+ So This Is Love
I’m so happy that I live in a world that allows me to have access to so much information, but sometimes it’s overwhelming. When I found out I was expecting, I started trying to prepare myself for how I would actually feel about my child when I brought her home. I found so many stories and articles about how some women just didn’t bond with their kids immediately. It’s perfectly normal for it to take some time to actually feel attached to your baby and I prepared myself to be a woman who took a little longer to form a strong bond.
Except, when Nola was born, the insane amount of love I felt immediately almost made me pass out. It was like sucking in a ton of helium at once. I felt, and still feel, this insane level of love mixed with just an almost feral need to protect her. I wasn’t prepared for that and it’s only gotten stronger.
+ What The FUCK Have I Done?
I really liked being in our little bubble in the hospital but when I found out we could get discharged early, I was also happy to be heading home. But once I stepped over the threshold of my front door and introduced Nola to my mom, my sister and Shep’s parents, the gravity of what I had done hit me like a ton of bricks.
I literally started having a panic attack and had to excuse myself for a moment to get my shit together. I HAD A FUCKING BABY. It’s an insane thing. For months, I’d grown her in my body and felt her movements and counted her kicks and now she was actually in my home, her home. I was responsible for her actual life, both creating it in the first place and sustaining it forever. What a mindfuck.
+ Wait, Why Am I Sweating?
File this under shit no one tells you about postpartum recovery but every night for months I would wake up in a cold dripping sweat. I’m talking about wardrobe change levels of perspiration. It didn’t matter how little I wore to bed or how many sheets I had covering me. When I woke up in the night to nurse Nola, I’d have to towel off, change my pjs and then feed her. We went through bedsheet changes at least every two days and I had to sleep on top of a beach towel to help absorb my sweat. It lasted for what felt like ever.
+ Oh No, You Want To Nurse Again?
One day I’ll talk about the shaming that happens in hospitals surrounding nursing vs. offering your baby formula, but today I will just say that I both wanted to nurse Nola and felt pressured into doing so. Before having a baby, my nipples were purely for fun and pleasure. I wasn’t used to them being in someone’s mouth every 30-45 minutes with insanely powerful suction. No matter how many nipple balms, butters and creams I slathered on my breast, my nipples bled. They looked like bright red raspberries for 3 weeks. I hated it. Everytime Nola latched it felt like someone had taken sandpaper to my nipples and then squirted them with lemon juice. OUCH.
I kept at it because #momguilt but also, I truly believed that it was the best thing for her so I continued through the pain. Nola is still nursing 12 months later and it’s so much easier (except when she bites) but man, that sucked.
+ Have I Just Blown Up My Marriage?
Before having Nola, if you had asked me if I would run into a burning building to save my husband, I would have said yes without hesitation. After giving birth to her, you ask me that same question but say Nola is in there too? Bye, Bye honey, I love you but I'm picking my baby. No one talks about how loving your child that much, can cause a shift (and a rift) in your marriage. There are still days when I wonder if having Nola was the best thing for us as a couple. We're adjusting but it hasn't been without some really hard moments.