Feeds:
Posts
Comments

It takes a village.

Before having Brooklyn I always eye-rolled at the statement “It takes a village to raise a child”. The independent, controlling perfectionist in me cringed at the idea of constantly needing to accept, or worse, ask for help.

Somewhere in the weeks after giving birth, post the initial week where my Mom stayed and helped, probably about week 5 when Brooklyn cried for hours each night, the Husband was working long hours, and I was going on like day 3 of not sleeping, showering, or eating much – I gave in. I had my in-laws come and help. They cleaned the whole house, brought me food, and held her while I showered and napped.

I felt like a failure.

It’s ridiculous looking back now. I mean why did I think it was a sign of failure to accept help? I know some people have easy babies and still ask for help. And while I’m not sure I would exactly say Brooklyn was the most difficult baby – dealing with intolerances and reflux (which meant no more than 2 hour blocks of sleep, and hours upon hours of crying) was T-O-U-G-H.

Since that point I have fully accepted and appreciated help when it comes to Brooklyn.

If my Moms want to come up stay for the weekend, clean a little and watch Brooklyn while sending the husband and I out to dinner? Sure!

If my in-laws want to drop off food, pick her up early from daycare, or watch her 1-2 days a week? Absolutely!

If her daycare wants to teach her how to use a sippy cup and spoon? Please do!

So last night, when at 1am we woke-up to Brooklyn projectile vomiting all over our bed and us – it was nice to know that we would could count on help over the next few days.

Meaning, even though our washer has been broken since Tuesday – my in-laws have kindly offered to do loads for us while we wait on a repairman. Which after hour 4 of random projectile vomiting, and our fourth change of sheets – it was so helpful to know that we would have help getting clean sheets today, given everything was covered in puke.

And even though the Husband had to get to work, and I really need to log on and work for a while, and her daycare won’t take her if she is puking, my amazing MIL came over, brought some baked apple and sweet potato, and offered to watch her for a few hours so I could get some work done, shower and get ready to host her (small) birthday party tomorrow (umm she turns ONE on Sunday?!).

It’s a comforting feeling to know we have this amazing support system so readily available for us. And when that nagging “you need to do it all and stop asking for help feeling comes up these days”, I remind myself, it’s even more valuable that Brooklyn gets to be surrounded by and cared for by so many family members and adults who want to care for her.

And so I’m a-OK, and downright thankful, that I have this amazing village to help raise my child.

Challenge

Lately I find myself wanting to do more, say more, feel more, and to just *be* more.

It’s this overwhelming urge to declutter. I think it started after reading The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up. After donating and throwing out 17 bags of clothes, books, old mementos and more I just felt so good. The obvious feelings of course – being organized and clean. But a deeper feeling – of being lighter, free, and happier. 

And since then, I just can’t stop the urge to get rid of all the clutter and “noise” in my life so I can focus on more important things. 

 
  
At first glance List 1 probably doesn’t seem that earth shattering. But if I look back at the last year or two of my life – it’s a change. 

I haven’t made my marriage a priority since we had Brooklyn. It wasn’t on purpose, it just kind of happened. With so much time and energy focused on her – what little was left was spent on work, and then social activities we had to take part in. I think we both realized we left each other with scraps – tired, cranky, nagging scraps. 

And so this year – 2016 – my word is challenge

Challenge myself to give more and try harder in my marriage.

Challenge myself to really be the woman I want Brooklyn to see – the woman I think I am – but don’t always portray.

Challenge myself to less clutter – less TV, less phone, less complaining and negativity and more, much much more optimism, positive energy, getting shit done, experiencing new things, and getting healthy. 

I have a really good feeling about 2016. 

31

On Thanksgiving day I turned 31.

What’s hilarious is that the first 3 times I tried typing that I typed 21. Not quite 21 anymore…😉

30 was a great year, a life changing year with the addition of Brooklyn. I’ll admit though, the past few months have been a little more of a blur. That’s not to say that there haven’t been so many joyous and memorable moments. But returning to work, and balancing being a Mom, a full-time project manager, and being responsible for pretty much all the household bills, social calendar, and a lot of miscellaneous – turned quite a bit of my time into a racing around blur. And sleep, oh sleep how I miss you! While I shouldn’t complain, some nights Brooklyn sleeps a solid 6+ hours, it’s still not consistent.

I digress.

For my 31st year I had some thoughts. I don’t want it to be or feel like just a blur of racing around.

For a long time over this past year I kept thinking I needed to figure out a way to “find myself again”. It’s easy to get lost when you become a Mom. I think instead of finding the old me, I want to figure out the new me. I’ll never get to be as selfish as I was, and I don’t want to be. But I do think there’s a balance that I haven’t quite found yet.

If someone asked me to make a quick 5 point list of things I wish I could do more (or any) of (aside from spending time with Brooklyn, the Husband and Bentley – a given) it would be:

1. Read more
2. Exercise
3. See certain friends more for “dates”
4. Do good (some type of charity work)
5. Write more (i.e. return to writing on this blog!)

And as easy as that, those are the few things that I’m going to try to get back into my life.

Reading:
Already, when Brooklyn goes to sleep around 8:30/9:00pm I have started to read again. Oh how I missed reading – actual books – and not just blogs. I read Leah Remini’s book “Troublemaker” which focused on her experience with (and subsequently leaving) Scientology. It was SO fascinating that I started and finished it in one night. I’m now about 1/3rd of the way through Winter Street by Elin Hildebrand. I thought it would be a nice, easy Holiday season read.

Exercise:
Here’s where I need to just do it. I’ve been waiting and waiting for my in-laws to bring their treadmill to my house (which is so kind and not as easily coordinating when you don’t have a truck) but I just don’t know when it will really arrive. I belong to a cheap gym about 15 minutes from my house – which could be en route to a train station one stop closer to work. I could get my butt out of bed 2-3x a week at 5:30am, do a quick 30-45 minutes, shower, and head to the nearby train station to head to work. I have no excuse other than I’ve been lazy and haven’t done it. I know if I do it once, I will continue – I just need to make myself go!

Seeing certain friends more:
It’s been hard adjusting to not seeing my friends as often as I used to. Unfortunately week nights just don’t work right now so it’s a lot of scheduling and shuffling and figuring out who has the baby (or bringing the baby) in order to see friends. Anyway, excuses aside, I’m trying to make more of an effort to schedule dates with a certain few friends who I really miss seeing as often (versus trying to schedule random outings with friends who haven’t put much effort into our friendship over the past years).

Doing Good:
I actually found a great way to be involved at work which I’m loving. Since free time is a bit tough, being able to be involved while at my job is the perfect scenario. As part of a much larger initiative, I’m coordinating with just one shelter to obtain, wrap and send 84 winter coats/gloves/hats from our firm for the Holidays. I won’t lie, it’s heartbreaking in general to think of children without warm clothing for the winter, but seeing the amount of children under a year – actually makes me cry. Anyway, it’s been wonderful to be a part of the project and it’s definitely helped my wrapping skills!

Write more:
Well… here we go!

Me

I’ve been struggling to write. To find the time to sit down and write something thoughtful and eloquent is daunting when it feels like I’m just doing my best to survive the day to day of my life lately. Maybe survive isn’t the right word because deep down I’m doing more than survive.

And so here’s the version I can write while on a train ride home. The straight from my brain, no filter version.

After months of insecurities and worries and questioning myself I have finally realized, I’m a good mom. Maybe I’m not the picture perfect mom that can do it all (half my days I come into work with my hair in a wet bun and half my nights I’m still begging the baby to sleep) but I can say, and believe, that I’m the best mom for Brooklyn.

I’m not where I thought I would be. My baby isn’t sleeping 12 hours a night (we’re lucky with 4 straight hours these days) and maybe I haven’t lost my baby weight (stress eating is my nemesis) but I’m in a different place.

A vulnerable and so very real place. I’ve never felt such intense and overwhelming emotions in my life. I’ve never wanted so much to be a strong female role model. I’ve never cried so much, and so willingly, without feeling dumb or silly. I’ve never loved like this – so terrifyingly fiercely. I’ve never wanted for someone else’s happiness and health so far above and beyond my own. My life just feels elevated – the little worries and stresses that used to matter just don’t anymore. My daughter, my amazing, beautiful, smart and hilarious daughter, trumps all that nonsense.

And I’m proud of the mom I am. I know her. I know her and her little personality, and reactions so well. I know when something isn’t right – like the start of the awful coxsackie virus (hand, foot, mouth) that started earlier this week – my mommy intuition with her is spot on. I know how to slowly and patiently persuade her to take a bottle even if her mouth is covered in blisters and it hurts so damn much. Even on my worst days and worst moments, I don’t lose it with her. My patience that was once completely nonexistent has grown a million times over when I’m with her.

And I’m proud of the worker I am – the *working mom* I am. After sleepless nights and rushing home on days – I have become more efficient and productive than ever. Long gone are the “I’ll just stay late days” instead it’s *get it done*. My time is too valuable for bullshit these days.

But in being completely honest…

I’m still struggling to find me again. I’m a damn good worker and I’m a damn good mom but… What about everything else? What about my marriage? My friendships? My self care? (It’s been 6+ months since a haircut…) I’m not quite sure how to fit it all in. I run from moment to moment most days – so the idea of giving of sleep right now – wonderful, rare sleep – to workout or get even more done is just painful. The idea of giving up what minimal time I have with Brooklyn crushes me. But I’m getting there. Slowly I am caring that my body is far from the body I know, an extra 20 pounds hanging around. My energy levels are crap from living off coffee and fast easy food. I know that needs to change it is just figuring out how. I know I need and want time with my friends – the friends that I value so highly and need in my life forever, not the crappy ones. Ain’t no one got time for those people.

The truth is every time I think I have it figured out – “it” all changes. It’s one unexpected bump and change and milestone and development after another. But there’s a beauty in adapting and changing. For the first time in years I’m so far out of my comfort zone and it’s by far the most rewarding. And I wish I could eloquently put into words what motherhood has done to me but I can’t. I can’t quite explain it in tangible terms but it’s changed everything, in the most beautiful indescribable way. Me, my voice, my values, my actions, my worries, my significance – everything.

And so I’m just going to keep on keeping on. Adapting. Learning. Growing. Finding myself again, only a different version, dare I say a far better version than I ever imagined.

I think when I pictured coming back to work everything would be on a smooth schedule.

I’d wake up refreshed, after Brooklyn slept through the night, in her crib, in her own room. I’d say bye to her and she’d give me a big smile and I’d head to work, excited to get a little me time again. I’d come home, excited to see her, play with her, read her a book before putting her to bed then having a little me time to eat dinner and relax before bed.

HA-HA.

Monday I started work again. To say I was (am) a big ball of emotions is an understatement.

For one, I’m exhausted. Long story short, we determined a few weeks ago that Brooklyn has silent reflux. She started to refuse to eat – basically she would eat an ounce or two then scream bloody murder for an hour. It became alarming when it happened with every bottle, and worse when the ounces she was eating started to dwindle day by day. 5+ weeks of trial and error – doctor visits (including one amazing doctor at Children’s hospital), medications, tears, and a lot of patience (i.e. keeping her elevated 30 minutes post eating and when sleeping, feeding her slowly and burping her lots), and we’re in a better place (still not 100% but MUCH better). Anyway, because of this, she’s still eating much smaller amounts more frequently – I’m talking practically newborn state again. I’m thankful that this is something she will grow out of and blessed that while it may be a tough few months, overall she’s healthy.

Anyway, she’s actually sleeping in our room, in our bed. She “goes” to sleep (on me/in my arms) around 8, up to eat again around 10:30, asleep around 11, up again at 2, asleep around 3, up again at 5 and sometimes back asleep, sometimes not. Meaning I’m averaging truthfully, about 5 hours of broken sleep a night.

So right now…this is a new day in the life…

2:00am – Brooklyn stirs. Quickly pick her up before she goes into full on screaming mode. Feed her 4 ounces. (This is usually the largest feed she’ll take since she’s half asleep. During the day we’re still only getting 2-3 ounces in her at a time.)

2:40am – Lay Brooklyn back down after finishing bottle, burping her, holding her upright for at least 20 minutes.

3:00am – Finally drift back off to sleep.

4:30am – Stirring. Not sure if it’s the medications or just the immaturity still of her digestive system but she writhes quite a bit in her sleep. Always wakes me up.

5:00am – Scream fest begins. Feed her another 2 ounces. Try to settle her but she just isn’t settling.

5:45am – She finally drifts off. I contemplate sleeping another 20 minutes or just getting up. Try to lay down but all I can think about is work so I get up and shower.

6:00-7:20am – Shower, dry hair, get dressed, get Brooklyn’s medications out, wash and fill bottles for my MIL who is taking care of her most afternoons once the Husband goes to work until we start a few days of daycare in June. Lay out clothes for her. Throw laundry in. Throw dishes in dishwasher. Drink coffee…x2

7:30am – Leave for train station. Cry en route. Strange mix of emotions – on one hand I love my job and it feels good to work again. But there’s this inner struggle – I feel guilty for wanting to work. I feed sad for missing out on moments with Brooklyn. And really, I just plain miss her. I’m so overwhelmed with emotions and exhaustion that I wish I could just drive to a secluded island by myself.

7:50am – Train to the city.

8:40am – Starbucks en route to my office. Try to order a grande blonde roast, only twice it came out as a Blondey roast. Barista laughs at me and asks if I want a venti instead.

8:50am – Sit down at my desk..with my venti.

9:00-4:00ish – Work, work, work. Go into the bathroom and cry twice (hey I expected more!) Connect with other new moms at work and get confirmation that the first month is really hard and that’s normal. Check in with my MIL a few times, ask for pictures. Hear all the new drama, get a crap ton of new work, and try to ease back in. There are moments where it just feels really good to be working again.

4:25pm – Train home. My manager leaves by 4 and comes in later than me so as long as I can, I plan on being efficient enough (I skip lunch anyway) to leave at the same time too.

5:15pm – Walk in the door and immediately grab my girl. Slightly heartbroken she doesn’t seem more excited but I know 5pm starts her fussy time and at least I get a smile. (Also, I’m not sure what I’m expecting from a 14 week old, ha.)

5:30pm – Changed out of my work outfit, took Bentley outside and get updates from my MIL before she leaves.

5:45pm – Attempt to feed her, get only 2 ounces in and then she refuses more.

6:10pm – It’s beautiful out so decide to take her on a quick stroller walk around the neighborhood for some fresh air. Chat with (at?) her the whole time – people must think I’m a nuts.

6:40pm – Come home, change her diaper and “read” a book (read to her while she laughs at me / looks around), tell her about my day.

7:15pm – Give her medication and draw a bath. She’s in clingy mode so carry her around while doing all of this.

7:30pm – Tubby time! Sing her the tubby time song (“tubby time, tubbbby tubby tubby tubby time, time to wash all the yuckies away, it’s the best part of the daaay” (Don’t ask.) She truly loves tubby time and it actually is my favorite part of the day.

7:50pm – Get her in a clean diaper, put her in her jammies and settle her a bit. Carry her in one arm while eating pasta salad (my dinner) with one hand standing at the counter while Bentley begs at my feet.

8:15pm – She’s hungry. This girl goes from 0-60. Warm a bottle while she starts to pant and panic.

8:35pm – Got 3.5 ounces in, not too bad. Burp burp burp. Sway sway sway.

8:50pm – Rock her / keep her upright.

9:00pm – Lay her in the rock-n-play (since it’s more upright) and run around like a chicken with my head cut off. Pick out work outfit. Take out contacts. Go to the bathroom. Chug an emergen-c (fighting a cold). Brush teeth. Bring bottles up for nighttime feeds. Set up bedroom – nightlight, sound machine/fan. Give Bentley water/food.

9:12pm – She’s awake…

9:15pm – Walking around while carrying her, trying to resettle her.

9:30pm – Husband gets home from work. He’s had a really long day – court in the morning then a 9 hour shift.

10:00pm- Head to bed, with Brooklyn. Get about 1.5 ounces in her before calling it quits.

10:28pm – Last time I look at my phone before falling asleep…hoping for at least a 4 hour stretch. (Spoiler, I got about 3.5 hours)
****

Even though I’m exhausted, overwhelmed by emotions, sick (thanks Husband for this awful head cold), and life is just so different now…I love it. I really do. I mean I don’t love all parts of it of course, but I love this little girl, I love our new expanded family, I love shaking up what was once our routine (we thought we were “busy” before…we sure watched a lot of tv) and I love how special everything feels now. I have learned pretty quickly that each phase/hard time/new normal with a baby passes quickly. The good ones and the bad. So as much as I’m a type A, need a schedule and routine and to do lists type, I think for a while I’m ok with just enjoying this roller-coaster of a time period.

My journey with breastfeeding has not been as easy one. In fact, almost to the day that it became easy, it became a whole lot harder.

I always knew I wanted to breastfeed, but to be honest I wasn’t looking forward to it or thinking of it as something that would be some amazing bonding experience.

But I couldn’t have been more wrong.

After quite a few lactation appointments, practice with a nipple shield (thanks flat nipples!), and a few days of excruciating pain (razor blades to my nipples pain), we got into a routine. Somewhere around 4 weeks, I started to look forward to our nursing sessions. It was 30-40 minutes of tenderness and quiet. I can’t quite explain it, and maybe a big part of it is hormonal, but I really started to enjoy it. The feeling of being needed, of nourishing her, watching her and stroking her hair. It just felt special.

Around 5 weeks I started noticing that her diapers went from normal breastfeed yellow color to a strange mucousy green color. At that same time she started to become inconsolably fussy. She would nurse, appear happy and then like clockwork, about 30 minutes later start to scream. Not a “I’m wet cry” but an “I’m in pain scream”.

After a few calls with her pediatrician I brought her in only to be told they thought it was maybe a virus, or something I ate that caused her to react like that. They reiterated she was doing okay, although her weight gain had slowed slightly. They noted that we should watch her skin – all along we were told she had “baby acne” but we should gently wash it a few times a day to hopefully help clear it up.

I left that appointment feeling like something still wasn’t right. On top of that, the fact that her weight gain slowed down made me terrified that maybe I wasn’t producing enough milk if she wasn’t gaining as fast anymore.

A week later, and many more mucousy diapers, and a lot of very bad days and I just knew. I won’t lie, everyone around me thought I was overreacting. It’s “colic” they said. In fact the morning I asked the Husband to drop off a diaper at her pediatrician to look again, he flat out said I was overreacting. But something in my gut knew, no this isn’t right.

An hour later they called. Blood in her diaper. They suspected – between her skin, the lower weight gain and the mucousy/bloody diapers that she had a milk intolerance. Different from an allergy or being lactose intolerant – just that at this point apparently she was having a hard time digesting milk protein.

And so committed to still breastfeeding, I gave up everything with dairy and soy. Soy because apparently most milk intolerances come with soy intolerances as well. It wasn’t just the obvious milk, butter, cheese, yogurt, etc. but I read every single label carefully. I quickly replaced my old Siggys yogurt with Almond milk yogurt. I started to eat plain meat, eggs, veggies and fruit and actually felt pretty great.

Brooklyn’s skin started to clear a little bit, but 5 days after starting we had probably the worst day of all. 7 hours of crying – again the high pitched, I’m in pain, inconsolable crying. So bad and so long her voice went completely hoarse. At her 5am feeding I couldn’t find it in me to nurse her again only to follow it with screams so I took out the hypoallergenic formula that I made sure we had on hand for emergency purposes. She gulped it down and went to sleep. And I cried, if you can call those deep sobs just crying, for four hours straight.

The next day we went back to the pediatrician and this time they said, well it could be eggs or tree nuts also, but the only way to know is to do a total elimination diet. Eat (real) turkey breast, white rice and carrots for two weeks to see but to know that it could take up to 8 weeks to fully get out of my system and then hers. That her diaper did still have blood, but she had gained weight and she did have a visible sore inside her anus, causing the blood, a result of her GI tract being pretty messed up.

I left that appointment feeling pretty sad. I think deep down I knew what was coming.

So for two days straight I ate nothing but turkey, carrots, and white rice. I was miserable. For the most part Brooklyn was miserable too, not taking a single nap during the days. And when she tried, she would wake up screaming in pain.

And so last night, I decided to sleep on the couch with her. We co-sleep anyway – a post for another time – but I wanted to be closer to her. To nurse her through the night, knowing deep down this was likely the end of my nursing her.

It was not a decision I made lightly. In fact, I’m still on the fence about it all but deep, deep down I know this makes sense and it’s what is best for both of us. I know, after feeding her formula and watching her laugh through tummy time and then drifting off into a peaceful nap, that this is best.

I have only a few weeks left with her before I go back to work. I want to enjoy this time with her. I don’t want her in pain because I slip up or accidentally eat something that hurts her. I don’t want to spend the next few weeks on an elimination diet, only to find it doesn’t work, and to find myself completely consumed by this all and missing out on all the so many other special moments. The doctor also recommended that we make sure if we do plan to use formula that this one works (which I knew when we went back to work we would supplement anyway) before we put her in daycare. They weren’t yet sure if she would potentially need a prescription for formula.

So this morning at 10am was the last time I nursed her. To say my heart aches thinking about not getting to nurse her again is an understatement.

8 weeks we made it.

And for now, I pump and dump. Ironically, it turns out my supply is just fine, more than fine actually. Slowly I’ll have to lessen my supply.

I feed her a bottle of formula, and put a smile on my face and look her in the eyes and tell her how much I love her. That she is my world. That she is smart, and kind and perfect.

But it’s the worst heartbreak I have felt. Ever. It’s the hardest I have cried, well, ever. I sob while washing the bottles and plastic nipples.

I know in time I will feel better about my decision. I know I’m a good Mom and that I love this girl more than anything in this world – and no longer breastfeeding doesn’t change that.

But right now, I can’t help but still feel guilty. Still feel like I could always somehow do more. The breastfeeding Nazis everywhere don’t help that. Most of all I’m just sad. I’m mourning the end of this relationship. The first of many ways in which I experience heartbreak when it comes to her.

And so I want to end this post by saying. Please never judge a Mom for her decisions when it comes to breastfeeding. Breast is best is thrown around so much, but ultimately, whether by breast, expressed milk or formula, just remember you’re still feeding your child with love.

The first month.

I’m sitting here, finally with the energy and time to write this post, with my daughter sleeping next to me.

My daughter.

Sometimes I look at her and cry (happy tears). I’m sure it’s part hormones, but I still can’t believe she’s here, and she’s mine, and she’s so incredible.

I’ve always heard parents say how hard it is to describe the love you have for a child and now I get it. I really get it. Actually, I read somewhere recently – probably in one of the scarymommy articles, the following quote:

 “Making the decision to have a child is momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body.”

It’s the best description I’ve read so far.

I watch this little girl sleep, as she squeaks and grunts (who knew newborn sleep could be so active at times) and the love I have for her is so strong it physically aches.

I keep thinking I’ll have the time to write out her detailed birth story and the weeks after but time is flying. And so… I figured I would just write it all out. Fragmented sentences. Likely misspelled and grammatically incorrect since I’m running on four hours of sleep.

She came 3 weeks and 2 days early. Because of those 2 days they considered her pre-term.

I felt sick all day January 29th. My stomach hurt constantly. They told me they thought it was indigestion. I just knew it wasn’t.

That night I woke up and had lost my mucus plug. Bleeding and the start of cramping and I knew.

Friday morning we went to the hospital. The midwife thought that at only 1cm dilated, and it being so early, my body could easily stop and wait another week or so before going to labor. Yet minutes before we left the hospital she said she thought she may see us again that weekend.

The Husband, not quite thinking I was actually in labor left for work.

Hours later he came home and I was hunched over on the living room carpet. Unable to catch my breath. Waves of pain seizing my whole body over and over again.

Back to the hospital at 10pm. I was still only 3cm dilated but was told I had “irritable contractions” which meant rather than the 5 minute or so break in-between, they were happening every minute to minute and a half – giving me no reprieve.

Hours, long, slow hours, waiting to be admitted, laying in a bed with the Husband sleeping in a recliner next to me and realizing this was it. I was going to have a baby.

Confirmation my water broke.

6am being wheeled into my labor room. A massive, beautiful room with an angel of a nurse who stood by my side for hours.

An epidural. In other words – HEAVEN. The epidural is HEAVEN. A warm sensation over my body and relief for the first time in a full day.

Waiting. Feeling the pressure of the contractions but no pain.

My angel nurse having to leave – and a not so nice nurse taking her place.

My midwife stopping in briefly at time, apologizing because it ended up being the busiest day in labor and delivery in 18 years. I still blame the massive snow storms.

The strange shift from feeling good, to feeling not right. Shakes and shivers that caused my body to convulse, my teeth to chatter incessantly, my face to feel on fire, and my mouth so dry like I could never drink enough.

The midwife coming in and taking one look at me and telling the nurse to take my temperature immediately.

102.9   I can still hear her saying it and the look between the two of them. The midwife then doing a quick check and saying it was time. But first, she needed to talk with me.

Because of my fever, the special care team would have to come in for the labor. They would need to take her right away to check her, because of my fever it was likely she could have an infection as a result and she would need antibiotics.

Feeling confused, and terrified. Terrified I was hurting my baby. That my body was hurting her. That I couldn’t control any of it.

Sort of going in and out of being in my body if that makes sense. It became a blur. Seeing a team of at least 4 people waiting in the back – watching – in full medical gear, prepping stations.

Being told to push, push, push.

40 minutes later feeling her fully come out. Feeling my heart in my throat as I waited to hear a noise, any noise.

After a quick check, and a cry, having her placed on my chest. The beautiful, amazing, perfect little girl.

Birth

Feeling the strongest connection to someone I could have ever imagined. Like my whole heart was right in front of me.

Looking at the Husband and thinking, holy crap, we made her. We made this miracle.

Having the nurse take her away to get her first round of antibiotics.

Being wheeled down to the postpartum floor to my new room. En route, seeing another mother being wheeled down too, only she was holding her baby.

Crying because I too wanted to hold my baby. And I still felt terrified, absolutely terrified something would be wrong.

2 full days of nurses in and out. My body recovering. Confirmation she was healthy, though would still be treated as pre-term. Feeling completely overwhelmed, and yet the happiest I have ever been.

Multiple sessions with a lactation consultant. Multiple nurses, midwives, and pediatricians stopping by – explaining what to do, how she was doing, and when we could go home.

Watching the Patriots win the Superbowl, daughter in arms, with my Husband cheering loudly. Roars from other Husbands in the hall.

Driving home, in a horrible snow storm, clutching her car seat next to me – praying with everything in me we would make it home safely. Watching four cars crash and skid off-road in front of us. Praying our power would stay on – seeing as we had heard from my Mother we lost power for a few hours earlier.

That first night. Hardly sleeping, instead just watching her sleep, making sure she was breathing.

A week later when my mother left and the Husband went to work. Feeling terrified to be alone.

The baby blues. Oh the baby blues. No one really mentions how much hormones are a mother f*cker. Feeling so happy and wonderful one minute, only to be followed up by a moment of feeling like nothing would ever be the same again.

Slowly feeling like myself again. Only, a new me. A mom.

Watching her – smile, cry, eat, sleep, grow. All of it, magical.

Feeling so inadequate at times. Nothing I do seems good enough or right. The pressure coming from only myself of course.

The strangest joys. Like seeing her wet and dirty enough diapers – making me know she is thriving.

The breastfeeding struggle. Days of trying then deciding to pump instead. Pure stress, pumping around the clock while trying to hold her too. Being told she had lost a good amount of weight, and to make sure to feed her every 2 hours around the clock. Multiple breakdowns, and tears – so, so, so many tears. A broken pump. 2 more lactation consultant appointments. 3 days of nursing around the clock – the feeling of a razor being taken to my nipples. Toe curling, teeth grinding pain. Then the day it stopped hurting – well, the pain only lasting a few initial seconds. And finally, the moment where I realized – I like nursing her. I like the quiet moments of looking down at her. Knowing I am feeding her.

The excitement for the future. For watching her grow, for reading her books, for family nights.

One month. How has it been over a month?

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 147 other followers