What Surprised Me Most about Motherhood {Guest Post} | The Speckled Goat: What Surprised Me Most about Motherhood {Guest Post}


What Surprised Me Most about Motherhood {Guest Post}

Lisa Newton has been a great support to me, and to a lot of other sisters in the infertility struggle, I'm sure. Her blog and her friendship have been mainstays in my journey through infertility for years, and I'm honored to have her here today to share with us! I asked Lisa to tell me about what surprised her most about becoming a mother, and I'm sure you'll enjoy what she had to say. 

parenting pregnancy infants surprises in the first year

Original Photo by jens johnsson on Unsplash

When I finally became a mother after three years of infertility and three rounds of IVF, I wasn’t surprised by the sleepless nights or the amount of dirty diapers. I wasn’t shocked that I begged for an epidural after a few hours of labor, or even that I experienced postpartum depression. Honestly, I was more surprised by the small, seemingly-mundane things. I think I was so focused on being prepared for major change that some of the smaller things snuck up on me.

Labor Hair? Don’t Care.

While I was pregnant I read all the Pinterest posts about how to take beautiful post-delivery pictures and how to avoid pooping while pushing. (I was especially worried about that one). I am a very private person, so you can imagine my surprise when I honestly stopped caring about all that once labor really began.

My post-delivery pics feature a bleary-eyed, tangled-hair, exhausted me. I couldn’t have cared less about hair, makeup, or what I was wearing. I don’t even remember taking most of the pictures that first day that are now in our baby album. And honestly, I don’t mind it being that way. Most people don’t expect marathon runners to cross the finish line looking red-carpet ready, so why are there are these blog posts putting pressure on postpartum women to be ready for a photo shoot?

As for pooping, well let’s just say that by the time I got around to pushing for four hours, I didn’t care what came out of me as long as it was a baby! (And unfortunately, I still ended up having a C-section). Thank goodness for discreet nurses and for a husband who still finds me attractive after seeing that!

Babies Make Everything Take Longer

It’s incredible how a tiny person can make the most routine tasks and chores feel like huge accomplishments.

 I was completely unprepared for how long it takes to get an infant dressed, fed, changed, bags packed, strapped into the car seat and out the door. I can’t tell how you many times I would be so proud of myself that I got ready on time and then C. would poop or vomit (or both) all over herself and we had to start again. We had a really intense month where C. wanted to breastfeed every 90 minutes and sometimes it would take two feeding cycles to get her out the door. Arriving on-time to a doctor’s appointment was extremely stressful and going to church was practically impossible.

I wouldn’t say it get easier as they get older; it’s just that the challenges change. I don’t have to worry about feeding C. that often anymore, but now she is capable of protesting and crawling out of her carseat before I finish buckling her in. There have been several occasions where it took me 15 minutes to get her properly strapped in. I definitely have to plan ahead and give myself extra time.

The Immediate Love

I knew I would love my daughter at first sight, but I did not expect it to be so intense and so raw.

C. was born with a tongue-tie, a condition where a strip of skin connects the baby’s tongue to the floor of the mouth. Her doctor recommended we clip it because it can interfere with speech and breast-feeding. My husband and I consented to the procedure, but I did not realize they were going to do it in my room. She shrieked and screamed, and I burst into inconsolable sobs. I'm sure the drugs and lack of sleep I was experiencing contributed to my reaction, but it literally felt like the worst moment of my life. My own mother was in the room with me, and she got teary-eyed and said, “Welcome to motherhood.”

Since then, I’ve learned to deal with my daughter’s discomfort and pain a little better (although I did cry more than she did when she got her first shots)! Babies are hard. I’ve been tired for 19 months and I will probably be tired for several more years. Sometimes I don’t know how I’ll get through the day. But then my little girl gives me a hug or makes me laugh and the fatigue doesn’t matter.

Yes, there are some days when I’d give anything for another hour’s sleep, and there were several nights when I wanted to kill my husband because he didn’t have the ability to breastfeed at 3am. But I made it through those sleepless nights, and I’ll make it through many more to come. Some times I almost welcome those late-night wakings, because it means another change to cuddle and hold and rock my baby girl, who is growing up way too fast.

And that’s the most surprising part of all- how fast they grow! It’s impossible to savor every moment, because sometimes those moments are hard. But I do wish I could slow the good moments down and keep her little for a little longer.

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Lisa Newton writes about her journey with infertility and the faith that has kept her going through it, interviews other couples on the infertility journey, and gives great resources and support on her blog, Amateur Nester.

She lives with her amazing husband, Tom, and their daughter, CJ (conceived after 3 rounds of IVF), on the gorgeous California Central Coast. Beyond the blog, Lisa has also been very active in supporting RESOLVE: the national infertility association, and has written two great e-books 31 Days of Prayer During Infertility and 31 Days of Scripture During Infertility.

DISCLOSURE: In order for me to support my blogging habit, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. You may see a full disclosure by clicking on my "About" page. I will only promote products that I use, enjoy, or take a shine to. All opinions and reviews are my own and are not influenced by any compensation I may receive.

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