7th Circle of Hell

My daughter is now 5 weeks old. She is the most beautiful and amazing thing that could have ever happened to me. I love her with all of my heart! I am prefacing my post with these statements so that you don’t think I am unhappy about becoming a mother.

When I got pregnant and shared the news with my friends and family I received all kinds of advice, some was unsolicited. People told me how wonderful becoming a mother would be, how my life would change forever, how rewarding and blissful it would be. They also told me that it would be difficult and tiring and that there would be times when I would have no idea what I was doing. So far all of those things are true.

What they didn’t tell me and what many if the books don’t tell you is that the first couple of weeks you are home with your newborn are practically akin to being in the seventh circle of Hell.  It is just a miserable time. As a new mom you get sent home from the hospital just in time for your newborn “bundle of joy” to realize that she is no longer snug and warm inside your womb. Just in time for her to start screaming every 1 or 2 to eat or to have a diaper change. In the hospital your baby sleeps almost the entire time you are there it seems. But then you get home and all hell breaks loose. It seems like no one wants to tell you this. Are they afraid that you will suddenly change your mind about having this child? Are they concerned you might freak out? Whatever the reason, no one prepares you for the sleep deprivation, the tears, the stress, the loneliness (yes, loneliness because even though you are home with your baby all day they can’t talk back to you), the weird dreams, the forgetfulness, the confusion. They tell you it will be difficult and different but some details ahead of time would be nice. A little warning so we know what to expect.

As I said, my daughter is now 5 weeks old and she sleeps well at night so I can sleep at night, she eats less frequently and her cries are now distinguishable. I am ecstatic that we decided to have a baby but those first couple of weeks I thought I had made the worst decision of my life. Turns out I did not!

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