What “they” didn’t tell me about being a parent…

Or possibly they did but it really doesn’t matter until it’s happening to you! IMG_0782“They” said we would never sleep, which is somewhat true but you don’t know how it feels until you are boiling water for coffee and pour it into a cup of orange juice. Or you keep repeating things and forgetting words as simple as cabinet.

 

It can take a long time to heal after the birth process. I tore, a lot. In the first week when I was pumping an engorged breast at 3am while attempting to peri-bottle my bits with warm water so it wouldn’t sting while I peed en route to racing/sauntering to meet the needs of my screaming child I thought, “Wtf, this is my life!?!” Feeling my organs shift and move back into place for a couple days after labour was incredible. The body is truely miraculous and also so strange, both my daughter and I have uncontrollable flatulence, which I trust will also shift over time.

 

The transformation of your heart- when you look at your baby and the love encircling you is so intense. It is indescribable. I really felt it around day 3 I will not forget the moment, nursing my child in our chair and looking at her, feeling her head in my hand and something totally clicked and flowed through us and grew around us. I had never felt something like it before. It was euphoric and primal and I knew I was tapping into a sacred mystery.

 

How inadequate and crazy I felt when we hit day 4 and our angelic daughter became a possibly colicky beast and we have no idea how to soothe her for longer then 5 minutes at a time. And then we find one thing that works like deep knee bends while making a wooshing sounds and stand there tagging each other out for an hour and a half until baby falls asleep. The next day waking up and both of us are in pain. IMG_0851     Completely distraught and hormonal when my baby cries and I weep and want to do anything I can to stop that cry! When I was attempting to breast feed and Esme would not latch and screamed and turned red as the midwife kept holding her to my breast. I was like we have to stop this is not feeling good! And then I panic and though, “I cannot provide for you, I’m a terrible mother already!” The hormones were incredibly intense. And I think I will never get this.

 

Nipple shields! If you have latch issues or inverted nipples these little dittys help your titties and support your baby in latching, and sets your mind and heart at ease. Thought La Leche League does not fully support this I cannot even stress what a life saver they have been to our nursing experience.   Cluster feeding! When your baby is like an insane Tasmanian devil screeching for your boob and flailing her arms with a frenzied look in her eyes! Like you can hardly even pee without the screaming banshee crying and you think there is nothing in there! What can you be sucking at! But miracle of miracles she seems to suck the deeper recesses of my breast and create more milk, but not without a struggle. And this happens at 2, 4, 6 weeks and 3, 6 and 9 months…and maybe some times in between for other developmental needs. IMG_0949

 

How it feels now that my body is home to someone else. When Ezzy cries and I pick her up and she sinks sighing deeply, into my flesh, starring into my eyes. Skin on skin is the best feeling with your wee one. Their body temperature regulates, their breathing eases and they feel safe in your presence. It is incredibly rewarding and daunting at the same time creating this deep attachment.

 

Everyone wants to hold the baby! Which is great, I thought I will totally pass the child off to anyone, get her acclimatized to people. I did not know that I would be such a mother bear. But I am the clingy, you aren’t holding her right parent! Who knew! When you see your baby’s cues of uncomfortability that is verging on a full out cry and the person holding her has no idea, why wouldn’t I attempt to intervene? At first a polite, “try this, she likes deep knew bends or to be shaken like a martini, don’t be delicate, she likes it rough”…but then inevitably I have a countdown where I need to take her back…its like an itch I need to scratch. I’m sure over time I will let go and over time my baby will be more accepting of other people but it is a process.

 

You think you’ll be the easy going parent and then you aren’t! When we were counting poopy and pee diapers and making sure there are “enough” and waking baby to feed every hour even if they are sleeping because that’s what the midwife said and then you google every little thing from, “will my kid be crossed-eyed because their eyes take time to adjust to will my kid have ADHD because they fidget so much? Will swaddling her and following the 5 S’s religiously calm her and we aren’t trying hard enough? My lassiez-faire attitude has somewhat disappeared. But in the end we are finding we have to trust our instincts and really tap into what feels natural to us, what we feels our baby needs. This is the biggest lesson and sometimes hard to do because it really is trial and error and everything changes so constantly! IMG_0821IMG_20140315_124211_2

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