If you’re about to be a mom, or are a mom, or know a mom… don’t click on shit like that. Putting the ‘om‘ in mom?! Choke on it.
I’ve been a mom since January and it is in a word… cukoonutzo. And no, you cannot zen your way out of the cukoo or the nutzo. It just is what it freakin is.
I am not going to pretend to know anything more than I do. Promise. If I had read what I’m about to write, I think it would have helped, so here goes.
If you can get through the first three months, you can get through anything. That goes for pregnancy, and motherhood. The first three months of both are bullshit.
I had a perfect pregnancy. Aside from being tired, I felt great. Running well into my third trimester, never had the “just get this baby out of me” feeling… truly enjoyed it. That said, the first three months I was a miserable mess.
I felt like no one understood what I was going through. I peed on a stick, and my identity changed. That was hard to wrap my mind around and I had to act excited when I wasn’t.
I didn’t want to tell anyone beyond our immediate family for a while, even after the doctor said we were in the clear – I just didn’t want to. My advice – Don’t tell a soul until you’re ready to tell the world. Because your people will want to tell their people and so on and so on. Even though it’s not their news to tell. Just keep your fat mouth shut. If I get drunk enough to have another, I ain’t tellin nobody.
Those first three months were so challenging – I couldn’t imagine doing it (a) with an outside-child, (b) while feeling ill or (c) without an insanely supportive partner. Besides keep it to yourself, I have no real advice on getting through it. Just bear down. Get through it. Focus on work. Go for runs. Make yourself an extra stiff mocktail. Just gag those three months down. It gets so much better.
In my experience, once I was through the first trimester, I sailed. Still tired as all get-out and asleep by 8-9pm but I still traveled internationally for work, I exercised, I felt great and I was never alone. I always had my little fetus buddy to keep me company. I felt strong, capable and totally badass.
Then comes labor and delivery, and mine is a story for another day. My birth plan was simple – enter hospital with baby on the inside, exit hospital with baby on the outside. And that’s what happened so I count myself lucky and chalk it up as a win.
Then comes the newborn stage. Similar to my pregnancy, I feel like I had one of the best-case-scenario newborns. It was still mostly a nightmare.
My goal of every day was for everyone in the house to survive. This sounds dramatic, and it is, but that’s how I felt. My husband’s paternity leave was really short (fuck you, American healthcare) and I had Cordelia in January which meant we were mostly trapped inside.
The first three months suck. Just get through them. Phone a friend, ask your partner to take a sick day, get out of the house… just get through them. Don’t waste a second of this phase worrying about ‘educationally stimulating’ your baby. You can nurse him or her all day in front of Keeping Up With the Kardashians. They will be fine. Do what you need to do to be a sane person. Of course there are good moments, great moments. Good days and great days. But even those are still hard. They just are. So hear me when I say it gets so much better.
Those first smiles, laughs, little squeezes when she wakes up from nap… they usher in a whole new world.
If you’re in the thick of it right now, just keep going. If you’re not goo-goo-ga-ga over your outside-fetus, it’s okay. Don’t beat yourself up about it. If your feelings scare you, talk to your doctor but if you just feel more ‘meh’ than you were expecting to – that’s normal. And mostly Facebook’s fault.
I went to a breastfeeding support group [highly recommend] which was a god-send throughout my maternity leave and on my last day before going back to work a new mom came in with her 4 week old baby. She had that lifeless despair in her eyes as everyone fawned over her tiny new bundle. I told her – congratulations, but I am not jealous. That shit sucked and I’m here to tell you it gets so much better. She started crying and said Oh thank god. I’ve felt like a monster for basically hating this. She’s so needy and I’m so tired. Don’t feel guilt for being honest. And honestly, not sleeping, not eating, not knowing what the fuck you’re doing isn’t great. But it gets great. You just gotta get there.
Every day, week, month has gotten so much better and I’m so thankful that my partner supported me through what was at best a bad case of baby blues but more likely some postpartum.
Fuck the moms on Facebook who make it look perfect. I had a perfect pregnancy and a perfect baby and both shattered me. We need to be real, honest and open. If you need a friend or a confidant, hit me up. Ask me anything. Yes, I pooped during labor. You will too. It seems like a big deal now… but girl let me tell you. You will not give a shit. Puns always intended.
PS Here’s our baby. She is pretty much the coolest, silliest, happiest little noodle in the whole world.