The Emerald Girl

casual. classic. curious.

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

On Becoming a Mom


This week one of my oldest friends had a baby. Old as in I’ve known her the longest. Not old as in age. It’s got me thinking a lot about the time when I had a baby. And what a horrible experience having my first baby was. Because I’ve never written about it, I’m gonna give it a go and tell you three tips I would tell my myself when I was becoming a mom.

I’m not talking about labor and delivery. That is no fun no matter how you dice it or slice it. I am talking about the days, weeks and months postpartum. Whenever I describe to people how I felt after I had my first baby, I say it is like when you’re watching a movie and a bomb goes off and suddenly all you hear is this ringing noise and everything is sort of slowmo and you look around and everyone else is moving but you’re just sitting there with your ears ringing, feeling confused, frightened and bewildered. Along with that delightful bag of goodies your body is doing things that you had no idea it was going to do (because you refused to read or look at any materials regarding what was going to happen to you). If you’re already a mom or perhaps in the medical field then you know what I’m talking about.

Along with the aforementioned goodie bag of feelings, I had really extreme mama bear anxiety or baby blues. Whatever those hormones are that attack you after you give birth, I felt very protective over Jack and did not want most people near him. The list of people who I felt safe and comfortable with was limited to three. Anyone not on that list who held him sent me into such a panic I would just cry uncontrollably (alone in my room hiding); even the thought of people holding my baby who weren’t on the list would send me into tears for hours and hours and hours. I didn't want people coming over but they just kept coming and no one, **cough, cough, my husband**, would say no to people. PS Matt, I really do love you.

This leads me to…
Tip # 1: Honor your feelings throughout your pregnancy but especially during postpartum. Trust that they will subside in the right timing. Do not put someone else’s feelings and desires above yours and get your spouse on board with this.

Something that makes me laugh now is the fact that I refused to buy a baby carrier car seat because I wasn’t going to be some “mom”. Talk about denial. The first time Matt and I took the baby out of the house to a favorite coffee shop and we had to carry this tiny two week old baby around is when I realized why people get baby carriers. You need to be able to use your hands. Along with this real life comedy, I was super embarrassed to push a stroller! Literally, rolling on the floor laughing now. I also used to tell people that I was going to have the baby call me "Jen" because, again, with the mom thing. (Yes, this was a planned pregnancy, in case you're wondering). All of this points to the fact that becoming a mom is totally transformative and truly changes your identity from the very core.

So…

Tip #2: You need a baby carrier and it's totally normal for a mom to be pushing a stroller. Literally no one is looking at you thinking anything at all.

The experience with my second baby was something quite different. And thank God for that! I was already a mom so there were no feelings of insecurity about who I was haunting my every move. (Well, actually, I'm still painfully insecure but in terms of being a mom, baby #2 wasn't told to call me "Jen"). The first three months with Morgan were tremendously more enjoyable. Again, with the whacky postpartum hormones, I missed her so much when she slept, I actually felt happy when she woke me up in the middle of the night. I feel I must stress that this only lasted the first 3 months not for her entire babyhood. I relaxed on the super strict schedule we had kept with baby #1. We would actually hold her to sleep and let her sleep on us while watching TV in the evening (just during the first three months or as my sister calls it, the 4th trimester, mind you).

Finally…

Tip #3: If you find a baby sleep site or book and feel that is imperative you follow the schedule to a T or else the whole world might fall apart -- it's not true. It is such a sweet experience to hold a sleeping baby and something I wish I had experienced with my first. Strict adherence to the rules is not the only method to yield positive results.

No comments:

Post a Comment