it didn’t come naturally

I’m just going to say it right now: I was NOT one of those “natural” moms who just *got it* right from the word PUSH!

I had no idea what to do with this tiny little person who had just been expelled from my uterus. I knew he needed to eat and I knew he needed comfort and I knew he was now my sole responsibility but……HOW?!

A new friend was telling me the other day that she was home from the midwifery within four hours (!!!!!!!!!) of giving birth. I was all, “Weren’t you scared?!” And she was like, “Nope.”

I don’t think know I wouldn’t have been ok going home within four hours. I think at the two-hour mark I was on the toilet with a nurse and smelling salts alcohol swab because they couldn’t find the salt because I was literally about to pass out and then a few hours after that? I don’t exactly remember where I was but I know it wouldn’t have been – in my wildest imagination – in a car headed home with a helpless little baby.

Had anyone asked me to do that I would have looked at them all, “YOU MUST BE CRAZY.”

I actually needed those two days “in the bubble” (aka the hospital) to figure out the whole mommy thing…and I *still* didn’t really get it until about a week or so after I got home. Thank goodness my mom was there to help me because had she not been?

Psychiatric Ward. Round room. Padded walls.

I was not prepared for the adjustment. I kept thinking over and over, “I have to care for him…every single day…twenty-four hours a day…for THE REST OF MY LIFE”

I understand now that it isn’t really *that* dramatic but at the time that one thought was beyond daunting…beyond scary…I was in waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay over my head and had no idea what to do other than keep the tiny person alive.

So I did that.

Every day.

One day after the next.

And the next.

And the next.

And the next.

And eventually?

I found my groove and instead of being afraid or scared I actually started enjoying every day with Kellan. Every day was an adventure and was fun and filled with something to do. Granted, this whole “fun” business started after I began making other mom friends and started going out and doing things – even if (OMG OMG OMG) Kellan had a meltdown.

Meltdowns now are just that. Meltdowns. There isn’t much I can do about them except deal with it in the moment. Like today, for instance, total and complete meltdown at his first pool time experience because he was exhausted and wanted to go home. I’m talking full on screaming at the top of his lungs.

I changed his diaper, put him in some dry clothes and went about the process of packing up and heading home without batting an eyelash.

It is what it is and he’s going to do what he’s going to do.

And that’s that.

Now, put me in that same situation one week home from the hospital and every body would have left the pool in tears.

So, to anyone who didn’t *get it* right away and struggled in the beginning and felt like a complete failure/idiot/piss poor excuse for a mom, guess what?

YOU ARE NOT ALONE.

Also?

It is totally, 100% ok to feel that way and to not be Super Mom right from the start (nothing against you natural born, not scared for a second, I got this mom thing even though I’ve never done it before, moms). Some of us just need a little bit to figure things out, catch our breath and get into the mommy groove.

Once we do?

There is no stopping us.

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8 Responses to “it didn’t come naturally”


  1. 1 hellesbelles86 July 2, 2012 at 8:18 am

    I’m so glad to read this. As I get closer, I keep thinking, what if it *doesn’t* come naturally to me?? I’ve been great with kids my whole life, but I could see it being just my luck that I would have no clue what to do with a newborn and that’s scary. My husband is totally relaxed about it which is reassuring in one sense and irritating in another since I’d really rather we were both a bit nervous. Reading that it gets easier even when you don’t know what to do at the start is very comforting.

  2. 2 Shannon July 2, 2012 at 8:26 am

    yay for you! It is hard getting to that point but everyone does get there!

  3. 3 Renee Hicks July 2, 2012 at 8:56 am

    My favorite line: Psychiatric Ward. Round room. Padded walls.

    Sometimes it just be’s like dat! LOL

    To be honest…I’m not sure which end of the spectrum I fell in, but there were times where I would just walk away and cry. Perfectly normal.

    But I wouldn’t change things for the world! I love my twins and love being their mom!

  4. 4 Cindy July 2, 2012 at 11:16 am

    I am betting most new moms are with you, to one degree or another. I think that’s totally normal. My own mother still isn’t comfortable with newborns, and she had two kids of her own. And I don’t know who these “natural moms” are of whom you speak (because I’m not sure I’ve ever met one), but I’d be completely surprised if even they never had at least one day (or hour or something) when they were at their wits’ end, if only from lack of sleep and hormone craziness. 😉 Nice post, and I’m glad you’re able to relax, enjoy, and take what comes.

  5. 5 Mrs Loquacious July 2, 2012 at 5:55 pm

    Loved this post. I was and am not a “natural” mom either; some things are instinctive but I often wonder how some first-time mommas make it seem so easy, because it was never easy for us from day 1, and it’s still not always easy. But it is getting better, and the more I know about my little girl, the better I am able to read her cues and figure out what she wants. 🙂

  6. 6 mom July 3, 2012 at 7:13 am

    I don’t think anyone is a natural mom in the beginning…Guess what I was scared of you too. The enormity of the responsibility was daunting. Knowing I alone was responsible for your life. I would watch you sleep wondering what to do next. Then I realized something, instead of me living in your world, I brought you into mine. Then life became exciting exploring the world as the travel guide. Showing you everything for the first time -life became an adventure.

  7. 7 jobo July 3, 2012 at 2:42 pm

    I love this! I am so proud of you and really hope I can approach motherhood as realistically as you have and do so well. Seriously. Well done my dear.

  8. 8 Sam July 5, 2012 at 7:11 pm

    Been nearly four years now, and I’m still figuring things out about how to be a Dad, so I wouldn’t worry too much about how ‘naturally’ anything is or isn’t.

    Also “the bubble” is a really useful thing. We needed it for our second, since as she was a perfectly normal trouble free bebe there were a bunch of newborn things we had never done with the first (who spent about the first week of her life in an induced post-op coma in the ICU, with another two weeks before we got her home). You aren’t supposed to be a noob second time around but in some ways we were 🙂


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