Hard Weekend and a Few Tears: Early Days as a Mom
This post originally appeared on our old blog Born to be a Bride.
So often, blogging makes people think you live some sort of perfect, gorgeous life above the fray. Not true. I tend to focus on the positive because life is just too damn short, but this Saturday one of those days everyone is entitled to — I completely lost my shit.
I woke up with a fever and terrible cold/flu symptoms. Josh had heaps of work to do and couldn’t help me as much with the baby as he would on a typical weekend day. In addition to feeling gross, I was annoyed that I had to carry on with the bulk of the home stuff. I felt progressively worse as the day wore on, and after Willow’s second or third feeding we started to realize my milk supply was down. She wasn’t getting enough — and she was pissed. As moms, we’re hardwired to doubt ourselves. Immediately I went nuts. Sure, I have milk in the freezer for her, but I was unbelievably frustrated with myself for “drying up.” There were tears. There was a tantrum. Things were thrown. There may or may not have been an unsuspecting plastic pump attachment that didn’t make it through the War of Feb 2015. RIP.
There you have it. Just like every other mommy out there, I have my moments, and this weekend’s wasn’t pretty. I managed to keep my dramatics away from Wills as she and her dad hid out in the nursery for a few minutes (eek), but I still felt guilty about it. And yes, my husband and I do fight, and we did this weekend, and it was not fun for anyone. I tell you this not for sympathy, but to be clear — this is a beautiful, blessed life, but it’s not a perfect one. So, Saturday was a wash.
Yesterday we woke up refreshed and ready to try again. I threw gusto into a baby-free trip to Whole Foods where I procured all of the ingredients for these gluten-free* lactation cookies. Also on the shopping list, as advised by fellow moms, every Pin I could get my hands on, and sobbing calls to my mom: basil, asparagus, garlic, oatmeal, cow’s milk, and lactation tea. We spent the afternoon picking up some swaddling must-have’s for Wills (she’s grown out of her Miracle Blankets!) and a cookie sheet. (Shameful, I know. I’m not much of a baker… but I’ll do anything for my daughter!)
I was super-excited to break out my pink KitchenAid mixer that I hadn’t yet used. I alternated between pumping and nursing while Josh helped me bake and by the time five pm rolled around, all three Gersons were calm, well-fed, and ready to start casting our votes for Oscar night.
As for the cookies? They turned out just fine. Probably not as sweet as I’d hoped because we were out of vanilla (why is it that you always have vanilla when you don’t need it, and on the random occasion you decide to bake, it’s gone?). The recipe allows for a vegan preparation by using non-dairy milk and agave. I used cow’s milk and did add some honey to make up for the lack of vanilla. They certainly tasted like a health-food cookie rather than a full-on treat, but that didn’t stop us from over-indulging. And between these, my decreased stress level, lowered temperature, and other measures I took, my milk production is returning to normal. More importantly, I am starting to realize that it’s okay if I can’t always do things the exact way I want to while raising this baby. All I can do is love her, and try.
You might remember that we love to create a competition around awards shows. I know you can get printables but our way is so much more fun. Yes, this year’s ballots were pretty budget, between the fever, the milk crisis, and general stress of the weekend. But it was still fun. In addition to the cookies, we dined on garlicky asparagus (milk promoter!), cheese, crackers, and salami in lieu of a real dinner.
…and I won! Next up: time to start catching up on these movies; of everything nominated in any category last night, the only film we’ve seen is Gone Girl. I was 38 weeks + 2 days pregnant. Woo. Looking forward to some cuddly at-home movie dates with our sweet little family of three. And plenty of lactation cookies dunked in milk.
*I am gluten-free because I have been diagnosed with Celiac’s Disease, confirmed by both endoscopy and blood test 15 years ago and repeated 7 years later. I say this only to be clear that I in no way feel that gluten-free living is a baseline for “healthier” — only you and your doctor can decide what’s right for your diet.