it's a snot sucking, kind of world.

these pictures were taken my mother in law at the hospital... hopefully she doesn't mind that i stole them for use on my blog.

my new life has been harder than i expected.

i knew that being a new mom would be challenging, i knew i wouldn't have all the answers.  i knew doubt would creep in, and i would sometimes feel lost.  i knew i would worry, sometimes to the point of panic or paranoia.  but i didn't know i would fall to pieces.  i didn't know i would not be able to hold it all together.  i didn't know i would be worse at this than other women.

i think i am facing this transition with a little more challenge than most women do.  i watch the other moms while i am out and about.  they seem so put together, gliding around target, dressed in perfectly fitting fashionable clothing, hair and makeup perfectly in place... and i am not them.  i am a hot mess. 

and i am kind of feeling like i am the only mom in the country who after almost 12 weeks hasn't really gotten into the swing of things.  i am not sure other moms feel as out of control as i do.  i am not sure other moms struggle as much as i do with this transition.

i am working 2 days a week, on those days i wake up at 6 to be at work by 9.  i used to wake up at 6 to be at work by 7.  it is so hard to leave him, and i keep hearing it gets easier... the first day was 100 times worse, but everyday is still hard.  sometimes i cry. i want so badly to never leave him.

on the days i stay home with buddy, i find it hard to take a shower, do my hair, and put on make-up.  i want to spend every moment i have with him, with him.  running errands is challenging with a baby.  i feed him and then try to run out the door as soon as i can, i only have a few hours before he needs to eat again.  this means i often am wearing dirty sweats and am unshowered and undone.  the other moms at the store don't look nearly as desperate as i do.  i always said i wouldn't be the ugly mom, that i wouldn't let myself go.  i vowed to take care of myself and make sure i was presentable and looking good.  i laugh when i think about thinking that.  because now... YIKES!

i am really struggling nursing buddy.  from the very beginning, my milk didn't come in for days and days and days... he lost enough weight, that i had to supplement with formula.  he did not latch easily, and i would fight and fight to get him to feed well.  it started going more smoothly, but i still was supplementing with a little formula.   when i went back to work nursing got harder.  i have to pump at work, and it sucks.  i sit in the stinky dirty bathroom stall twice a day.  it hurts.  i can't get nearly as much pumping, as he can eat when he nurses.  every week i am pumping less and less, and he is nursing less and less.  this is devastating to me.  i feel like a failure.  everyone i know nurses.  now, he is getting 2 formula bottles a day, and i try to pump more to get my supply up, but it doesn't seem to be changing.  nursing has been an adjustment and a struggle.

i used to clean the house in an afternoon.  it now takes me 3 days.  what i started out cleaning is already dirty again by the time i finish.

i am finding it hard to find the time.  the time to blog, or write at all.  the time to read.  the time to browse the internet.  the time to shower or brush or my teeth.  the time to do laundry and cook dinner.  my days fly by in a matter of what seems like minutes, and i don't have any time.

buddy is always hungry the second i sit down with a plate of food... everytime.
he loves baths.  he is in heaven while he is floating around in water.  i find it very difficult to give him a bath.  he has some eczema, and the dr told me i should bathe him in plain water every day.  i am trying to do this, but somedays i just can't.  i feel like i am failing is poor chapped dry skin when i can't.

he hates having his nose sucked.  a lot.  he screams like i am murdering him.  i hate doing it.  i hate it when he is in pain, or uncomfortable.

he has stopped pooping everyday.  the dr says it is completely normal.  he is not worried.  yesterday he didn't poop.  all day today i will sit around waiting for him to poop, because when he does, it will be 2 days worth of poop all at once.  i have to think about what clothes to put him in on these days so i don't smear poop on his face when i change him.  i am afraid to leave the house and run errands, just knowing that the second i have a cart full of groceries he will have a huge poop blow out.

he is the sweetest, happiest, baby in the world.  he smiles and coos and rarely cries.  4 weeks ago, he started crying.  he cried for 2 weeks straight.  i couldn't make him happy.  i couldn't make him feel better.  i couldn't make him stop crying.  my poor in laws were visiting at the the beginning of that crying fit.  (you guys should come back now... he is really happy now!)  i felt so lost and so terrible.  all i wanted was to make him stop, to make him feel better... and i couldn't.  and it was very hard.

matthew has been working a lot of overtime.  on days i work, i hardly see my husband.  i come home, we make dinner, we clean up dinner, i feed the baby, and he goes to bed so he can wake up by 4.  i miss my husband on these days.  i don't think he knows how much i miss him, he thinks i miss the baby the most. (and i do miss him so so much)  

i thought my brain would come back... it hasn't.  i can't remember anything.  i am completely brain dead.  an air head.  kind of dumb. 

i thought my waist would come back (not that it was all that great to begin with)  i weigh less then i did before i was pregnant, but my jeans still do not fit right.

i am completely and whole hearted the happiest i have ever been with this little boy in my life, in my family, in my heart.  he is the most beautiful baby i have ever seen, and he brings so much joy to me.  but this transition has been hard.

i am not anxious.  i am not uptight.  i am not worried.  i am not sad.  i am not mad.  i don't get upset.  really, i am pretty easy going about the whole thing... ask anyone who knows me.  it feels natural and good.  but it feels different.  and i haven't quite found my stride yet.

looking around it appears other moms are holding themselves together a little better.  it seems they go through this transition with a little more ease.  i have always known i was meant to be a mom, and i guess i thought that would mean i would make the transition easily.  that i would be one of those moms looking effortless at the store, that i would be super mom.  and i am not.  and this has been a different life.    

this change... this difference... this miracle... i find it far more challenging than i expected.  it is the best challenge of my entire my life, but looking around i feel like i am the only mom who hasn't been able to figure it out by now. 

i still feel like this is what i was meant to do, but my picture of what it is supposed to look like has completely changed. 

it is so wroth it.  he is so worth it.  it is the only complete loss of control that i have accepted whole hearted.  one look at his sweet little face.  his smile.  his trying so hard to suck his thumb and his adorable attempts to bring objects towards his mouth, and my heart is bursting.  i am so thankful and grateful for this change, this challenge.  i am so grateful for this little boy.  he makes it all worth while.  because of him, all the challenge, all the change, seems like nothing.  i love this little one like i never could have expected.  i also didn't expect to find such simple things, such a momentous challenge.  and i am wondering if i don't have it by now... if i will never have it. 

and even if i never do find my stride... it is still worth it.  asher max is worth every life change and struggle.  to love that little boy, and have him love me, makes every second worth while.


  1. Anonymous09:30

    I am jealous of your two days a week at work. After I have my son I will have to head back to work full time exactly 6 weeks after he is born. And I will work from 8:30 in the morning until 6 oclock at night. My husband's hours are 11-11 on week days. So I will almost never see him. Or so it will feel like it. I am terrifed that I will become one of the "can't catch the hang of it" moms. I know it has been hard for you and I have no real advice since this will be my first born, but feel lucky you have a better time schedule to work with then others will. And of course, most of those "put together" moms you see at the store have endless hours to put themselves together. They may not work, not nurse, have husbands that are not working overtime. Good luck to you. I am sure you are doing way better than it seems to you.

  2. Anonymous09:45

    I have said since having children that being a parent is the hardest thing I have ever done, but also the most rewarding.

    Praying that things will even out and you will hit your stride soon.

    love and encouraging prayers, jep

  3. anon,

    i thought i would have to go back fulltime. i can't get myself to do it yet. i am avoiding the questions from my boss of when i will be coming back fulltime like the plague. it has made money really tight... i am veyr blessed to have family near, and a husband that is here and so helpful.

  4. Hang in there, it will get better. You are stronger than you know. Your brain is still in interrupted sleep mode, and that zaps all your brain cells and makes you feel awful.

    Make sure you are drinking lots of water every day. Breast feeding can make you dehydrated. Being dehydrated makes you tired. And try to get some sunshine on your bare skin (hands, arms, face) if you can everyday, 15 minutes should work. The vitamins from sun can really put some pep in your step. I find that after I have been stuck in the house for a while I start to get grumpy/low. Sunshine always helps me.

    BTW, I sometimes still go to the grocery store without make-up in my sweats and my kids are 3 & 8. A baseball hat, earrings, and some lip gloss are my friends.

    I'm saying prayers for peace and blessings for you and your family.

    Rachel Spin

  5. April21:48

    First off-your life has completely changed so what you always thought it would be-will probably totally be different than what it really is. With 3 kids it helps me to set the alarm for 30 minutes before they usually wake up. Once they are up its hard to get a shower in. I can get ready in 15 minutes completely (amazing how that changes once you have kids!). If he gets up before you put him in his bouncer with the monitor...he will be fine while you get ready and you will be able to hear him. It's completely natural for you to want to be with him all the time!
    Nursing is not easy for everyone. Sometimes you just gotta find that flow. Going back to work really messes with your supply sometimes but get some Fenugreek pills (they sell them at GNC) or Mother's Milk Tea (also sell at GNC) both work WONDERS for upping that supply.
    Realize above all you don't have to be the perfect mom. Nobody is! Just realize your being the best you can be and Asher will know that growing up!

  6. Please don't compare yourself to anyone!
    In my eyes you are amazing.
    It takes time. It's the biggest adjustment in the world.

    I like rachels advice.

    You can do it Melinda... It gets physically easier as the months go by.

    I'll pray!
    Love you!!!

  7. gina11:57

    It is all a cover up...those put together moms in the mall - they are struggling as much as you :)

    You sound like a fantastic mom, with your priorities straight :)
    And your son is so beautiful....

    My son is 14, and I still don't feel like I've "gotten the hang of it"....
    And I still look as if I gave birth yesterday, if it makes you feel any better :)

    Your baby is so lucky to have you...

  8. gina, that does make me feel better!

  9. You are a wonderful Mama, I know because you have these worries. I have to remind myself not to compare my insides to other people's outsides. God has a plan for you, He doesn't make junk, and you need to be sure to take good care of yourself in order to do His work. On airplanes we are advised to put on our oxygen masks before helping on a daily basis is the same thing for me. You are a great Mama...your wee one is blessed to have you! Take good care of yourself!

  10. thank you for sharing your struggles with us.
    I agree with the commenter who said that her child is 14 and she still doesn't have the hang of it. My youngest of 4 is ten, and I feel the same way. It's just about finding the joy and holding onto it amid all the worry confusion and failures. You hit the nail on the head: it's all so worth it.


  11. Karen F.09:49

    Oh Melinda,

    Don't be so hard on yourself and cut yourself some slack. Between sleep deprivation and nursing struggles and having two babies out of three that had collic and screamed for 5 hrs. straight each night, I though I was losing my mind.
    I wasn't enjoying them AT ALL, in fact I downright resented them. I couldn't function.
    The nursing thing is presented like a fairy tale......but it's not. They also practically guilt you into it if you don't do it. It was a nightmare for me and I tried it 3 one explains the pain, the fact that they can't latch on and are frantic and then when they do,they instantly fall asleep and eat nothing.

    If you love your baby and you love your husband, that is enough. The weight will come off, the sleep will return and things will seem to slowly return to normal, not like before but the new normal.

    You are brave to post these feelings and just know that you are also helping other new mother's who think they are the only ones who feel this way. It's not an easy road to go down, but well worth it. Hang in there, you are doing just fine.

    This concludes the sermon for today!

  12. Anonymous10:57

    You don't know me, I don't know you....but found you through Donna's blog...
    I absolutely understand your struggles, feelings and joy! Don't feel like a failure, don't compare yourself to anyone else.
    Fenugreek is a wonderful thing! It truly worked wonders for me when I went back to work. Give it a try and do what you can.
    Just love your husband and your baby, that is the most important thing.
    Having a baby is life changing and really, it does get easier with time!

  13. Anonymous12:25

    OMG this is exactly what I went though when I became a first time mom except for the nursing part. Here is some advice don't beat yourself up about nursing. If you have to suppliment then do so it is better than him being hungry all the time. There is a good chance you could nurse him 3-4 times a day and the rest formula. That might help him not be hungry all the time. Some women just don't have enough milk and that doesn't make you a failure if you had to stop nursing tomorrow life would go on and he would be just fine. One thing that concerns me is that you seem to focus solely on the baby like when you say "it is so hard to leave him, i want so badly to never leave him" It is OK to leave him you need your mommy time beleive it or not that will make you a better mom. Things will get easier with time. I swore when I had my son I would never ever have another one because it was such a life change but now I have 2beautiful children who have given me such joy, time will make things better just hold on and keep the faith.
    Maryjo (from Donnas blog)

  14. karen, your comments are always such an encouragement to me.

  15. Melinda, my daughter has gone through the exact same thing and she has to work full time ,too. Her milk did not come in until her son (now almost 6months old) was 2 weeks old (latch on issues were awful and weight loss for the baby was scary) then she got such a horrendous infection in both breasts that she could NOT nurse at all, but she had to continue to pump to get the infection was the most awful thing to watch her cry during her pumping times because of the pain. It actually made going to back to work a little easier and her dr. told her she gave her baby all the antibodies in the very first few days anyway!! She has also struggled with her body (she is a recovered anorexic) since the baby, but like you, knows that precious baby is worth it. Her life is easier everyday. You are doing a great job and no one can compare one mother's experience with another's.
    If all you and Matthew can do is talk everyday and express your feelings and love, you will holding on to the best parts of your lives!!
    Asher is so beautiful and I am sure you and Matthew are making a wonderful life for him!!!
    Keep trudging along on those harder days...and then one day, you will suddenly see that it is easier and you will breath deep and exhale! Thanks for sharing your story and your life with us!!

  16. I wish I had your phone number so I could call you right now and tell you to stop beating yourself up. I do this constantly, and especially after my kids were first born, and it does no good. You are beautiful, you are doing your best and you love Asher. That is good enough. Hang in there. Let us all lift you up!! Have faith!!

  17. Jennifer21:51

    I still don't have it together. Not that I ever did, but I know how you feel. The more moms I talk to, the more I realize that none of us really have it all together. Some are just better at faking it than others. You will have plenty of time to shower when he's older and part of you will wish that he still needed you so much that you couldn't find the time to shower. I love you and miss you and I think about you everyday!

  18. Anonymous06:56

    Oh, my gosh, I am so sorry you are feeling overwhelmed. Don't compare yourself to those other mothers! You are who you are and that is just perfectly fine for those who care, your family and your friends. It is so easy for us women to get caught up in this "not good enough" spiraling thinking. My "kids" are 17 and 21 years old and sometimes I catch myself doing it, even now. "My house isn't as big/clean/nicely decorated as someone else's house." "I never look as good as so-and-so." Well, so what? My priorities are not house cleaning and looking like the "perfect suburban soccer mom" and I can say now, with complete honesty, that it just doesn't matter. My sons are just as wonderful as the sons of that "perfect" mother and my house shelters us just as well as that big house down the street.

    Give yourself a break. Make the time to spend with your husband (that's important) and continue to be the best mother to that little boy by providing for him in more ways than one.

    Take care of yourself so that you can be the best for YOU and your family.

  19. Anonymous21:10

    I found your blog through Donna's blog, and Donna's blog from......well, somewhere. Anyway, I wanted to de-lurk to tell you that you could have been SO describing me! My kids are 14 and 11 now, and that first baby transition was so much more difficult than I ever expected. I felt made to be a mom - I was so sure I would be good at it. I am, but it kicked me in the pants! I never got enough sleep, my son ate around the clock, the days flew by and I have no idea where the time went. As I look back I wonder if I was dealing with some post-partum depression. Have you contemplated that at all? I don't think it shows up just as sadness-I think it is sneaky and out of our control. Anyway, I want to encourage you and tell you that it will get better.

  20. Melinda, I can so relate to what you are saying here. I remember those days of feeling so overwhelmed and wondering why other moms who had little ones didn't look or act tired and seemed to be so together. My first child cried for 6 weeks straight. I was a zombie. I finally gave into formula and within two weeks, she calmed down, gained weight, we all got some sleep, and things were better. I have seven children and with each of them I was sleep deprived and that makes things so much harder.

    Keep up the good work! Don't worry about cleaning! Be sure to spend time with Matthew even if you have to get a sitter. It is key to still be a couple.

  21. Anonymous19:56

    I'm a mom with a 16 yr old and a 13 yr old, and I still don't have it all together. This week I've felt like I'm not measuring up as a parent.

    Like the others said, what you are feeling and experiencing is normal, I remember those early baby days. They may seem long now when the baby is crying for 2 weeks, but they go by so fast. I'm glad you are able to be home with Asher and work just 2 days right now. You won't regret the time you spend with him now..

    Hang in there, Mama. It gets easier--even if you never get perfect at being a mom.


  22. Anonymous17:38

    I thought of you today when I read another blog: here's a link to it.

    This writer expressed what I was thinking when I read your post.

    Go easy on yourself. This time won't last forever, and NO ONE does it perfectly. NO ONE.

    Hang in there.

  23. Anonymous09:46

    Awesome post. Really enjoyed reading your blog posts..


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