I cannot believe that Beckham is 5 months already. Everyone says the days and months fly by but until you experience motherhood you don’t quite grasp how quick it happens. I have been wanting to sit down and write a blog about my experience after bringing him home but honestly I really haven’t had time and even if I did…I’d rather spend it with him and not sitting in front of a computer. I try to soak in EVERY single second with that little boy. Since going back at work my days are already cut short with him and it breaks my heart.
Beckham’s first week at home was amazing but very hard for me. I was trying so hard to be the perfect mom. I put so much pressure on myself and I really wish I wouldn’t have. Unfortunately I have always been this way in all aspects of my life but especially so when it comes to motherhood. I spent so much time planning for this baby and now that he was here, it was my job to have my shit together and be the super mom I had always planned on being. I learned quickly that no matter how much shit you thought you had together there was just too much shit to keep up (no pun intended) Looking back, I think maybe I tried too hard. I read too many parenting books, that’s for sure. I spent too much time on forums comparing my baby to others and my mothering to what their mothers were doing. I spent too much time thinking about what I “should” do that would make me a “good” mother. Instead of trying to be that perfect mom, I wish I would have taken the time to just enjoy being a new mom.
Beckham had jaundice so spent the first five mornings home from the hospital, waking up in a panic every day trying to get him to the doctors on time so they could prick his tiny little heel for blood. He ended up have to get the bili blanket. I know this is no biggie and lots of babies have to do this but I wanted to hold my baby. That blanket drove me crazy and made it hard to hold and snuggle with him and on top of that he hated it. It just seemed so uncomfortable and it made it hard to do anything with him.
The hardest part of that first month for me was breastfeeding. It’s pretty ironic that my entire pregnancy it was just something I assumed I would be able to do and never worried about it but yet it ended up being the biggest stressors for me. I used all the lactation consultant’s that were available to me in the hospital, learning different tips and tricks and trying so hard to master all of them. Unfortunately, Beckham’s pallet was high and his jaw line was recessive which already put him at disadvantage when it came to latching on. I wish I knew then that a lot of the success with breast-feeding relies on the baby as well. I thought it was entirely my job, so when I was faced with the decision to keep trying(after two weeks of hell) or introduce a bottle and give him the nutrition he so desperately needed…although it was a very clear decision to do what I had to do to ensure he was getting what he needed, it took a huge toll on me emotionally.
I felt like a failure and spent many days and nights beating myself up about it. I envied my friends who were breastfeeding with no issue; I didn’t understand why I wasn’t able to do that for my son. When I made the choice to bottle feed him, I decided the least I could do would be to pump for him so he could still have my breast milk.(Because breast is best right….PSH!!) I entered the world of exclusively pumpers…and I had NO idea what I was getting into. Exclusively pumping is SO demanding, even more so than breastfeeding. He was on an every two-hour feeding schedule so it was almost impossible to do alone because by the time I would finish feeding and pumping it was time for him to eat again, leaving me with no time to do anything else(sleep). I was never able to get ahead so if I ever missed a session, he would not have any milk which put so much stress on me. I would have anxiety if I had to leave the house, I couldn’t be gone too long or he wouldn’t have any food. Thankfully Mark was able to feed him while I pumped and sterilized all the parts; I missed out so many hours of feeding and bonding with him. I sat there hour after hour, day after day chained to that dang pump and I HATED it. This was also hard for Mark because he was working at the time I kept going for 11 weeks because it did make me feel good to know he was getting breast milk. There were so many days I was going to stop but then we had to deal with his reflux and the doctors wanted me to continue. As much as I hated it, anytime I even thought about stopping, the guilt of doing so was overwhelming so I just kept going. If I could go back, I would have stopped as soon as I realized that I was unhappy. A happy mommy= a happy baby and I never quite realized that until I finally stopped pumping.
We have had a very adventurous 5 months. From having to see the gastrologist( for reflux) oh and lets not forget the neurologist(infant spasms)to now being told he needs the DOC band because the back of his head is a little flat.(blog to follow) My goodness, no one could have prepared me for all of this. I am already a over-paranoid first time mom so you can imagine my stress levels during these last 5 months. Just like any other mom, I want nothing but the absolute best for my little miracle.
There were/still are so many days that I am scared and doubting myself and every decision I make. Being a new mom these days is so frustrating because of the crazy advice we get from everyone. One doctor tells you do this and another scolds you for doing what you were told. Doctors/nurses/friends/family have so many different opinions on everything and you feel like you are being pulled in so many different directions. I feel like society has put so much stress on new moms to be that perfect mother. But really, what is the definition of a perfect mother and who gets to decide that anyways?
Needless to say these last 5 months have been nothing like I imagined……they have been BETTER than I could have EVER imagined. I hear all the time that it just keeps getting better and better and I can now vouch for that. Everyday is something new. Every day I get to wake up and peak into his crib and be greeted by the biggest, cheekiest smile you can imagine and sometimes I even get a face full of drool. Every day at 4:00 PM I get to pick him up and see that same smile that I dreamed about all day while I was at work. (He immediately smiles and rubs his drool all over my face and shirt) That smile (and drool) is my reason for living. It is unreal to me how a love like this can exist. I pinch myself every day so I dont’ forget that this isn’t a dream I am living, its real life..and its my life!
Until Next Time…