“Your first breath took ours away”
My Husband found that quote on a wall decal art piece which he purchased shortly before our Son Ivan was born. We put it up on the wall overlooking his crib and would lovingly peer at it often, holding one another and smiling in anticipation. We did not know what to expect. I think it’s safe to say that we both had our own fears and doubts about becoming parents for the first time.
What would labor feel like? Would I be a good Mom? Would my baby love me? Would I ever have “Me” time again? These were just a few of the many thoughts that circled through my head as I gazed over the empty crib those final weeks of my pregnancy. Knowing that our lives were about to soon change, we spent those last few weeks doing the things we knew we wouldn’t be able to do again for a long time-staying up late to watch our favorite shows, going out with friends, spending alone time having dinner, and simply sleeping in.
“So, are you guys ready?” If I had a dollar for each time I was asked this question, I would have been very rich by now. Each time, my answer remained the same, “Yes! can’t wait!” I remarked, smiling nervously, hoping they wouldn’t notice the fear in my eyes. The truth is although I was extremely happy and excited, I was also scared straight.
“Honey, I wouldn’t worry about labor & delivery…that’s the easy part.”
Those were the words my Midwife uttered to me as I expressed my fears about going through the pain and intensity of labor. I still remember looking at her and thinking she must be crazy…nothing could possibly be harder than childbirth! Looking back in hindsight, I can see she was on to something. You see, turns out, labor and delivery WAS the easy part, and although I had a long drawn out Prodormal labor lasting over 4 days (more on that in a future post), I fully understand now that raising children is not easy. It takes a lot of commitment, sleepless nights, and a whole lotta hard work to maintain the sanity of being a parent.
Having not slept a full nights sleep in weeks, combined with all the dreaded horrors of breastfeeding for the first time, I was spent. My life now consisted of breastfeeding, pumping, washing bottles, eating, changing diapers, and trying to console my screaming, infant who was probably thinking something along the lines of “where the heck am I and how did I get stuck with these schmuks?”. Sound familiar? I believe all Moms go through the struggle of getting used to all the new changes that come along with Motherhood before finally figuring it all out…and then realize we really never do.
“Just sleep when the baby sleeps”
This was often the phrase used by some very well meaning people who clearly didn’t understand how important a new Mother’s free time can be. I did try to sleep when the baby slept…but realized that if I was ever going to get anything done around the house, it would have to be while my Son slept.
Of course, this got easier to do once he began sleeping through the night as I was able to get most of my work done during the day not needing to take very many naps since I was now sleeping at night, well sorta.
Here we are, a year later, we made it! Looking forward to all the wonderful things this life has to offer.