Thursday, January 20, 2011

Things I Never Thought I'd Be Able to Do

I'm glad to be back after a short hiatus from posting. I have been doing a lot of research on a topic near and dear to my heart, but have yet to formulate a blog post for it. In the meantime, a post with gravity and sweetness from a friend of mine who also happens to have a little Lydia! Melissa highlights a few of her accomplishments in motherhood in her post. Thank you, Melissa, for addressing the sheer bravery it takes to get through some of the things you mentioned. :) Who thought that poop would be a topic of conversation nearly every day? Or that I would go through daily life covered in drool, poop, pee, breastmilk and spit up? We've all been there, and that's why Melissa's words are so refreshing. Thanks doll!

Things I Never Thought I’d Be Able to Do

I’ve been a mom to a little girl, Lydia Claire, for a little over eight months. She was born on May 13, 2010, which was five days after my due date. Over the past 17 months, I’ve learned many new things, some of which I thought I’d never be capable of. Here goes the list of things I now know I can do…

Being pregnant. And not passing out about knowing it. I once got my pinky slammed in between a piano bench and the keys on a piano. I had to go to the doctor to find out if it was broken, and I almost passed out on the examination table having to hear an explanation of what was wrong with my (only bruised) finger. This was not the first, nor the last example of this problem. What can I say? I’m a lightweight when it comes to medical issues. I had imagined hundreds, if not thousands of times, spending 9+ months nauseas and woozy, simply because of knowing there was a bambino in my belly. So…when I found out I was, in fact, in the family way, I was surprisingly calm (*Disclaimer: I was NOT calm taking the test and waiting for it to work!) after the test stopped flashing. Not once did I ever feel nauseas or woozy knowing I was pregnant. I handled the whole deal like a true champ.

Going through labor. If the thought of being pregnant had the potential to give me the woozies, thinking about labor – actual labor – made me a little queasy. Most of my nine months (and five days…those five days are important and not to be forgotten… just ask my husband! Haha!) went off without a hitch. However… some days, it would hit me like a ton of bricks out of nowhere: “This baby has to come out of where?! Although I was scared to death sometimes during my pregnancy, once I was actually induced into labor, things progressed slowly, yet quickly enough that I could handle each new change that came my way. In the end, I labored for 10 hours, 54 minutes, including about 45 minutes of pushing. I’m not going to lie, it hurt like hell. Though I had to be on oxygen to regulate my breathing, had suffered a stage three tear, and felt like I had just battled a school bus, I’m proud of myself for being able to do what I did. Besides, when you’re someone’s mom, you have to buck up sometimes.

Breastfeeding. I had always intended to be a breastfeeding mom. I knew the benefits of doing so and making it through the first year was a goal that I felt was easily attainable. It also helped that the lactation consultant for the hospital I doctored/childbirth classed/delivered at is a good family friend and I knew I could ask any question any time I needed to. Lydia started life as a natural nurser (Hey, I teach English to high-schoolers…I can make up ANY word I want to!). She latched on well and we worked well together as a team. Even though we work through it well together, some days I don’t want to be a breastfeeding mom anymore. Some days (okay, and nights) I don’t want to get out of my warm bed to sit and pump. And pump. And pump. Some days I want to spend my prep. hour at school doing something work related. Not pumping. Some days, I just simply don’t want to be a milk machine anymore. And some days I just. don’t. want. to. do. it. anymore. BUT…I’ve made it eight months now. At first I told myself “Self, if you can make it 6 months, you’ve done good.” The six-month mark came, and I told myself I could make it just one more month. When “just one more month” came, I convinced myself that the old girls had another month in them. While it’s been overall a wonderful experience, it hasn’t always been the most fun and sometimes I just don’t want to do it anymore. For that, I am proud of myself for pressing on in nursing. It hasn’t always been easy to want to continue.

Getting Barfed Upon. And pooped on. And pee’d on. And spit on. And snotty-nosed on. So, anyone that knows me will attest to the fact that I gag. A lot. Smells make me gag, as do certain textures in food. I gag just thinking about gross things sometimes. It’s not a nice little grossed-out thought that I think I’m gagging about. No, it’s an all-out, if-you’re-watching-you-think-I-will-literally-throw-up-on-you kind of gag. All of that seems to go out the window when you have a child. Now it’s not that I don’t gag every once in a while. We’ve moved on to eating more baby food in our house lately. If you think that poop stinks when it’s just a milk poop, baby food poops have WAY more potency. Sometimes I still gag about the smell, but in all honesty, the thought of being projectile vomited upon (or any other bodily function) is not so gross anymore. It happens the first time and you think “Oh, I’m SO glad that finally came out!” Which leads me to my next accomplishment…

Being Excited About Poop. I don’t think I need to explain this one. The old adage goes “When Momma ain’t happy ain’t nobody happy.” Once baby came, the saying (at our house at least) could be “When baby aint’ pooping ain’t nobody happy… or sleeping…or playing nicely…or being pleasant!” Poop = happiness. Enough said.

This list could really go on, and it grows by the day. I always thought that motherhood would come naturally, and to a point, it has. With that said, there are some things that took a little getting used to, and, I’ll be honest, a little will-power and “mustering” of strength on my part. Being a mom hasn’t been easy all the time, but with the help of the momunity (yep, another new made-up word…like community for moms), I make it through the tough times. Having friends who are moms – whether they are online, at work, or on the phone -- has been a lifesaver for me, not only to ask questions, but for moral support. Life with Lydia has been beautiful. Motherhood has been the hardest, most natural time of my life and I wouldn’t trade it for the world.

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