March 15, 2021

What you need to stop doing to first time moms….

Let me preface this by saying; I am NOT starting mom blog. As I go about my day different things strike inspiration for me. Today as I was having a serious dose of oxytocin fill my heart & veins, as I was holding Christian, and it was this: STOP GIVING NEW MOMS ADVICE. I reflected back on the last year of my life. One year ago I was 3 months pregnant, and I can’t say I was scared. I had planned it & was prepared for this journey. This is me being raw, real, & vulnerable. If you are a judgmental bitch, leave my blog now. No hard feelings. Byyyye Felecia.

Business was always my drive in life. I felt as if a child should be an accessory to my life, it shouldn’t complete it. If I didn’t feel as if my life was complete before said child, then I had no business having one. Thats my outtake. some women dreamed of always being a mother, I dreamed of having a business. And if you don’t know this about me… Its ok. You must be new here. Welcome. Grab a drink Becky.

I had opened up to several people about my fear of having PPD (Post partum depression). I struggled majorly with anxiety, panic attacks, & severe depression following my divorce. I was really worried it would happen again. I waited until I was 34 to try to try to get pregnant, and was 35 when I delivered. I had waited a LONNNGG time compared to most of my friends. I needed to be in the right place in my life. My business was finally where I wanted it to be, I had a wonderful partner, & everything just finally clicked. I had an awesome manager, a kick ass team, & I knew in my gut it was the perfect time in my life to do this new venture. What had scared me about the possibility of having PPD was how much I truly loved being pregnant, Sorry! However, yes, I did. I LOVED IT. I was fortunate I never once threw up, I never had heart burn, & not one stretch mark.

Listen, god has to stay fair. I had my payback. Keep reading. I just loved everything about my pregnancy! I didn’t get swollen, I even wore heels at 38 weeks. Vionics heels, nonetheless, still heels! I loved the feel of him moving around inside of me, even his kicks. I just relished in every moment. I soaked it in, and savored every moment. When people would ask me questions, Im not gonna lie… I enjoyed the attention. So yeah, I was nervous about PPD. I was worried having the baby on the outside wouldn’t be as exciting as it on the inside. Maybe this sounds weird… but its how I felt. All I heard was how wonderful it is to hold the baby. And all I heard was how wonderful it was to hold the baby right away.

On and on people went…. all I heard about was this ‘Golden hour”. What is the ‘Golden Hour” ?? Apparently its this magical hour a new mom has right after birth. When they place the baby on your chest & all your troubles/worries/anxiety/everyproblemyouveeverhad melts magically away. The stars align, birds sing, harps are playing…..

Thats all I heard about for the next 6 months.

Anytime I expressed concern for PPD it was:

“Ohhh Anj!! Don’t worry one bit about that! You won’t even think about it when you hold that baby!!”

“ Once they hand you the baby & you see it be born you won’t even worry about it!!”

“Trust me, once they lay that baby on your chest everything melts away. “

Okay so what happen when you don’t get that moment.

What happens when the first time you get to hold your baby its 7 hours after they are born & they are hooked up to 13 monitors, 2 IV’S, oxygen, & a feeding tube. The first time you lay eyes on your baby, not hold him, he has a feeding tube in him. You can’t hold him. The next time you see him its in the NICU. The nurse wheels you up to him & asks if this is your baby and you genuinely do not know. The only time you have seen him was a quick glance post surgery before you’re whisked way to another hospital to recover down the hall in an opposite wing from your baby. What happens when you can’t nurse them for the first 2 months. You can’t have proper skin to skin time, or you don’t get to take them home until they are 2 months old.

Nothing prepares you for this. Where was the support for THIS?!

I got jipped on my ‘golden hour’.

Before you get all over me telling me how lucky I am that I even have a baby, and so many people do not. THIS IS MY JOURNEY, & THIS IS WHAT I WENT THROUGH. I know how lucky I am, NOW. This is not a comparison game. Nothing was more annoying when people said unnecessary nonsensical things. I had a baby. My body felt as if I did, I had the scar. But my heart didn’t feel like it. We came home with an empty car seat. There was an empty bassinet next to my bed. There were newborn diapers never opened. I had to still get up every 4 hours in the night to pump… with no baby there to nurse.

It finally sank in when I got home to & took my first shower. Christian was born missing his esophagus, it was never detected during my pregnancy. He had surgery when he was 2 days old to correct it. The next day I was discharged as a patient, I had a C section, & we went home to sleep a night in our own bed. By this time we had spent 7 nights in the hospital. (I had spent 3 days trying to put myself into labor, story for another time!) During my pregnancy I would talk to my belly in the shower. I had no idea what I was having, Tom made me not find out, but in my gut I knew it was a boy. I wanted it to be a boy in the worst possible way. I wanted to be a boy mom. If it was a boy I was set on the name Christian, after my late grandfather. So on this night out of habit, I climbed into my much anticipated shower & I start to talk to my belly and rub it. Then it sank in. He isn’t in my belly. But worse…. he wasn’t in his bassinet either.

I was devastated. I sank to the bottom of the shower and sat there and cried my eyes out. I sobbed so hard for that felt like an hour. Tom found me & rescued me. I knew he was alive, but he wasn’t home. There was no golden hour. There was no skin to skin. There wasn’t any attempt to nurse. No baby snuggling. There were; monitors, IV’s, Nurses telling you to pull your mask up, insomnia, nightmares, having 2 people help you hold your baby because of all the monitors, meeting with the surgeon to discuss his surgery at 36 hours old.

It sucked. The golden hour is a lie. Stop telling about its ‘wonders’ to mothers. The next phase of my life was pure & utter HELL. I had never been through anything more difficult & challenging. I didn’t eat, I didn’t sleep, I didn’t wear makeup, I didn’t brush my hair, I didn’t change my clothes, I did not take care of myself. I have never felt more isolated. Every time I walked into that hospital I sobbed. Every time I left & had two kiss my baby goodbye, I sobbed the whole way out of the hospital. I would stay there every day for 7 hours, not sleeping, and never eating. I felt guilty if I went to the food court to grab a sandwich, it was a waste of time. It took me 30 min minimum to walk 3 floors down, shove food in my face, & run back up. That was 30 minutes away from him. I couldn’t do it. If there was a day I couldn’t make it, I would call the nurse to see how he did through the night. Nothing punched you in the gut when you had to make that call. Don’t get me wrong the nurses were FANTASTIC! However, calling to check on your child & they say they are holding him right now and he’s smiling….. gut punch. WHY COULDN’T HE JUST BE HOME?!

This nightmare continued for 52 days. It would be 52 flipping days until we bought him home. That day I packed us an over night bag, just in case. We finally did make it home, and there is a lot of details left out. The moral of this story is to stop giving new moms advice. Just say: “Heres a Starbucks!” “You look great!” “ Heres a gift certificate to Luca’s”

Stop it with the ‘Golden Hour crap”. Show up to baby-sit with a bottle of wine if you want to give advice. ❤️

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  1. Angela says:

    Aww Anj this had me in tears reading your story.
    To go what your family went through is unbearable. I know what you mean with people giving you advice though the only one I really hit me was when my supervisor told me I wouldn’t love my baby at first! I worried about that so much because of her comment & man was she wrong! Sending you all lots of love can’t wait till the day I can meat Christian

  2. Elizabeth Wood says:

    You are AMAZING! Thank you for sharing your journey. Christian is one beautiful baby and he really has the best mommy.

  3. Jana Blake says:

    Thank you for sharing you true experience. Many woman can’t fathom the “what if’s” and you my dear lived and breathed every single second of the fear that new mothers have. You are amazing and you got through every moment with strength and tenacity. You are a super true hero in my eyes!!!!

  4. Deena Houle says:

    Thank you for posting this. When Kenya was in the NICU in AZ and I was scrambling to get to her at home in NH, it was horribly stressful and full of tears and anger. I wanted to be holding my daughter. And people do say things meant to be helpful, and spoken out of kindness, but, like you, none of my family or friends ever experienced what I did, so their words fell on deaf ears. It’s important people stop treating every pregnancy and parenting story as their own and start remembering everyone has a unique story. Your story is heart wrenching and beautiful at the same time. Christian is such a lucky little boy with a life full of love.

    (Side note, shoutout to another Mama who decided to fulfill dreams and become a mom later in life!)