Friday, February 20, 2015

Postpartum Redux


This precious photo popped up in my Timehop app yesterday. 




Tiny, sleepy, 8 day old Arlo. Look at that adorable little man! I was immediately filled with nostalgia for the time when he was so small and wasn't a flurry of constant motion. Then I really started to reflect on those first weeks of his life and remembered just how HARD that time was. 

I wouldn't categorize myself as having had postpartum depression, but I will tell you that my days were not full of sunshine and new motherhood bliss. I remember feeling guilty for not feeling like the moms in the diaper commercials. Why wasn't I wearing a white linen gown and gazing blissfully at a fat, cherubic newborn? Why was I instead in the same yoga pants for 3 days with spit up on my softest college t-shirt swaying a colicky baby?

If I could go back to brand new momma Lindsey and hold her hand, I would tell her so many things:

  1. This crazy surge of love, despair, hope and bewilderment is normal. Your body has been through a HUGE change, your hormones are all over the place. You will cry from happiness at how precious this perfect little life is, and then start to cry from exhaustion. You will cry for no apparent reason, and that's okay too.
  2. Your baby is adjusting to this big, strange, new world. He's not crying because you're a failure at this parenthood gig. He just doesn't have any other way to communicate. Be patient. You will learn what his little cries mean very soon and be able to soothe him like no other!
  3. Get the eff off the internet! Yes, the internet can be a fantastic resource when you find your community (and you will), but for the love of all that is holy, quit Googling every single thing that pops in your head during a 1am feeding. You will make yourself and your husband, crazy!
  4. You can't spoil/ruin your baby. Do you feel better when you wear your baby close to you? Do it! Do you want to rock that baby to sleep at night? Do it! Does safe co-sleeping make sense for your family? Do it! Before you know it, that little baby will be an independent little guy and you will be glad you stole every one of those snuggles. 
  5. Ask for help. Admit when you need help. It doesn't mean you are weak or a bad mother. It means you are smart. So many people love you and want to help you and your new family. Let them. 
  6. Trust your instincts. You are his momma. You two just spent 40+ weeks together. You know him and will learn what is best for him and your family. Just because every other mom on the block isn't doing what you are doing doesn't make it wrong.
  7. You will sleep again. It won't be like pre-baby sleep. Just let that fantasy go. :) But one day soon, your baby will sleep for a 4 hour stretch! You will be amazed at how refreshed you will feel with a 4 hour stretch of sleep. Then he will sleep longer, and a little longer. Eventually the bone-numbing tired feeling will lift. Hang in there.
  8. Stop judging other moms by their Instagram feeds. Yes, your friend seems to have all her $%*# together. Yes, her 6 month old sleeps alone, happily in her crib for 12 hours straight. Awesome. Guess what? I PROMISE you there is another area of parenthood that sucks for her. Maybe her toddler won't let go of the bottle. Maybe her little one is hopelessly addicted to their pacifier. Maybe she has the awful task of doing an elimination diet to figure out what is upsetting her newborn's tummy. Whatever it is, all moms have some cross to bear. We all struggle in some area. Comparison is the thief of joy, sister!
  9. Know that it does get better. One day soon, that baby that will only sleep when you drive him around in the car will snuggle down in your arms and drift off to sleep soundly. One day soon, that baby who has such terrible reflux will be able to eat without pain. One day soon, when changing yet another diaper, that baby will give you the world's best baby laugh and you will cry at just how beautiful the sound is. Hang in there momma, it's about to get so much better.



5 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. I have to remind myself of #7 daily! :)

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  2. This is SO TRUE! With a 2 year old and a 4 month old at home - I can completely relate!

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  3. I agree wholeheartedly! Post Partum was not a fun time at all.

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  4. Such a great reminder for the tired and worn our mama as well.

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