So today, after spending a week with a new granddaughter, I went back in time to when her mother, “Sake” was born. I remember being really excited to be pregnant and a little surprised when at the end of nine months it was time to go to the hospital. She was due on Christmas Day and was the perfect child, not arriving on Christmas yet beating the end of the year deadline as a tax exemption! Oh yes, she was absolutely perfect in every way.
I am still shocked that she was born without incident, but I guess that is why God made doctors. We did all of the childbirth classes. I am a nurse, I went to class and was still unprepared for what was going on. “Doc” failed miserably. In fact, I made him retake the class when “Calvin” was expected. Have I told you that I hate peanut butter? Well, in our “Go” bag he packed peanut butter cups for himself. He ate them and breathed them in my face during labor! Oh yes, the breathing part. We were doing stage one breathing during transition. Thank God for epidurals! All the medical training in the world did not prepare us for this moment!
Sometimes I have a hard time relating to what my girls have experienced with their pregnancies. There is a lot more testing done during the nine months now. We never had an ultrasound unless something might be wrong. I am sure my mother felt the same way about me. Back in the dark ages when I was born, moms were put into a “twilight” sleep and woke up with a baby and dads were in waiting rooms not delivery rooms. My girls were very nauseous throughout their pregnancies. I may have had a few episodes, but for the most part I felt great. My weight gain was reasonable. My girls made me look like I was carrying a basketball in front of me. My boys gave me a big butt and thunder thighs.
I wasn’t the greatest baby sitter as a teenager, I am not sure why I thought I might be qualified to be a mother, but as always I jumped in with everything I had. My best advice to brand new mothers is to relax. They are little but sturdy. I listened as my girls were given advice by nurses on breastfeeding, car seats, bathing, etc. All good information, but you need to sift through it and do what feels comfortable for you. Breastfeeding is not for everyone. I encourage you to give it a try. It does give you a closeness to your child that is very special. Believe me though, your child is able to thrive on formula too. It is more about your contact with the child than anything else. Don’t let people guilt you into what they think you ought to do.
Get your rest! Those night time feedings can mess with you. I am not a person who enjoys being awakened in the middle of the night. “Doc” will vouch for me on that. Make sure your husband participates in those night time moments. “Doc” was great about getting up, cuddling the babies, changing them and then bringing them to me. Both of you need to bond with your baby. My biggest advice: Put the baby to bed in his or her own crib in a separate room. If you don’t you will be the one waking up every time the baby moves!
I still smile when I think about how it felt to become a mom. Just remember, the best thing you can do for you and your new baby is to love.
Wife, Mother, Mother, Mother, Mother, Mother, Mother, Mother, Nurse, Grandmother, Friend...that's me in a nutshell!