I feel like people were withholding information from me about this whole pregnancy, labor, delivery, postpartum stuff. I'm hear to clear this all up once and for all. Lets put it all out on the table. (really I'm just writing this to remind myself what it was like before I get myself into it again.)
Pregnancy: I look back on pregnancy (which consisted of Burger King food poisoning, 3 months of bronchitis, 1 ER visit with C-Diff, round ligament pain, and pelvic pain so bad that I cried) and think, "that was the easy part and I didn't even realize it!"
Labor and delivery: It's only as dramatic as you make it. If you want to be all crazy and hyperventilate and blame everything on your "terrible" nurse, go for it. If you don't, don't. It really is that simple. Sure, there are the occasional crazy complications, but for the most part everything is pretty routine from woman to woman.
Nursing: Painful and frustrating. If someone tells you "it shouldn't be painful" please give me their name and I will hunt them down and smack them....right across the face. Yes it is and yes it should be! That is very sensitive skin friends and it needs to build up a callus before it stops hurting. For about 2 weeks it's very painful. Like toe curling, tears, blood, clenched teeth kind of painful. Now for the frustrating part. Babies don't know what they're doing and neither do you. It's the blind leading the blind. Babies also tend to do this really cute thing where they latch on correctly and suck well for the lactation specialist at the hospital. Then you go home and, yaaay, baby can't latch on or suck or stay awake long enough to do either. Now lets talk about pumping and bottle feeding in one big long run on sentence. When both you and baby are sitting on the couch in tears because he hasn't eaten in oh, say, 9+ hours because your milk supply is almost as low as the milk in the fridge because you haven't been able to grocery shop in weeks because all you do is try to nurse and and all he does is not eat and all you want to do is give him the bottle so you know that he's actually getting enough (breathe), think again. Not happening. He hates the bottle. the bottle hates him. and you hate life. Don't say I didn't warn you. It take about 3 months to fully get feeding under control. So on week 1 when you're crying to your husband about nursing, just remember, only 83 more days and your baby will be eating like a champ.
Postpartum in general: You are not yourself. I'm not usually a crier. I cried. Every day. Several times a day. By the 5th day of crying it usually comes to a head and you bawl and sob and get it all out and say weird things to your husband...then it all starts over again. Secondly, life has changed more than you ever imagined. Remember when going to the store used to be a crappy chore? Now it's a freaking vacation. I remember the first time I went to Walmart by myself after having Mason...I was a new woman when I came home! I was so refreshed and renewed...ready to take on our new life like I had been at the beach for 5 days! I sit here 5 months (to the day) later and wonder what in the world happened those first couple of months. Everything was so....different. It was like I had to find myself all over again. I had to keep telling myself "I'm Julie Fisher, a wife, a daughter, a sister, a friend....and a mommy?!" Saying the words "I am a parent" literally made me laugh. I kept feeling like I was just babysitting this precious baby, and that someone was going to come pick him up at the end of the day. Week by week it got a little easier, but it took me a good 3 months before I comfortably wore the hat of 'mommy'. I felt like my old life had slipped through my fingers in an instant, but I was trying to hang on to it. Little did I know I was grasping at air. The best advice and encouragement I got was from my mom. She told me that I was mourning my past in a way. I was mourning losing what I knew for 27 years. I was mourning my selfishness...and I loved my selfishness a lot. It wasn't that the "new" me and the "new" life wasn't what I wanted, it was that I didn't know how to embrace it (I have a hard time letting go...obviously). I knew what she was saying was true. I remember going through this same type of cycle when I got married. I specifically remember driving home from work one night, and a car load of teenagers pulled up next to me. They were laughing, singing, dancing, and having a good time. I cried because I knew that was no longer me, yet I could still identify with them. I could see myself sitting in their car being all crazy...but in reality I was sitting in my car driving home to the next chapter of my life (which I loved). The life of responsibility, and a husband.Nine years later I found myself in the same situation but different circumstance. On one hand I was sad that our old life was no longer what it was, but on the other hand I loved this new life and this new baby that we had prayed and hoped for, for so many years. And then my mom said these magic words that calmed my innards- "...And it's ok to mourn that. Let yourself FEEL that. Let yourself feel sorry, let yourself feel sad, let yourself cry...then move on and let it all go." And that is exactly what I did. I cried. I reminisced. I thought back to all the extraordinary moments. I felt sad to leave my selfishness behind. I felt sad that our marriage of 9 years would never be the same. I missed doing what I wanted, when I wanted, and how I wanted. I felt every bit of it. Then I went into the bathroom, washed my face, and let it all go. And that is where my post partum baby blues ended. It's interesting to think that when we have another baby, I will most likely go through this mourning cycle again. I will miss the days that I only had one baby. The days where I got to take naps with him. The days when I thought 1 kid was overwhelming. The days that I got to hold him and cuddle him without interruption. In the end I am certain that our "new" life will always be even better than the one we let go.