So… we had a baby
We welcomed James Riley Spooner with so much love and joy on May 15, 2017. After 27 hours of labor lots of tears and laughter the baby boy made his debut weighing in at a very healthy 8lbs 5oz and 21 inches long. There are zero words for me to explain the joy and overflowing emotions I felt when he was on my chest and took his first breaths. Jake said to me later “I have never seen you cry so much” to which my answer was I have never felt so much. James is now one month and one week into his journey and I felt the need to share some of the things I have learned, some I was warned about and others well I was totally blindsided.
1. My emotions are in zero control at the moment. There is no “normal” there is no happy or sad it is quite literally a cluster eff of emotions.
2. Family is everything. Whether they are your given family or chosen they are everything. I say this including all the advice they give, some we have taken and others, well we haven’t. Our family has been there for midnight calls to talk about pacifiers, mommy guilt (I will address this later) breastfeeding, bowel movements and in general saving me personally from myself. My mom and sister came over today no questions asked when I was in deep, deep, can’t breath crying mode because one thing broke the camels back. My sister-in-law has literally been my Web MD and sounding board since the minute James arrived. So in conclusion- use your family whoever they might be. It’s ok to ask for help.
3. Everything hurts- you go through thousands of classes to prepare you for birth and only a half an hour is devoted to the actual bringing home and caring for the child. Guess what, even with a long labor and complicated delivery I would say that the aftermath is what you really need to prepare for, both the pain and challenges. Pain is temporary, motherhood, if done right is not. The pain you will be in unfortunately after birth is no freaking joke. Prepare yourself. This is not to scare anyone but it’s the flipping truth and nothing prepared me for that.
4. Mom guilt- it is sooooo incredibly real. You feel guilt when they don’t stop crying, guilt when you think about work, guilt when you think about yourself, guilt when breastfeeding is not working out for you (by the way your feeding decisions are your and yours alone- no one knows what your situation is. A healthy baby comes with a healthy momma) Guess what? The guilt never ends but how you cope with it is up to you… I’m still learning how to do that. I’m not holding my breath about finding the solutions or cure either. As my friend Courtney said- you know your baby best, stop reading blogs and don’t give a crap about what people say is right or wrong.
5. Talk. Simply just talk about what you are feeling. I admitted to my sister the other day that the anger I felt towards this tiny human was scary- like grind your teeth anger because I couldn’t figure out what was wrong and the crying was endless. Another news flash- this happens to 99% of moms and it’s totally ok- assuming you put your baby down and walk away when things get overwhelming.
6. Your body and self esteem will take time. Don’t rush it and don’t force it. Be kind to yourself.
7. Love your partner. I realize this doesn’t apply to everyone but it does to me. Love on your partner like you never have because they are probably the only one who can semi understand your emotions and your total lack of sleep. They at least in my case will show you the unconditional love everyone in this stage of life deserves.
8. Take millions of pictures and share them. I don’t care if my baby pics annoy you, if they do unfollow me. I did that to others in the past and it was all because I was in a different place in my life. I get it, I won’t be hurt if you do. This baby boy will overtake my newsfeed and I’m happy about that.
9. Don’t second guess yourself. Jake keeps telling me to trust my instincts and that I’m doing great. I’m still convincing myself of that. That’s ok
10. People tell you, you don’t have to choose between kids and a career and I truly don’t think you do but you do however have to prioritize. This morning I broke down with fear of losing my career and sense of self. I worked hard to get where I am at, it took time and perseverance. I still am scared that motherhood has made me lose a bit of my footing. Fact is we all can’t work for companies or people who get it. I work with a lot of people who do which I am so grateful for but I still work for a company… fellow moms will get it. Future moms or those who care to understand- you will not be treated the same before you were a mom or even pregnant. You will feel passed over and rejected at times. You will feel like all your hard work goes up into smoke the minute your out of office is turned on… I’m not saying that is right or ok but the world is a cruel and unfair place. Again, how you react and deal is up to you. If you want both, have both. Be a shark- a momma shark, one who can command a room and have her own ideas and then come home and cuddle and kiss your baby until he falls fast asleep.
11. Feel everything. Feel his wrinkly fingers and toes and soak them in. Feel happy and feel sad. Feel excited and scared. Feel the guilt. Feel the love your family and friends offer. Feel it all- this time will not last forever.
This list will most likely be ever-evolving and I may share again but like I mentioned before after a very difficult day I needed to write. Once again I have strayed from a recipe post and well that may not be happening again any time soon because….
12. Meal prep your life away or have your favorite take out on speed dial. Preparing a whole new meal every night? Ain’t nobody got time for that… at least not right now