This Thursday will mark my daughter’s first month of life, and my first official month as a mother. It’s been very hard to keep up with my normal hobbies. It was even hard at the end of the pregnancy when all I wanted to do was sleep. It didn’t help that my last two weeks were wrought with consistent early labor contractions. I had to work from home for the last two weeks. Not fun. I’ve learned that although those hurt, they’re nothing compare to active labor. However, there’s nothing like walking and having your stomach seize up like a charlie horse in your stomach.
Anyway, my mother friends warned me that the first couple of months of having a baby would be survival mode. Boot camp. Hellish even. I nodded in agreement, and secretly hoped that Lilly would be that one exceptional baby that slept through the night, hardly cried and ate really well. Of course she wasn’t. She’s a baby. I certainly got the latter though. Our Lilly eats her weight in mama’s milk every day. Check out my cutie pie before I get into my topic.
At birth she was feisty already! Just like her mama!
She’s super cute all the time.
So this brings up my discussion. Pride. I don’t know if it’s postpartum or hormones but I doubt myself A LOT. There are times where I look at her and the tears well up because I’m just so freakin tired. I worry that I’m not enriching her enough, or that I literally just feed her and put her down to sleep. I worry that I’m doing the bare minimum, and that I’m a bad mother. Turns out most moms feel that way, and that’s just what newborns do. They eat, poop, and sleep.
But here’s where pride comes in. I had a cesarean. Little girl was not so little. She was born at 9 lbs 6 oz with a cord wrapped around her neck, so she didn’t come out the natural way. Sure c sections aren’t as big of a deal as they used to be. Incisions are so much smaller, and it took them less than five minutes to get her out, and much more time to put me back together. Regardless of how much easier they are to perform, you’ve still undergone major abdominal surgery in which layers of muscle and skin were cut through.
Far too many women try to get back to their normal routine too quickly, only to end up back in the hospital. Myself included. I was warned! But I was too proud to ask for help. Justin went back to work after a week, and although my sister came on the weekends to help me, I was still easily worn out.
I thought I was fine. All new mommies are tired zombies. Little did I know then that the stress and fatigue causes mastitis (infection of the breasts). Next thing I knew, my poor boobs were red, painful and swollen. I was miserable and within a day I was at a 101.4 fever being whisked to the hospital by Justin at 11:00 pm with the baby in the backseat. I spent the next three days in the hospital fighting a resistant infection that took three separate antibiotics to kill. A week later, I just now finished taking the last of my pill antibiotics. I’m so lucky to have a responsible, helpful husband that took care of Lilly 24/7 in the hospital while I lay there shivering, sweating, groaning and crying.
I had people offer to help me before I got sick. I should have taken them all up on it. People offered to come over and clean, watch the baby, or just let me sleep. But in my mind I was fine! I almost felt semi back to normal, and who on Earth feels comfortable with a friend coming over to clean your house? Not me! I’d rather parade myself outside naked then let someone clean my house. But there’s my pride again.
I finally let go of that pride in the hospital. It wasn’t about me. Lilly is my number one priority now, and I can’t take care of her if I’m sick. I can’t keep her happy if I’m sleep deprived and nodding off while holding her. I let my sister come to the hospital at 5:00 am so Justin could shower and head off to work. I let my parents buy me a full list of groceries, and when I got home I let my sister deep clean my house as disgusting as it was while my parents cleaned out my fridge. I haven’t been afraid to give Lilly to Justin when he gets home if I need to shut my eyes for just a few moments. Those are the things I have to do in order to take of her.
My sister made a good point to me at the hospital. It’s like when you’re on the airplane and they tell you that if the oxygen masks come down, to put one on yourself before putting one on a child. You can’t take care of the kid if you’re passing out from oxygen deprivation. The same goes for everything else.
A women named Colleen that I met on the bus told me something wise once, and it was her advice that finally sunk in within the last few weeks. She told me to let people help me if they offered. She said that God put that act of love on their heart. That it does you no good to deny them that help. That if you keep denying the people that love you that act, then they ‘ll eventually stop offering or caring. So I let my sister help me, and I let my parents spend their money on me. Was it hard? Yeah! I felt like I was swallowing a big pill every time I agreed, but each time it made my life easier, which in turn helped me care for my baby.
This should apply to everything in life. If you find yourself in trouble, and those that love you are offering to help, LET THEM.
Oh, and here’s more pictures as a thank you for reading. 🙂 Maybe I just like showing off my adorable offspring.
I MADE THIS!