Saturday, October 4, 2008

Free Advice for New or Soon-To-Be First Time Moms

The day I brought my son, Jacob, home from the hospital it was a sunny and airy spring afternoon in April. Even though he was born at an impressive 9 pounds, he seemed to get lost amid the clothes and blankets we surrounded him in as we fumbled with the car seat straps to secure him. The nurse stood by with a gentle smile on her mouth as she offered tidbits of advice on how to get him in that contraption quickly and correctly. I looked at her; she looked at me; I looked at my husband and he looked at me. It was time. We were going home!

The ride was quiet and somewhat surreal. I hadn’t been in a car for 4 days but it had felt like a lifetime. I winced at every bump and dip we hit on the road, partly from having a cesarean and partly from hoping Jacob’s head wasn’t bouncing around like a tether ball. As time goes on driving in a car with your face twisted around to look into the backseat gets easier, really it does.

We got home and introduced Jacob to our 7-pound chihuahua, Paco. He was not impressed but keen on smelling me and figuring out where I had been after my “talk” with him just four days before. “You’re not the baby anymore, Paco.” I had told him with tears streaming down my face. The drama…

I put Jacob in the sun since he was a little jaundiced and the doctor said he would benefit from some natural vitamin D. He lay in his bassinet with just his diaper and blue socks on. So cute! I nursed him in the sun and it was incredible to finally be home with him on such a beautiful day with my husband by my side.

The pregnancy was not an easy one. I bled for the first six months and had 12 sonograms within that time to make sure I wasn’t losing the pregnancy. Reasons for the bleeding were never found but after Christmas it had stopped and things seemed to be fine. I was gaining a lot of weight and was quite swollen, common complaints in pregnancy especially during the holidays, but when it turned out I had pre-eclampsia I would soon have two hospital stays, one at 35 weeks and one at 37 weeks, to stabilize my condition. Thankfully I was able to carry to term, and after being induced I endured an emergency c-section after failing to progress and apparently just being “too small”. Jacob came out with a few bruises here and there from being pressed against my bones, but overall he was a robust, beautiful and happy baby boy with a perfectly round head.

The next few weeks were all about nursing, changing diapers, catching some Z’s, recovering and…pictures! We have about 800 newborn pictures of Jacob, all within his first week of life, and maybe 10 of our daughter, who came exactly two years later. Our camera wasn’t broken, and of course it was not a question of love, it’s just in retrospect you realize your time is not that taxed with just one kiddo. It took me some time to let other people outside of the family actually hold him. I suddenly was tapped into the invisible and evil world of germs and viruses and they, in my mind, were forming strategic plans to hop on board my friend’s hands and lips to directly infiltrate and attack my new and helpless child. Hand sanitizer became my best friend and is still a main weapon in my fight against the germ world today.

It took me much longer than the average mom, or at least the ones I hung out with, to get out of the house and start experiencing life as a mom. When you are handed something as precious as a child, the overwhelming task of growing them up and teaching them to spread their wings to fly becomes the most important endeavor you will ever face. And I had not a frickin’ clue how to do it outside of my bedroom and living room couch!

Now, almost 8 years and two kids later, I feel I have a grasp on what I am supposed to do (I have kept them alive and safe so far!) Everyday brings on more questions and new answers, but my hope is that I can share with you, a new mommy, some of the successes, failures, ideas and revelations (many tongue-in-cheek) that I have had in my journey thus far. And for those "seasoned" mommies, I hope you can laugh along with me at the memories of these precious and amazing times!

I pray blessings and happiness on you, you mommy you! Now sit down, get a good beverage and start reading…

1 comment:

Kristi W. said...

Hey girl! I'm glad you're blogging. I'll be following - even though I'm not a first time Mom... ;) I always thought you'd be a blogger extraordinaire!!!! I'm excited to read your stuff!

Love ya!

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