Coping After the Birth
New motherhood brings all sorts of new and sundry experiences. Before being a new mom I can honestly say I had never spent consecutive days without getting dressed, had poop in my hair, or been irrationally paranoid. As a new mother these were daily occurrences.
After having my daughter I literally wore a lovely Medela nursing bra and underwear (these were not panties so I will not call them that) for three weeks straight. No pajamas. No nothin’. That was way too much effort. In the first few weeks I did not move much from our rocking chair, nor did I stop nursing for what felt like more than 20 minutes so I saw no need to get dressed or on some days to even fasten the bra. My husband felt like he was living like Hugh Hefner, except with less bronzer and lace and more lanolin and lactation.
I had not blow dried my hair in much too long, so I thought it strange that as I ran my fingers through my hair I felt the subtle residue of product. Was it product? Nope! It was not gel or anything for root volume: It was baby poo, mustard yellow. And it was in my hair. My life had changed. I sat in my bra, in a chair that I had not owned three weeks earlier, and I had poo in my hair. Did I mention that I emailed my pediatrician almost daily about the healing of my daughter’s umbilical cord? I sent him graphic pictures of her perfectly healthy belly button. She was fine, but I had turned into a half dressed, paranoid, health hazard.
With the first child life is changed. I cried incessantly over everything and nothing while hormones raged and subsided in my unsuspecting body. Absolutely everything was new and for me very difficult. I instantly loved my daughter, but past that nothing else involving motherhood was instinctive. It was hard, and the learning curve steep.
So the moral of this frightening story is that it could be worse, you could be like I was, and it does get better. I can’t quite remember when or how I gained a little perspective and put some clothes on, but I did. Life with a new baby settled into a rhythm that the two of us could enjoy. After a few weeks I spent less time in the chair, I saw the light of day, emails to my pediatrician lessened, and there was actual product in my hair.