Nearly five months on the job and I finally feel like a mom.
At the end of my pregnancy I was bombarded with a lot of advice and opinions from experienced moms. Mostly they were warning me how hard the first few weeks of motherhood were going to be. “Nightmare”, “despair”, “survival”, and “crazy” were words that were all loosely thrown around.
I felt like I was being hit with negativity from all angles when all I wanted to do was float on my cloud of pre birth euphoria. I had waited my whole life to be a mom and was so excited to share my life with a cuddly little newborn. I knew it was going to be hard work and that there were going to be sleepless nights and challenging learning curves but I was so angry about all the negative words I was receiving from other moms. “How dare they ruin such a special time for me?” I thought as I rubbed my pregnant belly, daydreaming in my soon to be born son’s nursery.
Oh how naive I was. I wish I could go back and hug that version of myself.
It’s true, the first few weeks, even months, are all about survival. On the days that I wasn’t asking doctor google a ridiculous amount of questions (you don’t want to know how much time I spent looking at articles and images about newborn poop) I was trying to figure out how to let myself rest and recover or to find a way to not cry as much. The internet and the books place a huge importance on a routine for you and the baby. I could only laugh. The only “routine” Wyatt and I had was to feed him when he was hungry.
On the good days I felt like I was playing pretend. Ryan and I would sit together on the couch at night, taking turns holding Wyatt, and saying “I can’t believe he’s actually here!”. Motherhood still didn’t feel like reality. It felt like I was being tested and that the baby could be taken away at any moment and we’d return to our “normal” lives. The days were long and the nights were even longer. I had zero clue what I was doing and felt like such a failure when Wyatt would scream and cry and nothing I did could help him and all I wanted to do was sleep.
But it got easier. We’ve slowly been finding ways to make a routine and trying to stick to it. We’ve formed a bond – a beautiful bond between Wyatt and I and a fresh new bond between Ryan and I. I’ve learned to pick up on Wyatt’s cues and he’s learning more ways to express himself. Some days are still long, but most go by too quickly. We are slowly learning to live our new “normal”.
There were many times in the first few months where I didn’t think I can, but now I know, I can do this. I can be a mother. The type of mother I’ve always esteemed to be.
At least for today. I’m sure tomorrow Wyatt will do something entirely new and throw me off my game. But today. Today I’m good.