To the exhausted new mom…I promise you, it will get better.

I see you, new Mama. And I know you are so so tired. I know you had no idea of what was to come once you brought your sweet little babe home from the hospital. You were so focused on the “perfect” labor and delivery that you never actually thought about what would happen once you brought your baby home.

And now here you are, a total hot mess. You haven’t slept in about 400 years. Your hormones are off the charts, crying one minute and smiling seconds later. Your breasts are so engorged with milk coming in that you want to scream in pain. Your pre-pregnancy clothes are not even close to fitting. You wonder, as you look in the mirror, will you always still look like you are 6 months pregnant?

I promise you, it won’t always be like this. I promise you, it will get better.

Your baby is crying and you have no idea what to do. Is she hungry, tired, gasey, in need of snuggling? And all you can think about is how you. Want. To. Sleep. And how you don’t know if you can do this whole mothering thing. You ask yourself why did I ever think having a baby would be “fun?” Because this? The exhaustion, the crying baby, the responsibility of keeping another one alive, the constant nursing is anything but “fun.”

I promise you, it won’t always be liked this. I promise you, it will get better.

I know, you feel like a human pacifier, feeding is almost constant with pooping, crying, burping and diaper changes mixed in. The clock becomes only a number because your baby has her days and nights mixed up. This is your life now, for the short term. It is tiring and messy and emotional.

I promise you, it won’t always be like this. I promise you, it will get better.

The stresses in the first few weeks are so overwhelming that sometimes it is hard to breathe. Your thoughts are consumed by bilirubin levels for jaundice, weight gain for your baby and tracking wet and poopy diapers. You wonder how long will my c-section wound hurt? Is my baby latching correctly? How in the world am I supposed to keep my baby awake while nursing?

I promise you, it won’t always be like this. I promise you, it will get better.

That when your baby cries every hour for you all. night. long. you ask yourself how can you possibly do this every night? When you pass her to your husband so you can have a break, she cries because she only wants her mommy, to snuggle, to nurse, to smell, to sleep on. And so while you hold her again all night, tears run down your  face because how can you possibly do this another minute? And then you feel guilty for wanting a minute alone, to sleep, to think, to breathe.

I promise you, it won’t always be like this. I promise you, it will get better.

In the middle of the night during another marathon nursing session, you wonder why didn’t  anyone warn you of this? Why didn’t anyone tell me being a new mom is HARD? Everyone said how great it is to be a mom. How amazing and fun it is and “it will change your life,” blah blah. But why didn’t anyone tell me that the nights would be so so long? That sometimes babies just cry for no reason. That breastfeeding is really hard in the beginning and you may want to throw in the towel. That you will feel sleep deprivation like you can’t even imagine?

So let me tell you, this coming from someone who had a really difficult time being a first time mom, it is HARD. And those first few weeks-the HARDEST. So if you feel like you are the only one struggling as either a first time mom or becoming a mom again for the second or third time. Your are not alone.

If you are a new mom and the weight of your new baby is making you catch your breath. Or you are so physically and mentally drained, you cannot even see straight, or if you are a soon-to-be-mom, I will tell you from someone who, at my lowest point, did not believe it woud ever get better, IT DOES. I promise you, a thousand times, it does.

But here’s the thing, when does it get better, you want to know? Well, I can’t answer that for you because it is different for each mom. But I can say that the joys of motherhood creep up on you, when you least expect it. Little by little.

Like the first time my first baby slept alone after being held constantly for the first 3 weeks. Or the first time I figured out the source of her newborn tears and soothed her myself. When I finally distinguished a hungry cry, from a tired cry, from a burp cry to a poopy cry. Or that time she looked at me with her big blue eyes during a midnight feeding as if to say, “thank you, mommy. I know I am a lot of work, but I love you.”

It gets better.

Like the first time she smiled a real, not gasey, smile right at me. Or the first time she looked around the room for me after hearing my voice. When she took her first steps and oh,the joy she radiated for days after that! Or when she tried her first blueberry, which must have been sour because she spit it out with a pucker face. And when she said “mama” to me for the first time.

It gets better.

There are a million of these moments that make those first few weeks in the trenches absolutely worth it. Being a mom does not happen all at once, but slowy these moments and experiences build on each other and soon you will look back and say, “Yes. It does get better. A thosand times, it does.” And you will wonder how did you ever doubt that it would?

Yes, your baby needs you for everything right now, and that is HARD. But she won’t always. And that may be an even harder reality to adjust to one day. So let’s  not think about that now.

Before you can even blink you will find yourself like me, with your last baby at 15 months old, nursing only once a day and you will be sitting here rocking him to sleep wondering how did I get here so fast? Wasn’t my almost five year old just a tiny newborn? Because it all went by in an instant, really. Those first few weeks with each of my babies that seemed so long were really like a hot minute. I know the place you are at now is all consuming, and it is hard to even imagine yourself in a better place, like ever.

But I promise you, it will come. Push on sweet mama, you got this.

XO, Becca

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On your first

Dearest Sawyer,

It’s late at night, and I hear you stirring in bed. I know you will go back to sleep, but I go to your room anyway. Four more sleeps and you will be ONE-it’s almost your birthday, and I should be excited, but instead I hold back tears. So here I am in your room, soaking up every last moment of your snuggles before the big day.

How can it be so? I ask myself as I scoop you up in my arms. We sit in our familiar place. I rock you snuggled in my arms, your head cradled in my arms. You are already back to sleep, but I still sit there rocking you, watching you and your perfectly sleeping face.

How many hours have I sat here since you were born? I wonder. Nursing, rocking, sleeping, cuddling. Must be hundreds and I would not change one minute of it. All those moments of you and me-quietly starring at each other. Each time, I pray.  Dear God, please let me remember this moment. Right now. When my babe is grown, please let me remember these precious quiet hours spent rocking in the moonlight.

I fight back tears, but then I decide to let them come. Tears of both joy and sorrow. It’s the ultimate dichotomy of great joy mixed with great sadness. Joy of triumphantly completing your first year of life, but sadness because all your “firsts” are now my “lasts.” And I am surprised at the grief I feel. It is heavy and smoothering.

Tears because you, Sawyer, will be my last baby I will rock, nurse, and cuddle with in the dark of the night. Tears because some nights and days felt like they would never end, but somehow, someway, they passed and now it all feels like a blur. Thoughts race through my head. Did I enjoy it enough? Did I kiss you enough? Did we snuggle enough? Did I do ENOUGH?

Tears because there is GREAT JOY in that we made it a year! (Pop the bubbly!)

Tears because I never knew how much I needed you in our family. How incomplete we were until you came to us.

Tears because I cannot comprehend how fast each year is going by. I feel like I am holding on as tight as I can to savor and soak in each moment before it is just a memory.

And so before, my sweet one, you turn ONE, I will rock you, nurse you, cuddle you just a little more. For both of us. To make one more memory for me to hold onto and one for me to tell you about one day.

Wishing you the happiest of first, my little man. I love you latte.

xo, mommy