No one tells you how hard being a mom is. Well, they do, but you don't believe them. You don't believe any of it, because all you can picture during your last few precious weeks of pregnancy is holding your angelic baby whilst they sleep peacefully in your arms.
And then you go home from the hospital. At least, that's how it was for me. I ended up with an emergency C-section and spent 3 days in the hospital. In addition to that, Ryan was in the NICU, so there was no possibility of rooming-in. For me, the hospital stay was like staying at a hotel with halfway decent room service. The sweet nurses brought me percocet every few hours and brought yummy treats from the fridge down the hall, like strawberry ice cream and vanilla cookies. They had plain and hazelnut coffee each morning as well as milk, juice, jello, and all the crushed ice you could ever want. I'd let myself be wheeled (or later, I walked) down to the NICU to see my baby. I never saw him cry. He slept like an angel. All was well. I loved being in the hospital. Even with all the struggling to sit up in bed and help peeing, I enjoyed my time there.
....And then they handed me my baby 3 days later and kicked me out. Our first night home was awful. We spent the night working in shifts because he would not sleep unless being held. I can recall waking up at some point to feed Ryan and finding him sleeping in my husband's arms while he drifted in and out of sleep as Southpark bleated away on the tv. My mom came the next day and didn't leave for two weeks.
My point is that its hard. And you don't know, you can't know, until it happens to you. If you're lucky, you have a whole village of people to help you. We were lucky to have people bring us food, help around the house, and more than anything, we were lucky to have my mom who stayed by our side constantly.
Looking back at those first few weeks, I think they were especially hard because I suffered through a case of the baby blues for 3 solid weeks. Add to that sore nipples, sleep deprivation, confusion about EVERYTHING and its bound to make one feel like a failure. I felt like I had failed at birthing, failed at breastfeeding, failed at being happy and excited to be a new mom, failed at everything. Its not just taking care of the baby that's hard, its taking care of yourself...and getting through that postpartum haze.
I really want to chronicle my birth story. Maybe next time.