New moms out there, I know you love your new bundle of joy more than life itself and words can't describe the overwhelming amount of love you have for him or her. But you can admit it. Despite all of that love and that amazing tiny gorgeous creature you now have, you kinda feel like shit! But don't worry, IT GETS BETTER!!
You are one exhausted haven't-slept-for-more-than-2-hours-straight-in-weeks zombie of a mommy. Sometimes when your little one wakes you up to feed you feel like rolling over and covering your head with your pillow. Don't worry... IT GETS BETTER!! Those stretches of unbroken sleep will get longer and longer and within a few months you should be up to a glorious 8-9 hours of unbroken night time sleep. OH THE JOY!!! And when you do wake up to feed your little one after that scrumptiously sound slumber, you'll be like "OMG I missed you!!" *snuggle*
So, your nipples are sore, cracked, bleeding, crusted over... what other disgusting words can I use to describe the monstrosities that have taken over what used to be your magnificent rack!? They no longer belong to you or your husband, they are the sole property of your little one, who frankly doesn't care that they are sore, cracked, bleeding, or crusted over. Baby wants milk and will get it when and where he wants it!! Grabbing, twisting, chomping, pulling - it's all fair game for baby and poor mommy has to just suffer through. Don't worry... IT GETS BETTER!! If you have it in the budget for a lactation consultant (a few hundred bucks per visit) - it's probably worth it in the first few days or weeks to make sure you've got position and latch right. If it's not in the budget, make sure you do research in books and online, cuz if the latch is wrong it will hurt more, can cause damage, and might interfere with baby getting enough milk and thus cause trouble with establishing a good milk supply. But, assuming everything is fine in those departments, you probably still have extremely sore nipples and huge painful boobs. Am I right? But as your nipples toughen up, they will become less and less sore and the cracking and scabbing and grossness will go away. Might take a month or 2, but trust me, they won't look like that for the duration of your nursing period!! And as you get into a regular feeding schedule, the engorgement will ease off and you will no longer require Lamaze breathing to get you through the pain of taking your bra on and off, and the droplets from the shower will no longer make you wince! They may blow up occasionally if your little one sleeps longer than usual, but it's quickly resolved after he wakes up and chugs away! Or you can always express some in the shower or into the sink!
Winded just going up one flight of stairs? Can't stand for more than a few minutes or can't sit down without a donut pillow? Feel like your insides are going to come out and your ass is going to explode when it's time to "drop the kids off at the pool"?? Don't worry... IT GETS BETTER!! Your body went to hell and back carrying your child and especially pushing him out into this world. You can't expect everything to just sky rocket back to normal the next day. God, it'd be nice, but just doesn't happen unfortunately. It takes time. LOTS of time! And lots of Kegels. Eventually you'll no longer be terrified of pooping, blowing your nose, coughing, sneezing, or doing the deed with your hubby. By your 6-week check up you should be more or less back to normal, and those first few weeks are rough so take it slow. They're serious when they say don't do much the first 2 weeks. So don't!! But there are a lot of things out there to help when it comes to the bathroom business - stool softeners (or just extra fiber & water), squirt bottles, and witch hazel pads are all awesome so give them a try!
Your baby is crying and crying and you're going through the mental checklist (hungry? needs to burp? dirty diaper? too hot/cold? sleepy?) and nothing is helping. Out of frustration and exhaustion and feeling like you're the worst mother who can't comfort her own baby, you start crying, too. Oh yikes. To hell in a hand basket. Don't worry... IT GETS BETTER!! Before you know it, you'll know what your baby needs before he even gets around to crying! And when he does cry, you'll know why and exactly what to do to fix it (well, most of the time). But, it takes a while to get to know your baby, so give it time, it will come! In the meantime, get "Happiest Baby on the Block" dvd and/or book. The techniques are AMAZING!!! Like, seriously. Get it!! Study it!! LIVE IT!!!
DISCLAIMER: If you have any thoughts about hurting your baby or yourself, please seek professional help. While I'm trying to be both helpful and humorous with my IT GETS BETTER post, postpartum depression is no laughing matter!
• If you need immediate help, please call the National Suicide Hotline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255)
• If you are looking for pregnancy or postpartum support and local resources, please call or email us: Call PSI Warmline (English & Spanish) 1-800-944-4PPD (4773)