Well, it’s been awhile. A long while — and not because I wanted it to be but because I was still busy trying to get a grip on this new all encompassing mom-ness. I was not at all prepared.
Amelie was born late; 41 weeks and made her grand entrance. The initial shock of coming off the pregnancy hormones and sudden lack of sleep was overwhelming. The hormones and the over the top emotions slowly dwindled but never completely went away. I’ve worked with children as a preschool teacher, nanny, and even as a pediatric nurse. I thought I got kids. I wasn’t expecting a spirited, always on the go, her way or the highway kind of child. Sleep when the baby sleeps, they said. She doesn’t sleep. 10-30 minute cat naps. Moms talked about putting their baby down. Up until her new found interest in toys, she didn’t even want to be put down. Never mind that we had breastfeeding issues and I found myself with a baby that had a lip tie, tongue tie, torticollis and a dwindling milk supply.
I was not ready then. I’m still not ready now in many ways. It’s been challenging and beautifully sweet all at once. And so much has changed…
- I have become acutely aware of how much I’m no longer like my former self. Having a baby is the ultimate Jekyll & Hyde. Part of me remembers her (former self), misses her and thinks of all of the things I was on track to accomplishing. The other part screams motherhood and worries, cries, and gets worked up when leaving for a work shift. It’s the part that gets misty-eyed when I think that, someday, my little girl will have her heart broken. It’s the part that cried when she got her first bottle of formula supplement.
- I never realized it would be so hard to “go it alone.” We don’t have many friends with babies. Neither of our parents are here. We lost quite a few friends when we got pregnant and we see even less of them now that baby is here. There are days when all I want is a village to feel a part of.
- Dealing with emotions like an adult matters more. It was easier to be emotionally inappropriate before. I could wallow in my feelings, stuff them down, ignore them. I could let things fester and it might impact me and maybe my husband a little… but now? If I feel bad, it impacts Amelie. If I’m frustrated, exhausted, annoyed, it can potentially impact Amelie… and somewhere, I decided it’s important to me to teach her how to feel, relate, understand and express her emotions… but I think I forgot the fact that it means I have to do that with mine and set the bar. Needless to say, it’s been uncomfortable.
- Not knowing her celiac status is hard. She’s gluten free right now. She’s going to stay gluten free in our house… but I keep seeing toddlers share their gluten snacks without even thinking. I don’t even know how to teach a child to avoid gluten when she may or may not have celiac disease. We’re just starting solids… and I’m already wondering if I can make a gluten free play-doh…
- Trying to figure out this new body is something else. We want more kids. I want to lose weight. We’re working out, breastfeeding, eating clean — scale budges only marginally. Clothes don’t fit the same. I’m a shoe size up! Definitely wasn’t planning for the bag of “hope I fit into again clothes.”
That’s a starting list. There’s always more but little girl woke up from her 20 minute nap. Stay classy, mom and celiac community.
What did you learn your first four months of motherhood?