Saturday 14 June 2014

Reflections on Motherhood: The Joy! The Excitement! We're Pregnant!

The year is 1995, and I have just confirmed I am indeed pregnant with my first child. 
No problem I think to myself. I have read all the books, and have talked to all my Mommy friends, 
I have this all under control.

No problem conceiving - Check
No pregnancy problems - Check
Six hour delivery - Check
No problems nursing - Check
Four weeks of reinforcements (via Mom, Dad, & In-Laws) - Check

And then everyone left, and my husband went back to work, and I was all alone to do this all by myself. I have a Political Science degree and Banking experience, what the heck do I know about looking after a newborn? What was I thinking? More importantly what was I going to do?

 Thinking back to my "Mommy" experience I still recall the overwhelming terror I felt. Fear that I would not be able to do this Mommy thing day in and day out. I mean how long can you fake looking like you have a clue? My Mom and Mother-in-Law had changed the diapers, burped and bathe my beautiful baby, shooing me away to sleep, rest and recover. I know as much as they really did want to help, they also wanted to maximize their baby time. This seemed like such a WIN-WIN situation at the time.

Eventually my parents and in-laws went home, and they were now a six hour drive away. My husband resumed the travel he was required to do for his work. They all left and I was left freaking out!

I was so tired, what if I slept through Baby's crying and I didn't nurse him enough, and he didn't put on weight? What if I couldn't figure out how to bathe Baby properly? What if I didn't care for the cord properly, or he got diaper rash because I didn't change him right or often enough? What if he cried all the time because I didn't burp him properly? These and so many more fears would keep me up at night in a constant state of terror. (well that and the nightly feedings every two hours).

Turns out my beautiful baby had an excellent set of lungs and although he did not cry often, he was fully capable of crying loud enough to wake me, but he didn't need to. I woke up to the slightest sounds from Baby. Baby was apparently getting enough milk because he went from 7 pounds to 18 pounds in 6 months. I figured out how to burp him and care for him all on my own. There were no diaper rashes, so apparently he was clean enough even with me in charge of the bathing. 

I figured out how to get it all done and get Mommy and Baby to playgroup two mornings a week. Eighteen years later motherhood is still chaotic, and I still have the occasional periods of "freaking" out. But most of the time, even with the overwhelming terror, I actually do have it all under control.

Yep, just me Cathy thinking out loud about motherhood.

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