Parent Hazing: The first month postpartum

I’d love to share with you a little about being “mom strong”.  The first month postpartum has to be the HARDEST thing anyone goes through. Literally!! That phrase “mom strong” is a real thing. It is not something you are born with. It is not something you just “are” that first night you bring your helpless babe home. It is something you learn to be as you go through each parental hazing stage. It’s beats you down and then you build yourself back up like a phoenix stronger than before. That first month there were times I wanted to throw the towel in and say “what the hell are you doing?? I quit!!” Then I would look at the precious babe in my arms and my heart would melt all over again.

Let me tell you about our breast feeding struggles. When I say breast feeding was harder than child birth for me…I’m not lying. It isn’t this natural thing that you just know how to do. At least not for us. I would deliver 10 babies over having to go through those 3 weeks again. Jackson was born weighing 6lbs 12oz. He quickly dropped down to 5.15 due to not getting any milk from me. This put all my midwives into panic mode, which put me in ugly cry mode. It wasn’t pretty. Every nurse had a different opinion and different suggestion to try. Nothing worked!! It turns out he was tongue tied and was not able to latch. So because of this we had to try to feed him for 10 minutes each side than pump for 10 minutes. Before you know it I had enough milk for triplets and a freezer full of milk. Due to him not latching we had to supplement him with syringe until he got the hang of it. I tried feeding him from every couch, chair and surface in my house. With a breastfeeding pillow, without a breastfeeding pillow… Everything!! I was ready to quit 10 times and just bottle feed him. One day it just clicked. I don’t know when it clicked. And I don’t know how. It just did.  Then I got mastitis (remember I said I had enough milk for triplets) 😖 .  Through this, I learned how to be a mama with a high fever and chills when all I wanted to do was sleep. (See…mom strong lesson #1). The best thing for me here was a nice warm bath and I would just let my milk flow out. Would squeeze the blocked ducts out and let it all drain where it wasn’t messy for me. Again.. Eventually it all cleared up and my milk flow slowed down so it was appropriate for J. So new Dads if you’re reading… Run a nice warm bath for your wife. Take that precious baby, tell your wife she is beautiful and make her a nice cup of tea. She deserves it.

Once all this mess was cleared up I feel Jackson was putting us through some frat boy hazing period. Seriously, we had every kind of bodily fluid you could think of on us. There would be times in the middle of the night I would be changing him and all of a sudden I would see a stream of liquid flying through the air so far it would hit his bedroom door. Days when I would wear 10 shirts, 4 bras, 2 pairs of pants due to puke. And once when he exploded out of his diaper so bad it went all over my husband phone and couch and basement floor. (Now the is more to this story… It’s a very funny story. That I won’t tell you today. Remind me. Maybe I will revisit it another time. It is actually a story I swore my husband to secrecy and we have told no one.)  Even though these days were long and I feel like all I did (literally) that whole month was feed Jackson, watch Nashville on Netflix and nap they really helped me to get to know him. Helped me learn who he was, what made him tick. So new moms… Don’t give up. Those emotions you are feeling, ALL Normal. There were days I thought “I’m done!” “I’m failing as a mom!” Even days when I felt emotionally unattached to Jackson. But trust me, you got this mama. Turn to those you love. They are there to help you. You are not alone. Asking for help is not a sign of weakness. It’s a sign of strength. Like I said, you learn how to be mom strong. It doesn’t follow you home from the hospital with the baby. You got this #momstrong.

❤️ Heather xoxo



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