I wish I had read this just before D was born. And this. There's probably multiple other entries that resonate like crazy, I just haven't gotten around to reading them yet.
While pregnant I went through and read the pregnancy archives on Dooce.com. It was nice to read a completely unadulterated, brutally honest account of what pregnancy can be like. Now I'm finding myself reading the posts from those first months after their daughter Leta was born. It's my mommy therapy.
I have discovered several mom bloggers that have become rapid favorites. Alice at finslippy always makes me laugh. Heather at Dooce has incredible stories, about parenthood and life in general (have you read the one about the raccoon in the chimney?), and an equally incredible way with words. And then there's the many other mom bloggers who have babies about the same age as D, or slightly older, with whose posts I can relate to or who show me what to look forward to in the coming months. I love these women and their blogs, because they are so refreshingly honest. Yes, there are many stories of how their children light up their lives and are such incredible creatures. They also share the moments when you kinda wish your kid had come with a money-back guarantee, and the understanding that having these moments doesn't make you a "bad mom," it in fact makes you normal.
While in the hospital Zach brought me an Elle magazine to read, and in it was this great interview with Michelle Williams. She mentioned how the only thing she really remembers about her labor with Matilda is making a pact with herself that she'd never. do this. again. Which was such a breath of fresh air after hearing all the other new celebrity moms claim that their labors had been "so mellow" and easy. Sure, your labor may have been nice and calm but I don't think it does anyone any favors to sugar coat it when it's most likely among the most painful things you'll do in your life.
I sometimes worry that I might scare pregnant friends who read my blog when I write posts about the not-so-fun parts of early motherhood. I hope not to cause too much anxiety, but at the same time I also do think it's important to tell it like it is. I had lots of experience with babies in the past and I still felt completely clueless when it came time to take D home and actually take care of him, and I think it's good to acknowledge that, yes, this sucks a lot of the time, and no, you won't get hardly any sleep, and if you're breastfeeding your boobs and nipples will hurt for at least a few weeks and you'll feel trapped at knowing that this little being depends on you (and only you) for nourishment every 2-3 hrs. But then you'll start getting the hang of it, and you'll feel more competent, and then your kid starts doing really cute stuff like kicking their legs around and smiling and making noises, and that helps carry you through the stuff that still kinda sucks, and, well, it's just all one big adventure, right? One in which some of the best help I've gotten has been reading other mom's stories of going through the same things I'm going through, or even just a few simple "Hey, I've been there, and it DOES get better!" Hopefully I can help other new moms in the same way.