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Friday, September 24, 2010

6 things

Since yesterday our sweet bundle of drool, I mean joy, turned 6 months old, I thought today I would write about 6 things I've learned since becoming a mom.

1. The way you pictured giving birth may, in reality, not happen as you'd hoped.
I was induced because I was a week past my due date. I really thought my body would do what it was supposed to and that I would have a baby the old fashion way: lots of pushing, sweating, grunting, possible screaming (although I always knew I would be getting an epidural. Birthing a baby was not the time for me to show my pioneer spirit.) and then out comes the baby. Well, that didn't happen. I had to have a C-section. I was actually really sad when the doctor said I'd need one. I just feel like it sets me up for more complications with other pregnancies. But, things don't always go as planned.

2. Breastfeeding hurts...A LOT!
Ok, now I know breastfeeding does not hurt for everyone. And if it was a breeze for you, then you are one of the blessed. But, for some women it is incredibly painful. I am one of those women. No, I wasn't doing anything wrong. It just hurt. And every consultant I talked to, every pamphlet I read, every prenatal class I attended told me it should not hurt. So I couldn't help but wonder through the tears as my baby tried to nurse what in the world was I doing wrong? Well it turns out that there's something called latch-on pain. The only way I found out about this was through a lot of research online. I finally found something that told me that as the baby starts to nurse there might be as long as 60 seconds of pain as everything gets into place. After that it shouldn't hurt. That was basically what I was experiencing: 30 seconds of pain, then it wouldn't really hurt after that. But when all you hear is, "It shouldn't hurt. If it hurts you're doing it wrong, " you think that if there's any pain at all then you should take the baby off and start again. Not true.

3. You will get lots of advice and will probably only use about 2% of what you're told.
Every baby is different. Some things work for one baby that might not work for another baby. So, you figure out what works and do it.

4. The first few months are...*ahem*...difficult.
I know motherhood will always be difficult and mothers deal differently with different stages their children go through. While I love Blake and have loved him since he was born, there were times, like when he was waking up every 2 hours to eat, that I thought, "What have I done? My life is over. I can't be a mom." This thought usually popped into my head around 3 am when he was waking up after I tried to quietly slip into bed without disturbing him. My mom kept telling me it would get easier. I didn't really believe her because when you are in the throes of the most exhausting experience of your life you can't see the light at the end of the tunnel. (Mostly because your eyes are always half open due to lack of sleep.) But, it has gotten easier, and more enjoyable. I think I love every stage Blake has gone through. I miss how little he was when he was born but am glad he's on a more regular schedule. So, it does get better.

5. I don't sleep the same way I used to.
I don't think I have had a deep night's sleep since Blake was born. Even though he doesn't sleep right next to my bed like he used to, I can hear him turn over in his crib, drop his pacifier, whimper, and cry out when I'm sleeping. And it usually wakes me up, at which point I say over and over in my head, "Please stay asleep, please stay asleep!" I think with motherhood I've developed an increased ability to hear him. Super hearing. (Not the super power I would have chosen, per se, but oh well.)

6. 99% of mothers are trying to do their best.
I'm sure there's a percentage of mothers (I hope it's less than 1%) that aren't trying their best or who are addicted to some substance and have lost their ability to care for a child. But, for the most part, mothers are really trying to do what is best for their children. Whether they bottle or breastfeed, co-sleep or put their baby in a crib, wear their baby, teach their baby sign language, play classical music for their baby, put their baby in day care, or don't do any of those things, they really are trying their hardest to be a good mom. And as mothers we should support each other. We shouldn't make one another feel bad for not doing something that we are. I may not make the same choices as other mothers, but that's only because I feel like my choices are best for my baby. Your choices may be different. And I'm not going to judge you for that.

This isn't all I've learned as a mother, but I think these are things I wish I had known before I had a baby. It's been a crazy 6 months. And when he starts crawling it's only going to get crazier. I'm a little scared.

13 comments:

Chelsea said...

What a beautiful post! I totally agree with you! Do you mind if I put a link to this blog post on my blog?

Whitney said...

Link away!

Losing Brownies said...

This is a very true statement of motherhood. I agree with you 100%

Mrs. Dean said...

My favorite line: "When you are in the throes of the most exhausting experience of your life you can't see the light at the end of the tunnel. (Mostly because your eyes are always half open due to lack of sleep.)" I LOVE that! (Your insight, not lack of sleep, of course.)

Mrs. Dean said...

My favorite line: "When you are in the throes of the most exhausting experience of your life you can't see the light at the end of the tunnel. (Mostly because your eyes are always half open due to lack of sleep.)" I LOVE that! (Your insight, not lack of sleep, of course.)

Midwest Mommy said...

The advice thing is so true. That's why when a mom expecting her second asked me the other day for advice I told her I had none. I said you just make it and survive. The look I got but hey it's the truth. Why scare her right, lol.

Ashley Smith said...

I came over from Chelseas blog. As someone who has had 3 c-sections, has had to nursed while cracked and bleeding and found it absolutly impossible to sleep in the same room as my children (babies make to much noise) I completly agree. And let me say my oldest is now four and I love it.

Emily said...

Amen and amen.

vdg family said...

Oh, this post is so dear. It made my eyes tear up because what you said, is exactly how it felt (and sometimes still feels). :)

Whitney said...

I'm glad you could relate! Sometimes I wonder if what I experienced is experienced by other mothers as well.

Margaret said...

every time i read you blog i alway think, girlfriend is always thinking what im thinking or experiancing what i experiance. so glad we had babies at the same time so i can relate to you and your mommyhood

Margaret said...

experience...woops

Lindsay said...

Lovely post. They say that what doesn't kill you makes you stronger, and I think that definitely holds true for motherhood. You seem to be doing a fabulous job. :)