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“Has motherhood so far been easier or harder than you thought it’d be?”– That is the question that people have asked many times since giving birth to my son eight weeks ago. I was never able to honestly answer that question, and I am still not quite sure how to answer it. Some days I think “oh, way easier” and other days I think “oh god, so much harder”. And that’s just it, motherhood is unpredictable and it tests you every single day. This is 8 Weeks of Motherhood, the very first entry to my Motherhood Series.
There is nothing in the world that can prepare you for that little bundle of joy that decides to suddenly arrive into your world. Even after the 40 weeks I spent being pregnant, wishing for it to be over because I was “so ready” to have my sweet little boy in my arms, none of that could have truly prepared me for what was actually about to happen to me as a new mom.
The challenges of motherhood began the moment I went into labor which was on June 1st, 9:52 pm. I knew right then and there that my life was about to change in just a matter of hours. Well, little did I know that I would have to go through twenty-seven hours of labor before I’d finally be able to meet my son. One thing people are totally right about is labor. You definitely can’t explain it to someone who’s never gone through it, and it hurts like hell, but you do it and in the end it’s a beautiful experience.
A fellow mother just recently told me something that someone else told her when she had her baby.. “the days are long but the months are short.” –this could not be more dead on for what I have been going through these last eight weeks. My sons cries A LOT, like more than I think is normal sometimes, and it drives me totally insane because I try so hard to comfort him and nothing works. I remember the first time my son went through an “all day crying fit”– it was my second day home alone with him after my husband went back to work and he cried from 2:30 in the afternoon until 8:00 in the evening, non stop.
I remember holding my inconsolable son in my arms, bouncing him up and down, pacing back and forth in my teeny tiny apartment, crying my eyes out because he just would not stop. I remember asking my husband to come home early from work because I just could not handle it anymore. I remember him finally coming home and asking me “how are you doing”, and I just looked at him all wide-eyed, handed him our son, and walked into the bathroom. I remember hysterically crying in the shower that I so desperately needed that day and thinking to myself “what the hell is going on, I can’t do this!”. I came out of the shower to a still screaming baby, then I attempted to make dinner for my husband and I. We had to take turns eating because Liam just would not stop crying. I remember eight o’clock rolling in and finally handing my son over to my husband in surrender– I just needed that day to end once and for all.
Good news, he stopped crying just minutes after I passed out that night. My husband was able to swaddle him up, but him down in his bassinet, and he slept for three hours straight until it was time for him to eat again. That crazy exhausting day was the first of many, I learned that my baby was a little colicky and it was up to me to educate myself on how I could make him more comfortable. I can say with confidence that things have been getting better, and I have learned how to cope with the stormy days that seem to never end.
My most recent challenge has been getting out of the apartment without Liam screaming bloody murder every time I put him in his carseat or stroller. I am so desperate to just be able to go out with my baby in public and not have him completely miserable. Being cooped up has been so crippling for me, when all I want is to be able to go out with him, even if it’s just for a short walk around the block. All he wants is to be held which limits me whenever I want to do anything. When he was three weeks old he would let me wear him all day long in his Ergobaby carrier, but over the last few weeks he has wanted nothing to do with it– until these last couple of days!!! My husband and I have re-introduced the carrier and he is once again enjoying it. We have been able to start going on walks again, and even went on a huge grocery shopping trip.
These are the moments that reassure me that everything is going to be okay, and that the struggles are just little moments that I must go through with him…
Motherhood has been the most challenging thing I have ever done in my life. My son tests me and pushes my limits every single day, but with that I have learned to love like I never thought I could, I’ve gained tremendous amounts of patience and understanding. I live for the little moments and feel proud whenever we conquer a difficult day. I have loved every second of the last eight weeks, regardless of how hard it has truly been, and I look forward to what the future has in store for our family.