Now that we’re here at week six, it’s a good time to look back at the past month and a half of motherhood. Why? Because it’s really getting cool.
At this point, Emmie is starting to see things and interact. We got a solid half-smile out of her and she is teetering on the edge of full happy-face. I can’t tell you how amazing it is to see your baby see you after weeks and weeks of just hoping she’s having an OK time. Babies master ‘skeptical, who are you?’ face way before happy face. But today, when I was singing a medley of Lionel Richie’s hits to her, she looked…amused! I’m an improviser, and man do I need readable positive feedback, so this is humongous for me.
This is just one of the many fronts on which things are getting more enjoyable, lighter, and easier. Going back to the beginning though, there’s some honest observations I’d like to share.
Like this: I really wish that I didn’t have the expectation that having the baby would be a physical relief.
It was once-in-a-lifetime-thrilling to deliver my little girl, but life was not physically easier after she was born. Week 41 of pregnancy was a whole lot breezier than weeks 1,2,3,4 and 5 of motherhood.
I know it’s not everyone’s experience but lordy lordy lord-ay. I could write a book called, From Carpal Tunnel Syndrome to Hot Flashes: Your guide to the unsung heroes of postpartum life or Life After Epidural: Why can’t the epidural come home with me? Seriously guys. Why? Or My Baby is Precious and Perfect, But OUUUCCHHHDAMMIT”.
This is not intended to scare moms-to-be – but rather maybe to shift expectations. I know a lot of ladies have an easy-going time after baby is born, but some don’t. Nursing can most especially be a challenge as it’s been for me. Feeding your baby is supposed to be the most natural thing in the world, so if you have trouble you might feel bad. You might feel as if your body doesn’t want to naturally do this completely wonderful thing for your kid. That’s a bad feeling. I had pain at first that made life rather challenging (wild understatement), but that’s just one of myriad, super normal difficulties new mothers can face.
But here’s the thing, it’s OK! I know this, not only from my personal experience, but also from talking to other amazingly helpful (and tough…mothers are so ridiculously tough) people who’ve gone through the same thing. I think experienced moms should be making “It Gets Better” videos for newer ones. Only they should be called “It Gets Awesome”, because it does.
Sleep deprivation is a THING, guys. It can make you dizzy and sad and confused. I lost a half can of cat food somewhere in this house. That is a true story. But that gets better too as the weeks go on and before you know it, your baby starts snoozing for more than 1-2 hours at a time at night and getting a twinkle in her eye that makes you fall even deeper in love with her than you could ever imagine.
THEN you think you figure out that “You Are The Sun, You Are The Rain” just might be her favorite jam. That’s the stage I’m at right now, and very very happy to be here.