Tuesday, April 21, 2009

5 Weeks

{Grayson's first trip to Central Park - slept the whole time}

So, it's been 5 weeks since I gave birth to Grayson and I feel the need to get some things off my chest. In trying to "keep it real" here on my blog I want to share some thoughts, things that were surprising to me about child birth and after, with those who may be interested...particularly new moms-to-be.

I wasn't aware that...

...child birth wouldn't be THAT bad. Really, it wasn't THAT BAD at all. Now, don't get me wrong, it's not something I want to do very often, but I'm actually looking forward to (hopefully) going through it again (and again after that). If anyone is interested, I'll share more details about labor in another post. I know that when I was pregnant, I loved reading and hearing POSITIVE birth stories from other new moms. I had had enough of the stories of three day long labors and emergency c-sections to give me nightmares for days.

...recovering from child birth would be so gross. I won't elaborate...it was just icky, really icky.

...breastfeeding wouldn't come easy for me. It hurt and my little one had some major power!

...I would feel like such a failure when after 4 weeks of trying (and practically starving my baby due to underproduction), I gave up on breastfeeding. I still cry about it. I keep thinking that I could've done more...I was lazy...I'm a horrible mom.

...what people say about the emotional rollercoaster following child birth is completely TRUE! I bawled my eyes out a handful of times (mainly in the shower where no one could see) just because. I'm not a "crier" by nature, but man let me tell you, I am now!

...I would be SO tired during the first week home from the hospital. I even had my mother here to help, but trying to nurse every two hours can really take a lot out of you. I was beyond exhausted.

...a little baby boy can shoot pee straight across the room! Our Aura (washable) paint has paid off in the nursery big time!

...they can also shoot poop (not as far as the pee, but still) and spit-up too. How does one get poo out of cashmere? Note to self: don't wear cashmere while changing baby.

...my stomach, after 5 weeks, would still look like a deflated water balloon and stretch marks can appear AFTER child birth. Just when I thought I was in the clear, BAM there they are.

...boobs can leak even after you've stopped breastfeeding completely. Lovely.

...the maternal bond that everyone talks about may not kick in right away (and you may feel guilty for not feeling it).

...I could love another human being as much as I love my little boy.


Brenda said...

You are brave for putting it out there. I couldn't believe that so many moms that I knew hid there stories of emotional rollercoasters, guilt and fear. I had baby #2 5 months ago and you'd think I'd have it all under control. It was still hard and the emotional rollercoaster was ten fold. Just know that you are doing the best you can and be patient with yourself. Also take care of yourself emotionally, physically and spiritually.

kylie said...

Your post about Grayson and motherhood made me smile :) We're yet to have a child but I enjoy hearing about the realties of it all. A few of my girlfriends are pregnant so it's going to be fun to help them where I can.

Congrats on your beautiful baby boy. I am a new reader here and have enjoyed this "home" you have created in the blogosphere.

Courtney Baker said...

Agree with what Kylie just said--we are not quite there yet, but it's so great to hear some real thoughts about real motherhood!

nameisgrace said...

Thank you for your post. I love how honest you are, and I can relate to many of your incidences. I tried nursing for months with no success, and I've been peed on more than I can count. But I can't wait to have another baby and another, and MAYBE another:) It's the greatest gift! Love your blog, and thanks for sharing. Grayson is absolutely adorable and you look GREAT!!!!!. xo, Grace

Emily said...

I can't applaud you enough for this post. I remember being pregnant and believing that labor would be the horrible part and everything else would be just great. I felt like the most incompetent mom in the world during the first couple of weeks! It would have made all the difference in the world to know what to really expect.
You look like the happiest mom in your photo!

RLG said...

Usually a total wimp, I rocked at labor. I was like an athlete or something. It was unexpected and completely empowering. I breastfed my son, but when my daughters (yes, plural) came along, I was unable to breastfeed. I understand your tears. But listen, once your little man starts gaining weight like gangbusters, you will forget all about it and feel nothing but pride and happiness. Who knows, maybe next time, right?

I LOVE the road this blog is taking. It's wonderful to hear you speak so frankly about your experiences as a new mommy. Your honesty is refreshing.

And give that balloon belly some time! It does shrink. That's what tankini's are for! LOL


erika said...

I can't thank you enough for this post!!!! Thank you for your honesty and for sharing. This post is being tagged and I'm sure I'll come back to it once my baby arrives.

Courtney said...

Wow, I can relate to so many of those things, especially the breastfeeding, exhaustion, shooting poop, and bonding. My son is 15 months old, but reading your post brought me immediately back to those first few weeks.

Things do get better and even out, and sleep will return one day! And come on, you look amazing!! Happy 5 weeks!

Anonymous said...

What a beautiful post! Congratulations on the birth of your son Grayson. I am a new reader too and a mommie-to-be. I'd love to read your birth story. I think more and more moms should write/talk about the ups and downs of pregnancy and motherhood like you have done. Thank you for your honesty. Look forward to more wonderful posts and pictures.


julia said...

i too love the direction your blog is taking and will definitely be an avid reader of all baby stories! it's refreshing to read your perspective on motherhood and i look forward to reading more (especially when it's combined with adorable photos!)

lol. my "word verification" is "pecap"-- made me think of those "pee caps" they make for baby boys-- have you seen those? my thought would be you'd have to be pretty speedy to get it on there before getting shot ;)but you could give it a try!

Mrs. Limestone said...

It sounds like you are adjusting well. Much of what you are going through seems to happen to every mother I know. Im sure you are a great mom - have faith in yourself!

And no, I'll never believe childbirth isn't that bad no matter what anyone tells me. The only way it wouldn't be bad is if they knocked me unconscious for the whole thing. :)

meg manion silliker said...

good for you and your honesty - and don't you for one minute feel like you are failing your child - you are doing a great job because of your honesty. i have experienced all of that and more - the joys of motherhood. wonderful and hard and scary and beautiful and messy. he is a beautiful baby!!

Anonymous said...

Same story here-
1. labor was not as scary as I had heard.
2. After 18 hours of it when the nurse brought my son in to breastfeed I was DOG-TIRED and having none of it and told her so
3. The day and night after we brought him home I sat in the bathtub with all my grossness (tummy flab-stitches you know where, leaky melons) and thought I had REALLy dione it this time and totally screwed up my life
4. After about 3 weeks of getting into a routine and taking my son everywhere I fell deeply in love with him-became his biggest fan and never looked back. Now he's just turned 18 has been accepted to a great college and hopes be a Veterinarian. It's all gonna be a great ride- it just take about a year of adjustment with you, the hubby, parents, everybody. hang in there and keep crying!! It's normal mama!!

Joi said...

T, Thanks for being so candid.

Little Grayson is so cute and I'm so happy you're sharing your thoughts with us!

Abbey said...

I applaud you for your honesty. Please continue to share your stories of motherhood and Baby Grayson with us. It helps other mothers and mothers-to-be understand that what they may be feeling or going through is normal.

Anonymous said...

I couldn't agree more! My son is 17 months old and all the things you said are true (except childbirth was as bad as I thought it would be -- maybe worse!). Why doesn't anyone tell you that stuff before you have the baby? You and Grayson look great - congrats!

Anonymous said...

I can totally relate. I am now pregnant for a fourth time (third ended in miscarriage) so I have two beautiful children. My husband will never forget coming home to me sitting on the couch trying to pump and absolutely crying my eyes out because I couldn't do it and felt so incredibly guilty. He immediately told me he was going out to buy formula and thats kind of what I needed for someone to say, stop beating yourself up, I am getting the formula. I felt too guilty to make the decision for myself and that baby is now a happy, healthy four year old. I think being tired beyond belief also made me a little crazy.
PS When you have your second, treat the hospital stay like a mini vacation if you can. When I had my daughter, my husband went and got us a great meal and I read a ton of magazines. It was so nice. ahaahah! Jennifer

Wanderluster said...

Being a new mom myself (for 10 days now :) ), I can relate to many of the things on your list. In fact, I can relate to your last few posts, and how you're still feeling out the new identity for your blog. I enjoy reading these mommy posts and I look forward to more.

Michael said...

T, this is a beautiful post! The poo and cashmere, the pee on the paint...hysterical considering all the hard work you have put into your home. And the best part - that it doesn't matter and you realize this already. What does is your beautiful baby boy.

Anonymous said...

You've said what most of my friends have...and don't feel bad about the b-feeding, lots of women I know go through the same thing. I'm due this summer and have decided to not even try...bottle feeding for me feels best (don't need the lectures either!!). So many of my friends had problems b-feeding and were so emotional and felt like in some way it ruined those first days with baby...again, it's great to have choices...great moms are bottle feeders and breast feeders...it's just what works best (and feels best)for you:)

Good luck with your beautiful boy...I'm having a boy too!!


Anonymous said...

Really enjoyed your post. Thank you!

Becky said...

I agree T!

I wish more moms would tell it like it is!

I starved baby #1 for 2 weeks before I was aware that she was not getting more than 1/2 an OUNCE of milk each feeding. Luckily she only lost 1.5 pounds. I was taking 24 pills a day and 3 cups of nasty tea a day to try and get my milk supply up before I gave up at 6 weeks.

Baby #2 was a preemie, so I never tried to BF. I did pump for 4 weeks before my boobs gave up.

Baby #2 took me 13 months before I *LOVED* him. The first 12 months felt like I barely liked him. Sad but true.

Anonymous said...

I definitely can relate to your post - you aren't alone! I tried to breastfeed as well and just didn't produce enough milk to feed my little boy. But now, at 2 1/2 he is just the happiest, healthiest little guy and we are expecting our second son in 4 short weeks! These early months are so hard because along with the hormones and sleep deprivation, there is this huge job of learning how to care for an infant! The fact that you do care so much is a great sign that you are a great mama. Also, you might want to check out Hanna Rosin's article about breastfeeding in the Atlantic
Breastfeeding is really good for your baby, and if you can do it, you should, but it might not bethe cure-all that it's made out to be. I couldn't do it, and honestly there were some benefits to sharing the feedings with my husband and the grandparents. I think our son is more bonded to his dad as a result and to his grandparents. And I think that is a huge benefit to kids! I am sure your son will grow up to be healthy and happy - all my best wishes to you & your family!

Anonymous said...

i've only lurked here, but i have to tell you that you canNOT feel guilty about not nursing. if you can't do it, you can't do it. to be a good mother, one has to do what it best for baby. and getting food into that child - be it through a boob or a bottle - is what is best for baby. i fought like hell to nurse my son, and for eight weeks we were both beyond miserable. i never got more than 90 minutes of sleep at a stretch, he kept losing weight, kept not sleeping because he was starving, and it ultimately sent me into a downward spiral of post-partum depression that didn't ease until i went on antidepressants six months later. you are NOT a failure if you don't nurse. you are NOT a bad mother if you use formula. you are a GREAT mom for recognizing that it isn't going to work and that you had to make a change so that everyone was well. i say kudos to you for being aware of it. the key to motherhood is cutting yourself some slack and not listening to what "everyone" says you "should" do. follow your instinct and you'll be okay.

Anonymous said...

I sometimes think we live in a society of breast feeding nazis. I too struggled with breast feeding and was made to feel terrible guilty about quitting, even though my baby was starving. I didn't produce enough milk, can't be helped. You are doing great and breastfeeding doesn't make you a great person or great mom.

Jen said...

Thank you, thank you, thank you for such a truthful post about how motherhood can be. I am 4 months pg and hearing your experience just makes me realize you never know how it will be for you as a mom. jen

kay-tee said...

I've loved reading your recent posts! Thanks so much for being so candid and so honest about everything. i'm due in November and ALL i've heard are labor horror stories. Truly--not one that was positive. So it was great to hear that someone else not only saw that same thing, but then did have an ok experience labor-wise too.

I'm looking forward to reading about how things are going. Congrats to you and you family!

Suzie said...

Love your honesty and I LOL @ the shooting pee and poop! Ahhh, wonderful memories! :)