I remember those early days—the days where I spent more hours worrying than I did sleeping. The days when my thoughts were entirely based on whether or not I was going to get at least four hours of sleep at night. The days when even taking a shower felt completely overwhelming.
New moms, I'm here to tell you that it will and does get easier. I thought I would share three times when life was extremely hard for me as a new mom, and how it differs now.
Will he ever sleep through the night? This was a constant question on my mind for the first 6 months after Noah was born. I longed for sleep in the early days. I felt like I was in a brain fog and I was literally exhausted everyday for months. I remember the first night we let Noah cry it out. I had to leave the house, and go get dinner nearby with my sister. My husband stayed home with Noah and was updating me via text. I was a mess. I couldn't eat. I felt sick to my stomach. How could I let my baby cry alone in his crib? I felt like the world's worst mother. I'm here to tell you he cried for two nights and, after that, he slept through the night completely. I woke up feeling like a new person. I had no idea that letting him cry for two nights off and on would make a world of difference. I made myself physically sick letting him cry. It really wasn't easy, but I don't think he would have started sleeping through the night unless we made a change. He's still sleeping through the night at 13 months old, and Mom and Dad are getting some quality shut-eye at night. It gets easier.
Will I ever be able to breastfeed without this annoying nipple shield? Breastfeeding was rough in the beginning. I went through it all: difficulty getting Noah to latch, mastitis and pumping non-stop because I was worried my supply was going to go down. I remember crying every time I couldn't get Noah to latch without that annoying nipple shield. I just wanted to be able to effortlessly breastfeed and for it to feel natural. It was the furthest thing from natural in the beginning, but it got so much better. We ditched the nipple shield, and I successfully breastfed Noah for 14 months. If you would have told me in the beginning that I would be breastfeeding a one-year-old, I would have thought you were crazy. It gets easier.
Will I ever get anything done? I only took a month off of work after Noah was born, so it was really overwhelming when I jumped back into everything so early. I remember feeling like I was never going to be able to get anything done and like if I didn't drop Noah off at a daycare I wouldn't be able to be productive. Interestingly enough, I was able to juggle it all and I feel more productive now than when I wasn't a mom. It's like having a little one has really ignited my passions and made me realize the direction I want my career to go in. Sure most days I'm standing at the counter, making a bottle, responding to emails, and doing the dashes at the same time, but I wouldn't have it any other way. It gets easier.