Being a new mom is many things. One thing it was for me at least a few times in the beginning was overwhelming. (Don't I just look deliriously happy and overwhelmed with exhaustion at the same time in this picture taken of Owen when he was just 3 or 4 weeks old?!)
One story that I will share from those first couple of weeks having Owen home that depicts the overwhelming feeling I had is from a weekend day when we'd already had several visitors and one more was on their way. It was 2 in the afternoon when the second visitors left. I still had not showered, needed to pump again, Owen was crying for milk, and the house was a disaster. I was starving for lunch and began making pasta on the stove.
All of a sudden it was just too much. I spilled something on the stove, Owen started crying so I picked him up, I probably was leaking myself, and it was just too damn overwhelming. I started to cry along with my newborn son. Jared came over and asked what was wrong. I said I didn't know, I just was tired and wanted lunch. I finally said it out loud, "I'm so overwhelmed!" He took Owen from me, smiled and then proceeded to put Owen on my head and make his tiny feet dance.
For some reason it worked. We both were laughing hysterically at that point. He was making Owen talk saying, "It's OK, Mommy. I'm OK. It's OK." He told me to go take a shower and he'd finish lunch before the next visitors arrived. Seeing Owen's big blue eyes stare up at me as if saying, "Mom, what's the big deal? I'm just a little guy who needs you from time to time," it just made me put it all in perspective again.
I was OK. We were OK. It would all get better soon. Literally a week later Owen started sleeping better at night. I think he was giving me a signal that we could do this.
That's what it is like. The first few weeks are tiring and overwhelming. It's all so new and the baby needs you so much that it is tough to figure it all out. The best medicine for this is to laugh it off, and to realize you're in this together as a couple and a new family. Nobody ever died becoming a new parent. You will do this. I swear. You may not shower every day or eat lunch at a reasonable hour, but you will survive and be a great parent.