Saturday, January 20, 2018

The First Month

With my sweet little angel asleep in the ring sling on me, I finally have some time to write. At least until he wakes up and we continue our routine of eating, sleeping, and pooping (you know it's true).

Boy has this first month been a whirlwind. I don't think there is anything I could have done to prepare myself for the emotional and physical toll motherhood would take on me. Don't get me wrong, I love being his mom, but as most of you know, pregnancy and birth do not come without hormone fluctuations or sleep deprivation. I was lucky that this baby took to breastfeeding so well, and so did I, that we didn't seem to have any issues. That is until I forgot to eat and didn't realize the issues that would cause. The day we got home from the hospital I was just beside myself, mostly due to the hormones, because my baby was crying and I couldn't give him the food he needed. Turns out I just hadn't eaten all day and so my milk just wasn't supplying because I basically wasn't giving my body the fuel to provide it. Thank God for my very knowledgeable sister for coming over that night and helping us figure that all out and holding our little one while mommy and daddy got some rest (also contributing to the hysterical me- sleep deprivation). Once I had eaten something and gotten a little rest and a shower we were back on track.

Recovering from a C-section is a little different than the natural way, but I hear both are hard. I don't have anything to compare it to so right now all I know is a c-section birth and its aftermath. While we were at the hospital it was hard to move much and I could not get out of bed without a bit of help. Gravity was not my friend those first few weeks. Once I was standing up straight it was definitely working against my insides and that incision. Staying on top of the pain meds was key, which I wasn't so good at, considering my mind was on something else. Once I remembered, because the pain was actually there, it got worse before the meds could kick in. Thankfully I only really needed them for that first week or so.

Since I couldn't get out of bed easily at all I couldn't reach my baby in his bassinet. I couldn't get up to change any diapers and I couldn't move him to the bassinet after he fell asleep after eating. I am incredibly thankful for my amazing husband. He changed all of his diapers for the first three days, and he didn't even mind. He was right there by my side to get me and peter whatever we needed. He was and is my rock when things get hard and I do not feel sufficient to do this mom stuff. He loves his son more than life, you can tell. He just can't wait till he's bigger and can start playing catch with daddy 😊.

That first week (and really the first month) brought a lot of crying, from both mom and Peter. When we are out places, mostly church or with family, I felt anxious when others were holding him. My heart was racing and I was just beside myself emotionally. I don't know what causes it, it's just something that happens. I've been told it is normal by a few people, including my doctor, so I am not too worried.

This mom thing is not easy. You may feel insufficient. You obviously feel exhausted. You may sit there and watch them sleep to make sure they are still breathing. You may sit with them in your arms and cry with them because you feel like you are not doing enough to keep them happy and safe. You may worry about every little thing and keep them inside as much as you can. (Mostly because it's cold and who really needs to go out if you don't have to, but also, postpartum anxiety is definitely something people don't talk about and it's a real thing.)You may also feel like you're being way too paranoid and that everyone is judging you for whatever decisions you make for your child. The truth is, you are sufficient. You are enough. And one day, you will get the sleep back (18 years from now, I hear). I know that I sound like a crazy person with how I am worried about this and that but the decisions I make for my son are what help keep me semi-sane and less anxious (seriously, postpartum anxiety is real, look it up, please). I don't know how long it will last. I don't know how many more times I will cry with my son- probably quite a few. What I do know is that I have my wonderful husband by my side, and an amazing God guiding us and protecting all three of us along the way.

Even as I type he fidgets around to get comfortable and coos, ever so slightly, jolting me back into the reality I now know. The reality that I have a family to take care of. The reality that this little human is my responsibility. But also, the reality that someday this little human is going to grow up, and so I want to bask in these moments with him for as long as I can- soak it all in. He's only a baby once. I don't want to miss a minute.
Yes, being a mom can be hard, but I wouldn't trade it for anything. I have definitely found my joy(e) in life- being a wife and mother.

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