After talking to a friend about the adjustment period of being a new mom, I have the urge to finally tell my story and explain the whole reasoning behind starting this blog.
I have a canvas in my room of my family of 3 that I absolutely love of when my baby was first born. But I also have a hard time looking at it because it was a really hard time of life for me. I feel guilty for even saying that because I’m holding the most beautiful and precious baby in the world and something that so many only wish and hope for every day.
I always dreamed of becoming a mom but it always seemed like a distant dream. I watched my sisters raise kids and it felt like it would be a long way down the road before I even had kids.
After being married only 9 short months, we had a feeling to get pregnant and I was terrified. I know that so many struggle having kids and having miscarriages, and my heart goes out to those moms completely. I thought I would be one of them to be honest. I remember getting to 12 weeks and being completely shocked that we made it far enough to tell people.
Our baby was a miracle baby and if we didn’t deliver in the hospital he wouldn’t have survived. I’m so grateful for the day and age that we live in.
The hospital? A dream. They took care of my baby while I just held him, fed him, and then they watched over him while I slept.
Once we got the green light to go home, reality hit…as it does to most.
Breastfeeding wasn’t working, I had mastitis, thrush, and infections all over. I broke out in hives and wasn’t sure what it was from so I stopped injecting the shots I was told to give myself for a blood disorder. We weren’t doing enough skin-to-skin, he was spitting up and crying like he was in a lot of pain. My husband would wake up with me during every feeding (bless his heart) to help me get through nursing as big tear drops would fall on my baby’s face and I would try so hard not to let him hear me cry as my tense body writhed in the hardest pain I had felt since labor. I think I drove my lactation specialist crazy because every time I would go in, I was that “hard” case she had to deal with. (She was a complete sweetheart to me though and I’m so grateful how kind her heart was to a sobbing new mom)
Wasn’t this supposed to be enjoyable?
The physical pain and being tired on top of that was hard for me. However, the hormones that are completely out of whack added to the pile. I’m not trying to sugar coat anything, but the morbid thoughts were real and I felt dark all around me, all the time. I stopped eating. (I’m sure that helped when trying to feed another human being!) I lost 25 pounds (including baby) in a few weeks and was completely weak. I had zero energy, appetite, and was completely stressed with keeping a little infant alive I would forget to take care of myself. I couldn’t comprehend my life or who I even was anymore. It’s hard to explain but I felt like I was thrown in the Nile river without a lifejacket or even knowing how to swim. I remember calling the nurse and sobbing uncontrollably and in the most sympathetic tone she told me that I was doing a good job and everything would be alright and to start medicine if I wanted to. (I ordered the prescription but never ended up taking it… although I’m a firm believer in getting help!)
I don’t want this part to sound dramatic, but I remember one day I was trying to eat something and feeling so weak that I collapsed on the couch and my plate of food fell out of my hands. I have a picture of the Savior in my house that was in our hallway. I remember my husband was at work, baby was asleep and after I had collapsed on the couch, I looked up with complete helpless tears in my eyes and said to the picture of Christ “Am I going to die?”. It sounds irrational, I know, but I really thought it was possible. I felt alone because I was trying to do it alone.
That night, the picture of Christ was my strength and I was somehow able to keep going.
There’s a quote by Elder Bednar that I love:
“We are not and never need be alone. We can press forward in our daily lives with heavenly help. Through the Savior’s Atonement we can receive capacity and “strength beyond [our] own”
That night I realized that I couldn’t do it alone. I still can’t do it alone. Motherhood is a HUGE opportunity and calling that no one can do it alone. For me, I rely on the Lord to help me each and every day. Even 10 months later when things have gotten a LOT better, I still worry about my peanut and want him to be able to tell people that he had a mom that never gave up on the Lord. Even if I’m falling into shambles on the couch;)
To my new mom friends – hang in there. You got this. Don’t give up. You stay strong. It DOES get easier, and it IS worth it.
I echo Bednar: Through the Savior’s Atonement we can receive capacity and strength beyond our own.”
You are never alone. <3