HELLO WORLD, I am out of hiding. Kind of.

So, almost seven weeks ago I had a baby! A beautiful baby boy that Nick and I named Bennett James O’Neil. We are still working on nickname options. Sometimes I call him Benneeto Burrito. Because he is a burrito baby, a chunky boy. Nick sometimes calls him Pokey Jr. (My nickname with Jr. added on to it.) Not sure either of these are winners, but we are on the hunt.

Since I gave birth, I feel like I have been in hiding. Safe in the walls of my two-bedroom apartment. Bringing a baby into the world can be a beautiful, scary thing. And Facebook pictures that new mommies post (myself included) just don’t give the whole truth.

The truth is this: My labor and delivery was hard. I call it my near death experience. 28 hours of liquid diet hell. Literally how many bowls of Jello, gelato, and lukewarm chicken broth can one individual live on? And the pain of it all. Omigod.

Nothing could have prepared me. My birth plan was to have a natural birth. But by 41 weeks there was still no signs of baby, so we needed some help to push things along. The funny thing is that my labor started out natural — I even made it to 6 cm dilated. But then it stopped progressing and then it was downhill from there. I had to get my water broken, get the nasty Pitocin, then the very scary epidural that left me paralyzed from the waist down for hours. Like ten of them. When it came time to push my tiny miracle into the world, literally I could not feel one of my legs. At all. The other was fuzzy tingles only.

The pain of contractions was like nothing I had ever experienced. I had read they would be like intense period cramps. NO. They were like being slammed by a train, over and over. Again, much thanks to the Pitocin.

At one point I stopped breathing and they had to put the breathing mask on me. My mom and Nick, my champions were in the room. And they were holding my hands, screaming, “Breathe! Breathe for Bennett!” It was so hard to breathe at times, but when they said to breathe for my son, who I had fallen in love with already, I did. I closed my eyes, focused. I breathed.

Eventually, 28 hours later, he came. At 2:24 AM on Monday, January 16th, 2017. It was Martin Luther King day. And I think it was a good sign. My boy would be a boy with a dream — many of them.

The first few days were a daze. Nurses came and went into my room. I was bleeding everywhere. I had to get an episiotomy and that sucker hurt.

Healing my body after all this has been long. I am finally feeling “normal” at almost seven weeks.

The first couple weeks of being home were the hardest. We battled Jaundice and then my milk supply, which was and is extremely low. (More on this to come in a new post.) But the baby was and is beautiful. The love they say that you feel for your child is the truest of truths. There is nothing more pure than the love I feel for Bennett. And the life I want for him. I want to give him the world. I want to be the parent my parents are for me. The best gift I can give him is my love. And it is all his.

So friends, if you have felt ignored or alone from me over the past seven weeks, I have been healing. I have been learning to walk again. Walk as a new mom. Nick and I would love to welcome visitors soon. Especially if you bring food (and coffee if you are feeling extra frisky 🙂 ). Sometimes just an hour of a friend’s presence is enough to feel refreshed. It’s a new world and it won’t always be this way. I’m still your friend, I’m still here. I love you. I love you. I love you.

I promise to do what I always do here, on this blog. To be honest and true about this whole new motherhood adventure. The thing I hate most is when people don’t paint an honest picture of their truths, their lives. Because the worst thing someone can feel while going through something is alone. So I’m here for you, new and future mamas. I’ll give you my truth, you give me yours.

Xo, C