Jacob Lund/Fotolia

7 Reasons The First 30 Days Of Motherhood Is Definitely The Hardest

By
Share
Ad failed to load

My daughter did not want to leave the cozy abode I created for her. After a week past her due date, the doctors decided it was time to induce. I spent 15 hours in labor, and almost three hours actively pushing, until I was finally able to meet my baby girl. Excited and nervous, I cradled her in my arms and promised I would never let go. Now my daughter is almost 9, and I'm still in shock that I made it through the 30 days of motherhood. Because honestly, the first month of motherhood is definitely the hardest several weeks if parenting I've ever had. To be fair, the first few weeks of motherhood isn't really parenting: it was survival.

The first month of motherhood was probably the most difficult few weeks I've had in my entire life. Sure, every parenting milestone has its own hardships, but those first few weeks are unlike any other. The constant struggle of dealing with a newborn, especially one like mine, was not only intense, but shocking. No one could have even set my expectation for what it was ultimately like. I, like most new moms, was thrown into completely unfamiliar territory of life and had to fight my way through and out.

The first 30 days was like a fight for survival, and while I definitely volunteered as tribune, I didn't feel like I was adequately prepared to go up against sleep deprivation, breastfeeding struggles, and a baby that hates sleep. If my life were a novel, I'd be the protagonist versus the world. And in the story of my life, those few months were my storm. A dark, powerful, damaging storm. Luckily, we all made it out alive, barely scathed and much stronger for it. With that in mind, and because it pays to be even slightly prepared, here's why the first 30 days of motherhood are the most difficult to endure:

Ad failed to load

Because You're Attempting To Nurse

Giphy

I don't know why the world thinks it's funny to tell mothers that breastfeeding is this super natural and easy thing to do, because in my experience that is a huge lie. The amount of pressure I put on myself to breastfeed almost sent me into a downward spiral of depression. I agonized about trying to feed my newborn, who wanted nothing to do with my breast. We were both hysterical for days until I finally gave up and started pumping.

Because You're Healing

In addition to everything you're going through emotionally, you're bleeding, sore, and cramping. Your breasts are leaking, your vagina aching, and your entire body feels like a truck ran it over. Repeatedly. The stress headaches, and exhaustion, and the sleep-deprivation all wreak havoc on the new mom within the first few weeks. Once your body heals, things do get easier. I, however, didn't take proper care of myself right away, and developed a hematoma, which slowed down my healing and made everything much more painful.

Because You Have Baby Blues

Giphy

More women are now speaking out about post baby blues (and more seriously, postpartum depression), and, ironically, that makes me really happy. Not that long ago, I had no idea those were even a "thing." I just thought I was a horrible new mom who couldn't feel happiness about being a mom. I just dismissed my feelings of pure sadness as my own damage, which is pretty hurtful to a new mom. But, yes, baby blues is something most new moms go through, thanks to the hormonal dump that happens shortly after birth. It's very common and it's very normal, but it still doesn't make the first few months any easier.

Ad failed to load

Because You're In A Bit Of Shock

No one can prepare you for motherhood. No matter how many stories you hear, no matter how many friends you have who are mothers, no matter what, you will have no idea what that first month is like until you are there. So it can all be a little bit of a shock, and definitely takes some getting use to.

Because You're Exhausted

Giphy

My daughter didn't want to sleep lying down, so either my husband or I would hold her upright on our shoulder and walk back and forth in the nursery until she'd fall asleep. Then, we'd be able to sit down and rest while she slept on us. Falling asleep wasn't an option because of constant fear of dropping the baby.

Because Everything Is Terrifying

As a new mom, you're afraid of everything. Literally everything. Driving home from the hospital I realized that I was now responsible for the life of another human being. Nothing really makes you realize that like that first drive with a newborn. You are suddenly way more aware of how horrible everyone drives and you just want to wrap your car and your baby in bubblewrap and write "fragile" on her. I was scared of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), jaundice, colic, toxic chemicals in plastic, driving, eating, and germs. Basically, I was afraid of everything.

Ad failed to load

Because You're Dealing With The Unfamiliar

Giphy

My daughter had colic and acid reflux and didn't sleep at night. I didn't know that much of what we were going through was normal. I didn't realize that jaundice was a condition that many newborns were born with and that it was easily treatable with a few sessions with the Wallaby. In fact, there was a lot I didn't know, and everything I didn't know made it that much harder to not lose my mind every step of the way. I was distraught most of the time during the first month of my daughter's life, and it definitely took a toll on my mental health.

Check out Romper's new video series, Romper's Doula Diaries:

Watch full episodes of Romper's Doula Diaries on Facebook Watch.

Ad failed to load
Must Reads

6 Early Signs You're Going To Have A Short Labor, According To Experts

As far as I'm concerned, a short labor is right up there with winning the lottery in terms of lucky life events. (And when I was actually in labor, I would absolutely have traded a bucketful of lottery winnings for a speedier birth.) While some women…
By Kelly Mullen-McWilliams

Kids Will Love These TV Shows & Movies Coming To Netflix In March

You can always count on Netflix to keep it fresh: though there are already so many movies and shows to choose from, every month there's an influx of new content to keep your entire family entertained. As February enters its final weeks, it's time to …
By Megan Walsh

Here Are 10 Ways To Boost Your Baby's Immunity To The Flu

As I'm sure you've read in the thousands upon thousands of articles written about it this winter, the flu is spreading like wildfire and it's bad. Really bad. This strand of flu is the worst we've had in a very long time and it's the most widespread,…
By Abi Berwager Schreier

Khloé Kardashian Asked Twitter About Her Bump, & Moms Totally Delivered

Like her younger sister Kylie Jenner, Khloé Kardashian managed to keep most of her pregnancy a sort-of secret. But unlike Jenner, Kardashian chose to publicly announce her pregnancy several months before the baby's due date. While there's no wrong wa…
By Sophie Hirsh

21 Moms Share The Most Surprising Part About Having A C-Section

Honestly, I don't think we, as a culture, talk about C-sections nearly enough, especially considering so many mothers experience them. And because of a number of factors, the little we do talk about it always seems to be a familiar narrative: "It's n…
By Jamie Kenney

13 Yummy Instant Pot Recipes To Make Under 30 Minutes

An Instant Pot seems to be the must-have appliance in every kitchen these days. If you are anything like me and never knew the beauty of a Instant Pot, you are about to have your life changed. Basically, you put some ingredients into a pot, set the t…
By Kristin Manna

9 Things The First Six Months Of Motherhood Will Teach You About Your Baby

Personally, the first six months of motherhood was a mixed bag. I learned some harsh lessons about myself that made taking care of my baby seem overwhelming. For example, I was clueless, and no amount of research could help me feel like anything but …
By Steph Montgomery

11 Photos You *Must* Take During The Last Days Of Your Pregnancy

During my first pregnancy, I took a photo each week to document my growing belly. I stopped around 36 weeks, though. I hated how I looked in those pictures, and didn't think I'd want to relive those moments. I was wrong. My second pregnancy was a dum…
By Steph Montgomery

6 Red Flags To Definitely Look Out For After Your Baby Falls

The first time my infant son tried to take a few steps, he tumbled and bumped his head on the coffee table. My blood turned to ice in my veins and I froze. There truly isn't anything quite like the feeling a parent gets when their little one gets hur…
By Sarah Bunton

These 9 Instant Pot Recipes Will Make Even The Pickiest Eater Happy At The Table

Like any parent, I've had my share of parenting hits and misses, but one of my favorite "wins" is my daughter's diverse palate. I don't even know if I can take credit for it, but I would like to think I had something to do with her love for lentils, …
By Caroline Shannon-Karasik

Turns Out, Kim Kardashian's Favorite Mom Products Look A Lot Like Your Own Faves

Being a mom is really hard work, especially for the first few months, and Kim Kardashian West is no different in that regard. Now the mother of three, Kardashian says that there are a few products she just can't live without when it comes to raising …
By Abi Berwager Schreier

10 Things No One Tells You About Having A Baby In Your 30s

If you're like me, you evaluate the pros and cons of any major life decision. When my husband and I were considering starting a family, I thought about my career, education, and financial stability. I wanted to know how a pregnancy and childbirth wou…
By Steph Montgomery

Soda Might Hurt Your Fertility, Study Says, & Here's What You Can Do

Who doesn't love sugary drinks? I stopped drinking soda years ago, but I still love gulping down those fancy Starbucks coffee beverages. I don't have a big sweet tooth, but I am a sucker for sugar-sweetened beverages every now-and-then. Turns out, th…
By Annamarya Scaccia

5 Red Flags Your Toddler Isn't Eating Enough

Toddlers are notoriously picky eaters, at least in my experience. You offer mashed potatoes, they want french fries. You give them crackers, they scream for chips. It's frustrating, to be sure, but it's usually their way of vying for independence. It…
By Candace Ganger

35 Moms Share The Most Disgusting Things Their Husbands Do

I'm a human being who revels in challenges. I like when people present me with one, especially if they don't think I can meet or succeed it, and I like taking a challenge on, especially if it's unexpected. So when I aimed to uncover the most disgusti…
By Jamie Kenney

How Having Kids In Your 20s Affects You Later In Life

For parents, like myself, who had kids in their 20s, there are a number of questions that come to mind. When you're deciding what your future will look like, you'll likely consider what this means for your health, career, and more down the line. Thin…
By Tessa Shull

Study: Drinking Two Glasses Of Wine A Day Is Good For Your Mind — Here's Why

There’s more scientific proof that a daily drink or two isn't necessarily a bad thing and could have a place in an overall healthy lifestyle. A new study out of the University of Rochester Medical Center (URMC) in New York found that — in mice, at le…
By Tiffany Thomas

Research Says Eating Carbs Can Lead To A Healthy Pregnancy, So Bring On The Pasta

In the world of me, no food is better than bread. I know it's supposed to be pretty terrible for you, high in calories, low in protein, and full of that modern-day demon, gluten... but guys, it's really yummy. Especially warm out of the oven, when th…
By Jen McGuire

These Photos Of Prince George Then & Now Will Give You Serious Baby Fever

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are expecting their third child in Spring 2018. With all of the excitement surrounding the new baby, it's easy to forget all of the good times that have already passed. The couple's eldest is already well into the sc…
By Azure Hall

This Is, Hands Down, The *Grossest* Thing Babies Do Inside The Womb

Your baby's life in the womb may be safe and warm, but it's also kind of grody. Seriously, the whole process of growing into a human being includes more than a few icky moments along the way. But this is the grossest thing babies do inside the womb b…
By Lindsay E. Mack