Motherhood - Stephanie Pollock

Hi I'm Stephanie and when I was asked to write about being a new mother, my mind instantly went blank. Writing about being a new mother can be so hard. There is SO much and we are all just figuring out what works best for us so where do you begin? 

So here I am beginning, We prepared so much for the birth of our daughter that we jokingly made fun of ourselves for not preparing for the actual baby. By week two we were wondering why we didn't think to prepare for her being at home with us. You know besides all the fancy gadgets and gizmos. I was constantly asked by my midwife if I had postpartum care or a plan set up for when she arrives and we always said yes. I can say now we put all of that it on the back burner. I told my husband that babies were easy! They cry when they need to be fed or change but besides that we would have SO much fun. Fast forward to our sweet girl coming a month early and us being thrown into parenthood at 110 MPH. So now our home birth was a hospital birth and our perfect non crying baby developed a dairy allergy and she has reflux. She didn't just cry when she was hungry or needed to be changed, she cried a lot. On top of becoming new parents and everything I listed above we had WAY to much family in town and visitors and we both were super stressed out. So I want to share a few things I wish I could go back and tell myself. 

First and most importantly: TRUST YOURSELF. It's okay to feel insecure and google a million things late at night while nursing but before you go off of what anyone else has to say. TRUST your mama gut! It certainly knows best. Part of trusting yourself is having enough grace to give yourself time. Give your spouse time to figure out where they fit and adjust to their new role, give your baby time to adjust to this HUGE world they just came into. Most importantly give yourself bundles and bundles of grace each day. Relationships take time and you are building one with an infant who only knows how to cry to communicate. When your overwhelmed, step back and take a breath because you are strong and completely able to mother and your doing the hardest more rewarding job there is.

Second: Have help ready but know your boundaries! When I had just pushed Olive out one of the first things I said/cried was she's like a puppy but better! Everyone laughed but its true, a new baby is better than a new puppy. Everyone you know wants to meet your new baby and all the sudden you are diddly squat. I've talked to so many mothers who felt so alone those first few weeks, me being one of them. They've carried their baby for 9 months and were the center of attention, everyone wanted to know how they were and did everything for them and now you have a newborn and you don't matter anymore, only the baby does. In those first few weeks everyone wants to come over and hold your baby but unless they are mothers themselves, they don't understand. In those first few weeks your emotions are so strong that you need your baby. There would be times others would hold Olive and I would go cry, or text my husband and say that I needed her back. I felt like a total mama bear and I wasn't ready to share yet but I for some dumb reason felt guilty like I HAD to share her. So, know your boundaries. If at first you're okay with some visitors than great. But don't you dare feel guilty for denying anyone or rescheduling for another time. Your baby will still be better than a puppy when they are a few months old and you two are more adjusted. Again, allow yourself time.

 Finally: FALL IN LOVE! Allow yourself to feel it all, all the insanely beautiful moments and all the incredibly frustrating moments. Know your doing it! You're mothering another soul and with that there is up's and downs and turn arounds! One day you'll feel on top of the world and the next you may feel like your in over your head. But that's the beautiful part, that's the part where you find yourself. You find your strength and earn your stars. To your sweet baby you are everything. All they know is you are their mama and they are bonded to you. So when you feel like your not good enough, dig deep and know that you are enough. When you feel like your a super hero, strut your stuff because life is ever changing and time is thief. We would be cheating ourselves not to feel every moment and embrace every tear and every single smile.