I was listening to TLC’s “A Baby Story” this morning while fixing breakfast. It was at the end of the show where they visit the new joyous parents and they get to gush and brag about how wonderful it is to have this new bundle of joy!!! Do you hear the birds chirping and angels singing? So, the new mom says something like “I never knew it would be so wonderful, being a mom. I’m loving every minute of this, I wouldn’t change anything.” Insert birds chirping, angels singing, again. It’s not that I don’t believe her, it’s just that I don’t believe her.
In actuality, I do like “A Baby Story” for the entertainment value, NOT it’s accuracy. I have only seen a handful of episodes that show anything less than the joyous, gushing new parents. From personal experience and those experiences of nearly all of my mommy friends, this is just not how it is in reality.
My own experience brought me the dreaded colic. I never knew it would be so hard. Although I loved Peanut right away, I fell out of love when he started crying ALL THE TIME. I really thought I was prepared for motherhood. Intellectually, I knew that I’d be sleep deprived. I knew that since I would be breastfeeding, it would initially be my sole responsiblity to get this kid fed. I knew that there were remedies for colic and that it usually only lasted three months. Slam headfirst into reality and come to find out that no sleep REALLY, REALLY, REALLY sucks. Crying ALL THE TIME can make even the most patient, loving parent think of throwing the baby out the window. It did NOT help to have people tell me that “it only lasts three months, you’ll get through it.” Having a restricted diet to try and beat this colic monster was so hard (I heart dairy products). Those first few months were very defeating, my experience looked nothing like “A Baby Story”.
I’m not alone in having a difficult beginning in my trenches into motherhood. A friend very recently had her second baby. This is also the second baby that she did not get to bring home with her from the hospital when she was released. Her son has pneumonia and is improving, luckily. She really wants to breastfeed and has found, as many women do, that it’s hard. Especially when you’re primarily pumping.
Another friend had her daughter in January. She recently called me, sounding bleary, teary, and panicked. Her exact words to me were “I never knew it was going to be this hard.”
Obviously, none of us moms ever knew it would be so hard. As I approach the impending birth of my daughter in May, I’m terrified and excited. I’m not going in thinking that bringing home a new baby is going to include birds chirping and angels singing. I’ve asked some veteran mommys for advice as to how to finagle two in public, but have thought very little about how I will actually care for two at home. I don’t think we’ll make it onto “A Baby Story”, but we’ll make it.