5 Things I Wish I Knew Before David Arrived

I’ve alluded to the challenges of the first few weeks of Davids life before. I don’t want you to think it’s all been bad. There have been great, great days (even weeks) amidst the tough ones. 

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I worked behind the chair until I was nearly 8 months pregnant. During that time I had the pleasure of chatting with a lot of my clients about motherhood, what it’s like to have a baby, etc. I always asked them to keep it real, and don’t be afraid to tell me the hard parts. 

I felt prepared for nursing. A lot of women, almost a vast majority, told me how challenging it will be. So, I was ready for the challenge. Ultimately, Justin and I decided to switch to formula and that has been the right decision based on the circumstances. I don’t suffer any guilt or feel like “less of a mom”. Maybe it’s just the way my brain is wired, but while I hoped to breastfeed David for much much longer, it simply didn’t happen. The goal was to breastfeed, and when that became unachievable, the new goal was simple: feed him. And so formula did that job for me. 

I didn’t feel prepared for the emotional roller coaster that is the first few months with a newborn. People would talk about postpartum depression, but not in detail. I do not think I truly suffered what would be categorized as PPD, but I did experience a major hormonal fluctuation that led to a lot of thoughts, feelings, and emotions. I think that’s just what comes with childbirth. Your hormones need to adjust back to “normal”.

It surprised me how quickly the weight of caring for David settled in. I think it was during the first week home from the hospital. My mom was still around helping, which was an unbelievable blessing, and I cried at the dinner table.

I didn’t know how to express what I was feeling but it was a combination of feeling overwhelmed, a little scared, and weighed down. And then I felt bad. 

I prayed so long for this baby. And some of you prayed as well, which means so much to me. It took us a little while to get pregnant with him. Why did it seem like I was feeling more stressed than happy about it?

My brain started fighting my feelings. I knew I was thankful and that I loved him. But I felt more stressed than expected.

On top of that, I felt “off”. In hindsight, I am fairly certain this was all hormones, because I feel completely different now that the fog has lifted. 

There are a few things I wish I would have known. And I think if I had even heard any of this before having David, it would have made the transition a little bit softer. 

1. You may not feel connected to your baby on a level you imagine right away. Maybe this was due to my planned c-section, or maybe it would have been like this if I had any kind of delivery. But it took a few days for it to really settle in that he was mine. I loved being pregnant. So it felt a little strange to look at my child, and miss my pregnant belly. I immediately felt like my pregnancy was over too soon and that I didn’t appreciate it as much as I should have. I know that sounds strange, but it’s just how I felt! I didn’t want to “return” David, per say, but I just had this thought of,”Oh my gosh, my pregnancy is over. What an abrupt finish!”

2. There’s a vast middle ground between perfectly normal and extreme PPD. I know women that have suffered PPD and I know women who felt totally themselves after birth. I felt like I was going to be one or the other. Instead, I fell somewhere in the middle. I experienced some stress, lots of crying, and also extreme joy. It’s best described as a hormonal roller coaster. So while I didn’t need medical assistance, I did need to talk through my emotions with my friends. I needed to be told it’s okay to feel a lot of things. And not all bad things, but just a lot of things. 

3. You won’t believe how much is involved. It really only boils down to feeding, changing, and taking a nap (especially in those first few weeks). But when you are going through it, you suddenly are watching the clock every second. Is it time to feed? How long as he been asleep? How long has he been eating on that side? How many wet diapers has he had today? When did he wake up? There’s a lot to keep track of. Apps, or the old school method of writing it down, is really all you need to do to keep a running list, but there are so many things to think about that you never thought about prior to having a baby.

4. It is vital that you communicate with your spouse. For Justin and I, it was helpful to have a “parenting method” plan before David arrived. That way, when we were having a tough time, we knew what we wanted to do instead of just throwing in the towel and giving up on the “plan”. When the emotions could have taken over, we tried really hard to think rationally and stay grounded. I made conscious efforts to point out the great things Justin was doing, and he did the same. Encouragement is crucial, especially from someone that sees you day in and day out. 

5. It get’s easier. It just does. I didn’t really believe people when they told me that at the 2 month mark. I just chalked David up to be a difficult, fussy baby. And I just figured I didn’t like motherhood as much as I thought I would. But around 11 weeks, I felt a distinct change in myself (it’s difficult to put into words) and it became much easier. His fussiness wouldn’t frustrate me as quickly. And I was able to tolerate more stress without breaking down. Around this time, David also changed. He became less of a newborn and more of a baby. He was entertained for longer on his play mat. And would watch his mobile while I folded laundry. He was a bit more interactive, and would smile. I began to enjoy motherhood, and found that I was happier in general. My mom told me that “everything changes around 3 months”, and she was right.

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David at 3.5 months

If you are pregnant, hope to be pregnant, or just had your first baby, I hope that someone told you these things. If not, maybe it will be helpful that you read them here. I also hope, truly, that it isn’t as difficult for you as it was for me. But in case it is hard, know that it gets easier. And more and more enjoyable. And you’ll suddenly find yourself in love with a tiny little human. 

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Comments (199)

  1. Posted April 2, 2014

    Hi Kate –
    I applaud you for speaking the truth about how it feels being a new mother. I have two children, 12 years apart and their experiences were night and day. My best friend just had her second baby and her experiences are much different than the first. Everyone is different… every experience is different… and all of that is normal. I too had a planned c-section and it also took me some time to feel connected to my son (my 2nd child). I had all the same feelings you described… but you were absolutely right… it does get better. Even in the darkest of moments when I felt the lowest, I just did my best to get through it and as more time passed on… it got better. Now, my son is 2 years old and life still has it’s challenges… raising a teen and a toddler is no picnic. But, one moment, one day at a time is all we can do! We are strong. We are loving. And we’re doing the best we can! THANK YOU for putting into words what so many women feel and are sometimes afraid to say outloud. Again, I applaud your courage to do so.

    Kisses for your David. And big hugs for you!

    <3 Betsy

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      Posted April 22, 2014

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  2. Posted April 2, 2014

    This is so very well stated. I’m not sure I would have listened, or at least fully enough, even if someone had given me this list. Perhaps all of the difficulties and transitions are just meant to prepare us for having responsibility for another life for the rest of our lives. I went through many of the things you described, and I even added in some major guilt about switching to formula. You know what? The moment I stopped trying to be the “mom in the books” or the “mom on Facebook” and started being the mom for my daughter, we both stressed less. We were both happier. Three months gets easier. Then six. Then nine. Then a year. It just gets better and better from here!!!

    It sounds like you are doing everything right for you, your husband, & your adorable little man!!

    • Kate says
      Posted April 2, 2014

      Yeah I don’t know if you can really grasp how emotional it is (good and difficult) until you go through it πŸ™‚

    • Posted April 2, 2014

      Jamie, this is so true. I said that to a friend – no one tells you what it’s really like…….but I don’t really think it can be communicated either. You just plod along on gut instinct in a fog for those first few weeks with the weight of the responsibility and endlessness firmly on your shoulders……until it all starts to fall into place and you realize you kinda know what you’re doing.

      Kate, you just do what’s right, no matter what it is. I have no idea how people can do two years of nursing, I started supplementing with formula and “solid” food around 5 months……it’s all about what is best for your little one……..

    • Amy says
      Posted April 2, 2014

      I agree with all of this, Jamie. It’s hard to hear the “been there, done that” moms try to explain stuff. You think, “oh, that won’t be me, etc etc etc”. It may not be exactly the same experiences for each of us, but a lot of them are the same. I also felt a TON of guilt for not being able to nurse my daughter, and then finally I realized that we were both miserable and once I let that go and remembered that she just needed to be FED and she was happy, we were both a lot less stressed. That is one of the things I try to instill in my pregnant friends…regardless of nursing or formula feeding, as long as that baby is eating, it’s ALL good!

      Kate, thank you for your wonderful words of wisdom. My baby girl is turning 6 in two days, and I think back on those first few days/weeks and felt a lot of the same things you mentioned in this post. It was just plain hard. So, thank you for talking about them and letting us all know that it’s ok to have all of those feelings.

  3. Heather says
    Posted April 2, 2014

    Everything you wrote about is so similar to me and my little girl (who is now 1!). But I totally did feel that shift around 2-3 months. Which made it so hard to go back to work. She was becoming a happier, playful baby and I had to work. I hated that part and still do! Cherish your time home with him. I know I’m not ultimately cut out for being the stay home mom, but it’s important to enjoy the time we do get with them. They grow way too fast!!

  4. Posted April 2, 2014

    Thank you so much for being real and saying what a lot of women don’t say. I had those same feelings after my first baby. I didn’t connect with my baby right away either. It doesn’t help when people are critical of what you’re feeling in my case. It doesn’t mean you love your baby any less. It just means that your body went thru a ton of changes while pregnant and now your body needs to adjust back. It’s perfectly normal. Argh. More women need to speak the truth. It’s a hard enough time as it is without feeling like a horrible person. Hugs to you Kate for keeping it real!

  5. Posted April 2, 2014

    These are all so true! Thank you for sharing. I especially agree with number 1 – no one EVER says this and I truly felt like something was wrong with me because I didn’t have this “instant connection” everyone insists they have!

  6. Posted April 2, 2014

    Thanks for being honest! This is why I’m waiting a few more years to decide if I will have kids. I know how tough it is and I don’t think a lot of people take it into consideration.

  7. Posted April 2, 2014

    I can sympathise with all that you have said… With my first I think the first 3months were a blur of settling into a routine, getting to know how to be a mum, and excepting all that comes with having a baby and taking on the role of ‘Mum’. I loved him and couldn’t get enough of him, but I was so focused on doing what was best for him that I didn’t have that ‘connection’ that so many women speak about. I do remember when it occurred though, and I hope I never forget that moment.
    And like you, I rode the waves of emotion! I have lost count of the times I sat on the floor of the shower crying for no real reason, or snapping at my husband without a ‘just’ cause and generally not being myself. It took me a while, and a lot of chatting to others to realise that what our bodies have been through is beyond anything people can comprehend and we have 9/10months of hormones exiting our bodies – so its going to be a roller coaster! What I didn’t expect was that it could go up until you get your first period (watch out for that as it’s your hormones changing again and trying to find normal after baby).

    I can say that it was much better with my second, perhaps because I was more relaxed knowing what I had to do and what could occur, but that isn’t to say I didn’t have crying episodes, mood swings and periods of extreme exhaustion! I now just have the mind-set that it is such a short time frame in which all this occurs – I need to be patient in letting my body get back to it’s ‘new’ normal and just enjoy motherhood!

    Enjoy all that is to come with having this little man in your life! Boys are great fun! (I have 2) xo

  8. Posted April 2, 2014

    I specifically remember around the four week mark with our very cranky, gassy (borderline colic, though I don’t think she was) daughter, my sister was at my house and asked me if I was enjoying being a mom. I looked at her in the eyes and said “no.” I immediately felt guilty for being honest, but the truth was I was not enjoying it. Yes, I was happy to be a mom, but no I was not enjoying the screaming and exhaustion. We dealt with 2 miscarriages before being blessed with our daughter and I affirm your feelings related to being grateful yet overwhelmed.
    Thank you for being real about new motherhood. Our beautiful daughter is 8 weeks old today and is a very happy, content baby. But I will not forget the rough start we had getting to where we are.

  9. Posted April 2, 2014

    I have 2 little girls (5 and 1) and the experience between both of them couldn’t have been any different. My first was a breeze (in retrospect of course) while my second has been the most challenging thing in my life for the last 19 months. We experienced colic with her, and I don’t know that any amount of talking to or warnings would have suck in until you are thrown into the firepit and expected to survive.
    Our third is 5 weeks from making her debut and I can only pray that she is even half as easy as the first, but prepare for colic again. Yikes

  10. Posted April 2, 2014

    Oh yes with my first I was definitely “off” emotionally. I think there is a whole range of PPD. Mine didn’t last long, but now I can completely sympathize with women who have extreme symptoms of PPD. I cried a lot with my first, I think a lot of it was due to the c-section, and maybe just being a first time mom. You cannot truly ever prepare for motherhood. However with my son and his vbac, I didn’t have any PPD symptoms at all. Very good post Kate!

  11. Camille says
    Posted April 2, 2014

    I didn’t have my son until in my mid 30s. I was thrilled with him, but felt that weightiness that you mention. At first I thought, ‘well, this is because I am putting down roots.’ But then I realized I’d already put down roots when I got married a few years before. The weightiness I felt was because I ‘bore fruit’. It’s life changing! I would watch a much younger gal in my neighborhood take to motherhood like a fish to water. Mine was more gradual. I also wasn’t able to breastfeed for long and felt no guilt giving my son formula. He thrived. As he got older, I saw his personality was such that, if there was a choice, he preferred the easiest way of doing things. Since the bottle was easier than the breast for him, I attribute the quick switch to formula as his choice and not something I really had any say-so in! Lol

  12. Posted April 2, 2014

    Thank you so much for your honesty. I never imagined what an emotional roller coaster this postpartum stage would be. I am currently 4 weeks postpartum and there have been many, many wonderful moments, but also some difficult moments, as well. You cannot quite imagine what this stage will be like until you bring your newborn home, as much as you prepare. It is most helpful to know that what you go through is relatively normal from an emotional standpoint and if it doesn’t feel so normal, fortunately there is now so much more information about postpartum depression than there was even 10 or 20 years ago. It is a steep learning curve, but so helpful to have the support from family and friends to fall on when those more difficult moments creep up.

  13. C says
    Posted April 2, 2014

    Thanks for sharing your heart and experience. So many of these things were true of me after our 3rd was born, but i dont think that i would have really “gotten” it untill i actually experienced it. Our 3rd was, and is, SOOOO different from our 1st 2. Every season has changes and every child is different, im finally feeling like i can “handle” all 3 kids together on outings ect without feeling totally overwhelmed and he will soon be 4! Enjoy your little buddy, they grow up so fast πŸ˜‰

  14. Amelia says
    Posted April 2, 2014

    This was totally me. Thank you for sharing!

  15. Posted April 2, 2014

    Greetings from a Danish fan πŸ™‚
    I’m really happy to read this, because I’m pregnant with our first child, and I’m already an emotional mess after the first 12 weeks.
    I never dreamt about being a mum but soon turning 31, my hubby has been mentally preparing me for about a year, and the decision was now surprisingly easy to make: I DO want a baby.
    I’ve been following you for about a year, and I feel I’ve learned from you along the way.
    Love that you also tell about the struggles and tough times.
    Most maternity books only paint the “perfect” picture, so no wonder it’s scary to feel the opposite at times.
    Look forward to following your wonderful stories as my belly grows bigger πŸ™‚

  16. Unknown says
    Posted April 2, 2014

    Exactly all of this! My little one just turned 13 weeks old and it’s now just starting to fall into place. I feel like myself again and we have a loose routine. I cry less, he cries less, and my husband worries about me less. Thanks for sharing.

  17. Alisa says
    Posted April 2, 2014

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts! I followed your pregnancy right with you and had my first child about 6 weeks after you had David. I was (and continue to be) encouraged by his progress and have seen the same changes in my daughter, just a little after I read them about your David πŸ™‚ It is definitely hard, but NOTHING beats the feeling I get when she smiles up at me with a huge, toothless grin! It’s a daily decision to choose joy and thanksgiving!

  18. Amber says
    Posted April 2, 2014

    I guess that’s why they say anything worth having, takes a lot of work. With my first I had all those issues but I just had my second and I was better prepared for all those things and it has been a hundred times easier. So just know that when you get ready for number 2!

  19. Amber says
    Posted April 2, 2014

    I guess that’s why they say anything worth having, takes a lot of work. With my first I had all those issues but I just had my second and I was better prepared for all those things and it has been a hundred times easier. So just know that when you get ready for number 2!

  20. Stacy says
    Posted April 2, 2014

    Thanks for sharing and being so honest!

  21. Posted April 2, 2014

    This is so well done, Kate! Thank you for your transparency. I feel like I need to bookmark this and read it when I’m expecting my next child! I was in such a unique position for the first few months of my son’s life that I barely even remember anything other than keeping him on his schedule. As I was caring for my very sick mother and then planning her funeral I wasn’t able to focus on him much and I have guilt for that but I also see the blessing in being forced to go through the motions with out many emotions or time to spare. I know we’ve talked about all of this but after reading this post this morning I’m looking at it as I never have: preparing myself for how different having another little baby will be! I’m sure I’ll be thankful that I considered that I could possibly have these experiences with the second since that will most likely me a more “normal” circumstance!

  22. Posted April 2, 2014

    While I am sorry that you had a difficult first few weeks, I am very thankful that you decided to share your insight. Being a mother is tough, no matter what and many new moms simply aren’t prepared for how hard it really might be. It does get easier but there are days when EVERY new mom feels like she is drowning. It is true what they say…it really is the most challenging and most rewarding job one can ever do. I am so glad things are better for you!

  23. Posted April 2, 2014

    Thank you for writing this! I just had my baby 3 weeks ago and its been hard! I needed to see this πŸ™‚ very encouraging!

  24. Posted April 2, 2014

    I had what my doctor called baby blues…. I remember the first 3 weeks in total panic mode/stressed/sad. My husband and mom were with me for only the 1st week and they had to go back to work. I will never forget mid week of our daughters 2nd week of life. I cried at 2 am in the morning telling my husband that I didn’t think having a baby was a good idea. Of course he went into panic mode also and told me we couldnt take her back. lol Of course after a few weeks everything fell into a new “normal”. Now i giggle at my thoughts and would not trade motherhood for the world

  25. Tina says
    Posted April 2, 2014

    What a great post, thank you SO much for sharing your thoughts and experiences:)

  26. Posted April 2, 2014

    One of my friends recently had a baby and he told me that the first three months are sometimes called the “fourth trimester”. He said that babies aren’t really ready to be out in the world but they’ve had to evolutionarily or their heads would be too big!!

  27. Posted April 2, 2014

    Thank you for sharing. I felt all these same things. I just had baby #2 and I was prepared for all these things that I wasn’t with the first. I remember wanting my first son to grow up fast so he could “tell” me what he wanted. With my daughter, I want her to stay a newborn forever because I know how fast they grow and it’s so bittersweet.

  28. Posted April 2, 2014

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  29. Posted April 2, 2014

    Very, very well said. There are so many things that come with having a baby. And it’s just that. ALL THE THINGS. Literally. And trust me when I say it keeps getting better and better. Mine is almost 10 months and I am loving every second πŸ™‚

  30. Posted April 2, 2014


    Kate, read this….
    I’m a Dutch Mum of 5, many things you wright about today are for sure the things I tell my younger friends before they deliver of when they just have. Tears are normal in the weeks after one has delivered a new human being into this world. But I must say…. I delivered 3 of them by birth and two by adoption, the last one is even more intens and more difficult. I was so happy I already was a mother before our china-girls came!! It made me more aware of the fact that I know I was a good mum… they both gave it a extra dimension. I would never be the mum I am today if they weren’t here with us!!
    I read your blog every day…. and though you are at the beginning… there a more hills to climbe along the way!! And what started as a Hair-thing is now my daily vitamine, it is like a mirror and I walk 15 years further along the same road!!! Take care!!

  31. october says
    Posted April 2, 2014

    Even I’m not a mum and I don’t have the idea to be soon, I love to read your tips about your experiences with your beautiful baby. Thanks for continue with your blog. By the way, so lovely the first photo!!!

  32. R2P2 says
    Posted April 2, 2014

    Thanks for sharing so openly about the ups and the downs! I definitely had the standard “baby blues” the first couple weeks, and just from that I feel for those who suffer PPD. I felt like a crazy person but somehow couldn’t stop myself from crying or panicking. I’m so grateful my mom and husband were so supportive. A good support system is priceless. I think one thing that hit me hard was the realization that I don’t have weekends anymore, not in the sense I used to. No more staying up late on Friday night because I’m just going to have to get up at the same time Saturday morning as I do the rest of the week! No more “I can’t wait until Saturday to get away from work.” Such a little thing but it kind of rocked my world.

  33. Posted April 2, 2014

    I definitely agree. My first 8 or so weeks after my daughter was born were HARD. I went back to work after that, which was also hard, but helpful emotionally. I think part of the reason I had difficulty with the adjustment from pregnant to baby was that I’d spent years trying for this baby & was enjoying being pregnant, then I suddenly went into labor at 37 weeks so I felt like I missed out on part of my pregnancy, the “it’s almost my due date!” “When is she going to be born?” part where I guess you’re ready to be done being pregnant & just want to meet the baby. Looking at my now 3 year old who decided to climb into my bed, I wouldn’t change it. But I wish I could’ve been less tearful, less lost, & could’ve had a good group of friends to talk to while going through it.

  34. Posted April 2, 2014

    What a great, honest account of what it is like being a new mom. I have a 4 year old and an 18 month old and I tell everyone who asks what the first 12 weeks are like. An emotional rollercoaster that is HARD going at times but as you have put it so well, gets so much better with every day that passes. So glad you’re out the other sid and are enjoying David more and more, he’s adorable.

  35. Posted April 2, 2014

    I have a 10 week old son (and a 4.5 year old son, too). We tried for over 2 years to get pregnant with baby #2 – it was something we prayed about, fought about, but knew we wanted so bad. My son was born in January, and while I wasn’t suffering from PPD, in those first few weeks I did have moments when I wondered why we rocked the boat – I felt instantly guilty for thinking it and I knew I didn’t mean it. It takes time adjusting to a new baby and your new “life”! Now at 10 weeks old, things are getting easier and feel less like an interruption and more like it was meant to be. We have formula fed babies too. The first time around, I felt guilty for having so much trouble breastfeeding. The second time around, I gave it a good try again but ultimately knew it wasn’t for me again. Thanks for sharing your feelings! A lot of times women feel like they have to be supermom and don’t express how they really feel!

  36. Kristin says
    Posted April 2, 2014

    It is so wonderful of you to share this. I am sure a lot of new mothers find this post very comforting. I really appreciate your “no beating around the bush” style of writing. Your little boy is positively gorgeous!

  37. Missa says
    Posted April 2, 2014

    Thank you for sharing! This was 100% my experience as well. Sometimes, in the midst of it, you don’t think anyone else is or has gone thru what you are…but a lot of Moms can relate (myself included). God Bless your family =)

  38. Posted April 2, 2014

    I teach a prenatal class, and while I was being trained they don’t talk much about the postpartum period. After talking with my friends on FB I realized that was something really important to include. It’s har to talk about because you don’t hvae the words, but I just want them to know that they’re NORMAL. I wrote a blog post called the Ode to the New Mom…. it expresses a lot of my feelings. πŸ™‚ First time’s the worst (although my postpartum anxiety was the highest with my 3rd) http://www.pullingcurls.com/2011/01/ode-to-new-mom.html . I love your youtube videos, btw. They’ve always taken me out of my mom slump and cheered me a bit. πŸ™‚

  39. Ashley says
    Posted April 2, 2014

    This was great. I had my baby girl a month ago and I can completely relate to what you went through. I work at a restaurant and just had a couple (with a 9 month old) tell me that same thing – it gets better. Best advice I’ve ever heard! It especially helps when you’re in the midst of an another soiled diaper, a 3rd outfit change, or another night the baby won’t latch. Thank you so much for your kind words and you’re truly amazing blog!

  40. Ashley says
    Posted April 2, 2014

    This was great. I had my baby girl a month ago and I can completely relate to what you went through. I work at a restaurant and just had a couple (with a 9 month old) tell me that same thing – it gets better. Best advice I’ve ever heard! It especially helps when you’re in the midst of an another soiled diaper, a 3rd outfit change, or another night the baby won’t latch. Thank you so much for your kind words and you’re truly amazing blog!

  41. Posted April 2, 2014

    Thank you for this amazing post! My daughter is 7 weeks old and I have felt all of those things that you have talked about. It’s so nice to know other new moms feel the same way and are willing to share so we don’t feel alone! Mothering is a definite joy but can be a struggle as well. Thanks for your honesty!

  42. Ashley says
    Posted April 2, 2014

    Thank you for your post. My daughter will be 3.5 months this Saturday, and I can totally relate to what you said. Before I got pregnant I struggled with infertility. After she was born I believe I got a mild case of PPD and anxiety. I felt guilty that my sweet baby was all that I could ever ask for and more, but I wasn’t really enjoying being a mom. I even questioned whether or not motherhood was for me. However, it did get better for both of us. She got less fussy, and even when she does, I feel like I can take care of her instead of wanting to run away. Also our close bond took some time to develop, is wasn’t instantaneous as I’d imagined.

    It was hard for me to share these feelings because the idea of acknowledging them might make me less of mother, even though I always loved my child. Once I was able to open up to some of my mom friends, I realized my experience was normal.

    Again, thank you for your honesty. I love seeing David as he is close in age with my own daughter it’s fun to see someone else go through similar stages and feelings.

  43. Posted April 2, 2014

    Thank you so much for this post! I’ve experience a wide range of emotions and all 3 of my births were totally different within that range (the emotions became more difficult and extreme with each baby). Many of my friends are new moms who say they are totally blindsided by the emotional roller-coaster and sense a level of guilt or shame. That tells me I need to be more honest, with love, grace and encouragement with my new mom friends. This is totally normal and brighter days are ahead! More importantly God created us for this task and for OUR babies so He will sustain us and He gave us Christ through which all things are possible! Thank you again for bringing this to the light as I know there are so many reading your blog that will go through this one day.

  44. Carrie says
    Posted April 2, 2014

    My son is 14 years old now. I remember these feeling all too well. I felt guilty for some time, especially when my friends were having their own children and would ask my advice. At the time I did not know most new Moms felt that way, which led to so much anxiety and doubt. The new moms and moms to be that read your blog are so blessed to have the voice of your journey. We can all look at David and know you are a wonderful Mother. It shines through in him. Keep up the good work!

  45. Posted April 2, 2014

    Hi Kate – This was a wonderful post. I think you mention some topics here that are often overlooked or just not discussed. I think one that may be worth adding to #2 is a scary thing called PMDD. I didn’t even know it existed until well after my son was born. Apparently, PMDD can be triggered by the massive amount of hormonal changes we undergo during and after pregnancy.

    I think a lot of new Mom’s would agree with me when I say that your body is never quite the same after having had a baby. And in my case, my mind as well.

    It’s so important to look after ourselves especially at a time when our focus is on everyone else.

    Hope you have a great week. xx

    PS – If you have time, and find the opportunity, would you please consider doing something nice for a stranger today? I’m hoping to encourage a mini Pay it Forward movement today. :o) #mypayitforward

    V @ Life+1
    New Post: Pay it Forward

  46. Posted April 2, 2014

    This is such a great post. I expected motherhood to be so hard, which I think actually made it a little easier ha ha! Still though, my baby is 10 weeks and I am still sometimes overwhelmed by how much he relies on me and only me. It’s a hard adjustment no matter how prepared you are!

  47. LPatter says
    Posted April 2, 2014

    This is great! Sharing with my sister who is due any day. My experience with my son, #1, was SO similar to yours. I think the range of PPD/hormonal roller coaster is SO important to talk about – I too did not need meds and resolved with time, but really felt “taken for a ride” by my hormones/emotions.

    I experienced the “shifts” in 3s – 3 weeks, 6 weeks, 3 months, and 6 months as major shifts in the ease of mothering and the adjustments.

    Go easy on yourself, take breaks, talk to someone, and be happy you are meeting basic (survival!) needs each day are the best pieces of advice – but a well rounded out commentary like this one can be so helpful – so glad you took the time! Sounds like you are a great mom, Kate!!!

    God bless you each!

  48. Kaolee says
    Posted April 2, 2014

    Thanks for this! I’m expecting my first in July and this is perfect!!!

  49. Posted April 2, 2014

    This is AWESOME thank you so much Kate!!! We are trying for one now – so this is super helpful.

  50. Posted April 2, 2014

    This comment has been removed by the author.

    • Posted April 2, 2014

      Thank you for your honesty! I had very similar feelings about bonding with my first baby, as well as experiencing difficulty with breast feeding. Love your blog!

  51. Posted April 2, 2014

    I always try to make a point and tell new parents the “it gets easier” part. When you have your first you have no farm of reference and you are so depleted all the time, it feels like nothing will ever change. But I remember how much relief I felt when a friend assured me she felt the same way and it really truly does get easier! I also had pretty strong “baby blues” after my daughter (second birth) was born. It only lasted a couple of weeks, but the hormones were out of control! It seemed like clock work that every day from 4-7 I would be irrationally down and overwhelmed and not feel anything like myself. It passed pretty quickly and I was thankful for that!

  52. Posted April 2, 2014

    We are expecting our first baby in July and to be honest, what you wrote freaks me out but at the same time, like you said, I’d rather hear it now than later. I think you and I may have similar personalities and I am a very chill, go with the flow person so I envision myself easing into motherhood with a newborn easily but I am sure it won’t be the case. Thank you for your honesty!

  53. Posted April 2, 2014

    Such a cute post! xx

    BerrieBlogs| {beauty blog}

  54. Lindsey says
    Posted April 2, 2014

    I am so glad I came across your blog. I unfollowed a lot of motherhood blogs because the writing wasn’t real. It was to get a laugh and readership. Thank you for being yourself and honest! As a mom of two boys, I wish people would speak up more about the “fourth trimester.” I longed for the birth I didn’t get with my first, then it was reflux, then it was milk protein sensitivity, etc. On top of that I was also working full-time and getting my master’s degree. Sometimes I feel robbed of his babyhood because I shut myself down to cope and get through it all. I call my second one my healing baby. Everything went as planned. I had experience. It was easy! I can’t say I favor him, but there is a special bond.

    I will also add that every baby is different, which is a good thing! I keeps us on our toes. Connor breastfed until 5 months and then I gave up the milk-free diet and gave him very expensive hypoallergenic formula. I was fine with it. Colin breastfed just shortly after his first birthday. But, there were so many times I wanted to quit. All I wanted was to have my body back to myself. Selfish? Sure. But, personal space! I needed mine back! Oh, and the tie down of the schedule. I no longer had any frozen and had to be home for feedings. It really put a wrench in plans at times, like wanted to go to an early morning class at a gym.

    Also, continue to talk with your husband about how you want to raise David. Age three is a monster. Why God gave three-year-olds rationalizing skills I will never know. It is mentally exhausting and a tag team is definitely needed. Each week our approach changes because it has to. There is always some new issue that needs to be addressed with words and/or discipline. I could tell my husband was butting heads with my oldest last night. After giving the youngest a bath, I knew neither my husband nor my oldest would survive through a shower. I handed the youngest off and said get him dressed and I would take care of the oldest. As much as I was done for the day parenting, I knew I had a little more patience left so everyone would survive those last 10 minutes of the day.

    It is exhausting. And rewarding. and always changing. But? I wouldn’t trade it for anything. In the last 3.5 years of being a mother, I have seen myself stretch and mature and change I didn’t know possible.

    Keep up the good work! I can tell you are and will continue to be a fantastic mother. David and your husband are both lucky to have you.

  55. Posted April 2, 2014

    Thank you so much for writing this. I am a new mom with a six week old and so much of what you wrote is what I am currently experiencing. Having my son has been the most amazing thing but I do have the moments of stress, missing being pregnant, etc. I feel like I could have written #2, it is exactly how I feel some days. There is so much talk about PPD (which there should be) but not nearly enough about that middle ground of being hormonal, emotional, and just not feeling yourself. Thank you again, David is beautiful and I love your blog!!

  56. Marissa says
    Posted April 2, 2014

    I really appreciate your honesty in writing this post! I know it isn’t always easy to open up. But it means a lot to your readers…especially us mamas. I felt the SAME way after having my daughter except the symptoms seemed to linger a little longer. I would share how I was feeling with other moms and felt like they couldn’t relate, which would make me feel even more embarrassed and guilty. It was awful! I am so encouraged by this post and all the comments. It’s nice to know that I am not alone, and actually pretty normal πŸ™‚ Thanks again!

  57. Posted April 2, 2014

    I am so glad you wrote this. This is exactly how I felt afterwards (and sometimes still…my daughter is 7 months). I really wish someone would have told me that it was normal and even that it was okay to feel the way I did. The guilt compounded the issue and I think I had really just needed some encouragement. I think people like to skim over the emotional issues because “women are built for having babies,” but no matter how what, it is a traumatic experience/life change in the best and worst ways.

  58. Mrs. G says
    Posted April 2, 2014

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  59. Vanessa says
    Posted April 2, 2014

    A previous poster touched on something briefly about “being the mom you see on Facebook.” And I think that is so true. I have three kids. I worked outside of the home before our 3rd was born, but now I am a SAHM. Some days are great, wonderful. And some days just really suck. And I think we get this idea in our heads about what motherhood is going to be like from see movies, tv, social media. And very often that is just a pretty picture and no where close to reality. Everyone posts photos on Facebook of their beautiful, well-behaved children doing such-and-such and even though you know people just post the good stuff on there, it’s hard not to start comparing or think you are doing something wrong. It’s worth it to remind yourself that you are doing the best job you can every day.


  60. Mrs. G says
    Posted April 2, 2014

    Thank you so much for this! πŸ™‚

  61. Francis says
    Posted April 2, 2014

    I also think it can be challenging for a first time mother when you are not around children on a regular basis. I had the chance when my sister, who has 4 beautiful daughters, had struggles with her twins, who where first, I experienced all the trails and tribulations while caring for them and she was a newly married and young so those combined made her first experience difficult. I would go to her house after work and stay until midnight to help out. So in sense I was able to experience childhood through my sister and I feel that when I am blessed to have children I feel I will had enough experience. By being around my nieces I have gained so much knowledge on caring and rearing a child, that in itself is immeasurable.

  62. Posted April 2, 2014

    This was a great post! I wish I would have seen something like this before I had my daughter (18 months ago). There are so many irrational emotions during those first few weeks (months for me) and I was definitely not prepared for that. I wish I would have been easier on myself for having so many emotions but I felt like there was something wrong. Turns out, it was just hormones! Maybe they should warn you in the hospital that you will be crazy for a while but it’s totally normal! haha.

  63. Tamara says
    Posted April 2, 2014

    This is so good. And, I would add, that most of this also applies to adoptive parenting of a newborn. Even though my hormones weren’t involved, I felt many of the same emotions. We had longed and prayed for a baby for so long. when he finally arrived, my first thought was, “What have we done?” When he had colic for the first 2 months, I thought we were never going to sleep again! A friend told me it would get better in 3 months or so. I thought 3 months sounded like an eternity. Changing formulas remedied his colic, and he was sleeping through the night by the beginning of his 3rd month.

    Now he’s 15 months old. Wow…I just thought there was a lot involved during the bottle feeding stage! I adore this little man and enjoy every minute with him, but whew, that kid is busy! The constant need for vigilance (keeping him out of trouble) wears me down, but I’ve learned that each stage lasts for just a blink. On the front side, it seems like it will never end, but on the back side you find yourself wishing for more time in the previous stage! Count those moments and treasure them. The days are long but the years are short!

  64. Katie says
    Posted April 2, 2014

    Kate, I really love these honest posts on motherhood. I still have 3 months to go until our little boy gets here, but I’m saving this post to read again when he is here and I might be struggling a bit. After a miscarriage and trying for a bit to get pregnant with this little guy, I think I’m already putting pressure on myself to love every minute of motherhood…when I know how unrealistic that is!

  65. Posted April 2, 2014

    This was a great post! So honest and true! I can relate to the missing the pregnancy part so much. I tell my friends that motherhood has a lot of mourning to it. First you learn the sex of the baby, and you mourn the fact you’re not having a girl or not having a boy. Then you mourn the pregnancy, then the newborn stage, then the fact they’re not a baby anymore… Every new little change brings feelings of excitement with feelings of an ending. Motherhood cuts you deep. It’s amazing and beautiful.

  66. Posted April 2, 2014

    Everything you have expressed in this post and in previous posts about motherhood are so on point! I had all these feelings and more! I now have three children with whom I love with all my heart but I must be honest and tell you that the challenges will always be there. They will just be different challenges. I can remember when all we could think about was how happy we would be when they were out of diapers, off formula, started talking/walking, began Kindergarten, etc. because we felt that once each of those milestones were behind us things would be easier. Unfortunately, what we have found is as soon as you get “over” one thing, there is a whole slew of obstacles bigger and harder than those. Our children are now 17, 16 and 11 and some days I simply wonder what in the world we were thinking. Don’t get me wrong, there have been joyous times but there’s been and continue to be mounds of heartaches as well. And in general, we have “good boys”…(referring mainly here to the teenagers). As I am seeing and hearing so many of our friends who have teens who are into ALL the wrong things and their struggles are much different than ours but none the less the struggles are still there for us. Don’t know why but I just felt compelled to say all this. Love you and loving reading your blog! BTW…David is simply presh!!!

  67. HLane says
    Posted April 2, 2014

    This is really good to put a post like this for people.
    I really like that you noted the difficulties of the hormonal changes as well as when you got to be feeling yourself.

    It took me a bit longer to maybe associate myself as a Mom and then feel that I got this; it’s not so bad.
    My first child had colic and that thankfully goes away around 3 mos as well. You are truly right – 3 months is a whole different baby.
    You are doing great! πŸ™‚

  68. Posted April 2, 2014

    So well written Kate! I experienced all these feelings with my first and then again with my second (born this past October). The best way I can describe it after going through it twice is that the first three months feel like the day after Christmas πŸ™‚ You’re excited for you new gift, but at the same time your sad the holiday is over. I’m so glad I had wonderful family and friends to tell me it was okay to feel that way. There are a ton of us that fall into “the middle” Not elated, but not PPD. Thanks for sharing.

    • Posted April 2, 2014

      Ohmygoodness, my typos! Proof that placenta brain is permanent.

  69. Jen says
    Posted April 2, 2014

    Thanks so much for sharing this. Totally agree after having had twin girls in October. Its been the hardest but best months of my life. πŸ™‚

  70. Posted April 2, 2014

    I am so glad you wrote this post… I wish I had read this when I was pregnant .being a mother of a 1.5 year old son, I can tell you point 2 is still where I am – somewhere in the middle ground… no one tells you that, you know… that you are there somewhere in between your pre-pregnancy normal state and PPD.

  71. Marissa says
    Posted April 2, 2014

    Thanks for sharing – it’s genius! I’m not sure what it is about that 3 month mark, but it IS magical, isn’t it? My little girl is 21 months old now and it gets more fun and more challenging everyday. It’s so funny – once you get into a good routine, things change with their needs, your needs, etc. and then you find yourself working out a new plan to get through each day. It’s so much more fun and so much more work than I ever imagined. I don’t think you can fully comprehend the range of emotions until your’e in the midst of it. Thanks again for sharing!

  72. Posted April 2, 2014

    I tell new moms “if you can make it through the first three months, you can make it through anything.” The truth is that it is hard to tell a first time mom how hard it will be because there is something in the pregnant brain that just won’t buy it. I think it is a denial that gets you through a pregnancy. (joking, sort of). Moms who have been there are also hesitant to rain on a first time mom’s parade by telling them how hard it can be, for a few reasons. One is that you don’t want to rain on her parade. Another is that she probably won’t listen, because she has all of her mommy plans laid out. So warnings usually get misinterpreted as snarky comments instead of coming across as helpful. Unless it was a close friend, telling a woman who is 9 months pregnant that her perfect parenting plan is going to fall apart once in a while usually does not end well. The good thing is that this parenting thing ebbs and flows. It will get easier, and then they start walking and talking and it gets harder again. Then you get another break as they become more independent and self sufficient. I think that’s how God intended it – start you off with a bang, so that you can see immediately that you really can handle the tough stuff while being delusional and sleep deprived. And you did handle it. Now you know your strength which can give you a boost throughout the next stages of parenting. It gets a bit easier now, before the terrible twos/threes set in. Give yourself a big pat on the back, through a crazy, emotional, sometimes depressing time, you managed to take care of a human being. That is something to be proud of.

  73. Posted April 2, 2014

    I am not pregnant, not hoping to get pregnant soon, and haven’t had any children, but I absolutely loved reading this. I hope to have kids one day in the future and it can be a little scary to think about. Your words will definitely be remembered when the time comes. Thank you!

  74. Posted April 2, 2014

    Hi Kate. I am a Psychiatrist with a special interest in pregnancy and Psychiatry and also a mom of 2 kids (8 and 5yrs old). What you experienced sounds much more like baby blues related to the hormonal shifts. PPD is a severe form of depression and definitely needs medical attention. I had exactly the same experience with both my kids and can re-assure you it only gets better from here. Even with your 2nd child you know much better what to expect and that also helps. I can see you are experiencing Motherhood fully as it should be- as a blessing and gift from God. Enjoy…soon he will be 18 and out of your home :-). Regards Melissa

  75. Jill B says
    Posted April 2, 2014

    I’m here to tell you that in my experience it really gets good around 8-9 months. Two long, predictable naps per day and baby gets much more flexible. Good luck!

  76. Austynk says
    Posted April 2, 2014

    so true! i cried each and every night for the first 6 weeks. sometimes because i was happy (… i just love her so much) sometimes because i was overwhelmed and irrational (… i don’t want to go to sleep, she’ll be bigger when we wake up). but it definitely go easier! now i have a beautiful 17 month old and it all feels so natural now, its amazing how your tolerance for stress, lack of sleep, messes and fussiness increases exponentially as your baby grows πŸ™‚

  77. Evi says
    Posted April 2, 2014

    Hi Kate, I live halfway around the world (in Belgium) and I recognize everything you write about. My son Emil was born december 17th and the first 6 weeks were a rollercoaster of emotions. The first few weeks I didn’t feel that overwhelming feeling a mother has for her child (and that I have too now that he is older) and it surprised me a lot. It scared me too and even gave me panic attacks. Being pregnant was so great that I mourned about it when it was over. I blogged about this too (in Dutch) because I believe it is still taboe too talk about. Except, there is nothing wrong about it! It is great being a mom now, and we should be greatful that those scary feelings didn’t last longer. Best of luck to you and David!

  78. Posted April 2, 2014

    Great post…very true to your feelings and so many of us that have experienced the same issues. It took my husband and I almost 3 years to get pregnant with our oldest. So, when we tried for our second, we were so surprised how quickly I got pregnant. Down side? I had a planned C-section with our oldest but was able to delivery with our youngest but the down side was I couldn’t urinate on my own for over 3 months. Caring for a new born and a 3 year old was the hardest emotional part of my life. My husband had to work but I was blessed with a wonderful mother in law who lived next door. Without her, it would of been much harder. I was able to finally get things in order by the time our youngest was 3 months old. Telling your true feelings and asking for help is the best advise I can give. No one really knows how each pregnancy or the after will be like.

    Your a great mom Katie….being honest with your blog friends helps those who might be trying or thinking of trying. Take Care

  79. Posted April 2, 2014

    Thank you so much for this post. My baby is 2.5 weeks old now and I’m experiencing all of this crazy emotion and huge life change as we speak. I had no idea motherhood would be so difficult and wouldn’t be the ‘best time of my life’. Thank you for the hope that it will get better. πŸ™‚

  80. Theresa says
    Posted April 2, 2014

    Kate, I loved your post today! I am so glad things are getting better. But I agree with so much of what you said. I actually started reading your blog when my son was 1 month old and I was up all night nursing etc. You brought light when I was worn out and exhausted πŸ™‚ It has been so fun to follow along with your life this last year and half.

    I keep imaging the day when I walk into a Raleigh Dunkin Donuts (obviously the best place to go) and I run into you πŸ™‚

  81. Posted April 2, 2014

    Kate, thank you so much for writing this and keeping it real. I am on the verge of finally thinking about starting a family with my husband and this honestly helped more than words can say. I will definitely be pinning this for later! ox Thank you!

  82. Posted April 2, 2014

    Great post, Kate! I would call my sister all the time with questions and frustrations and she would always tell me to wait until his ” fourth trimester” was over. What a difference that 3 month mark makes! Your a great mom and David sure is a cutie.

  83. Posted April 2, 2014

    Loved reading this post. My first is due the end of July and it’s hard to know what to expect! I feel like be way too optimistic can lead to more disappointment when the time comes.

  84. Posted April 2, 2014

    My second daughter just turned one and it was more difficult with the second than the first. What you wrote is exactly how I felt. I’ve found that its allowed me to connect with new moms on a new level because I can encourage them that they too will be ok in the end. It only gets better and better from here. Fog still comes, but its easier to see through it and move past it. Thanks for your honesty. My girlfriends and I talk about you like you are part of our lives. “Did you see what Kate said today”, and “Could David be any cuter”, and we know exactly who we are referring too. Thanks for your blog and for being so relatable.

  85. Posted April 2, 2014

    So wonderful for you to share your feelings with others. David is a beautiful baby…

  86. Posted April 2, 2014

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  87. Posted April 2, 2014

    Kate, I wish there would have been a post similar to this one before I had my son last spring. It also took us a year to get pregnant with our son and the guilt I felt in the weeks after his birth was awful. I went through many of the emotions and moments you talked about. A friend recommended we watch this video “Happiest Baby on the Block”. I laughed when she told me about it in my pregnancy and never paid attention. That was until my husband and I reached our breaking point when our son was 6 weeks old. We thought it couldn’t make things worse so we watched it. This 15-20 minute video was life changing. It covers simple concepts that you know as a parent, but there is a method to the madness. We gave the different techniques a try and to our shock and amazement… It worked! I realize that your son is a little bit older than newborn right now, but I wanted to share this little gem with you for him or your next child. Thank you for sharing your life with all of us. God bless!

  88. Lisa says
    Posted April 2, 2014

    Thanks for sharing! I’m due in 4-5 weeks (so excited and so ready!!!), but there is that vast unknown that I’m a little nervous to face. Thanks for helping make it a little less unknown.

  89. Lisa says
    Posted April 2, 2014

    Thank you so much for sharing this. I just had my second son in June. I also have a son who is 4. I thought it might be easier, given I had already done it. NOPE. I distinctly remember holding my newborn while looking at my older son’s toys and bawling my eyes out because I was convinced he would think we pushed him to the side for the new baby.
    Your mom is right – it DOES get easier at the 3 month mark! And it just keeps getting easier. Thanks for such an encouraging post about the truths of motherhood!

  90. Posted April 2, 2014

    I had a similar experience. In fact, I would say that most first-time moms have something very similar. I’m VERY candid with expecting moms now. People always say, ‘oh the newborn phase is the best!” I now say, “The first three months really kinda of suck. But they get better. Every day gets easier in a lot of ways. Just stick with it. You will sleep again. You will feel like yourself again.

    It’s just so stinking hard! And I was 100% connected/bonded/smitten with my baby girl when she was born. And I still cried and wondered what we had done. I wrote similar blog.


  91. Posted April 2, 2014

    Thank you so much for this! It is terrible to have these feelings, also to feel like you are possibly the only one feeling it, and that there is something wrong with you! My son is now almost 3 and I am struggling with the decision to have another. Knowing how tough it was with him, and having a husband who works 14+ hour days, plus weekend, means I will be doing it alone again. The first 6 months were very tough!
    Thank you again!

    • Posted April 2, 2014

      Meredith, I felt the same way. My husband is gone most of the time with work. I went back and forth, but having another child was not what I felt was right for me, and I am so happy with my decision. I am thrilled with my son who is now 7, I have no regrets, and am happy that I can be the best mom to my one child. It is hard when even though you are married you are doing it alone. -Meredith

    • Posted April 3, 2014

      Thank you Meredith! I believe I am leaning more towards that direction. I LOVE the sweet relationship my son and I have now. I know that having another will definitely put a strain on that. In fact, I hadn’t thought of having another in a very long time, and was completely happy living day to day with him. I only thought of having another baby after all my friends were doing it, and the age difference seemed to be creeping up there. Still thinking and deciding and may just decide to wait another year and see how I feel.
      Thank you for sharing your story and helping to ease my mind : )

  92. Ashley says
    Posted April 2, 2014

    Again, thank you for your honesty. I experienced those same postpartum feelings – so much crying, confusion, and guilt. It has gotten easier now that he is almost 5 months old and I feel much more like myself again. Those hormones are something else!

  93. Melissa says
    Posted April 2, 2014

    I think a lot more people have difficulty feeling “attached” to their babies right after birth than admit it. I sure did! With my first baby I felt like there must be something desperately wrong with me that I didn’t feel that way. I knew logically that I loved my baby and would have moments of that glowing feeling. But at the same time I felt overwhelmed with the change that it brought to my life. All of a sudden EVERYTHING revolves around this little tiny creature whose only form of expression is crying. Screaming, often. It’s stressful! And not the gratifying experience you expected it to be. Add to that the fluctuating hormones (and I had PPD as well with both babies) and every little thing that happens feels a lot worse. But when I was going through my experience I found that other women didn’t talk about that, so I didn’t know who to talk to. I felt very alone. In the four years since I had my first baby it seems like there has been a shift in openness about how hard having a newborn can be, and a lot more acceptance of it. Which is a relief.

  94. Jordan says
    Posted April 2, 2014

    I 100% agree with everything you said, especially that whole range of emotions under PPD. I distinctly remember feeling so overwhelmed feeling like I didn’t know ANYTHING, yet everyone is looking to ME to know what to do as the mother of this baby! The exhaustion, hormonal fluctuations from joy to fear, and lack of confidence really made me weary… I also remember my mom telling me how something does change at the 3-month mark, which I feel like is about when our son Joshua finally started responding and smiling back at us. Thankfully God transforms those helpless newborns into babies able to interact us new moms at just the moment we feel like we can’t take anymore stress πŸ™‚ Keep at it, Kate! He’s beautiful!

  95. Jessica says
    Posted April 2, 2014

    Beautiful, well written, and true. I was blessed to have a close friend share honestly with me, and I am so thankful that she did. If she hadn’t, I know I would have felt much more guilty for how I felt those first few weeks. (I had post-partum depression). Thanks for sharing your heart in the hope of helping other women. Well Done.

  96. Posted April 2, 2014

    Thank you for this post. I am currently 4 weeks away from having my first child and I am beyond nervous. This post was so raw and comforting!

  97. Posted April 2, 2014

    I felt the same way about bonding with your baby. It took a little while for me to believe he was mine and that he was going home with me. When #2 came along, the moment he was put in my arms he was mine. Love this post!!!

  98. Tracy says
    Posted April 2, 2014

    and then they grow up……..wish I would have known about all steps along the way πŸ™‚ especially the teenaged years!

  99. Melissa says
    Posted April 2, 2014

    This post, oh this post, thank you for writing it, today! I am 4 weeks postpartum tomorrow. Your thoughts are EXACTLY my thoughts. The thought of how hard you prayed for this beautiful baby, yet the stress of a baby…you should be thankful, the stress of a baby…the turmoil!

    The section on a c-section…spot on! I felt the same. I missed being pregnant and cried over it quite a bit the first two weeks. I didn’t want him to grow up. I missed him inside me. Hard to explain but I wasn’t prepared to have such a difficulty getting him to come even though I knew a c-section was possible.

    And finally, waiting til he is older…I don’t want him to grow older yet I am looking forward to more sleep (hopefully) and more fun with him in the coming weeks.

    Thank you for telling it how it is/was for you. Like others saids, no one can prepare you for this journey of motherhood no matter how much they say it is hard, etc.

  100. VT says
    Posted April 2, 2014

    Thank you for posting this. I had a similar experience, and I make sure to tell every soon-to-be-mom my story. I had PPD, but mine came in the form of extreme anxiety that made me worry about everything little thing, (common sense was out the window) and I could not sleep. My perfect daughter started sleeping through the night at around 8 weeks, and I still could not sleep, which did not help my frame of mind. I finally went to my doctor when my daughter was 5 months old and got put on Citolopram (safe while breastfeeding). It made a HUGE difference, and I was a new person. I was able to sleep and the anxiety went away. I regret not going to the doctor sooner because I feel like I missed out on a lot those first 5 months. My advice is to not be afraid of medication when it comes to PPD. Your hormones are crazy at first, but they should level out… but if they don’t it’s okay to get help! :o)

  101. Suzzy says
    Posted April 2, 2014

    I don’t want this to sound stalkerish, but I love you! I know we don’t know each other, on the street you would walk right past me without a second glance because we’ve never met, but I love that you are so open and honest. You have shared with your readers some of the most intimate parts of your life and I respect you for that. I admire you and your husband. You shared with us how difficult it was for ya’ll when trying for David. I cried tears of joy when ya’ll told us you were going to be parents. I love that you turn to God and to each other for support. You could have easily decided that maybe being parents wasn’t something that was meant for ya’ll, trust me, my husband and I live with that decision every day, but ya’ll persisted and now have the most beautiful little angel. So again, thank you so much for being so open, honest and candid about parenthood and life in general. Again, not to sound stalkerish, but I like to think we are besties that just haven’t met yet πŸ™‚

  102. Mia says
    Posted April 2, 2014

    Thank you for sharing and being honest about what it can be like to be a new mother. My oldest is 5.5 years old and everything you described about how you have been feeling was me to a T 5.5 years ago. I felt disconnect from my son (he was in NICU for two days so he came home 1 day after me-but nothing serious) and just the weight of knowing that I was responsible for another human being was so much. I had issues with BF and I felt disconnected to my husband. I always said that post partum hormones have nothing on pregnancy hormones. I would cry out of nowhere and some of it was happiness and some of it was just hormones. But then, like you said the fog lifted about 2-3 months into it and he is the greatest little guy and I miss him being little; a lot, and my experience with my daughter, who will be 3 in a few weeks, was completely different. As you know it will get easier.

  103. Posted April 2, 2014

    I quickly bonded with my baby, but I REALLY remember being super sad that I wasn’t still pregnant! I had a C-Section too – maybe that had something to do with that.

  104. Posted April 2, 2014

    Yes, yes, yes. These are the exact words I needed to hear today! I am due mid-July and as we are getting closer and closer to his due date, I have been feeling more and more overwhelmed. At just the “weight” of being a mother. There’s so many things to think about before he gets here, since when he does arrive I really don’t have a lot of time to think about them! We are registered for classes at the hospital we are delivering at, so I’m hoping those will help out my anxiety as well. Thank you for sharing your truth! This was so helpful!

  105. *E* says
    Posted April 2, 2014

    I think what it boils down to is that NONE of us were ever *really* prepared for motherhood before it happened. You can plan and make decisions about how you will parent till you are blue in the face, but until your baby is here, you just don’t know what to expect. I think your sentiments are PERFECT. People warn you about the breastfeed difficulties and hormonal fluctuations, but you don’t really get it until you actually experience them. My pregnant-soon-to-be-first-time mom friends ask me for advice all the time, and I just tell it to them straight. You’re exhausted, your “plans” go right out the window, and for a while you may not know what the heck you’ve gotten yourself into. And then things start to click into place, and it makes sense again. And I tell them to do what feels right for them, and that I am here for them if they feel overwhelmed or anxious–it took a few months on Zoloft to get my anxieties under control, so I’ve been on the desperate side of things. And yes, it DOES get better.

  106. Posted April 2, 2014

    Thank you for sharing your experience. During my pregnancy, I focused so much on the birth part that I wasn’t really prepared for the emotional roller coaster that happens after. No one told me about that! It’s something I now discuss with friends, etc and once I started talking about it, I realized how normal it was an how many of my friends experienced it as well.

    My new matra is “This too shall pass.” It reminds me that the very bad days won’t always be very bad, but it also reminds me to stay in the moment of the good.

  107. Posted April 2, 2014

    Thank you for this post πŸ™‚ I am just about 3 months in to my first pregnancy and have been searching for honest posts and articles on how things might be. Having struggled with anxiety and depression in the past, PPD is a real concern for me. Thanks for sharing your experience. It is nice to read about someone who has struggled a little through the first few months but made it through. Nice to hear it does get better πŸ™‚

  108. Jackie says
    Posted April 2, 2014

    Thanks for sharing. I’m pregnant with our first and being the type of person who doesn’t cope well with big changes anyway, I am always on the look out for honest posts on what to expect. As a mom who will be going back to work, its especially nice to hear that eventually we will find a new normal.

  109. Posted April 2, 2014

    I can totally relate to this, my first child rocked the foundation of who I was on the deepest level! Once the child is born, I am not sure anyone can really explain what it is like with the emotions and things that are changing. It gets easier, but also harder in different ways. I do agree with previous people, my second child was easier. I knew what to expect the second time. Even though he is definitely a different child. I already went from Me to we. I am so glad that you have people around that you could talk to. Thank you for sharing, I wish I would’ve had this talk or read before mine were born.

  110. Posted April 2, 2014

    I wish someone would have talked to me about the “baby blues.” That’s what I think the middle ground is between normal and PPD. I wasn’t expecting to feel the way I did. I was a little different from you, in that, I felt an extreme attachment to my daughter and cried so much over her. Over people, other than myself, holding her, touching her, looking at her. Over her getting an hour, let alone, a day older. I didn’t want anyone coming to the hospital to see us, I hated visitors there and at our home. And then I was sad for absolutely no reason. I definitely can identify that feeling as depression now. Towards afternoon I’d start to get scared because I knew that around dinnertime the dark cloud would come over me and I’d be so extremely depressed and sad that all I could do was cry and I had no reason for it. I just knew I felt very bad and I didn’t want to any more. Thankfully after about 2 weeks I came out of my fog and didn’t need to seek any medical help. I so wish someone would have told me about this.

  111. Posted April 2, 2014

    I have a 3 year old son, and I had horrible anxiety when he was born, I didn’t sleep, didn’t really eat very well, and in general was just on edge, I didn’t know it until it lifted. And the day it lifted I will never forget, I was snapped out of it, forcefully. At four weeks my son started to vomit extremely forcefully, they call it projectile vomiting, he would vomit 4-6 feet, yes feet. Out of a 10 pound kid that is pretty good range. I was told by my mother inlaw who had breastfed her children it was something I had eaten, onions, or spicy food or whatever, so I felt horrible, just sick about it, adding to my already growing anxiety problem. Then the vomiting happened again and it got worse and he did it for the second time in his crib and he was gagging, I was thankful for the anxiety then, I wasn’t sleeping so I heard it. It was 5 in the morning, I cleaned him up, got my self dressed and held him and waited until the pediatricians office opened at 8. I was seen by our peditrician, he said well it is one of three things, acid reflux, something else, or pyloric stenosis. I asked what pyloric was, he said that pyloric was very rare and unlikely that my son had it (unless you have genetic markers for it, which I would find out later from my mother inlaw it runs in their family). I asked well how do they check for it? Ultrasound. Do it I said. He was hesitant, sort of argued with me. I said look this is my child, my insurance and my bill. Order the test or I will find someone that will. I went home with an appointment later in the day for the ultrasound. I went to the appointment. the Radiologist (i will never forget this) came in when the sonographer had the ultrasound picture up and said oh yup that is pyloric, you will be heading to Children’s Hospital (three hour drive from home) for surgery and walked back out. Left me with tears streaming down my face and no idea what his odds were or anything. I packed up my baby, went back to the pediatricains office and called my husband and said please come down here our son has to have surgery, he tried to soothe me and say oh you don’t know that, it will be okay I am sure, and that is when the fog went away, and I came back, I said I do know that! he just told me and I am not crazy or didn’t eat something or anything else stupid!! our son is sick and he needs this operation and now, so get your butt down here now! My husband said he hung up the phone with mixed emotion, his son was sick and needed to have surgery, but his wife was back in full colors! That day I had to put on my ‘mommy pants’ and fight for my son, to get him what he needed and that is what tipped the scale, I had to be strong and I had to do what needed to be done because no one else was going to do it. We spent the next three days in the hospital on the surgery floor and I realized then and there that I was a mom for sure. I was cut out for it.

  112. Posted April 2, 2014

    Thanks so much for this – I’m pregnant with my first which happen to be fraternal twins. I’m not a really emotional person and I’m worried with the stress of twins that I’ll just break down. I love reading about the expectations that we have versus reality of everything and how things do change and adjust as time goes on. I just imagine myself with hair pulled out and two screaming infants for the months following their births.

    ashley @ sunnysideshlee.com

  113. Posted April 2, 2014

    I have two daughters, 3 years and 3.5 months. When I let go of my expectations of what “it” should be like, it was much easier to enjoy my second pregnancy and daughter’s first few months. Thank you so much for this blog. It’s nice to know that you are not alone and your feelings are your feelings and that is just fine πŸ™‚ Overall, my experiences with both pregnancies and births were positive. There were definitely ups and downs, but again, once I let go of what I expected things to be and feel like, everything became much easier to deal with it. Also, it is such a short period of time in the grand scheme of things, that as difficult as it may be in the moment, it is one moment that will shortly pass and move on to something new.

  114. Posted April 2, 2014

    Kate – I am a long time reader of yours and I appreciate this blog post. I am currently almost 24 weeks pregnant and it seems that everything I read makes me feel like I am destined to fail. Reading this gives me hope, and I appreciate how real you are with everything. I look forward to looking back at this and saying, “Wow! Kate was soooo right!” Thank you for your blog.

  115. Kelly says
    Posted April 2, 2014

    emotional. YES! I literally cried when my mother in law flew home after spending two weeks taking care of me and family after giving birth! Crazy to think i would cry about my mother in law leaving…so you KNOW I was emotional. anyway thanks for this candid look into your life. and believe me…you are definitely NOT ALONE!

  116. Ashlee says
    Posted April 2, 2014

    This is a beautifully written post. I had several moments of that knowing head nod remembering my struggles in early motherhood. I think you touched wonderfully on some of the hardest parts in the early days. I too was an emotional mess after my first baby, I had trouble confiding in anyone about it (I was the first among my friends to have a baby) and felt like my husband was part of the problem at the time so I didn’t want to talk to him, and nursing! I was not prepared for immense challenges that came with nursing. I had this idea that it was going to be so natural and easy. I wish someone would have told me just how hard it is. I wanted to throw in the towel and stomp on it! Thank you for sharing your story!

  117. Posted April 2, 2014

    This is such a wonderful and well thought through and honest post and I am glad that you wrote it! I remember those early days, and thinking “WTH did we get ourselves into!?” and mourning my child-free life and then feeling guilty about it. My little guy just turned a year old on Saturday, and I will tell you that it gets even BETTER from where you’re at – he’s the light of my life, I cannot imagine a time when I didn’t get to see him light up and smile at me, and I love him more than words can express. The newborn days were very hard and not much fun for me — a lot of people love that phase and that’s great, but I felt like I was defective because I was just crabby and annoyed a lot of the time. I loved HIM but I didn’t LOVE motherhood for a while. Now I feel like he’s a giant piece of my heart . Good for you for ceasing breastfeeding when it no longer was the right choice for your family. I had a similar experience. We are all happier for it. It is a wonderful thing… until it isn’t! πŸ™‚

  118. Kirsten says
    Posted April 2, 2014

    Thank you for sharing this. I know it will help others when mommyhood isn’t a super joyful time at the beginning. I wish I would have known that it was ok to feel stressed and overwhelmed at the beginning. I hid my feelings. I felt the exact same way as you with my first born. I was most ashamed about not truly bonding with my baby. It actually took over 2 years to truly connect with her. Now, she is almost 13 and we are connected at a truly deeper level than I ever imagined. My second child was a planned C-section, but I bonded with him immediately. It was so vastly different than the first time around. I don’t know what changed. Maybe my expectations. Maybe my hormones. Maybe the fact that every child is different. I don’t know. But I now know that I wouldn’t have changed a thing.

  119. Posted April 2, 2014

    I was so humbled by my second child. He had very bad acid refluxnd colic for 11 months, didn’t nap until 10 months and first slept through the night at a year. It was important for me not to have expectations from him or myself. I would pray and think…when he is 6 months he will…when he learns to crawl, when I’m done breast feeding or when he starts solids, etc. but then I had to let it all go and give it all up to God. It was so difficult to care for myself and my 1.5 year old but I was reminded that I am small an God is big everyday.

  120. Posted April 2, 2014

    Thank you for speaking the truth. You have a beautiful child and a beautiful family. I do not have children yet, but your thoughts mean a lot to me as someone who is thinking about having children. God bless you and your family.

  121. Posted April 2, 2014

    I have two boys and I wish someone had told me these things. I felt so guilty and like a terrible mother feeling the things you discuss here.
    I was madly in love with them but there were days on that emotional rollercoaster that I just wanted to scream and/or cry.
    Thank you for such an honest and real post! While I am now far past these feelings, know that this will help someone.
    You are amazing Kate! Keep up the great work. Lots of hugs to David!

  122. Posted April 2, 2014

    I always enjoy your honesty but I have to say I didn’t get the vibe from you that things were difficult, not in the general sense anyway. I’ve been impressed (ok jealous) at how easily you have seemed to transition in almost all the areas of motherhood (at least the ones you wrote about). I had baby #3 last Aug. and you have done remarkably well. I am a mess comparatively. When you were pregnant and coming up with all your plans I kept thinking “good luck sister, it;’s great to plan but baby’s don’t follow them” and then you had David and things (from here) seem to have gone well in general. I would NEVER have traveled alone with an infant, multiple times within a year let alone within the first 3 months. Be very proud of where you are. It’s great to acknowledge the good with the bad because that will never go away, they are intertwined for our own good. Keep it up Mama!

  123. Posted April 2, 2014

    I appreciate your honesty and I believe the PPD comment will probably be very helpful to me as I embark on the motherhood journey in early July! Glad things have gotten better for you!

  124. SalBug says
    Posted April 2, 2014

    My husband and I adopted a newborn and all I felt was pure joy and an immediate connection with him – – even though he wasn’t biologically ours. Since I didn’t have the transition from being pregnant to not, nor the hormonal shift that goes along with that, I was my normal self who suddenly had a newborn baby in my life. Yes, I did get tired from the sleepless nights, and experienced all of the frustrations a new mom has about how/when/where/who/why – – but not having to fight those hormones at the same time made it much easier for me, I have no doubt. Glad to know you’ve come out of the fog!

  125. Posted April 2, 2014

    I remember after i had my first son and we came home from the hospital, i got a follow-up phone call from the nurse asking how things were going and if i was feeling sad or if i cried. I lied to her and told her everything was fine. I was too embarrassed to admit that i was feeling sad, overwhelmed, and that my nipples were on fire.
    I thought i was supposed to feel joy, happy, be chipper and that breastfeeding was piece of cake.
    However, i must say, after having my second son i did not feel any of those things. Probably because i was too busy dealing with a toddler and a newborn that i simply did not have time to do anything else. Ha! In all honestly, second pregnancy/delivery/post-partum was much, much easier and i feel guilty saying that i enjoyed my second son as a newborn more than my firstborn.

  126. JFunk says
    Posted April 2, 2014

    Thank you, thank you, thank you for this post, Kate. This was a raw and needed must read for me, as I’m waiting the arrival of our first child at 40 weeks and 1 day today! I have appreciated my close friends and family for NOT sugar coating those first few weeks/months with a newborn and telling me what to really expect. It makes me nervous for the hormonal “fall out” but also helps me knowing I’m not alone in the journey either. I thoroughly enjoy reading and following your blog!

  127. Posted April 2, 2014

    Thank you for sharing the reality of new motherhood. When I had my first daughter 21 years ago (hard to believe it’s been that long!), women didn’t really talk about these challenges to mothers-to-be or new moms. After giving birth, I felt all the things you expressed and more. I thought I would experience bliss but instead I felt that something was wrong with me. Once I discovered I wasn’t the only one who felt that way, it was such a relief.

    I’ve always been a big believer that information is power and not something to be feared. Sharing your experiences will give another mom the strength to get through another day and know her feelings and emotions are actually pretty normal. Brava Kate!

  128. lyeng11 says
    Posted April 2, 2014

    Thank you for that wonderful post. I originally started following you because of your great hair posts, but I LOVE all the posts, especially after your new son. It is refreshing to hear an honest account of what you went thru.

    I felt very similar feelings with my own son. We always wanted a big family and had no illusions that it would be easy. I wasn’t prepared for the fact that I didn’t really enjoy being a mom until the 18 month mark. We had special circumstances (he is autistic) that made caring for him difficult, but that was not easy to admit, even to myself. Not many people could understand what we were going thru, and it was bit overwhelming at first. When we started getting special services to help with his communication and movement, it made all the difference in the world. I am thankful that we got the help he/we needed. I am it is also hard to admit, but I am thankful we were blessed with only one. He knew we would need ALL our time, energy and faith to raise him into the healthy, happy guy.

    Thank you again. I look forward to reading more from you πŸ™‚ And GOOD luck with your handsome son.

  129. Posted April 2, 2014

    I’m not a mom but your post was truly inspiring!! Thank you for being so real and down-to-earth!! πŸ™‚

  130. Posted April 2, 2014

    My advice for new Moms is to TRUST your own instincts. They are there, often clouded in anxiety, but they are there.

  131. Sage says
    Posted April 2, 2014

    Such good writing and inspiration. I truly look up to you Kate!


  132. Posted April 2, 2014

    I was very encouraged by this post, thank you so much for sharing! My son is now 4.5 months and let me tell you, I could have written the EXACT SAME POST a month ago. I went through the exact same fellings, emotions, ups and down, frustrations, anxieties that you described. I tell people, “I had NO idea” what is was like to be a new mom. I was feeling as if anyone else could have been a better mom to my son because I had no idea what I was doing.
    It wasn’t until I realized by the Grace of God, that I alone was incapable. Of anything. Apart from God. That He made me capable, of everything (being a good mom) and He gave me great peace through Jeremiah 1:5 knowing that He knew my son, and He knew me. And he was given to me for a specific purpose. That I was the best mom for him.

    Anyways, thanks so much for your boldness in sharing your journey!

  133. KG says
    Posted April 2, 2014

    Hi Kate! This was a great post! As a mom of a 1 year old, I am constantly thinking about my expectations for motherhood and how reality differed – both in positive and negative ways. I wanted to add something that I also wished I knew – the first year is NOT a linear upward trajectory. My experience was really similar to yours – at about 3 months, I felt so much better, more practiced, more calm, and just really into being a mom. Then, there was a sharp dip at about 4-6 months when my daughter’s sleep got worse – I was totally unprepared to feel just as emotional and stressed as I did in the beginning. If this is the way it happens for you – BE ENCOURAGED! It is just a phase – even if it feels like you’ll never regain the ground you lost. The first year is a lot of ups and downs…with a slow upward trend πŸ™‚ Sometimes it gets a lot worse for a bit, but in the end, it really does continue to get better and better.

  134. Carla says
    Posted April 2, 2014

    This is so true… when i went through it (my twins were born via emergency c-section) and i couldn’t see them for two days because i was very sick. Had to leave them behind because they weren’t ready to come home and when i arrived at home, i found that my house had been broken into and they made out with all of my jewelry and wedding/engagement rings. I cried a lot and had a difficult time determining if it was hormonal or just a result of all the crazy things that happened so abruptly. When they came home, it took major adjustment… but it’s true what you said… i feel like you eventually get into a routine and feel more secure about it all. Kind of like, OK i got this! Motherhood is not easy… but the bond you grow with your baby(ies) is an incredible. I’m finding that as much as i loved the baby stage and the cute things they did, i love that they’re a little older and we can do fun things together. Enjoy your baby… he is absolute perfection! Thanks for sharing your story Kate… i think it’s so beneficial to so many!

  135. Posted April 2, 2014

    Hi kate,
    Thank you for this wonderful blog. I have a 14 week old baby girl. I am So glad that I wasn’t the only one who felt this way. Others around around me just made it seem So easy for them and I was struggling to be happy. I am happy and love my daughter more and more each day. The first few days I also felt So overwhelmed and kinda mourned first my pregnancy. I knew Abby was here but it just wouldn’t register that she is mine and I need to be here for her. My husband was here for me and I also reached out to a local Support group. I felt silly for feeling that way and felt like I had failed motherhood.. especially when I saw other mom’s smiling and talked about how happy they were. Then one day I snapped out of it. I was missing the beautiful days of my little girls life and told myself it will get better. It has and she has changed So much…she has changed me So much too. Once I started to feel better my lactation consultant told me pumping and then bottle feeding wasn’t technically breast feeding and I felt bad that I wasn’t doing it the “right” way. But Abby is happy no matter what what I chose to feed her. I’m So happy for you and your family and thank you for sharing these details and personal obstacles with us.

  136. Posted April 2, 2014

    It’s like you took the words right out of my mouth. My husband and I welcomed our first child, a son, on Valentine’s Day. We too struggled to get pregnant for over a year, had one miscarriage, and turned to fertility treatments to conceive. This baby was very much wanted and a gift from above. However, I found myself struggling with the weight of another tiny human being completely depending on me for everything. Breastfeeding is harder than I ever could have imagined. My emotions are all over the place. And then the guilt of feeling all this… Well it’s enough to make a new mom break down daily. I’m so relieved to hear I’m not alone. Bless you Kate! And thank you for speaking the words so many of us were thinking and needed to hear aloud!

  137. Posted April 2, 2014

    Thank you so much for being so open and honest and posting this. I think it is so important for us women to have an open and honest dialogue about everything we go through. Information like this out there will make it easier for the next person going through it. Sometimes we don’t want to think about or talk about the not so pretty parts of life, but it is these parts that make us who we are, make us stronger, and make us better. As someone who doesn’t have kids yet, thank you so much for your honesty. For some reason I feel that when it’s my (our) time for kids, my journey may be similar. Just a feeling I have based on the person I am and some of the ways I know I deal with things (especially if sleep deprived and having set expectations). Thank you.

  138. Posted April 2, 2014

    I’m sitting here reading this while watching my ten month old work through what is supposed his nap time on the video monitor πŸ™‚ It does get easier, but there are also new challenges that come with milestones that make the old ones ‘easier’ if that makes sense, ha!

  139. Posted April 3, 2014

    When I was pregnant, I had an image in my head of my baby- who he was/what he looked like…and I loved him already. When my son (Noah) was born, he was different from what I had imagined. It’s almost like I had to go through a grieving period for the imaginary son that I carried for nine months. After a few weeks, I got to know my real son and fell in love with him. I think this happens for many women, and the hormones certainly don’t help. Yes, you will have new challenges with David, but my son is 5 now and such a joy and I can say that it has not at any moment been as difficult as it was those first few weeks. Even during the “terrible twos” when he was averaging time out about 7 times/day. πŸ™‚

  140. Anna says
    Posted April 3, 2014

    Thank you! I am due with my first (a boy!) in May. I have read your blog for about two years and I can’t tell you how wonderful it has been to read about your personal experience with your pregnancy and the life-change of having your first child. Thank you so much for sharing with us!

  141. Posted April 3, 2014

    This post was spot-on. I am the proud mother of 3 children… Ages 3, 2, and 1. Seriously. My first baby came with such a feeling of responsibility and pressure to be an amazing mother.. And each subsequent child has brought the same feelings, and it has required time to really become acquainted and grow yo love them But thankfully, we as mothers do settle in to our role and it becomes something beautiful. Incredibly difficult, true. But the best things in life take work, I think.

  142. Posted April 3, 2014

    Hi Kate. Have you ever read anything by Penelope Leech. She is a lovely British author that my own mother read to me while I had PPD. She read me ” Your Baby and Child ” while my sister did my toes. I remember feeling like I would never feel normal again. But this author has this wonderful way if helping us see the process from the baby’s perspective. Suddenly the frustration turns to compassion and confusion becomes a deeper understanding of what the world must look like to the little swaddled, blinking, mute ( or squalling)little person in your arms. It have me a window back into happiness and normalcy. It also talks about the ages and stages all throughout the stages of growth all the way to age 5. Very helpful.

  143. Posted April 3, 2014

    PS Please excuse my typos, this word box is being a little quirky.

  144. Posted April 3, 2014

    I love your honesty! I just shared this with a friend…I have a 5 week old and have had ups & downs, and thankfully have really connected with him and I keep asking myself when I’m going to have the blues yet but haven’t! But I think it happens to a lot of people…I love your blog–you’re so cute!!!

  145. Posted April 3, 2014

    Wow. Thank you for your honesty. You son is just so adorable by the way!

  146. Lindsey says
    Posted April 3, 2014

    Haha! I agree with EVERYTHING you said here. I had my daughter Noelle on Dec 12, 2013.. and the last three months have been a whirlwind. She is so different now! It is amazing.. literally the last 3-4 weeks have been a complete transformation.

    I enjoy reading your blogs because I am going through it with you! Noelle was colic and I am sooo glad it is gone. I felt the PPD type stuff. Iw asn’t officially PPD either but the hormones definitely had me “frustrated” more than usual. πŸ™‚

  147. Posted April 3, 2014

    Can I just say…I’m so thankful for you! Eight weeks ago our adoption agency called me to share the incredible news that our son would be born just two weeks later and our sweet little Ellis came home 5 weeks ago (yes, we had 3 weeks to prepare for parenthood)! Needless to say, our family has grown exactly the way God planned for it to but also so fast that I feel like my head is still spinning! So far, motherhood has been wonderful (as I dreamed) but way more difficult. I so appreciated your honest post about David’s first few weeks because I feel like we’re right in the thick of it and sometimes I feel like things will never get better. So, I just wanted to thank you for your encouragement today… it means the world to me!

  148. Posted April 3, 2014

    I can really relate to all of the things you were feeling and thinking, especially that first week. My baby girl is adopted so I couldn’t attribute my feelings to any hormone imbalances. But you just described my first week with her home, right down to my husband and I just breaking down crying. It does take time to get used to this new life with a baby. She is almost 14 months now and I still have those days, although way less often!

  149. Kyla says
    Posted April 3, 2014

    Thanks Kate – my son is a week and a half old and #1 hit the nail on the head for me. I had a really great pregnancy that I enjoyed, and as much as I wanted it to be over to meet our baby, I didn’t actually want the “being pregnant” part to finish. Then I had a ridiculously fast labour & delivery and suddenly it was over. I could barely wrap my mind around the end of the pregnancy, never mind the fact that the little person we came home with a day later was ours. Thank you for putting into words exactly how I felt and sharing so that I know I’m not the only one who didn’t have that instant bond – and it’s ok! Love to follow along as you experience some of the milestones a few months ahead of us. Best wishes to your family!

  150. Posted April 3, 2014

    I can’t tell you how great it makes me feel to know someone else went through the same things I did. My son is a year old, and looking back on the first few months, I would say that I was borderline in a depression. But reading what you wrote about crying, not knowing how to express your emotions, and just feeling overwhelmed…. that’s exactly how I felt. Thank you soooo much for sharing this.

  151. Posted April 3, 2014

    I can’t tell you how great it makes me feel to know someone else went through the same things I did. My son is a year old, and looking back on the first few months, I would say that I was borderline in a depression. But reading what you wrote about crying, not knowing how to express your emotions, and just feeling overwhelmed…. that’s exactly how I felt. Thank you soooo much for sharing this.

  152. Leanne says
    Posted April 3, 2014

    this was such a good post for new moms! I’m a more “experienced mom” now with boys 9,7,and 6… my first two children were adopted at birth…and I went through very significant post ADOPTION depression…. I battled for a year and a half and didn’t really feel “myself” until my last child, who is our natural child, was born! as a nurse, I always try to make sure my friends who are new moms know that they can experience some very dark feelings and it’s totally okay to get help for those!
    your son is just adorable… I love the pics you put on instagram, too!
    Leanne in Indiana πŸ™‚

  153. Posted April 3, 2014

    I loved this! I gave birth a couple days before you. I had a vaginal delivery. I felt the same way with my emotions… It was a totally not what I expected! And now that he’s almost 4 months old it’s so much easier! Thank you for your honesty here. I wish more moms were so honest.

  154. Posted April 3, 2014

    Great post. For me it was the lack of encouragement that got me down. My husband is a great man, but coming from a family where the “moms” just do it all, I think he forgot that this was all new to me and a bit scary at first, so the encouragement did not come forth. It was assumed that I was doing great. It’s true that your hormones are readjusting and it’s a crazy ride to be on. It wasn’t out of the ordinary to cry 3-4 times a day and tear up many more.
    The biggest truth in it all is that for most women it does get better.

  155. DB says
    Posted April 3, 2014

    Kate, you are right about this. I have two children–4 1/2 years and 12 months. It is easier the second time around–it really is. I wish most I was warned about the overwhelming hormones that you have. I felt just like you did. Children are SUCH a blessing! I can’t imagine my children not in my life. I mean, what the heck would I do?! However, with children comes A LOT of work. A lot of sacrifice of time, money, hobbies, and more. They are so worth it though. Kids don’t come with a handbook and there is only so much that you learn from others’ opinions because every kids is different. Your little boy is so adorable. So precious. I found it most difficult, like you, when they were really little. Like under 3 months. I’m glad things are better for you. Also, I’m glad you nursed. Even not as long as you wanted to. It is so special and intimate; you really can’t describe to someone who hasn’t nursed. I love it. I’m so glad I did for my kids. There is such a special connection because of it.
    Take care. And, by the way, I want to thank you for all of your hair tutorials on your blog. I have thick hair. Because of you, I have actually been able to grow it out. I do a style from your blog just about every day. Love it! Thank you so much!

  156. DB says
    Posted April 3, 2014

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  157. Posted April 3, 2014

    My daughter turns 9 next week and I let her follow you on Instagram. She loves seeing your hair & outfit posts but most of all loves seeing pics of David. Thanks for being a good example for her.
    Ps. Check out the cute Aztec blanket for David on Groopdealz.com today.

  158. Candice says
    Posted April 3, 2014

    Kate, I would describe my experience when I had my first son very similarly. Becoming a first time mom, you have no idea what it is like and frankly, everyone’s experience is a little different. My biggest surprise was not feeling an instant connection with my first son like I expected. Of course I loved him! But I didn’t feel how I thought I should feel. When I had my second son, everything was much different. Immediately following his birth, I think I felt more how I thought I should have felt with my first son-then I really felt guilty. How could I feel the connection to my second son so easily? I didn’t love him more. I think the difference is that when I had my second son, I fully understood what a privilege, joy, and challenge becoming a parent was. I knew exactly what I was in for. I appreciated his tiny little self so much more. I understood that time flies and they are only that tiny for a second and I felt so lucky to be given the chance take part in the wonderful journey of being a parent again. Thanks again for your honesty. I do wish someone had told me all of the things you mention. It would have helped a lot. What I wish someone told me before my second is some things you will be prepared for but each child is so different and unique. The challenges I had with my first were completely different with my second-I sorta felt like a first time mom again. But the basics, you will have down : )

  159. Kristi says
    Posted April 3, 2014

    I think the hardest part of becoming a parent is the “dying to yourself” bit. What I mean is that someone else’s needs become more of a priority than your own…all the time. Your need to sleep is trumped by the baby’s need to eat. Your need for alone time is trumped by the baby’s need to be comforted. And it goes on and on. Life will never be the same, but it does it get easier and you do adjust. I wrote a post too called, “What Life as a New Mom is Really Like,” because I felt like the pregnancy magazines, and your friends, don’t really tell you the inside scoop. It’s not all roses and clovers and unicorns jumping over rainbows. Becoming a parent is a great adventure, full of ups and downs and major transitions, all of which, hopefully, make you a better person in the end. Here’s the link to my humorous take on new motherhood if you’d like to read it: http://mommycribnotes.com/2010/07/what-life-as-a-new-mom-is-really-like/

  160. Posted April 3, 2014

    TRUTH! I just share this post with my friend who is 6 months pregnant with her first baby. So much good stuff packed into one post. Thanks for sharing.

  161. Posted April 3, 2014

    This post is beautifully written and so full of truth! I am Mom to an almost 12 year old and a 2 year old. My feelings after birth with both of my children was vastly different. My son was born with a unilateral complete cleft lip and palate which we knew nothing about and I was thrown into “full mother” mode right from the start. There was no time for sadness because I felt like I was fighting for his life. With my daughter, I LOVED LOVED LOVED every second after she was born (I was on bed rest for 6 months so I didn’t like being pregnant.)! The hard part with her came around 6 months when she started missing milestones. Eventually she missed every single milestone and I became depressed. I had to go on medication yet over time she caught up with her peers. Physical therapy helped. She has low muscle tone and things like running and dancing will always be hard for her. So I can relate. Thank you for talking about something so hard! Love your blog!


  162. Posted April 3, 2014

    I had my son just a few days after you had David and had the SAME experience. I just felt BAD. and everyone kept saying “you’re supposed to be HAPPY!!!!” and it just made me feel worse. Good news is it is SO much better now! We are still Breastfeeding but I think a big turning point for me was sleeping through the night. Houghton slept through at 8 weeks and those 11 hours give me time to recharge and REST. what method are you guys using? We started with Babywise and it was making me obsessive. Like you said, constantly watching the clock and calculating. Fearing him waking up early from a nap. Not good. We found Moms on Call at 8 weeks and I LOVE it! Anyway I’m glad you’re feeling better too and telling it like it is!

  163. Posted April 3, 2014

    My mom always says that she doesn’t think babies are actually ready to be out in the world until about 3 months…but then how would we get them out??? There is something to the whole “at 3 months, something changes”. I think it’s a turning point for both mom and baby sometimes. Kuddos to you for getting through it. I know from my own fussy babies that it can be super tough!!

  164. Mollie says
    Posted April 4, 2014

    Thank you for sharing such personal and intimate feelings and experiences with your readers! My first son was born a few days before yours and I felt very similar to you! The emotions I experienced were ones I had never had before and things felt very “off” for me. Around 8 weeks, things got a lot better and I was more confident in my new Mom role. Plus, all the hormonal reactions died off and I didn’t have such intense feelings anymore. Except I know that I love this little guy with my whole heart and soul!! I was able to talk to my husband about how I was feeling and that made things so much better. You are very brave to share your personal story with so many others in a public forum. Thank you so much!! I started reading your blog a month ago (mostly for the hairstyles). It’s really nice and I look forward to your new posts.

  165. Posted April 4, 2014

    You pretty much nailed it:) I felt the same feelings with my son and pretty much went through the same things you did! Those first few months are so hard and its ok…Your son is so cute and your a great mom! Thanks for writing this post for future new moms and dads.

  166. Posted April 4, 2014

    When my son was born in 1982, I was only 20 years old. My mom had passed away when I was 17 and I didn’t really have a great relationship with my mother-in-law. I was a basket case, thinking if I didn’t do everything perfect he wouldn’t survive! Now that I look back, I didn’t enjoy him at all for a long time and it makes me sad. Since then I’ve had two more children and am amazed how different everything was and it was all because I wasn’t so stressed. Now, I’m hoping for grandchildren to truly enjoy stress-free. The feelings you had are perfectly normal, at least they were for me! He’s a doll, by the way!

  167. Amy says
    Posted April 4, 2014

    Thank you for being so open & honest, Kate! You must always do what is best for you & your family! Don’t worry about what others think. You are his Mama. πŸ™‚

  168. Alisa says
    Posted April 5, 2014

    I’ve heard it referred to as the last or 4th trimester. Both you & the baby needs those 12 precious weeks. Your worlds really do change & things look better from there. Thanks for the honesty in this post. PPD isn’t given enough positive publicity. It is normal for a woman to have hormonal fluctuations & they will be different with each pregnancy & for every woman.
    Thank you!

  169. Vivian says
    Posted April 5, 2014

    I just started following your blog and I love it! thank you for being so honest! I just had my 4th baby in November and I was going through the same emotions. You let us know that we are not alone so thank you:)

  170. Posted April 5, 2014

    Thank you for writing this down. You expressed the exact feelings I was having 11 months ago after my son was born. One minute: pure joy! The next: breakdown. And it gets easier! Just listen to Mom πŸ™‚
    The most difficult part of it all is to admit that there is a “problem” and that you are not feeling the perfect-TV-Mommy-Pure-Joy-Feeling you are “supposed” to. But thats completely ok and normal!
    Thanks again for sharing!

  171. Jess says
    Posted April 6, 2014

    I couldn’t agree more with #1. A very good friend of mine told me “don’t worry if you don’t love the newborn stage, it sucks”. I remembered these words during that first week and it was a real comfort when I didn’t feel a connection right away. I remember breaking down in tears to my husband that I didn’t feel the instant love for this baby, and he looked at me and said “well, it took time for you to fall in love with me. You’ll fall in love with her too”. And of course I did a couple days later. I have said those same words to girlfriends during their pregnancies and hope that they can avoid some of those feelings, or at least know that it is normal. Thank you so much for sharing, and it’s true it does just keep getting better and better!

  172. Kim A says
    Posted April 7, 2014

    I’m pretty sure if us women knew what it was really like to raise children we’d never get pregnant! I was never a big fan of the newborn stage. My favourite age is 3. Still innocent, but interactive and so inquisitive and cute! 3 year olds are the best! I wanted to have children so bad but remember so well that feeling of “what the heck was I thinking??” after my first was born. I think most women feel that way at some point. It’s not all good, but it’s not all bad either. Life is full of good days and bad days. In the end there is nothing like the love you have for your child and the love they eventually have for you. It’s amazing. Life is good.

  173. Posted April 11, 2014

    I enjoyed reading this. My husband and I have recently started “trying” for baby #1 & I’ve been on Pinterest researching methods, tips, etc, etc. Although I’ve not lived this yet, I sense your advice is coming from a very sound place as very sound advice. You honestly have a gift it seems for stating things, whether ‘how to’ videos or experiences like this, that is so accurate & real. So I’ll take your advice is what I’m trying to say lol πŸ™‚ I can imagine I’ll probably be similar. Of course we never know right? πŸ™‚ Thanks for being real.

  174. Posted April 11, 2014

    I enjoyed reading this. My husband and I have recently started “trying” for baby #1 & I’ve been on Pinterest researching methods, tips, etc, etc. Although I’ve not lived this yet, I sense your advice is coming from a very sound place as very sound advice. You honestly have a gift it seems for stating things, whether ‘how to’ videos or experiences like this, that is so accurate & real. So I’ll take your advice is what I’m trying to say lol πŸ™‚ I can imagine I’ll probably be similar. Of course we never know right? πŸ™‚ Thanks for being real.

  175. Posted April 14, 2014

    Great post! I don’t think people talk about what its truly like being a first time mother! I’m currently at the end of a third round of IVF – fingers crossed – I’ll be a mother in no time. Thank you for your advice and honesty! Your little man is adorable x

  176. ams082 says
    Posted April 19, 2014

    It’s amazing how few people have the courage to speak these words aloud. Thank you for your strength and honesty. Our little girl was born just a few weeks before David and I completely relate. I was completely unprepared for the intensity of my hormones. I remember sitting in her room, attempting to read a book called “All The Ways I Love You” and sobbing in the process. My poor husband tried so hard to help me, but was utterly confused by my emotional outbursts. I can’t say that I understood them any better, but I felt completely ruled by them. Motherhood is the hardest and most amazing thing I’ve ever done. Reading your words reminds me that I’m not alone in this (and neither are you!).

  177. siva says
    Posted April 22, 2014

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  178. Posted May 22, 2014

    As I’m just transitioning from being a teenager to being in my early twenties, I’m thinking less about inconsequential things and more about what I want in a good boyfriend and husband, and what kind of mother I want to be (eventually, not for another few years). I’ve been following a lot of blogs where the author has just had a baby, and this post, along with some of theirs, has really opened my eyes to what being a mother is REALLY about, and even though it’s all worth it, some of the struggles that a lay person wouldn’t normally think about. Thanks for your honesty! (:

  179. Jo says
    Posted June 11, 2014

    Hi Kate,
    I have been following your blog for a couple of years now. I read your top baby things post today and then thought to look at past posts on your experience with being a new mother. This has been very helpful as I have only recently had my second child after 6 years and am finding some days are not a cheerful as others. Thankyou for sharing this with your blog followers as it has been a good reminder that this time will pass and I’m not the first nor the last mother to feel this way!

  180. cli.gs says
    Posted October 1, 2014

    I am truly grateful to the owner of this site who has shared this impressive paragraph at at this time.

  181. Kristin says
    Posted March 12, 2015

    THANK YOU for writing this. I have a 2.5 month old baby, and you have described exactly how I feel (or have felt). I read a lot of blogs and I often wonder how everyone holds it together so well right after having a baby. I really needed to hear that even though it seems like everyone else is handling motherhood so much better than I am, we are all actually going through the same thing and that it does get better.

  182. Jacques says
    Posted August 14, 2015

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  183. Lacey says
    Posted November 4, 2015

    Hi Kate,

    I’ve been following your blog for a couple of years now and truly love it. I have read many of your posts about David and Luke and always found them sweet and fun to read, but didn’t really connect until I myself became pregnant with my first child. My husband and I are expecting our precious baby on Feb. 1, 2016.
    I have shared many emotions, concerns and anxiety about all of the same things that I am sure most moms do (especially first time moms), but on top of it, my husband and I have just moved to East Africa as missionaries so we have a lot of extra things to work through that we may not have faced prior to leaving the U.S.
    I just wanted to take some time to thank you for taking the time to write this post and for the transparency you’ve displayed. I have enjoyed looking through many of your pregnancy/mommy related posts and have found a new way of connecting with your blog.
    Thanks again!

  184. Kayla says
    Posted February 3, 2016

    I am pregnant and this was so honest and enlightening. I have fears about after the baby is born and how I will feel without sleep and my normal routine. This post was so helpful. Thank you for sharing your experience!

  185. Lauren says
    Posted April 5, 2017

    I was childless and wasn’t pregnant when I initially read this post years ago, and now I am… I went back to find it and I really needed it today. My husband and I are expecting in December, a couple years before we had initially planned. Even right now, I am feeling extremely overwhelmed, like there is no way I can do this. Thank you for being such a lovely encouragement, always.

  186. Sarabeth says
    Posted August 22, 2017

    Thank you for writing this. I’m currently a week into the “4th trimester”. While I adore my child, she’s not what I expected nor is the experience of motherhood. You and the other who have commented have helped me realize I’m not alone and there is a light at the end of the tunnel. Thank you again.

  187. Drew says
    Posted January 29, 2018

    Hey girl! I know this is an older post, so hopefully you’ll still get the comment. I have been following the blog for a little while now, and I just love some of your insights. I wasn’t following the blog when you were pregnant with your first two, but I’ve loved following along this pregnancy so far! My son is currently a week and a half old (SO NEW), and he is our first. I have looked back in your archives for multiple things related to pregnancy because we had a similar experience in that it took us a little longer than expected to get pregnant (I of course had the idea that it would just happen immediately and magically), but it did finally happen after a lot of prayers. I just want you to know, though, this post is the most accurate things I wish I knew post I have found and the MOST relavant to myself. I had my husband read it because I just felt like it put my feelings into words I didn’t know how to articulate myself. It gave me such comfort to read and know that someone else felt exactly how I’m feeling right now. I had the greatest pregnancy and wasn’t exactly ready for it to be over (even though I’m so thankful he’s here and healthy and perfect!). And breastfeeding has been the largest conflict in my mind thus far. I want it to work so bad, but I’m having such trouble finding what is going to work for us (mostly for my sanity) because of the pain and finding a balance with life and work when I go back. I just really appreciate reading and hearing about your experience, and that you’re so real about it! Thank you so much for sharing your life with all of us. It’s so comforting to have someone to follow that you can relate to when it feels like no one else can at the moment.