I'm planning to write the next life hack blog on bedtime and nap times, but before I do, I wanted to write a blog to all the mommas of new babies, especially their first babies.
I knew I wanted to be a mom for as long as I can remember. I remember telling people, as a little girl, what I wanted to be when I grew up along with "and a mommy." I remember wanting tons of kids (check) and had names for all of them, so when Clay and I got pregnant the first time I literally could not have been happier. Sadly, that elation came crashing down when I miscarried at 6 weeks with a questionable ectopic pregnancy. I was wrecked. It was my first giant loss in my life. It took another 12 months to get pregnant again. It was one of my darkest seasons. The hope and devastation that each month brought was so much for me to bear and it was so hard on mine and Clay's marriage. When I got pregnant again after a year, I was full of hopeful, guarded excitement. I miscarried again, on my birthday, at 13 weeks. I had to have a D&C the next day. It was too much. Too heavy. Too hard. As it turned out, I have a weird clotting issue that was discovered after that miscarriage. Six weeks later I was pregnant with Cole.
Pregnancy after miscarriage is so so strange. You just want it to be over and to have a baby to hold in your arms. After feeling like you had done something to cause your other babies to die, the body that should protect and grow a baby failed, you just want a baby to hold. When I delivered Cole after an emergency c-section, being separated from him for the first 3 hours, finally getting to hold him, and then throwing up uncontrollably for 2 hours because of all the meds, I remember thinking, "this parenting thing probably isn't going to be anything like i thought it would be."
I was a pediatric nurse, I knew all the rules, I probably knew too much, which made all the first time mom fears even greater, but by God's grace, I was able to throw all of that away to a degree. Here is the thing first time mommas, these babies don't keep. Especially first babies. It will never be the same. If you have more children you will always be juggling, their will always be another little human that needs you. Even if you don't have anymore children, they won't be babies for long. So here is my advice.....follow your gut.
If you want to rock your baby to sleep, rock them to sleep. If you want to nurse on demand or feed on demand, do it. If you want to hold your baby every time they cry do it. What I'm trying to say is savor every minute. Stop feeling guilty about all the things you think you are doing wrong. You aren't. Fun fact, no matter how you choose to do all the "dos and don'ts" they won't remember....but you will. Enjoy this fleeting season. Savor it. I know that it can get hard, it can get mundane. I know that it can be isolating, but remember, it is a season. As I look back at those early days, sometimes I long for them again. The simplicity, napping on the couch with Cole (and maybe licking him because he sweat so much and I was convinced he had cystic fibrosis....thanks nursing degree), or meeting a friend at barnes and noble to sit and read books, or just running errands with one little baby. It is hard, but oh so sweet. Drink it up. Choose to see the simple pleasure in loving that sweet babe....and the thought that God CHOSE you to be that babe's momma because you are the perfect mother for that sweet little squishy human.
So stop dissecting every decision, stop reading every book on how to, stop comparing your parenting to every other mom or instagram post, stop trying to speed to the next milestone, drink it all in....and maybe a glass of wine or two!