the hospital. I could hardly even use the bathroom without Eric's help, let alone take care of this perfect little baby who needed to be taken care of 24/7. Yes, my body had just been through major trauma, but I didn't feel like the recovery was very difficult. But I did struggled physically, mentally and emotionally with nursing. (You can read my story here.) My struggle with nursing those first 2 weeks was so draining. Looking back, I'm not really sure how my sanity, my daughter and my marriage survived that, ha ha!
A week after Mia was born, Eric was told he needed to work the night shift for the next month. The news was a huge surprise/shock to us and I kind of went postal on Eric. I didn't mean to, and it certainly wasn't his fault... but hello?! I was a brand new mom who needed her husband! Instead he was going to work all night (12 hour shifts) and sleep during the day. The stress I let myself feel over that situation definitely rubbed off on everyone around me. I wish I would have handled that better, but I was a struggling, sleep deprived new mom. I was terrified to figure out that journey "alone" and I felt awful that Eric wouldn't be able to spend the time with our brand new baby that he deserved. I'm still bitter about that situation, but this is one reason I thought my world had ended :)
I remember thinking I wasn't ever going to be able to leave the house with my baby. I was distraught (sounds dramatic but I'll just blame it on the hormones) that we weren't going to be able to get together with friends, go on trips, or function outside of the home.  I had always said that we weren't going to stop living life just because we had a baby.... but I could barely make it out the door for a doctor appointment.
A little over a week after Mia was born, I was dying to get out of the house, breath in some fresh air and get a little exercise. I ended up at the gym (because it was negative degrees outside, much too cold to go on a walk) while Eric watched Mia. My walk on the treadmill only lasted 10 minutes, but it made me see a light at the end of the tunnel. Everyone who normally went to the gym was there working out (I'm a major people watcher, and I spent a lot of time walking on the treadmills my last couple weeks of pregnancy, ha ha!) The world hadn't ended, it was just going to take some time for me to learn how to live my new life! At the time, I felt like it took forever for me to learn. But Mia isn't even 3 months old yet and I've already taken her on a trip without Eric! I'd say I've made major progress and have learned a lot. And I know I'll continue to learn more each day :)
One of my blog friends described it perfectly.... she said the first couple of weeks are a mix of ecstasy and despair. I couldn't agree more! I believe most of the despair comes from being sleep deprived and the nasty hormone change. And of course the ecstasy comes from the precious newborn :) Those were the hardest weeks of my life but they were so worth it. I love my baby girl SO much, and that love grows every single day. I love my new life of being a mom to Mia! I wouldn't change it for the world. And it will be helpful to have this reminder when we have our next baby.... it takes a minute to get the hang of this huge life change, but it will come!! The light at the end of the tunnel is very real, and comes sooner than we expect it to :)

32 comments:

Julie said...

I have yet to experience Mommyhood but I know its hard, esp with the absence of a sig other. I have best friends going through that right now. Their pregnancy was a big surprise and because of his job, she had to move back in with her parents while he's living 4 hours away. He is only seeing the baby on weekends, which is hard when its a newborn but they are having to do whatever they can to make sure at least one of them has a job with benefits. Luckily she has a great family to be there for her and to help her through the night with their angel. However with all that said, sometimes you just need that little light to appear to tell you it will be ok :)

Pamela said...

This is why I love you, Courtney! You are so honest, & I thank you for that! Good to know who I can turn to about pregnancy, when that time comes for us!

Dee Stephens said...

Great post. I didn't experience anything like you but I chalk that up to my husband taking 7-weeks of paternity leave to help out.
NOt to mention, I didn't nurse.
Glad everything is better!!

Katie {Miss Dixie} said...

Great post!! I am about to head out for a pedicure, my mom is feeding the baby and I am pumping as I type, ha! Life is definitely different and I'm trying to take it day by day, all while being so thankful for my sweet babe.

Natalie said...

My husband worked that same night shift, 12 hours, for the first 15 months of Max's life so I know how you feel. It was really, really hard but we made it through. Thank you for being so honest. I hid my pain from everyone and that was even harder than anything!

Lindsay said...

I love this post and appreciate your honesty! I had a lot of complications post-delivery (c-section), everything from anemia to needing some super strong drugs to regulate blood pressure, and I don't even REMEMBER the first 2 weeks of my son's life. I was so depressed about that for so long, that I realized I wasn't letting myself LIVE. Once I stopped wallowing (I blame nasty hormones, too), I realized that it's all uphill from there. My husband did have 6 1/2 weeks paid paternity leave when my son was born, and I don't know what I'd do if he didn't, considering all that went wrong and how my husband was basically Mom and Dad for the first couple of weeks. But now he's at a new job, and this job only gives him a couple of days of paid paternity leave -- and even though I don't want another child for a couple of years, I find myself up at night with anxiety over this and the fear something else will go wrong! Parenting is so stressful, especially in the beginning!

Ashley Brickner said...

Well said! It's really hard to describe those first few weeks ... but you did it perfectly. Best & hardest weeks of my life! :)

Ashley Brickner said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Amy said...

You are beautiful. And I love your honesty.

Shelley said...

Ugh yes. The hubs that works 12 hour shifts at night and sleeps all day? That's us too and always has been but it's a lot harder when you have a baby to take care of. Dinners, bathtimes, putting to bed..you do it alone. It can be hard but it gets easier and you get a routine! You even get to the point when hubs comes home and you curse in your head as he messes up the routine lol. Well, that's us anyway. Having a newborn is SO HARD especially if you have trouble/issues with breastfeeding. I know exactly how that feels. I'm proud of you for stepping up and doing it though. We mommies have super powers, I swear! :)

Leslee said...

Love your posts and always so true! You are a rock star! Keep it up Mommy! Mia is lucky to have you. If only someone could have explained those first few weeks to you BEFORE they happened......but I'm finding, even trying to explain them to people doesn't help since it's just something we all have to figure out for our selves because it's all a little different for all of us. What may have been hard for you won't be as hard for someone else.....but they will have their "Freak out" moments over something else :)

much love,

Leslee

Amanda @ Eloquent English said...

WOW that would be really tough!!!! I probably would have stressed out majorly too! The light is at the end.... xoxo

Ashley said...

When I had my first I spent many nights crying in the beginning. New motherhood can be so stressful. Throw in the hormones and the recovery time and it can just seem insurmountable. Luckily, it isn't. :)

Natalie and Trent said...

Beautiful! If it helps any, I have three very close together and I'd still say I had the most difficult time physically and emotionally with number one than any other transition. I know those life stressors can be crazy, don't feel bad you went postal on Eric ;) Trent can tell you all the meltdowns I've had when he lost a job every time we've been pregnant, hormones make us ...um... Insane? Haha. They forgive us, and they forget and still get us pregnant again. You're awesome Courtney! I miss your spirit and smile around!

Jessie said...

I should have said euphoria. I think that's a better word and I think many women feel much like you those first weeks and months--I did, with both my babies! It's a lot easier the second time around bc you know those hormones and feelings won't last. Becoming a mother is a shock to one's system! But truly the best shock ever. Glad you're adapting well and loving motherhood.

Purposely at Home said...

you so have this mothering thing down, courtney. i pray that your life with eric and not only mia, but your future little ones, is happy and blessed! :)

xo
purposelyathome.blogspot.com

The Stylers said...

Yeah I'm still waiting for my light and kiptyn is 4 months! Haha

Adrienne said...

You are amazing!!!

I almost "x'ed" out because we've been in the talks of starting a family but I am freaked out! :)

This reminds me of that but also reminds me of how it's worth every second. Even on the worst days.

You are so insightful!

Amira said...

I can relate to every word!!! Those first few weeks were so unbelievably challenging, but it gets easier every day!

Jenn @ Bliss to Bean said...

Exactly!! I love that--ecstasy and despair. I didn't feel "normal" until my husband and I dressed up, left the house, and went out for dinner. All seemed right when I returned (and I lost those hormones elsewhere!!) Such a wonderful and crazy thing, we as women, get to experience. Glad you're doing well!!

hayley jo said...

Hi!! I am so bad at commenting so you have probably never heard from me!! but thank you for this post, I am going to have my first baby in 8 weeks so hearing this helps me in getting prepared and to realize feeling down is normal!!! Thank you!!

Nat said...

Just found your blog! Love the honestly from your post- I'm due with my first baby in June and I'm more nervous for the first few weeks home than I am birth!

dlpower said...

Amen! I have been meaning to get around to recording my thoughts on this but haven't yet. It is tough and a true test but you're passing with flying colors!

Tiffany @ Austin Family Diary said...

Thank you for your honesty. I feel like this post definitely prepares me for what's to come in just a few short weeks.

Maria said...

beautiful and honest post, courtney! thank you so much for sharing your story. i'm sure there are so many mamas who can relate and find peace in your story. the photo of you and mia is so sweet.
<3<3
maria

C.Curley said...

I'll try to remember this encouraging post when I go through the first few weeks of having our baby at home. It is something I think about a lot. I'm so excited to have a baby, but having a newborn is kind of a different story! And I get really, really cranky when I don't get a good night's sleep. So...that will be interesting! ha!

alesha said...

Love reading this. It really was the hardest time of my life. Dang hormones made me a bit crazy! Thanks for sharing something so personal :)

Chelsea said...

Thanks for this honest post! I'm expecting in June and am pretty nervous about those first couple of weeks. We can do it! We can do it!

Emily Hampton said...

I can really relate to this! You might sound crazy to anyone who hasn't had kids -- but as a mom, I definitely get it.

New follower here -- I'm going to have to go back in your blog and see when your little cutie was born. My baby girl was born on December 12th, I think they're close in age? :)

-- Emily @ runninglikeamother.com

Janna Renee said...

I can totally relate to this, because one of my "reasons" for not wanting kids right now is because I will inevitably have to do a lot of it alone if Will deploys. I guess this goes to show that it wouldn't be that bad ;) You are a STRONG momma!

scrapperjen said...

This is very honest and real! I went through a really hard time after our daughter was born.
As a momma of a 19 & 9 year old, let me advise to treasure even the tough times - they go by SO fast!
HUGS!!!!

ajs {of MN} said...

the first few weeks are so very hard, a huge changes ALWAYS justifies a trying adjustment period, no matter how long it takes- we've all been there!

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