Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Things Nobody Told Me

After you get pregnant, people will tell you all sorts of things. Some good, some bad. When people found out I was having a natural childbirth... at a birth center... with a midwife, a lot of people freaked out and would love to tell me the horror stories they have about such and such almost dying because of this and that. So I can't tell you about other people's stories. I can only tell you about mine. For my friends that are pregnant or thinking about becoming pregnant, remember, these are just MY experiences and things I wish people had told me about so that I could have prepared for them.

Now that I've experienced pregnancy and childbirth and am in the process of experiencing motherhood, when I talk to other mothers about what's going on (the good and the bad) they all say, "Oh yeah the same thing happened to me" or "Yeah, I had a hard time with that too". Really?! Why isn't anyone telling people this stuff? I think it's important to know that you are not alone in your struggles and joys and that there have been other women that have gone before you and have experienced the same things. So here are some things that I've learned that may or may not have been told to me by other mothers before they happened to me:

  • Pregnancy does not always equal morning sickness (or all day sickness), outrageous cravings or massive amounts of stretch marks.
I never once had any bout of sickness in the whole 9 months. I did have some cravings, but nothing that were too out of the ordinary; mainly peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, eggs (any kind), grapes, and chocolate milk. And although I did have a few stretch marks on my hips, it's nothing that I'm losing sleep over. And, by the way, yes, I did use lotion and it didn't work.
  • I was no longer able to sleep on my stomach or back (not that I was ever a stomach or back sleeper, but just knowing I couldn't made it worse) and sleeping on your sides starts to hurt after awhile.
Sure, it starts out comfortable, but after about 4 months of sleeping on your sides, it starts to get old. Plus, towards the end, you can't roll over very well and so it makes for turning pretty difficult.
  • Towards the end, it starts being uncomfortable.
I gained about 30 pounds while pregnant (I'm not ashamed of it either), and so walking, sitting, standing, laying down, bending over, getting in and out of cars, off of couches, etc, starts to get hard. When I dropped something, I always thought, "Man, do I really need that?".
  • Contractions don't always start from the top of the uterus and work its way down.
Mine felt like massive menstrual cramps...only about 10 times worse.
  • Labor is scary. Delivery is even scarier.
Now since I had a natural birth, I felt everything. And I mean everything. It was the most pain I had ever been in. I was scared through a lot of it. I kept thinking, "I can't do this." "I'm not strong enough." Of course, in the end, I was strong enough. But it didn't make it any less scary. Even now, if I found out I was pregnant, I would be scared of having to do it over again. But it is definitely something I want to experience again, maybe even multiple times over.
  • Breastfeeding is not always easy and does not always come naturally.
Aaron and I are having the hardest time figuring out this whole breastfeeding thing. He won't latch on to me and it's frustrating. It has brought me to sobbing tears on more than one occasion...or maybe even more than half a dozen times. I've been told multiple times over that other women had problems too and it will get better. It will get easier. Or that they weren't able to do it and just went to formula feeding. Why didn't anyone tell me that? My grandmother, mom, aunt, and sister were all able to breastfeed. My sister has recently had 2 kids and made it seem effortless. Come to find out, she had a really hard time with her first child. Why wasn't I informed of that? Aaron will latch on to my sister just fine, but won't latch on to me. Do you know how incredibly sad and heartbreaking that is for a new mom? It hurt me so bad to know that it wasn't was me. He didn't want me. Very sad. Now, we are still working on the latching on, but I've been told by numerous experts that he will need to grow more and then it will get easier. That he has all the right parts to breastfeed, he just needs to figure it out. I still have faith that we will get this, but for now, we are pumping and using my milk to feed him. It's not ideal, but at least he is getting my milk. We will get there.
  • Natural childbirth will make you walk funny for a few days.
I don't think this one needs any explanation. I think it was a good 3 or 4 days before I was walking completely upright. A good week before I was able to sit and stand at a regular pace, put on jeans or other "regular" fitting clothes. I lived in pajamas for a few days. At that point, comfort is everything.
  • Every theory I had about parenting went out the window as soon as we brought Aaron home.
Nuge has taken off work for 4 weeks. That's more than what most men are able to do. So I figured that with him around, we would be able to do a lot of things on our own. But with my labor starting at 2:30am, having Aaron at 5:20pm, and coming home at 9pm, it made for a very long day. Plus with the trials of breastfeeding and Aaron not sleeping in his crib, we were exhausted the next day. My parents came over the next morning, cooked us breakfast and lunch, cleaned our house and watched Aaron while Nuge and I took a nap. The next night, Aaron was up for 13 hours straight, so Nuge and I were dead tired. At about 5am, I caught my mom online and asked if she would come over and watch Aaron for us while we got some sleep. She did and it was amazing! Once again, she cleaned and did our laundry for us. We have also gone over to my parents house to hang out. But secretly, or not so secretly, it has been so we can take naps while the grandparents watch Aaron. It has been a huge blessing and I can't believe I ever thought we could do it completely alone.
  • The meals that people bring over are one of the best gifts anyone can give new parents.
We have been so blessed by the amount of food people have brought over for us. It is really a lifesaver for us. It's so hard to find time to eat and so when our friends have brought food, we've welcomed them in and asked them to join us. It forces us to sit down, take a break, and eat. Plus, it gives us awesome fellowship with our friends and family.
  • You will wake up and check on your baby to make sure he is still alive.
I am guilty of waking up from a dead sleep to check on Aaron. And babies breathe so lightly sometimes that it's hard to see them move. So I have also been guilty of poking him or putting my hand on him so his startle reflex will kick in and I can see that he's still alive. Also, I have been a victim of Satan's scares. He likes to put horrible thoughts about something bad happening to Aaron in my head. It's a terrible feeling of not being in control, but ultimately, Aaron is in God's hands and it is up to Him if He wants to take Aaron from us. I can do everything I can to protect him, but it's the Lord's doing. I just have to trust in my faith in the Lord to know that He will keep my son safe and alive.
  • Parenting is unreal.
It's been over 2 weeks since we had him and I still can't believe he is our son. It's amazing. It's scary. It's nerve wracking. But it's an awesome feeling!
  • Your kid really is the most beautiful thing in the world.
I know we are all guilty of saying, "Yeah, that baby just isn't that cute." Nuge and I were prepared for our child to come out looking like a monkey. Both he and I have massive amounts of hair, so we were certain that our child was going to be covered in hair. We were also surprised that Aaron didn't have eyes in the back of his head or teeth coming out his nose (Nuge and I both have terrible eye sight and our teeth...well we won't go there). But nope, Aaron came out looking so perfect and beautiful. I have never seen such a beautiful baby. Of course, I'm biased and I'm sure all you parents out there feel the exact same way about your kids. That's just the way it is.
  • The nastiest things in adults are the most adorable in your child.
Who ever thought that poop, pee, burping and spit up can be cute? The only time it's not cute is when your son's "area" is not positioned properly and pee comes out the front, side, and back of the diaper and gets all over you. Or when you hear the "dirty diaper" cry, you say (in your cute baby voice), "Did you go poopoo in your diaper? Oh you sure did. Well let's go take care of that so you can be all nice and clean" It's a totally strange thing. But as soon as you change the diaper, they stop crying and all is right in the world. Your child is happy because of something you did.
  • You truly have a better idea of how the Lord sees you as one of His children when you have your own.
I love Aaron so much that it's unreal. It pains me to think of something bad happening to him. But my love for my son is NOTHING compared to the love the Lord has for me and the rest of His children. When Aaron is having trouble latching on, he can taste the milk that is coming out, yet he still refuses to eat it. I get so frustrated with him because it's right there in his face and he is tasting what is good, yet he still refuses to drink from it. How must the Lord feel when over and over we reject what is good and holy? We know the truth. It's right there in front of us, yet we still refuse to drink from His fountain of Life. I just think about how frustrated He must get at His children, yet He still loves us more than anything.

That's all I can think of right now. I'm sure there are more and as I come across them, I'll probably add them to another blog. For my friends out there that are wanting to become parents, I hope this helps and I hope you find comfort in knowing that whatever struggles you may have, you are not alone. Don't be afraid to talk about your struggles with other people, because I'm sure someone, somewhere along the way had the exact same thing happen to them and they might be a great source of comfort, support, and knowledge for you. Parenting is not all rainbows and sunshine all the time. It's hard, it's frustrating, it's heartbreaking, it's rewarding, and it's fun. Hope this helped or gave insight. If not, oh well. It was great therapy for me to get it out.

1 comment:

Rachel Marie said...

Love this post. And yes, I agree, people should share this info! I guess we kind of forget once we get through it. Hope things are getting better. Feel free to call, text, or email if you need to chat or want some info. Everyone is different yes, but we are all mothers. How did the clothes work out?