AMANDA B :: MOTHERHOOD
I always wanted kids, didn't know when, though. There comes a time in your life when the people around you start having children - that's when the hormones started telling me it was time! Finding out I was pregnant was exciting. Early on, each day was full of new experiences, I wanted to learn all about the baby, I read everything. I wanted a boy so bad. I had one dream that the baby was a boy before we found out the gender. I felt like I slept for the first seven months, and when I finally got some energy, I started having some complications due to preexisting illness. I passed 22 kidney stones while pregnant. I had surgery while pregnant and it was one of the scariest experiences, I was so worried. As the end came near, the worrying hit hard, I was scared something would go wrong. I was ready for baby to be born because I felt I could protect him better outside rather than in. Archer was a week overdue and I was induced. I would call labor a comedy of errors. After he was born, it was all a blur. I don't even remember specifics, just that in that moment, I was changed as a woman. I was totally taken by surprise by how much I fell in love with him. It's something everyone does tells you beforehand, but also something that you never truly understand until it happens. When Archer was first born, for weeks he had this waxy patch in his hair, on the top of his head. I would touch my lips to it as he cuddled on my chest, stroke it with my fingers as he slept. I miss that little spot.
Coming home with a new baby, oh man, it is a scary thing. I worried and second guessed everything I planned that first night home, like where he would sleep. Without my husband, I'd have been lost. He helped me be confident in my mothering and my decisions. It was hard to accept that I wasn't in control of things anymore. It was hard to let my life go a little bit to make the changes needed to care for him. Losing your identity as a single person and accepting that now you are also mom, that was an adjustment.
Postpartum depression hit me hard about 4 months after birth. Feeling no motherly feelings toward your child, feeling empty toward your child - it hurt and it was scary. I didn't want to be alone with baby, I'd go to family and visit, drive to my husband's work each day for lunch, I had to be around other people. I'd tell any woman feeling this way to not delay talking to your doctor about these feelings. I put it off for only 2 weeks, but those 2 weeks were terrible and could have been avoided. Don't be afraid or embarrassed.
I'd say I'm more relaxed, not wound so tightly now. With a baby, you are no longer in control of your schedule. But sometimes I do become very fearful that a tragedy could happen, I cannot bear the thought of losing him. If I think about it too much, I get ridiculous anxiety. I have to tell myself it could happen to any one at anytime; I remind myself to live in the present, not be fearful of the future.
I hope whatever he grows to become, he believes in himself. That he has a wealth of knowledge and strong morals to help him make wise choices in all aspects of his life.
My plan is to do extended breastfeeding, though it is something I didn't think much about before. I believe in doing our best to have a healthy lifestyle to give him a healthy foundation to grow on. I believe in nurturing him while letting him explore, become his own independent person. He's only one right now, so I would guess these philosophies will change and evolve a bit as we grow together.
My advice to moms is it's ok to doubt yourself. You can get frustrated. You can cry. Don't feel like you're supposed to be doing it all perfectly right away. Asking for help can make you a better mom. If you need it, don't be afraid.
I think moms have the power to change the world by raising the next generation of compassionate, intelligent individuals.