I don’t talk about my chidhood much. There’s not a whole lot of positivity there and these days I try to only focus on the positive. It keeps me going and sometimes I forget about that part of my life. Now that I’m a parent it lingers on the edge of my mind if only because I worry I’m turning into my mother.
Any time I have to work or I take a minute to go through social media sites while Beatrice naps or is playing contently I feel this anxiety. I worry she thinks I love her less or not at all or that I’m not stimulating her enough or being present with her when I’m home. She’s a baby of course and basic reasoning and common sense tells me she’s perfectly happy playing with her toys or trying to get her feet in her mouth for a few minutes. The worry remains regardless.
My mother after getting divorced wasn’t the same as she once had been.I do have fond memories of my parents from when I was a toddler. I remember my mother gardening and loving just being there with her and I remember waking up after a nightmare and going into the kitchen to find my dad already awake with his token coca cola (he doesn’t drink coffee) and a book. I don’t remember what he said to me, but I remember feeling better. After my dad left though it became clear things wouldn’t be the same.
My mom no longer stayed home being a single mother I don’t blame her for going to work at all. She stopped spending time with us an stopped coming home at night to go drinking or go on dates. When she was home she was miserable and hung over. I remember cuddling with her when she seemed especially sad and drunk. She would tell me things about her life that children shouldn’t hear but that have made it impossible for me to ever hate her. The first time I’d seen her happy since I was a toddler was when she met my step dad. We were all happy for a while she seemed like she was doing better that didn’t last however they started going out every night together drinking and when they were home my siblings and I were constantly on edge.
My then stepdad choked and beat the shit out of my brother regularly and my mom just stood back and let it happen. He sexually abused both my sister and I which my mom still refuses to accept. When my brother was getting in the way of her happiness with my ex-stepdad she sent him to a mental institution then to my dad and eventually to my grandma rather than taking his side or trying to help him. My entire life we were treated like an inconvenience.
I never want my daughter to feel that way. I never want her to question the love either of her parents have for her. I never want her to feel helpless or like she can’t come to me or that she doesn’t matter or that anything in my life is more important than her well being. I certainly won’t stand back and let anyone hurt her.
I sleep with her curled up much like she was in the womb against my body. I greet her joyfully each morning and play with her every chance I can get. We read stories, snuggle, and nurse Sometimes we watch cooking shows because she enjoys looking at food. I don’t believe I can spoil her with attention. I would be spoiling her if all I offered her were material things. I’m teaching her she can rely on me and that she’s safe. I’m teaching her people care about her.
I rarely if ever drink because I know a lot of the problems my mother had stemmed from that. In fact aside from drinking copious amounts of coffee and sweets to go with said coffee I don’t indulge myself in anything that can be addictive. That’s not to say I haven’t fought any kind of addiction, but that’s another post. This post is me making a promise to my daughter that her mama will always love and value her above all else and that she’ll not only have a childhood, but hopefully a great one.
I’ve been a mom for a little over three months now. I’m still nowhere near an expert, but I’ve learned some pretty useful stuff. As the first mother of my little group of friends and a sentimental sap I felt I needed to record these things. Maybe I’ll start monthly posts of things I learn along the way.
1) Babies will randomly screech at some point or another. You will panic thinking they must be in some kind of pain. They’ll giggle and do it again. Babies also love to fake cough. Anything that will get your attention or cause a mini heart attack is fun times for them.
2) The unasked for advice never ends. People will especially be concerned if like me you choose to attachment parent. You will feel insecure in yourself at times and even consider taking their advice even if it makes you uncomfortable then while you’re breastfeeding or co sleeping your baby will look up at you and smile. You’ll know you’re already doing what’s right for both of you.
3) Babies really don’t care about Christmas. Seriously look at that face. She gives no fucks that she just met Santa Claus. The only aspect of Christmas she enjoys so far is the Christmas tree and it’s lights. She’s just as happy staring at my kindle or monitor while I read. There’s no need to go super crazy with the presents. Babies just don’t care. They won’t for a couple more years at least. Save your money.
4) When people say babies get bored easily they mean it. The first thing I do when Beatrice starts crying is change her position. She doesn’t get she’s a little baby she wants to stand or sit up and she will yell at you until you help her do so.
5)Anytime you’re among other moms your child will choose that precise moment to be upset for no reason. I was in the doctor’s office with four or five other moms with babies all of us were there for shots. All the other babies were sleeping or playing quietly. Beatrice was inconsolable. Other parents kept asking if she had colic or if she was sick. Nope. It turned out she just wanted to be naked, but seeing as it’s winter in Indiana I couldn’t exactly strip her down before we got into the doctor’s office.
6) Working at Kohls when you have a child is hard. You want to buy everything even when you remind yourself that you have two boxes of clothes in sizes up to 2t at home and your baby doesn’t even play with most of her toys. (She likes her owl ball, a random piece of tulle from a diaper cake, and my face way more than anything else). When those friends and family events come up it doesn’t matter that she really doesn’t need a Frozen toddler couch it’s ten bucks and she’ll use it one day right? So much for saving my money.
7) Once you have one it’s very likely your world will revolve around baby stuff. You’ll always be talking about or looking up things pertaining to raising children and not turning them into a serial killer. It will come to the point where your partner will look at you when you say for the forth time that day how great it is the baby can roll over or blow raspberries and tell you “You’re obsessed.”
My baby is already three weeks old one week away from being a month old. I can’t grasp that that much time has passed already. Beatrice is already holding her head up for seconds at a time and making new discoveries every day. She loves feeling soft things like her bear and tummy time. I had her pictures taken this week. Which she really didn’t care for. We were able to get one good picture of her though which was nice since most of them looked like this
Bea also got to meet my friend Morgan’s niece Raelyn who’s four months older than her they were pretty intrigued by one another.
Here’s the one good picture Morgan was able to get of my little rugrat. I still have a voucher my in laws to be bought me for more photos so maybe I’ll have better luck then.
This last week has been completely crazy. I finally got to bring Beatrice home at the beginning of this week and I’m not going to lie it’s been tough. Don’t get me wrong I didn’t expect it to be easy and all things considered she is an easy going baby. I literally slept through all of last night except for when I had to wake up to nurse her.
I also didn’t expect to feel so overwhelmed those first couple of days. When people tell you to ask for help when you need it when you bring the baby home you should really. The first day I was sure I would be able to do everything on my own without Brandon or anyone else’s help by the second day I was asking pretty much anyone who had ever offered me help to help. Brandon has been great with cooking and soothing little Bea when I can’t. I definitely think she’s a daddy’s girl. Even when he’s not doing anything if he’s in eye sight she always gives him this look of awe. Brandon’s grandparents have been great too they were able to take me to her first appointment which went well I’m finally liking this pediatrician he wasn’t my first choice, but he handles Beatrice well and seems to know what he’s talking about. Which is better than most doctors I’m finding out here. Brandon’s grandparents paid for some professional pictures to be taken of Bea and one of my best work friends who also made me some frozen meals is a photographer who’s taking some pictures of her own. Of course I also can’t forget Ashley one of my closest friends to the point of being like a sister to me who has gone out of her way for Beatrice and I a couple of times now and is always willing to help. I’m so blessed to have so many great people in my life willing to help me because honestly raising a child takes a village sometimes more than one even. Beatrice is so very loved and I think she feels it already that’s why she’s such an easy baby.
I had things down pretty well by the third day. I gave her a sponge bath and we started a sleep schedule sort of thing. I also gave up on my idea that she had to sleep in her crib every time she sleeps. Don’t get me wrong for naps and such during the day I have no problem with putting her in there, but at night time I just can’t sleep with her way on the other side of the room it gives me anxiety about missing feedings or not hearing her when she cries or the worst case scenario of SIDS even though I know that co-sleeping is not suppose to be safe it feels safe to me to have her right there next to me to nurse and check on. I always make sure that there aren’t any pillows, blankets, or anything that might be dangerous for her when we go to bed.
Breastfeeding by then was going pretty well minus me running out of milk randomly and having to supplement. She was nursing for hours on end and it shows at her appointment she had already put on a full pound. After not even a week of being home. I tried a lot of things to get my supply going, but my favorite thing was just spending those first couple of days skin to skin nursing even when I wasn’t making enough milk. The thing that’s helped most was the mother’s milk tea I drank it one night and woke up with enough milk to feed the entire neighborhood it felt like. It’s made a huge difference for me if you have problems with your supply like I did I highly recommend doing both. It’s only been a few days and man has it made a difference not to mention she now flat out refuses formula.
Play and everything has been pretty simple. I’m still reading to Beatrice and giving her tummy time usually on my chest which she likes for the most part. Unless I try to sit her on the floor. It’s made a difference for sure. She can already lift her head for a short time and looks from me to her dad when I hold her on my shoulder. I give her little leg and feet massages every day and she likes touching different fabrics like a teddy bear or the velcro on my boppy.
When nothing else calms her her dad puts on heavy metal and she calms down and falls asleep. Oh and she has a belly button now her cord fell off today it’s absolutely adorable.
I became a mom on September 7th 2015 to the most beautiful 7 pound four once, 21 inch long little baby girl. I’d felt contractions since Saturday. but didn’t want to go in too soon since I’d already been to labor and delivery for two false alarms I went in Wednesday night when the pain was getting really bad and what I’d thought was heavy watery discharge that had been leaking all day turned out to be my water.
Everything started out well enough. I was dilating and things looked good my doctor decided to give me pitocin just to be safe since my water had broken and it had already been six hours. I went from 5cm to 9 cm within twenty minutes. I had an epidural, but was still in immense pain. Next thing I knew it was time to push and since Brandon had stayed with me all night he had gone home to take a quick nap and eat something when we both thought I’d had at least five or so more hours. No such luck he missed the whole thing.I don’t really blame him because I told him to go and rest so he would have energy for the main event, but it did disappoint me. I really wanted him there I wish one of us could of seen her birth since I ended up being knocked out for it.
I started pushing around ten or eleven in the morning, but was making no progress no matter how hard I tried. The doctor said she thought I just wasn’t putting in enough effort, but I gave it my all. She tried using the vacuum several times more than she said she was suppose to I’d been pushing for two hours at that point and my epidural had worn off completely. I ended up needing a c section after Beatrice’s heart rate kept dropping and wasn’t allowed to see her at all after she was born. I finally saw her a day or so later when a nurse wheeled me to the NICU. A nurse was nice enough to take pictures for me, but I really really regret that I didn’t get to do skin to skin or breast feed right after she was born. It was really the one thing I’d planned on doing, but like everything else that day it just wasn’t happening like it was suppose to. She stayed in the nursery all week until yesterday when we were finally allowed to room in. She had a lot of breathing, digestive, and other problems from being in the birth canal for too long, but seems to be doing perfectly fine now. I love just looking at her face and holding her. It’s made all the pain worth it.
With that said I have to say it was a traumatic experience and I don’t see myself having any more children. The idea of childbirth always seemed a bit scary to me, but that was a nightmare.
That’s okay though because I have the most amazing little girl and I don’t need any other kids.
And though a lot has happened our baby being born was not one of those things. I was almost positive I’d have her either over the weekend or on Monday when I thought my water broke at work. We went to Labor and Delivery and they did a quick test before sending us home it turns out it was just pee. It was pretty embarrassing really my boss paraded me around work and told everyone I was having my baby even though I wasn’t totally sold on it myself. I’d had a lot of what felt like contractions over the weekend, but they’d died down completely by Monday. The only thing that had me worried was there was a gush of fluid when I stood up at one point. I called Labor and Delivery figuring they’d tell me to put on a pad and wait it out or something, but instead they told me to come in immediately. Otherwise I would of kept working for the rest of my shift and maybe went if I had any more leakage.
Since the nurse made it sound like a really serious thing I panicked and told my boss I was going to get checked out. Everyone I work with was so sure it was going to be the day, but no such luck I was back at work today doing the same old same old.
I learned today apparently the people I work with really don’t like left overs. We had a special food day with smoked sausage, green beans, and potatoes that were absolutely delicious earlier this week and still had a ton left so that’s what I had for lunch. Everyone in the break room was telling me they don’t like to eat anything that isn’t fresh with few exceptions. I couldn’t imagine a life without leftovers. They save so much time and depending on what they are sometimes are even better the next day. I just thought that was really bizarre.
I’ve been pretty calm I think for someone who didn’t know they were pregnant for pretty much all of their pregnancy about having a baby. My nursery nook is set up, I have enough diapers to last me months, the laundry is done, the hospital bag is packed, and I’m just a few days away from my due date and at worst I have my induction scheduled just a week after my original due date.
Today I don’t know if it’s the hormones or my anxiety or both of them teaming up on me, but I’ve been terrified. I know it’s normal to be especially during your first pregnancy. I’ve known this was real and happening and everything, but I don’t think it hit me how different things are going to be when the baby’s here. I know Brandon and I will evolve and be okay. We made it through a long distance relationship for five years,moving across the country for me, another huge move in the middle of winter in Indiana, family deaths, what we thought was a miscarriage. We’ve always made it out of things stronger and we’ve been our own family for the past three almost four years now. We have our own traditions and things we like to do together and routines. I tell myself we’re still going to have all of that, but it’s going to evolve and include another little human being who’s a part of both of us. I know we will we’re made of strong stuff and we have a love that conquers all (cheesy, but true).
I have been absolutely loving the past three days. We’ve stayed home played a rather crappy game together for over eight hours, laid in bed, worked on a pillow for Beatrice, did things that are not blog appropriate, went to Walmart in the middle of the night to get 100% beef hamburgers because we’d both been craving them for days, and just generally basked in the fact that it was just the two of us. I know we’ll have family and friends to watch our kids and we’ll be able to do these things on occasion still maybe even spontaneously like this weekend. It won’t be as easy and I know I’ll need to make sure that I don’t turn into one of those moms who just focuses on their kid and forgets her husband completely in the hustle and bustle of motherhood and working and all the expectations there are for me as a working mother. I’ll have to remember what I think every time I make dinner or pick up Star Crunches at the store or lean over to kiss my wonderful fiancee or grab a quick cuddle just because. It’s easy to do the bare minimum in a relationship especially when you have other things demanding your attention. It’s harder to keep doing the little things and those are the things that pay off way more than the big things. I want Beatrice to always know her parents love eachother and I want Brandon to know that I love him and I will now and every day for the rest of my life.
I worry all the time about Brandon and about Beatrice and about our family. Not because of any good reason just because it’s who I am. I worry all the time I’m going to mess everything up. Motherhood and my relationship. Even when things are going great like they have been my anxiety comes back and tells me “Or everything could go terribly wrong and Brandon will hate you and you won’t be able to bond properly with your baby because of PPD”. I got locked out of my account on the computer at work the other day and was positive I’d been fired and someone had just forgotten to tell me. I’m a logical person I know these things are crazy, but I worry and panic anyway. It’s a part of having anxiety and of growing up in an environment I hope my daughter never has to see. Where every single day I wasn’t certain of much of anything. I’ve gotten better, but I still worry and when I do I write and when I write I feel better. Most of the time.