Its hard to believe that Silas is 3 weeks old already, Time has certainly flown by as everyone said it would. Literally some days are such a blur that before I know it Ryan is coming through the door at the end of his work day and I haven't moved very much from my spot on the couch. Ahhhh the spot on the couch, you know it well if you are a new mom or mom of littles. The spot where your bum has made its indent in the couch cushion. The spot where you are probably positioned in front of the tv and have an end table next to you so you have easy access to everything you might need through out the day. The spot that your husband sees you begin and end your day at. The spot that well at least for me I started to dread. Yup you heard me right, DREAD! For someone like me moving and being active is an essential part of my day, apart of my soul and well these last few weeks have really tested my patience with this matter. If you know me, you know that patience isn't my strong point. I gave myself 18 days of zero crossfit before I had enough and decided to head back. I'll talk more about that in a bit but trust me it was well needed.
Whoever said maternity leave was like being on vacation has obviously never had a baby before. Before I had kids I thought that maternity leave would be this awesome time at home with your babe, boy was I wrong. I've had friends and family members who told me what postpartum life is like, all the crazy hormones, all the crazy feelings, but I never expected to actually feel the way I did. One of the compliments I have received about our blog is the fact that I'm honest so I'm going to be honest on what postpartum life has been like for me. Hopefully other new moms or experienced moms out there will relate to me on this matter.
The first week home with Silas was tough, and overwhelming. Thankfully as the days and weeks go on we all have adjusted into a routine and things have become easier. The first night home with him was hard, he was up majority of the night. After having a very long labor and pretty much zero sleep in the hospital exhaustion had set in full force. By Monday my milk had come in and by Tuesday I was dealing with engorgement. Talk about painful. I didn't yet have my pump due to my insurance and was having to hand express and try to break up the clogged ducts. Silas wasn't able to latch onto that side since I was so engorged so he was pretty much nursing on one side only. On Wednesday we had an appointment with lactation and thankfully they were able to help me get some of the engorgement to go down and to get Silas to latch onto that side. Unfortunately by that afternoon my other side became engorged but I was able to stay on top of it and by the end of the week it was better. Days passed and soon enough Silas was going through growth spurts and cluster feeding every hour, literally! Thankfully I produce enough milk for Silas but between nursing and pumping that had become a full time job and still is. Nursing is wonderful but man it is time consuming and toss in pumping and its even more time consuming. First dealing with engorgement, then cracked nipples to now dealing with Nipple Vasospasm, which by the way is uber painful. I can't forget to mention nursing bras because if you are like me and are pretty well endowed in that area then you know how frustrating it can be to find a proper nursing bra and one that provides decent support. Another side effect of nursing is how hard it is on your neck, shoulders, back, actually your whole body considering how much you sit doing it. Even with trying to have good posture and a good nursing pillow, it still is uncomfortable. Those crazy hormones everyone talks about brought on night sweats, like drench the sheets kind of sweats....gross! Random hot flashes through out the day, and pretty much just sweaty all the time for this warm bodied lady. I can't forget to mention all the wonderful things postpartum does to your self esteem as well. I was fortunate that the baby weight pretty much fell of me but well things just aren't the same anymore. Granted I know it hasn't been that long since Silas has been born and it will take time but its hard not to be so self critical every time you look in the mirror.
The one feeling that really caught me off guard the first week of Silas's life is how much I missed my old life. Here I had been praying for a baby for so long and waiting for this time in my life forever and all I could think about was my life with out a child. Talk about making yourself feel like an awful mother for feeling this way. In the midst of his crying I thought to myself what did we get ourself into. Granted so much of those feelings were brought on by all the crazy hormones and pure exhaustion. But I remember crying in the middle of the night bouncing him up and down trying to get him to stop crying and thinking how sad and lonely I felt. Since I'm nursing, the soul person that can take care of him is me. Ryan has been trying but with his paralysis he can really only do so much to help right now. Fortunately he helps around the house as much as he can. The days even though they go quick can feel long when its just you and the baby. When Ryan comes home I still feel like I don't get adult interaction because Silas pretty much runs the show. Its amazing how much you don't even have time for your spouse, you start to feel like roommates instead of spouses. I remember sitting in the same room as Ryan and telling him I miss him and him telling me he wants his wife back.
People tell you to sleep when the baby sleeps but for me I have to much energy during the day to rest and when he sleeps its a moment I can do something around the house or have a minute to myself where I don't have a baby attached to my breast. Others have told me to not worry about my house being clean but a messy house just brings on more stress. The morning after we got home from the hospital I told Ryan I would take pure joy in vacuuming the house, so I did! Its hard taking care of an infant and trying to take care of yourself. I have managed to shower and do my makeup every day since we have been home. I also have managed to get out of the house with Silas many times. People may think spending time putting makeup on is a waste but it makes me feel good about myself. Silas is notorious for crying as soon as I want to take a bath, sit down to eat something or spend 5 minutes with Ryan. Sometimes he might cry for a few minutes but I refuse to put myself on the back burner. I remember thinking the first week when I was feeling all of these emotions all I wanted to do was go to crossfit and then blog about what I was feeling. All I wanted to do was relieve some stress. Thankfully I'm back at crossfit and its amazing how much it has done for my overall health. I have had a pretty quick recovery and have had minimal pain and soreness after birth, that being said I am easing back into things at crossfit and will still wait to do certain lifts and movements until that 6 week mark. Being a mother means being selfless and sacrificing certain things for your children. For me taking care of myself, doing my hair and makeup, going to crossfit, these things aren't something I'm willing to give up. If I were to give up certain things in my life it would make me a bad mother. I refuse to have the "mom guilt" that some moms have.
Reading back through this blog post it might seem that I'm hating motherhood and I'm not. Motherhood is a challenge but it also brings a lot of joy to my life. I love my mornings with Silas when he is just so cute and wants to snuggle, I love the way he looks at me and knows that I am mom. I love seeing him change and grow. He changes so much so fast that its bittersweet. I love his little facial expressions and just watching him while he sleeps so peaceful. In the moments when he is fussy and crying I try to be thankful for those moments. I remember a time when I would have given anything to be a mom dealing with a fussy baby. I am forever grateful that God gave us Silas. Before I know it this kid will be grown up and I will be wishing for these moments right now that we are in. I would do it all again in a heart beat! Motherhood is an adventure to say the least, every day is a new day and every day is different. For those new moms out there its ok to not love every second of life with an infant, having friends and family members who told me the same thing or felt the same way made me feel better. You will have good and bad days. The bad days suck but you get through them and you learn to just go with flow.. My advice is to cry when you need to, talk to loved ones about how you are feeling and just breathe. The other advice I have is when you come home its ok to not have visitors and its ok to not answer your phone. I remember feeling so overwhelmed by all the texts, phone calls and visitors. Eventually I silenced my phone, didn't answer texts and asked for no visitors. I wanted time to figure life out with a newborn, time to enjoy Silas and time to just be a family with him and Ryan.
As I look at my sweet boy laying next to me I can't help but feel so much outpouring love for him. These moments may be hard but I will cherish this time forever!