Motherhood is a word that encompasses so much more than just the basic definition of "the relationship between an offspring and the mother". Being a mom is everything I have ever wanted, some things I didn't know came with having a baby, and some things I kind of wish didn't come with being a mom. The following are constant: I LOVE being a mom, I LOVE my daughter with every ounce of my being, and it is by far the HARDEST thing I have ever and I will ever do.
Warning, this is a long blog. Read at your own risk.
Lets start at the beginning. Getting pregnant and staying pregnant is not easy for everyone. Watch what you say because you never know what someone is going through. Jeremy and I got pregnant the second month of trying and were so excited and never thought anything bad would happen because I was healthy, young, didn't smoke, no drugs...etc. We decided to tell our family and close friends at around 6 weeks and that same weekend our lives changed. We went through a miscarriage that was devastating. I know some people are like you were 6 weeks, no big deal. A miscarriage is a miscarriage. I was not a super emotional person and was pretty emotionally tough but this crushed me to the core. It happened over the holidays and Christmas was rough. I remember just being so hurt when I saw people getting pregnant around me and angry that it wasn't me. Why wasn't I pregnant? Why were we getting punished? It just didn't make sense to me and I wasn't happy until I was pregnant again. I finally realized that if I hadn't had that miscarriage I wouldn't have my precious Emma. So just be careful of what you say and to whom.
Oh the weight gain. I was huge and swollen and didn't fit into anything and this and that. But, that's okay. It was very hard for me to watch that scale increase day after day. Many times I cried to Jeremy and then had to turn around and wear his shirts. I am sure he was thrilled about sharing his wardrobe, but I refused to buy more maternity clothes at month 9. Want to know how much I gained? 50 pounds and I am 5'1. Take that. If you are pregnant along with someone else please don't make it a challenge to see who can gain the least. If I heard "I have only gained 10 pounds" one more time I would have punched someone.
Childbirth. Unpredictable and scary and exciting! If you want to go all natural, awesome. If you want to give birth at your house, wonderful. If you don't, that is perfect too. Whatever you feel comfortable with is what you need to do. I had an epidural and I had zero regrets. Having a baby, however that happens, is a miracle. Again, not a contest!
Here is my newborn story:
Emma came out screaming, literally, and continued to do so for the first 5-6 months. She had a horrible case of colic that made me wonder what in the Hell I had gotten myself into. We love her unconditionally, but those were the hardest months of my life! It took a toll on our marriage because neither of us were sleeping and we couldn't get angry with Emma, so naturally, we got mad at each other. Poor Jeremy got phone calls almost daily from me crying because Emma was inconsolable and I was so frustrated. If I could go back I would have called for help. I am a prideful person and refused to call my family or his family to come and give me a break even though I was in desperate need of them. Call for help!
Why did no one tell me that breast feeding was so hard and would be extremely emotional?!? Pretty sure that was the number 1 cause of my baby blues. I wanted to breast feed and tried. It just wasn't working and making the switch to formula was so difficult to me because I felt like I was failing as a mom. That was my job, that was how she was going to bond with me, that was the best thing for her, that was... that was... that was. The list goes on. I got to the point that I was dreading having to feed her because I was in so much pain from her latch and I then had to pump and feed her. My mom finally straight up told me that she was worried that I was going to resent Emma if I kept on breast feeding. Hello lightbulb. Was it worth me bleeding and crying every time I had to feed her or was it worth it for me to feel more of a human being? Jeremy kept saying Emma needs a happy mom more than a breast feeding mom. Words that rang true for me. I switched and then found out she was allergic to milk anyways! No wonder she cried when it was time to eat! Point being, breast feeding is tough. I would have loved to have done it for 6+ months, but it didn't work out that way. And, it's okay. Emma is healthy and happy!
It is so important to have a great support system once that sweet baby arrives! Jeremy and I are beyond lucky. We have a wonderful and close family, caring friends, and coworkers that are amazing. If you feel judged by someone I would steer clear for a while. Block people from facebook, twitter, blogs, Pinterest, etc... ignore all the mom's that say how much they accomplished that day, how organic their dinner was, how their 1 year is reading at a 12 year old level, how their house is completely dust and dirt free, etc... It is all BS anyways. They are just like us. My bed gets made periodically. Emma throws multiple fits a day. I go grocery shopping with a backup person or at night when I can go alone. Dinner? If it is a good week I cook 3 times. Normal week, we have Chick-fil-a or Fuzzy's often.
The painful love that I feel for Emma was immediate. I thought I loved my nieces and nephews (and Oh, I do!) but the love for you own baby is indescribable. I stay up late thinking about her future and worrying about what dangers she will get in and how can I always protect her. I wake up and stare at the monitor for minutes on end just making sure she is breathing normally. I miss her every time she is away from me (even if I want some alone time). My heart literally hurt when she first said 'momma'. If Jeremy's parents weren't there, I bet I would have cried. When she gives me kisses I pray she will never stop because they are the sweetest thing ever. Naturally, I think she is the world's most adorable girl. I love her. I love her. I love her. I cannot say it enough, I love Emma Reagan and I am so thankful that God gave her to us. She has taught us how to be patient. How to become flexible in life. How to truly love someone so much it hurts.
Motherhood is ever changing with every new season of life. What worked last month may not work this month. You learn to adapt. It is hard, emotionally, physically, and mentally. It is worth every tear, every pound gained, every sleepless night, every rough patch, every everything. Ladies, it is worth it.
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