I'm not talking about the "oh my gosh I love this baby so much" kind of emotions. Everybody talks about those and seems to assume that every woman feels like that way when they get home from the hospital.
Not always true.
I'm talking about the "What the heck have I done? When will my life feel normal again? Who is this little gremlin that I'm responsible for?" kind of emotions.
Now, during my research as a mother of a whole month I've realized 2 things:
1. Not every woman goes through the second set of emotions I listed
2. if you do experience these emotions, it is ok.
It took several conversations with other mommies who have experienced those same thoughts, and reading lots of articles online (you know the credible kind) to realize that I'm normal. Well at least in this matter I'm normal.
The first night we brought Eli home he cried every hour on the hour. We later figured out that he was probably cold that night, but at the time I had no idea what was wrong with this little creature.
Yes I carried him for 9 + months in my belly but that doesn't at all mean that I knew him. He was a stranger in my room screaming and all I wanted to do was sleep.
I can remember sitting up in bed that first night, trying to get my child to nurse instead of scream, and looking over at my husband who was sleeping so soundly I could practically see the visions of sugarplums above his head, and I thought "what did we do?" "we just brought a child into this world and we KNOW NOTHING ABOUT HIM"
It was in that moment that I longed to feel normal again.
For 9 months all I talked about and thought about was this sweet baby growing in my belly. What he would look like, what our lives would be like when he came etc. etc. But I had no idea that my hormones would basically attack me and I would feel all of these raging emotions just a few short days after his arrival. THAT was not apart of my picture perfect plan!
One day while in the middle of my hormone-hell (as I like to call it) I ventured out to Old Navy to buy some transitional clothes (something to wear for the days that I am in between maternity and regular)
While shopping I ran into a friend. She was excited to see me out and about and said 'Hi! How are you doing?"
I immediately started crying these huge giant tears. In fact I didn't even know that my body was capable of producing such large tears. While crying in the middle of Old Navy sandwiched between those creepy mannequins that I'm always afraid will start talking, I told her that I just wanted to feel normal again.
I'm sure she immediately regretted asking her simple standard question of "how are you?"
But in those first few days all I could think was "I just want to be normal again"
And for the record the fact that I wanted to feel normal again had nothing to do with my love for my baby.
My love for him was unexplainable, but at the same time my whole life was now completely different and I was coming to terms with that.
At first it was scary for me to be feeling these emotions. I went through many moments of wondering if I was wrong or a bad mom for just wanting to feel normal again.
I didn't want to get rid of my baby, and I didn't want to re-write history but I did want to feel normal again.
Now I'm not sure when it happened, or how it happened, but slowly and surely things have started to feel normal again.
It seems like there was a time when hormone-hell subsided and things just started to click. It wasn't all at once, but there was a week where I could tell everyday I was feeling more like myself.
It was around the time that I wrote a post about having a growing love for Eli. Because that is how it happens. Every day I love him a little more. I can't explain it and I don't know how it happens or how I'm capable of loving him more but I do.
And not only do I love him a little more but I learn him more everyday. What his specific cry's or noises mean. What he looks like when he is fighting sleep. About what time he will wake up to eat. The moments when he's alert and the times when he just needs to sleep. I learn a little more about him each day.
I've only been a mom for a month, and maybe it seems a little premature to be talking about these emotions so soon, but I already feel like I'm on the other side of it. I now realize that in those first few days I just needed to relax and know that life would feel normal again.
I now truly see that those first few days were about survival. I was learning Eli and he was learning me. He was figuring out how to live outside of the womb for the first time and I was figuring out how to live with a baby for the first time. Complete survival mode.
Before Eli came Luke and I did all the grocery shopping together. Even though there were times when we would have a knock-down-drag-out in the middle of the cereal aisle I loved our time of grocery shopping together.
Yesterday, I got a call from Luke and he suggested to me that we go grocery shopping together that night. I was ecstatic. Well, maybe ecstatic is a big word to use for grocery shopping but I was happy.
So that evening we went grocery shopping. Me and Luke getting into a fight in the cereal aisle because the man takes 20 minutes to choose one cereal, while our sweet baby slept in his car seat in the cart right next to us. We have added a new member to our grocery shopping days. No, it's not the normal it was, but it's our new normal and I wouldn't change it for anything.
Goodbye hormone-hell. Please stay far away.