Life with a newborn
My baby girl Paisley was born on February 7 at 7:18am. I had nine months to imagine what life would be like once she got here. I thought if I planned well enough, I would be prepared for the transition into motherhood. However the truth is, no matter how well you plan, there is no way to know what things will be like, until the time comes.
The moment she arrived, I found myself living in a new reality not wanting time to pass. It was the weirdest feeling. It was as if I was given the keys to a new realm of consciousness and now had the ability to feel emotions in ways I had never felt them before. I felt love, fear, excitement, joy, exhaustion and uncertainty in entirely new fashions. As I was getting to know Paisley I found myself starting to miss the moments that I was still living in, before they had even ended. It was a huge change for me, and I’ve never really been the best with change.
I knew that having a baby would most likely rock me a little. And it did. I’ve struggled with anxiety and depression for most of my life, but during pregnancy it had seemed to magically disappear. However, for the first few weeks postpartum I did not feel like myself. The days seemed to all blur together and the sleepless nights felt extremely lonely. Also, breastfeeding was not going well. Paisley had a tongue tie, and we were doing the dreaded “triple feedings” which was in itself a full time job. On top of it all I was falling behind on all of my work, and it felt as if everything was just piling up. Nothing was coming naturally to me, and that made me feel out of control.
At about six weeks in, I decided to have a change of perspective. I realized I was trying to do too much at once and was putting extreme amounts of pressure upon myself to have it all together. I had planned to take a maternity leave, but when the time came I found myself constantly trying to find space to squeeze in work. I also never really allowed my body to heal, I was always moving. I knew I needed to give myself space mentally and physically to adjust and find peace. It’s what I would encourage others to do, but somehow was finding it hard to put into practice myself. So, I took an entire week off. I didn’t meet up with anyone, and I didn’t answer any e-mails. I decided to simply just be with my baby and my husband. It was a great refresh.
During that time I made myself come to terms with the fact that things were just going to be different now. My house was not always going to be spotless, there were going to be days that I would miss a workout, or not have time to cook, and feel as if I didn’t get to accomplish as much as I had wanted to in a day. But it was going to be OK. I feel so blessed to have my very own family. I look at my daughter and watch her take in the world. She finds amazement in random things such as ceilings, plants, and walls and it makes me excited for those things too. I want to show her everything. But more importantly, I want to be an example of a strong woman, who can create, build, and see opportunities as limitless, but who can also let things go, rest, and not need everything to be seemingly perfect.
Life with a newborn has been a lot of things, and I expect it to continue to be. I am excited to see how Paisley grows and changes. And I am excited to figure out this mama/work/life balance. I know it won’t always be easy, but it helps having a community of other mamas sharing their experiences as well. It makes me feel less alone. So, if you are reading this, and resonate with any bit, please know that you’re not alone. Please know that it is ok to not have it together 100% of the time, and it’s ok to not always feel those happy mushy Instagram captions. You are strong, beautiful, and you’re doing better than you think.