Stuff I Wish I Had Known

When I found out I was pregnant with Critter last May, one of the first thoughts that flashed through my mind was the fact that from that day forward, I would be worrying about this child for the rest of my life.

I was right about that part.

But still, this is 40 weeks and 6 days pregnant Kat.

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She has no idea what is about to happen.  Even though she thinks that she does.

This is Kat with a baby who is a week old.  At 1:37 AM.

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She is laughing at Past Kat.

I wish I would have known…

…That I could be surrounded by people and would still be completely alone.  I would not have made it through the past seven weeks if I had not been very literally carried by my husband, our families, and my girlfriends.  However, when you’re breastfeeding a baby (and especially if you are doing that and NOT pumping for any period of time), you’re very literally it and no one can help you.  Not during the day, not during the night, not when you’re alone at home, not when there are five people in your house.

…How big our village is.  I thought I knew who would be “there” for us once Critter was here but I have been floored by the amount of support and love we have received from our friends.  Blessed doesn’t even begin to cover it.  We’ll be paying this forward for the rest of our lives.

…That breastfeeding would destroy my back.  This was not covered in any of the literature that I received from my clinic.  As far as I can tell, it is not in any of the mother-ing books I was given.  It was not spoken to me in the hospital and even though it is in one of the handouts from the Mom Group that I quit, even then they did not cover it until the second half of the class.  Also not covered in the literature: the fact that your baby will be clawing at your chest with their free hand while you feed them and your chest will be covered in tiny baby-scratches.

…How fast our days would go by.  I feel like a lot of people complain about how long the days are when babies are small and exhaustion is stalking your every step.  Considering we can burn an entire hour with two bad diaper changes and part of a feeding, it does not take a lot to move through the day, especially on the days where Critter only wants to sleep with our tummies touching or if we have to leave the house even once.

…How tired I would be.  I mean, I knew, but I couldn’t really know.  Especially not how there would be no greater feeling of despair than knowing that the baby was napping and that I was too awake-tired to nap also.

…How much I would need my husband.  He works a 9-10 hour day and then comes home and does all of the hard work right next to me and takes care of our son because (1) he’s also a parent but (2) because he knows it gives me a chance to sleep.

…That my mother would parent me more after my child was born than she has since I graduated from college.

…That I would shower every day and The Ponytail Of Defeat would make it look like I had not showered.

…How central coffee would be to my life each morning.

…That I would be just as excited to see Critter when he wakes up as he is to see me.  Even when it is 1:30 AM.

I also asked Marcus what he wished he would have known.  He said…

…I wish I could have practiced holding and passing babies.

…Baby rash remedies.

Practical, yet wise.

Mama friends, what do you wish you would have known?

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6 responses to “Stuff I Wish I Had Known

  1. I’m not a mom, but I find this part adorable –> “especially on the days where Critter only wants to sleep with our tummies touching.” 🙂

  2. Nursing killed my back to. My breast friend nursing pillow really helped!

  3. You have learned much in such a short period of time! The initial loneliness was hard to grasp. I wish I would have known that the beautiful thick head of hair that I grew during pregnancy would fall out 3-4 months after giving birth. Seeing a the equivalent of a small kitten’s worth of hair in the shower drain was terrifying. With all of my sleep deprived logic, I was sure that I was somehow gravely ill. I also wish I would have known while I was pining for him to gain more independence from me, that I would mourn the days of him being so dependant.

    This too shall pass. Your Village will continue to lift you up when you need it most.

  4. This. All of this. I was prepared for the physical pain of breastfeeding in the early days, but the mental exhaustion was an unwanted surprise. So beautifully written…

    I also hadn’t internalized that I would always be “on,” even when I’m off. I mean, I am a mom 100% of the time. Not 95% less a Friday night I want to go out. The consistency of the responsibly hit hard.

  5. Pingback: 53 Days and Counting | Tenaciously Yours,

  6. Pingback: Stuff Other People Wish They Would Have Known | Tenaciously Yours,

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