Hi everyone! After my last post about Herschel’s birth story I figured it was important to shed some light on a not-so-humorous time! I had reservations about writing that experience out and allowing everyone to read about it, but I am so happy that I did. So many people reached out to tell me that I am strong and how incredible I am for enduring that. And honestly, I truly feel that way! It was a rough (short) moment in our lives, but since those days in the hospital, we have had the most incredible bond. Between not only Herschel and I, but also Jared and us as a family! Adjusting to parenthood is no easy task, especially for someone like Jared who had no experience with kids before Herschel…So let me give you some updates on our lives (as parents); some good, some not so good, and how we’ve coped for the last 10 weeks!
The Days of Postpartum
Okay, I’m not going to lie. The first few weeks after baby is born are truly the HARDEST and there were times I wondered if I would ever feel like myself again. It had nothing to do with Herschel and everything to do with my recovery. My pregnancy was a breeze and honestly my labor experience wasn’t too awful either…but those postpartum hormones and anxiety hit me like a ton of bricks! This is even more so because baby spend time in the NICU. You have the general shock of bringing baby home and learning a whole new life with a little one that depends on you at all times. And then your hormones are going haywire making you feel every emotion at once, on overload. If you’re really lucky you’ll have the anxiety sprinkled on top causing you to hover over your baby at all times checking if they’re breathing (sweat emoji). Also, your body is going through major recovery, but you simply can’t slow down because that sweet little babe needs you. I won’t go into too much detail about this here, but I felt like this is something people really don’t prepare you for! I would be more than willing to write a whole post about postpartum if that would interest anyone! Just know you’re not alone if you have also experienced these emotions and it will only get easier with time.
The New Normal
In all honesty, I feel that adjusting to motherhood came very easy to me! I am 1 of 4 kids and already have two nieces and two nephews that I have been involved with in their lives since they were born. Majority of the jobs I have ever had included children and caring for them. I was a Pre-Kindergarten teacher who was in charge of 17 four year olds all day long and had majority experience dealing with infants. I knew the changing, feeding, playing, soothing, naps, and everything in between. My job was literally to change dirty diapers all day long. So when Herschel came into our lives, it was so natural to me! The only real adjustment was being the one to feed him in the nights and realizing that I am his mother and I call the shots on everything (laugh emoji). No one was going to tell me what to do with him and Jared and me were the only ones who will make decisions for him. It’s both odd and rewarding! When I asked Jared what the hardest part for him was adjusting to parenthood, he said it was, “the times he would be crying and nothing you do can get him to calm down; even if you think it’s the right thing to do , but still nothing helps.” We were so lucky to have each other daily to help with the struggles of a newborn. He helped when my anxiety was so high all I did was cry, and those times he felt helpless I could take over from there. Herschel also made it a smooth transition since he’s the sweetest easiest baby I could have ever dreamt of!
Accepting the Defeats
With the knowledge and experience I had coming into motherhood, it also made it really difficult to accept defeat. Mom guilt is a real thing and it can be overpowering if you allow it. It’s not always easy getting to know your baby and what they want or need. You really just hope that your instincts kick in. I’ve had to acknowledge the fact that I can’t always control the outcome of situations and I just gotta let it go. For example: when Herschel was only a couple weeks old we had to take him on a car ride to my parents one evening. He doesn’t like his carseat very much and in the middle of the drive (in the rain, during rush hour, I should remind you) he started screaming and then holding his breath until he turned blue and sweat was dripping down his face…my anxiety was at a 1,000 at that point. I refused to take him out of the house for awhile after that one! Or another example is around four weeks our breastfeeding journey took a slight detour. Breastfeeding was a dream up until this point, and then all of a sudden he was pulling off, screaming to the top of his lungs, and was having a hard time getting a good feeding in. After this persisted for weeks I almost gave up on breastfeeding entirely, but after many trial and errors, breastfeeding got better again! I’ve learned not to dwell on those little bumps in the road and just ride it out without the mom guilt weighing down on me.
Making Time for Mom and Dad
Leading up to Herschel’s birth, Jared and I made a conscious point to discuss our relationship post baby. A strong foundation for a family starts with our relationship and making it a priority! You can’t teach love and togetherness if you’re not supporting that through your marriage. We’ve had so much joy planning the time we get to spend together at the end of the night once Herschel goes to bed. The first month wasn’t really possible to do this since we were always catching up on sleep, riding through Herschel’s witching hour, and I was working on recovery. Now that we’re getting the hang of things, Hersch is going to bed earlier and we have time to focus on one another! Date nights are SO IMPORTANT! If you just had a baby, try your best to set time aside to just be with your spouse, without baby, to focus on each other. My mom and sister were very supportive of this and watched Herschel while we went for beers and sushi (this was difficult for me to leave him, but I’m so happy we did). We find ourselves getting excited to put him to bed, drink a glass of wine, and just watch a show together without being interrupted. Even talking about getting intimate gives us something to look forward to and shows one another that we still find the other attractive and important even after baby has arrived!
Endless Amount of Love and Laughter
This wouldn’t be “life of a new mom” if I didn’t share the joys of having a baby, especially if it’s your first! From the moment they are born, you wake up feeling so whole and needed that you just can’t wait to hold and kiss all over them! With every new day Herschel is growing and showing off his developmental stages. I’ll never forget the feeling I have when he looks at me and smiles because I’m literally everything he ever wanted. There is no greater feeling than knowing that when he’s fussy all he needs is his mama to cuddle him. Or in the mornings when we all just woke up and laugh at every little thing he does because its so pure and innocent. Seeing my husband become a father has become one of the proudest moments to date. It’s unlike anything you can explain and it’s the very reason I’ll do it 100 times over!
Each and everyday we have to learn to adjust our schedules and accept that life will never be as it once was. And we love that! Becoming parents is something we talked about for years, and now that we’re living it, all thanks goes to God for blessing us with our precious little boy and the life we get to make with each other!
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