Momfession: Welcome to Motherhood, Again

In Shakespeare’s Henry V, the sovereign Lord pumps up his troops by uttering the famous monologue that begins “Once more unto the breach dear friends, once more…” the monologue is lengthy and has all sorts of metaphors for girding your loins for the upcoming war. I’ve thought a lot about this speech this week as I’ve been thrust back into the eye of the storm. The “storm” in question is 7 lbs of adorable baby henceforth known as Ford Baker Hollis, and the battle, is the special kind of hell you find yourself in on two hours of sleep with a sore body and broken lady parts.

Ford joined us last Friday, and after six days of continuous contractions I was exhausted and ready to remove him myself using kitchen tools. After so many days of praying for labor, I still found myself a little overwhelmed when it finally started to happen, especially since it was so much faster than with the other boys. In quick summation, and so as not to startle our male readership (all four of you) the epidural wore off, the baby came faster than expected with no doctor in sight, I started internally freaking out while nurses chanted “don’t push, wait for the doctor, don’t push!” It was scary, and it hurt, and I can’t believe that my third labor was more emotionally scarring than my first. But when all was said and done, there he was… the perfect combination of his daddy’s good looks and his mother’s joie de vivre. The nine months of bitter pregnant lady the six days of labor, the mental and physical exhaustion were all worth it, because a new little boy is here and he’s healthy and happy and we all made it through alive.

The toughest part I suppose, is the aftermath. You really do forget how hard it is to function on so little sleep. You really do forget how much your body aches or how breast feeding hurts so badly at first you want to slam your head into the wall just to have a distraction from the pain. I thought I’d be better able to deal with all the tough stuff because I’d done all this before, but it turns out, it’s hard every time, whether it’s your first or your twenty first (just ask Mrs Dugger).

Even though I seem to have blocked out a lot, I did learn a few things the first time around. For instance, the first picture in this blog post is one Dave snapped while I was asleep. Five years ago I’d never have allowed him to share that on his Facebook page (which he promptly did of course). My face is bloated, my hair is unwashed, my chins (all six of them) are large. But experience has taught me that while new motherhood might not be pretty, it is beautiful and should be recognized for what it is. I remember too that as hard as this time is, it’s also fleeting. I didn’t know that with my first, but I’m certainly aware that it does get better, little by little. One hour of sleep turns into two, and then four. Your body heals, you’re able to wear pants that button again and life resumes it’s normal, if slightly altered pace. I try and remind myself to enjoy the good parts of this time; the snugly baby, the sweet “firsts”, watching the older boys holding their little brother so proudly and use those as my buoy. I’ll hold out for the better days that are right around the corner, until then, if anyone needs us, Ford and I will be here on the sofa watching the Olympics.

13 Responses to “Momfession: Welcome to Motherhood, Again”

  1. Raluca

    Aw…what a perfect post! The top photo is absolutely amazing, so glad you included it. And you are so right, at least this time you know that there is a light at the end of the tunnel…in the meantime, hole yourself up in it and enjoy your little miracle. xx

  2. Kim Smith

    Congrats again! I love your post, it’s getting me ready for the insanity which will occur next month. I think there are some things you’ll never forget about having a newborn but, like you said its all worth it! Hang in there and get your Olympic watching on 🙂

  3. Tara Wilson

    Congratulations! Such a great post. Thanks for sharing these moments with us. I’ll have to reference them if one day it is my turn to pop one out. Stay well!

  4. Andrea

    I’m a amazed you’re coherently blogging. It took me almost a month before I could put together a sentence let alone a paragraph.

  5. Sue Sanchez

    Rachel, your little on is beautiful. It’s hard to believe the little girl that played in my backyard has grown up to be such a great mom and accomplished woman. I am so proud of you as i’m sure that your mom and dad are also. Kisses to all your boys.

  6. Molly

    You and Jenn have scared me for life. Just kidding. Love this post! Congrats and can’t wait to come visit when you are up for it and bring you a casserole xo

  7. Paige

    What a sweet post! And a sweet baby boy! I am almost 36 weeks with my third, so this especially resonates with me. I also had a similar labor experience with the second child: epidural didn’t have time to kick in before baby came, “hold your legs together and don’t push”, nurse doing most of the delivery, emergency room doc summoned, and the terror and pain of delivering a baby au naturel when you had no intentions of doing so leaving you completely mentally unprepared…Congrats to you, and thanks for the reminder to enjoy it all, even when it’s not easy – that’s certainly my plan!

  8. Neta Green

    Rachael you don’t know me, but i’m your aunt Linda’s mother-in law. I just wanted to tell you ,your new little guy is one handsome little guy.Little boys are so special.I had four boys and they all turned out to be four wonderful men.So lots of luck and very little sleep for awhile,but all the little guys in your life are worth it.
    Neta Green

  9. Ashlee

    Congrats to you and Dave! I’m not far behind — 34 weeks and counting. Huge hugs to you!

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