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First-time mamas! - Page 22

post #421 of 425

Boots, thanks for bringing this up.  Like everyone else, I'm feeling a lot more complete these days.  I was a little worried how this change would affect me since I have an insanely flexible schedule where I've always done whatever I wanted pretty much whenever I wanted.  Now it takes me days to do laundry and I have to actually schedule workouts instead of going when I want.  But instead of feeling a sense of loss, I feel really happy and at peace.  Early on I felt a little stifled, I'll be honest, but now that we're in a groove and I can finally understand her cues, we're in this sort of happy Zen place and I love it.  Some things that have surprised me are that I don't get upset with her the way I was worried I would.  If she's crying and I can't figure out how to fix it I'll get upset, but I'm much more patient and gentle with her than I was expecting. 

 

And while I know it's only been 7 weeks, I can say that DH and my relationship is even better than before.  I was terrified after talking with friends that the marriage would inevitably take a hit after having the baby, but in our case we are much closer.  Of course, there are still little arguments about housework and so on, but we've totally bonded by staring at this little creature we made and just loving every second.

post #422 of 425

Interesting thoughts from you ladies about how motherhood has changed you.

 

I have to say it has been a very mixed bag for me. There are times I look at my baby in absolute wonder, and think... I built this! lol.gif Virtually every molecule he is made of (except some of the oxygen) came through me to him. And I'm proud of that. For better or worse, the only things that have passed his lips besides my breastmilk are any lanolin or coconut oil he's gotten from my nipples. And as many of you personally know, that is no small feat!* Despite the difficulties of my pregnancy, I grew a nice, big baby. And I've managed to add 3+ lbs to that baby using only my own breastmilk. He is literally made of me! That's a pretty incredible feeling. I have said since he was born that I finally figured out why God made me so stubborn - so I could be a mom. So I could persevere with what I think is best for him even if it's hard for me. I also get a rush of satisfaction sometimes thinking about how hard being a mom is... and I am doing it! It's been a long time since I've felt I was successful at anything worthwhile. Especially since I quit my job (teaching) over a year ago. I've been in limbo for a long time, living a life that was pretty devoid of accomplishment or purpose. In some ways, it's really gratifying to be taking a challenge head-on again.

 

The flip side of this is that there are times when I really resent the fact that I can't even find time to pee, let alone have any "me" time. Having had nearly unlimited me-time for over a year probably hasn't helped that. I've been struggling with a physical recovery that I didn't expect (though I'd say I'm pretty well recovered at this point). I'm also still processing what was ultimately a very traumatic birth for me, and trying to accept that it's okay that it was traumatic for me, even though it would have been a walk in the park compared to many other people's deliveries. And my husband has been busier, more stressed, and more unavailable since the baby's birth than probably any other time in our marriage. (On the other hand, he frequently amazes me with his supportiveness and efforts.) And I've experienced much darker thoughts and emotions that I won't post publicly for fear of some over-zealous busybody trying to get my baby taken from me. So, as I said, it's been very mixed for me. It's also been interesting to realize that my life is different forever. It's something I knew intellectually before, but didn't really fully appreciate until after the baby came. He is always a factor in everything I do. And even though someday I won't have to worry if the milk on my cereal is going to give him gas, we will continue to affect each other for the rest of our lives. It's still a little hard to wrap my mind around that.

 

*Also, I'm in no way implying that those of you who have supplemented are less awesome than me. You are probably a lot more awesome for going through more than I have to keep feeding your babies!

post #423 of 425
Thread Starter 

I just love reading all of this very real and introspective thought about becoming a mom.

Someone from here on facebook posted a link to this blog post awhile ago, and I've been thinking about it a lot. Especially since I'm extending my maternity leave (and possibly risking my job to do so)  and getting comments like "Oh you're better than me, I couldn't wait to get back to work..."

I like both of these blog posts, this is the order I read them in...

http://www.askmoxie.org/2012/09/free-but-not-cheap.html

 

http://www.askmoxie.org/2012/08/what-its-really-like-here-on-the-other-side-of-maybe.html

post #424 of 425

Wow. GREAT links, Boots. I don't know what I have to add for this conversation, but I'm very grateful that it's happening.

 

I do know that about 1/2 way through the pregnancy, I suddenly realized that I didn't have to search for the meaning of my life anymore. I wasn't worried about what the meaning of life in general was, and I was suddenly much less concerned with the meaning of my individual life. I felt that my meaning at that point was all about bringing this child into the world and giving him/her a good start. And that's it. The rest was just gravy.

 

Plus, after my labor, I feel powerful - I met my limit and I surpassed it. I am capable of more than I thought, and that feels awesome.

 

On the opposite side, I feel that having this baby stole the last of my youth. I'm 32, so I was barely holding on to "youth" by a thread, but I used to wear cutesy flirty dresses in the summer and feel... young. Now after going through birth, seeing my stretched out lady parts in a hand mirror, my stretchmarks, my postpartum flab, my workallday boobs, and sleep deprivation... there is no more youth. Besides, I am now responsible in a way I didn't have to be before. I am not the youngest generation in my family - I'm a MOM. My mom is a grandma. Etc.

 

We are definitely changed.

post #425 of 425

Thanks for the links, Boots. They are good food for thought. Not entirely sure what I think about them, but they are giving me something to chew on. And I have to say, I really appreciated this line... very validating for where I'm at right now:

 

Quote:
Do you want the relationship enough to suffer through the jobs? And that's not a small question. The jobs almost break some of us. The jobs almost break almost all of us with kids under 3.
 
...
doing the jobs of raising children (I was a stay-at-home mom for 5 years) was the most intense sustained thing I have ever done. It makes me exhausted and sad just thinking about some of those periods of unending work, and I hear the exhaustion and overwork from you--especially those of you with little kids--and the suck of the intensity.

But the relationship... That's why old ladies come up to us when we're half dead with a 6-week-old strapped to our lopsided leaky chests as we're waddling into the drugstore at 7 am to buy more diapers and say, "Enjoy this time!" They don't remember the jobs. They don't know it, but what they really mean is "Enjoy this person, this relationship that you're starting and that's only going to get better but also more complicated, and this love that will make you hurt and make you vibrate with the rest of the universe. Your boobs will stop leaking and diapers are only for a short time and you will survive, but this relationship is your chance to be better than just yourself."

That's what those old ladies mean. And why they can't stop themselves from saying things to stressed-out strangers. Seeing us with teeny babies and a new relationship makes them think of their own children, their own relationships. And they want that same thing for us.

 

That second part made me finally appreciate what all those people have been trying to tell me... because I've been thinking, THEY ARE CRAZY. No one in their right mind savors every moment of being sleep deprived and covered in bodily fluids, all while being screamed at by a tiny person with infinite lung capacity. I don't believe anyone really enjoys that in the moment. But looking at it as cherishing the relationship you're building... that makes more sense.

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