I had it all figured out, before I had kids. Enter baby #1 and the world cracked open to display my inadequacies, short comings, and general dumbassery (autocorrect hated that one).
Total Screw Up 1: I thought pregnancy would be easy.
You can stop laughing any time now. I got pregnant my last semester of nursing school. Planned out perfectly for a birth post-graduation.
During my perfect calculations I must have forgotten to carry the one or some shit. Preeclampsia, gestational diabetes, and pregnancy induced anxiety multiplied the typical pregnancy issues (see what I did there, puns are fun). I ended up going into premature labor WHILE TAKING MY STATE BOARDS.
Flash to the… don’t make me say it… birth plan. That shit can’t be for real. 24-hours of labor and an emergency c-section later my son was born.
Total Screw Up 2: Ignoring postpartum mental health needs
Let’s start with this. I’m a psych nurse. I had been working on the inpatient psychiatric unit for 6-years before I had my son. I knew the signs and symptoms of postpartum mental health problems better than most. So much so that it scared the shit out of me to admit I needed help. I hid it. I suffered in silence. I filled out that depression questionnaire at my 6- week check with total bullshit answers. It took a long time to pull out of it. Time I wasted not enjoying life or my new family. Don’t screw this one up. Be honest, get help.
Total Screw Up 3: Not accepting ALL offered help.
My son was a terrible baby. If I didn’t love him so damn much I would have hated him. He cried non-stop, he did not sleep more than 45-minutes at a time, he was allergic to everything, and had multiple major illnesses. Even with all that going on, I thought I needed to do this on my own. Do not be that stupid. If you can get help, take it and run! Better yet, take it and sleep.
Total Screw Up 4: I forced breastfeeding beyond reason.
I drank the kool-aid hard for the “breast is best” cult. My preemie could not latch, so I pumped. I pumped every 2.5-hours around the clock for 7-months. My supply sucked so it was a constant battle. This did nothing but compound the sleeplessness, depression, and anxiety. Give yourself a break. Fed is best.
Total Screw Up 5: Not doing the thing.
After kids everything takes more effort. It is so much easier to stay home and just not. But after a while, I realized we were missing out on a lot of the family fun we had always wanted and dreamed of.
Get out and make the attempt to do the thing. Best part, if the thing sucks you can blame your exit on the kid.
Total Screw Up 6: Thinking it gets easier.
I’m three kids in now. A 5-year old, 3-year old, and a 1-year old. The challenges just morph and compound. With that comes my mantra “I laughed so I didn’t cry”. Try it.
Stay tuned, more screw ups and confessions coming soon.