Man, oh man. Where do I begin? Let’s start from the very beginning-the moment my baby boy came into the world and cried for the first time.
Although laboring with him wasn’t brutal or impossible, it definitely proved to be the hardest thing I have ever done in my life. So the moment Saylor finally came out, RELIEF is what flooded my thoughts. But immediate connection, love, and bonding were not the first thoughts or feelings. I’m about to be really transparent with you people. I didn’t have that initial connection with Saylor. He didn’t even nurse right away, which really disappointed me. It’s not that I didn’t love my child the second I saw him; I loved him the second I knew I was pregnant with him. It’s just that when I looked at him those first few days, I felt like I was looking at a total stranger. I didn’t know this person.
Also, I dealt pretty heavily with the postpartum “baby blues”. I cried all the time. I felt so many negative things like: “My life is over.” “I can no longer do the things I love.” “I suck at breast-feeding” (haha, play on words). “I’m going to be a bad mother.” “I’m not connecting with my child.” “I miss being pregnant.” “My body looks weird.” “I’m stuck in my bedroom nursing for the rest of my life.” “I miss my family.” “I wish my parents could have made it to see him born.” “I’m tired.” “I’m hurting.” blah blah blah. It was such an out-of-body experience. I felt like I was looking down on myself saying, “You fool! You have NOTHING to be sad about. You had an amazing, beautiful birth-the one you always dreamed of. You have a healthy, gorgeous child. Your family is all surrounding you to help you and support you. Stop crying!!!” But I just couldn’t shake the despair I felt. Thank the Lord that this depression only lasted a few days. The first six weeks were very hard though. Saylor and I took a while learning how to make breast-feeding work. It’s funny, I’m usually pretty graceful with most things. I’m a dancer! But graceful is the last word I would use to describe how I nurse. It’s obviously working. Look at my child’s thighs!
But even still, I’m no french woman who can nurse standing on one leg, with no hands, and her eyes closed. Also in the first six weeks, I felt like ALL I DID WAS NURSE! Poor Saylor, like his father, likes to take his time to eat. He would eat for about 40 minutes to an hour, take an hour break, then be hungry again. It was an hour on, hour off schedule. People told me that all newborns do is eat, but WOW! So for about six weeks, I stayed sitting on my butt in the big comfy recliner my in-laws bought for me (thanks, thanks, thanks), then taking short breaks in between to change a diaper, finish 1/4 of a chore, grab a bite to eat, and then I was back in my chair nursing again. And the lie that all newborns sleep all the time- YEAH RIGHT! Not my child! He hated and still hates sleeping. These weeks were a struggle for me. I love staying busy at home and doing chores and projects around the house. So having to just sit and be, that was so difficult. Nathan had to do everything I once did. He cooked, cleaned, did dishes and laundry, brought me meals while I was nursing, etc. He was so great during that time! I learned alot from being so still in those days. I did alot of praying and thinking. I was able to recognize and deal with my control issues and a whole list of things that needed to be worked on, sorted through, and refined. Like I said before, the connection between Saylor and I didn’t blow up like a bomb the second he was born. It was something that developed over time. We had to get to know each other. Our relationship grows every day still. I can honestly say that I love him in a way I cannot describe in words-something so strong that it almost hurts. However, I thought that I would feel this way right at first, and I didn’t. It’s been a process. This has come as a surprise to me. I don’t know why it’s happened this way. Maybe the intense hormones? I really don’t know.
After those first six weeks, everything started changing. Little by little, I could get up and do more. Saylor became a little bit more independent every week that went by. He gradually started nursing quicker and spacing out his meals more and more. I slowly started getting back to doing some of the things I once did, but not all, even still. And that’s where we find ourselves today. Everyday that goes by, life gets a little bit easier. Then, sometimes I have those perfect days, where Saylor barely cries, sleeps longer than 30 minutes at a time, and I get a million things done around the house. Then out of nowhere, he’ll surprise me, and not sleep at all, cry all day long, and I get NOTHING done. This whole motherhood journey is pretty inconsistent. It drives me crazy sometimes, but it’s such an adventure. It’s impossible for life to be boring or mundane now. He’s literally growing up before my eyes. It seems like he learns a new trick or skill every day. He lights up my world.
He’s so aware of the world around him now. He responds and reacts to stimuli. He’s so chunky! He’s rolling over and laughing, and I have a hunch that he’ll be an early walker. Watch out, Nathan’s books! I can tell he really loves and feels safe with Nathan and me. He recognizes family and Taylor and Adrienne. He’s inquisitive and sometimes nervous with strangers. He likes to be tickled and kissed. He loves to grab his toes. I’ll stop, but I could go on and on about him. I love our BUB so much!
So how has my life changed since becoming a mother?
* I don’t sleep as much anymore, duh. Also, it’s not just Nathan and I alone in our bed together because Saylor still spends about half the night in bed with us. So, I get to wake up next to my two favorite people every morning.
*Saylor doesn’t love being left alone for long periods of time, so I wear him in a carrier or wrap almost all day long. My back hurts because of it, but I get to kiss my boy even while doing dishes.
*Going out is a huge ordeal. It has to be at precisely the ideal time, and I have to make sure the car seat is in the right car, and that I have all baby gear ready (diapers and such). Also, we get alot of attention when we go out in public!
*Oh yeah, diapers are huge part of my life now.
*I don’t shave my legs very much. Sometimes brushing my teeth is delayed too too long. Deodorant is forgotten completely sometimes until very, VERY obvious later in the afternoon. I basically never style my hair. It happens about once every 2 weeks.
*I wear the same outfit everyday.
*Sometimes dinner is ready by dinnertime, sometimes later, sometimes not at all.
*Not everything is in it’s place looking straight and tidy. Oh well, I surrendered to this months ago.
*My body will NEVER be the same! Oh yeah, no more yoga for now. 😦
*Something new and exciting happens everyday!
So to close, motherhood has completely changed EVERYTHING, and my life will NEVER be the same! Praise God. I’m so blessed.