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5 things i’ve learned this week.

August 31, 2010

1.  The first days home from the hospital are the worst.  Granted I can’t really be the authority on this since I’ve been home from the hospital a whopping 9 days….but I can tell you that the first 72 hours of being home were some of my worst ever.  All of the things that everyone said would be awful….totally exceeded their warnings.  The uncontrollable crying (mine not his), the breastfeeding failures, the lack of sleep, the anxiety, the uncontrollable crying (his not mine), the loss of appetite, the cabin fever, the lack of acceptable television at 3 a.m….and the list goes on.  The only positives were the few moments of each day when he wasn’t crying or crapping, and the day in the middle of the week when I gathered enough courage to step on the scale to discover I had already dropped 30 lbs (nearly all of which came straight from my ankles….three cheers for being able to fit into my flip flops again!).

2.  Getting back to the uncontrollable crying, the only thing I have learned for sure is that every new mother must be given at least 5 minutes of every day to seek out a quiet  corner and sob out loud for no other reason than to release.  Release what, you may be asking?  Maybe water weight.  I’m not sure.  There is nothing particularly sad about being a new mother.  Trying and scary….but not sad.  Terrifying and exhausting…but not sad.  My particular tears were brought on by the fact that I spent the first 5 days of this little boys life totally starving him.  Feel free to get my “mother of the year” award polished and engraved.  Turns out that breast feeding isn’t as easy as the books make it seem.  Which brings us to point #3.

3.  Breast feeding isn’t as easy as the books make it seem.  It’s hard.  And painful.  And embarrassing.  And emotional.  Strangely.  Very emotional.  So for all soon to be moms, take my heed, prepare yourself mentally for this to really suck.  Any successes will feel like major victories and failures won’t make you consider permanent birth control measurse.  Furthermore, the nurses at the hospital won’t tell you that every time they take your baby away for the night that he screams from starvation and that it’s likely you aren’t feeding him properly.  This is both a blessing and curse.  It allowed me to sleep for a few hours assuming he was well and happy every night while we were in their care, but left me totally unprepared for the night of uncontrollable screaming which ensued the minute we got home out of sight of our friendly nursing staff.  But as with all life lessons, the takeaway is that if you keep trying and believe in your boobs….good things will happen.

4.  Babies wait for the optimal moment to cry.  Without fail.  For instance, the moment you decide to use the bathroom.  Or sit down with a plate of food.  Or close your eyes for the first time in hours.  It’s a necessary evil of early life.  They are testing you.  They are asking you if it’s okay for them to cry without being scooped up the instant they begin to whimper.  The answer to that question is unequivocally “yes”.  Otherwise you are destined to live a life void of potty breaks or meals or showers.  I love to preach this, but I’ll openly admit right now I haven’t used the bathroom in days and food is a pleasure of my past.  I can’t help but hold this little man nearly 24 hours a day.  It hurts to do anything else.  And when I go back to work you can rest assured that I will be purchasing a nanny cam that streams live feed directly to my desk.  Because I’m crazy like that.

5.  Single mothers deserve a special grant from the government that allows them the chance to purchase a live in nanny.  Chris and I have been watching “16 and Pregnant” on MTV all week and it almost always makes me want to throw up just thinking about what it would be like to do this alone.  I’m so lucky to have an amazing partner at home with me to share in this experience.  He feeds and changes and rocks as much as I do and it’s nothing short of a blessing straight from heaven.  He shares the same anxiety and love and sleep deprivation as I do.  And if he weren’t here….well…..I can’t imagine where I’d be.

And on that note, he is leaving for his first day back to work as I write this.  Here goes nothing. 🙂

9 Comments leave one →
  1. juliette permalink
    August 31, 2010 10:06 pm

    I want to give you a trophy for your honesty and your incredible talent for expressing such frustrating things in such a humorous way. And then I want to take that trophy and turn it into a nap and a beautiful plate of food, then give it back and hold that baby while you enjoy both.

    sorry about my lack of magician skills. but i still want to bring you food. i’ll wait my turn, but we’re coming over 🙂 you’re fabulous. praying for you, mama.

    • September 2, 2010 7:27 pm

      I’ve been thinking about you and Todd a lot this week and anticipating introducing you to our little man. I think you’ll really get along. He has a great sense of humor. Dry…but it’s a smart kind of funny.

  2. September 1, 2010 8:15 am

    love this post!

    and if it makes you feel any better, i starved luke for 3 1/2 weeks, apparently. you should have seen that poor baby drink his first bottle of formula.

    • September 2, 2010 7:29 pm

      Same here. The poor kid slept for what felt like days after his first formula bottle. Now I’m pretty sure he’ll get a formula bottle before bed for the rest of his life. Which will be awkward in his teens. But there’s not much that isn’t awkward in your teens.

  3. September 1, 2010 9:02 am

    Love this. Love you….just love.

  4. Nicole Sneed permalink
    September 1, 2010 2:51 pm

    Thank you for the honest insight into what I have to look forward to! I don’t really have romantic visions of how smooth and wonderful things will be when I bring my little one home, but it’s nice to know that if my first few days turn out like this, I am not alone. I love reading everything you write. Congratulations again! 🙂

    • September 2, 2010 7:31 pm

      I JUST found out on facebook that you are expecting! I’m so excited 🙂 And you are getting your own little man! That’s so rad lady. Congratulations! You are gonna rock this motherhood thing.

  5. Nicole Sneed permalink
    September 16, 2010 8:30 am

    Thanks, Laura! We are so excited…and nervous…and terrified…and feeling completely blessed because we didn’t think this day would ever come (easily) for us. I am so ecstatic about having a little boy, because I only had sisters growing up and always wanted a brother. So, even though I’ll be his momma and not his sister, I look forward to having a boy in the house. 🙂 Well, besides the grown boy I live with. Ha ha! And I know Jimmy is going to be a fantastic father, which makes this all the more rewarding. I really love reading everything you write, particularly about this motherhood thing, because you have a great way with words…I don’t think I will ever get around to documenting my mommy life the way that you have, but I hope to be as organized (well, almost) as you seem to be! Hugs to you and the little one!

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