PSST...HERE'S WHAT NO ONE REALLY TELLS YOU ABOUT THE FIRST WEEKS WITH YOUR BABY
No one really tells you this, but the first couple of weeks with your newborn are HARD. And not just hard in a the-baby-is-crying-and-I-don't-know-what-to-do way. Sure, that's part of it and it factors in. But as a new mom, the hardest and most unexpected parts for me were the physical and emotional aspects.
From a physical standpoint... OUCH. No matter how you deliver your baby, there is going to be a recovery process, and it is going to hurt. I expected some pain and discomfort afterwards, but I really didn't know what I was in for. It hurts to walk. It hurts to laugh. It hurts to sit down. You move at a snail's pace when you do decide to walk, and you'll definitely need some assistance sitting down. No more plopping down on the couch and getting cozy. No ma'am. You'll need to hold on to someone or something as you very slowly lower yourself to couch level. I'll spare you the details, but just know that you're looking at a solid two weeks before you're feeling semi-normal again.
If you're ambitious enough to put on makeup in the first couple of weeks, first of all - bravo! You deserve a medal! Secondly, make sure you stock up on waterproof mascara. Personally, I cried over nearly everything and for reasons I still cannot explain. If forced to give an explanation I would just say "hormones". Listening to certain songs? Instant tears. My husband saying something nice to me? Cue the waterworks. Baby waking up 12 times a night? Pass me a tissue. I kid you not, the mere sight of my son had the power to make me sob. You're completely unreasonable with your emotions, and you know it. But you also can't help it. So when you purchase that waterproof mascara, pick up a few boxes of tissues too.
What made these things so difficult wasn't the physical pain or the wacky emotions themselves. It was having to care for a newborn baby through it all. It's one thing to undergo an operation and have to recover from it over the course of a couple of weeks. It's a whole new ballgame when there's a brand new baby involved. This person depends entirely on you. And they depend on you no matter what time it is, how much you hurt, how tired you are or how emotionally exhausted you are. And more than anything, you want to tend to their needs and ensure their happiness. It's part of being a mom. We do whatever it takes to make sure our children are happy and taken care of, and this is where it begins. So despite not feeling anywhere near 100 percent, you do whatever you have to do for your new baby.
Some days I seriously wondered if I would ever feel normal again. It seems like a far off dream when you really just feel like you're in survival mode each day. Here's the thing, though - you will feel normal again. You'll look back, and those first couple of weeks will seem like a complete blur. And in the end it's an incredibly small price to pay for what you gain. I would live those weeks a million times over again to have my son here. So, if you're going through these ups and downs, keep your chin up. One day in the near future you'll be able to sit down unassisted and make it through a full day without crying - that is until your baby smiles at you. And then you'll need to pull out those tissues once again.
- E-Family News: What to Do When You're Home With a Newborn
- More posts from Morgan
- More on babies and infancy from The Family Room bloggers