It’s hard to believe it’s all over. But after six seasons, Lena Dunham and the voice of her generation packed it all up on Sunday night with HBO’s series finale of Girls. And it was a much different episode than the type of New York based offering that we’re used to.
As it turns out last week was the real series finale, in that it marked the last time we’d ever see Shoshanna, Jessa, Hannah and Marnie together in the same room again. It was also the last time we’d see Elijah; unbeknownst to us we’d already seen the last of Adam and Ray, whom we imagine is off in the sunset with Aidy Bryant‘s guest-starring character somewhere.
Instead, Sunday night was what showrunner Jenni Konner would later call “the spinoff we’ll never get,” as it featured Hannah and Marnie playing house together upstate with Hannah’s new baby Grover. Until THAT got to be too much and Marnie had to call in the big guns, a.k.a. Hannah’s mom Loreen.
Some pretty harsh truths about parenthood, being a new mom and friendship followed:
1. New moms often feel really, really alone
We wouldn’t go so far as to diagnose Hannah with postpartum depression, but she was certainly feeling as though no one in the world understood her new plight as a mother. Despite the fact that Marnie was giving up her entire life in order to help Hannah with Grover, Hannah insisted that Marnie just didn’t get it. Of course Hannah handled her overwhelming feelings in the worst way possible and acted like a giant child herself, pushing Marnie and her mother away with some pretty hurtful words. Obviously that didn’t help with her feelings of isolation in the long run but it was also textbook Hannah behaviour.
2. Breastfeeding can literally suck
It was fitting that the last episode was called “Latching” and that it revolved largely around Hannah’s difficulties in getting Grover to breastfeed. Why? Because that seems to be an issue so many new moms deal with and Girls has always tried to be relatable, if nothing else. Not only can getting your baby attached to your boob be one of the most stressful things about being a new mom (the baby has to eat!) but there is so much pressure out there to stick with it even when it’s not working. We’ve all heard “breast is best.” But holy hell when you’re in that situation and the baby isn’t eating you really do wonder how long you’re supposed to stick it out. Especially when your nipples feel like sandpaper from constantly pumping. Speaking of…
3. Pumping is so not sexy
We’d like to call everyone’s attention to the scene in which Hannah showcased her pumping skills with that hands-free pump. Marnie called her a “Ghostbuster,” and that’s exactly what she looked like with that contraption on. If you’ve ever seen a cow being milked that’s exactly what a woman trying to squeeze milk out of her nipples feels like. We’re pretty stoked that Girls took the opportunity to showcase that.
4. Your body goes through hell
Everyone knows that giving birth hurts. It’s a fact of life. But what a lot of people don’t talk about is the afterbirth. The feeling that afterwards you can’t wait for your “asshole and your vagina to feel like two separate entities” because you’ve probably ripped your lower regions. Or the fact that you have stretch marks everywhere. Or how about when you’re still bleeding weeks after giving birth? Girls has always tried to depict real bodies and body images, so it was pretty cool that they took this opportunity to deliver a postpartum slice of life too.
5. People suddenly disappear
It was actually really fitting that the only person left in Hannah’s life friend-wise by the end of the series was Marnie. Just like in real life, as soon as shit gets real people suddenly disappear. Sure, you have a ton of friends while you’re pregnant who say that they’ll be there all of the time to help you out, but in reality a lot of those people just never show up at all. It can be a pretty harsh lesson for new parents to swallow, especially for those who don’t have a somewhat creepy friend like Marnie who “loves them best.”
6. You sacrifice… pretty much everything
Some people adjust easily to being a new parent; others like Hannah need a huge and random push in the form of a bratty teenager taking her mother for granted to realize that they need to step up. Either way when you make the decision to be a parent it’s a decision you don’t take back. And that means you suddenly have to give up a large part of your life. Not forever, but for a while anyhow. When you’re a new parent it can often feel like life as you knew it is over forever though.
7. The rewards are inexplicable
Just when you think you’re at the end of your rope something so small — like your baby finally latching — can feel like a huge, significant sign that everything is going to be all right. And that was the hopeful note Girls left us on, with Hannah humming “Fast Car” to Grover as he finally suckled away. We know that soon enough Marnie is leaving to lead her own life and Loreen will eventually have to go back home. At that point Hannah will have to be a mother all by herself. Things will inevitably go wrong and of course situations will be super hard, but so long as Hannah can experience moments like that ending then we know everything will be all right.