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First-Time Mom Joanna Sanchez Talks Challenges (and Rewards) of Motherhood

It hasn't been easy, but Joanna Sanchez is mastering her new life with Baby

One of the most amazing things a woman can do is bring life into this world. The bond that is formed with your brand-new little human from the moment he is born is unique, and the feeling that rushes through your veins is like nothing any man can ever experience. That bond is one thing that makes us women so special.

But along with those euphoric feelings comes a combination of other not-so-enjoyable feelings including but not limited to sleep deprivation, exhaustion and frustration—all while trying to keep a tiny new human alive. Now that my baby is a year old, I realize all of those feelings from the early stages of mommyhood really do get better. But those first few months were a challenge. The one thing that I will absolutely never forget—not even if I experienced severe brain damage— is the sleep deprivation.

Now that my baby is a year old, I realize all of those feelings from the early stages of mommyhood really do get better

You see, like bigger humans, babies love to eat, but their bellies are so small and can only take so much at one time. So what does that mean for Mom? You feed every two hours and as soon as you finish one feed, go to the bathroom and maybe grab a bite to eat, guess what? Baby is ready to eat again! That phase got me a ticket to the guest bedroom just so my husband could get enough sleep to function at work. Speaking of work—before you can even catch an uninterrupted six hours of sleep, maternity leave comes to an end and the joys of pumping at work begin. In a busy job such as mine, stepping away for 15 minutes can be difficult.

I remember being so engorged and pumping hours past my due time; sadly, this resulted in a decrease in my milk supply and the end of my breastfeeding days. Then there are those feelings that creep up on you inexplicably. You might find yourself asking, What is happening to me? Why are most simple tasks the hardest to complete? Why can’t I cope with all of this? I am here to tell you: Blame the hormones. They are out in full force and always ready to ruin your day.

I vividly remember one morning when things couldn’t go more wrong: My son was crying inconsolably, I was trying my best to change his diaper as quickly as possible, he decided to spray the room with urine, and in the midst of trying to contain it all, I tugged on his umbilical cord and made it bleed. Boy, did that initiate a crying fest—for me! Thankfully, those feelings pass, and you will start to notice that you learn how to juggle not one, not two, but multiple things at once.

You might even look a little crazy while doing it—so much so that people will give you a hand with things like carrying groceries and opening doors. Time will fly by, and before you know it, your baby will be crawling then walking then driving. That’s why I try my best to soak up every moment and enjoy my son’s milestones to the fullest. Parenting can be a rollercoaster of smooth and bumpy, ups and downs, and you might even feel slightly (or very) incompetent. Just know that you will both survive, and those feelings will help transform you into a master mommy.