Thoughts on Motherhood by a New Mommy

Thoughts on breastfeeding:

No one tells you how hard breast feeding is. It didn't come naturally to me or to Foster. It was a very frustrating and defeating experience for both of us. Not to mention it freaking HURTS. One of my friends described nursing as "the sweetest thing in the world" and I felt like a failure because I didn't feel that way. Once my milk came in I started exclusively pumping and feeding my milk to Foster from a bottle. We did that until he was five weeks old at which point I really struggled with the decision to switch him to formula. I knew it made more sense at that point for me to switch him to formula but again, I felt like a failure. I felt like I hadn't tried hard enough to nurse him. I just knew everyone was going to judge me. But with the encouragement of my husband and my cousin who recently went through the same thing, I recognized formula was the best decision for our family. AND IT WAS OK. But I may or may not have cried when Foster drank his last breast milk bottle. Do what works for you and your baby.

Thoughts on post baby body:

Unless you're Heidi Klum or my sister-in-law, you're going to be a bigger size or two or three than you were before. Accept it and buy a few wardrobe items in your new size. You'll feel so much better wearing clothes that fit even if they're a size or two larger than before. You'll get there eventually, but not instantly. (I'm talking to myself too). Also, unless you're Heidi Klum or my sister-in-law you're probably going to get stretch marks on some area of your body. You're not alone! My butt looks like I got clawed by a mountain lion. Dear husband, thank you for loving me despite what bearing your child did to my body. Learn to love the new you. Being a mommy is so much more fulfilling than being a model.

Thoughts on crying:

Be prepared to do it all the time and possibly for no reason at all. Just last week my mom, sister and I were watching the episode of Friends when Ross & Rachel have their baby. The nurse says "ok, it's time to start pushing" and I started crying. Then, the nurse hands Emma to Rachel for the first time and I literally had to excuse myself from the room because I was crying like a baby.

Thoughts on marriage after baby:

The last few weeks before Foster was born I had major anxiety over how his arrival was going to change my relationship with Austin. Everyone told me it was going to change but it would be for the better. And on the other side I can tell you they're right. I feel so fulfilled in my role as wife and mom. Motherhood has changed me for the better, which in turn has changed our marriage. Seeing Austin love our son is the greatest gift.... and the biggest turn on. Just saaaayin.

Thoughts on personal hygiene:

Don't be disappointed when you don't get to take a shower every day or every other day or every three days. Also, don't feel bad when you don't brush your teeth but once a day (or not at all).

Thoughts on going back to work:

Until a week or two ago, I thought I was going to go back to work full-time. I was heartbroken over it. I visited daycares and could not imagine leaving my baby there. I could not emotionally handle it. I cried on my first daycare tour. Thanks be to God, I have been given an opportunity to work part time from home allowing me to stay with Foster full time. To all of you mothers who want to stay home with your babies but don't have a choice at this point - I have so much respect for you. You are doing what is best for your family and you should be proud. There is not a harder decision and I commend you.

Thoughts on fear:

Motherhood does something to you - at least it has to me. It suddenly makes you afraid of everything. Afraid of sleeping. Afraid of driving. Every day I pray for freedom from fear. I pray God reminds me that Foster is His. Austin is His. He counts the hairs on our heads and knows the number of our days. He has a plan for our family. Worrying won't change anything, but it will steal your joy and your peace. I'm still working on this.

Thoughts on prayer:

At least fear leads me to prayer. I have never prayed so much in my life. Praying thanks to God for this sweet, perfect baby He has trusted us with. Praying in frustration that this baby would fall asleep and stay asleep. Praying that Foster will see Jesus in our home and in our marriage and will choose to follow Him.

Thoughts on faith:

Do you understand how much God must love you and me that He would sacrifice the life of His only Son to save our souls? I don't have that much love. Do you understand how much faith Abraham must have had that he would be willing to sacrifice the life of his son Isaac because God asked him to? I don't have that much faith. Lord, thank you for Jesus and His death so that I might have life. Lord, increase my faith.

Finally, my plea to other moms:

Let us stop questioning each others' decisions. Maybe you want your baby to sleep in your room with you for the first month, first 6 months, first year or maybe you want your baby to go straight to the nursery. Maybe you want to breastfeed for the first full year or maybe you go straight to formula. Maybe you want to use a sleep training technique or maybe you want to wing it. What works for you and your baby might not work for me and my baby and vice versa. Motherhood is already hard enough without us criticizing and critiquing each other. We need to encourage and pray for each other!


Birth Story

I can't believe it's been two months since we met our sweet boy for the first time. My water broke at 2:50am on May 28. I wasn't feeling well and had been sleeping on the couch since around midnight. I woke up to use the restroom and was on my way back to the couch when I started leaking. Sorry, I'm not sorry. I went upstairs and woke Austin telling him "I think my water just broke." He said "you THINK?" I told him I was sure and he could check my panties if he didn't believe me. I called my mom so they could leave Arlington and make it by the time he arrived. I called Lynsey a million times until she finally answered. Austin called his parents and his sister Abbey. We texted some friends. My sister had already been staying with us so we woke her and headed to the hospital. It was almost 4am when got there. I had started having contractions, but nothing more painful than menstrual cramps. I was only dilated to 2 cm. It took at least half an hour and 3 pricks to get my IV in. Mama was not happy about that. The first or second contraction I had once the belly monitor was hooked up, Foster's heartbeat dropped. I had no idea. The nurses ran in telling me to turn to my left side, then to my right side, then to get on all fours - my knees and elbows - while they put an oxygen mask on me. It was terrifying. The way Foster was positioned wouldn't allow me to lie on my back for the rest of my labor, so I alternated sides.

Four hours later and I had only progressed to 3 cm. The doctor decided then to start me on pitocin. All I have to say about that is HOLY HELL. My contractions came fast and hard. I can't even explain what it felt like. I cried through most of them and almost vomited through some. At 4 cm I had my epidural, which doesn't hurt at all by the way. But, I don't recommend a sunburn the day before delivery. It doesn't feel so great when they rip the tape off that was holding your epidural in place.

After my epidural, I went from 4 cm to 9.5 cm in ONE HOUR. I started feeling cuhhhrazy pressure, so the nurse checked me. Then 20 minutes later I was fully dilated. The nurse said "it's time to start pushing" and I immediately started crying. I was scared. I didn't know what to expect. I was about to meet my baby for the first time. I asked Austin to pray for us.

The nurse said with your first baby you can expect to push for 1-2 hours. NOT TWO MORE HOURS OF THIS OMG. I pushed through two contractions and she made me stop saying if I continued the doctor wasn't going to make it in time because he was coming fast. Ten minutes or so later the doctor arrived and I pushed through three more contractions and after 9.5 hours our Foster was here! He was born Tuesday, May 28, 2013 at 12:11pm. He was 19 inches long and 7 lbs 7.1 oz. He was perfect. He still is.

Pushing was by far the easiest part. SO easy in fact. Granted, I had an epidural. It sounds weird to say this, but I actually almost enjoyed the pushing. There is something miraculous about pushing a life into this world. Not so miraculous, though, that I wanted to watch it in the mirror as the nurse offered. I'd like to remember my parts as they were, thank you very much.  

Foster cried, but I didn't. The whole thing was so surreal. We had some time cherishing our first moments as a family of three before our family joined us.

I saw my mom and then I cried.

We stayed in the hospital for only one night. Then we brought our baby boy home where we've been figuring this whole thing out ever since.

Thank God for the Boppy. I sat on it like a donut for the first week. At a few points during recovery the pain was unbearable, paralyzing. I literally could not stand up, sit down, walk or move. But by Saturday I was feeling much better. If you're having a baby, you need a Boppy and an ice pack. Also, don't be surprised if your feet look like you have elephantiasis for the first 10 days post delivery.

I was blessed with an easy pregnancy and easy delivery for which I am so thankful. Carrying this child, pushing him into this world, loving him through life - this is what I was made for.

My thoughts on motherhood coming soon.