Getting into the “mom groove”

A lot of people talk about how amazing and rewarding motherhood is, and this is so true, but what no one seems to tell you; is that it takes time to adjust to this new world you find yourself in. There is new lingo you did not even know about, new brands and products that may seem overwhelming, new stages of life you did not even know existed, and most of all, this new inner strength you never knew you had.

Before I became a mom, I did not even consider how long it would take for me to “feel myself” again, and by “myself” I mean a well balanced person that does not cry over every little thing, does not loose her temper all the time, and has patience with herself and those around her (mostly my husband). The only thing you think about is that cute little bundle, and whose eyes she will have, and rightly so, these are the things we need to look forward too.

But not knowing how hard it will be to adjust, really caught me off guard, and I was not prepared mentally for this struggle at all. I was not concerned about my own recovery after the C-Section (this is the way it is supposed to be, mothers put their babies first), or the emotional recovery for that matter. Only the well being of my baby.

This type of thinking though, soon caught up with me, I was emotionally and physically drained because I felt asking for help meant I am not a good enough mother, this is such harmful thinking; we place so much unnecessary pressure on ourselves, and we simply cannot handle it alongside everything else. When my baby girl was small, and we got visitors, I used to dread it, I did not want people holding my baby and giving me advice at all, even the thought of it made me mad (I was a bit irrational at the time as well). Now, 7 months later, I am so excited when family comes to visit – Yay Babysitters!

As time goes on, I am not insecure about my baby anymore, I know I am her mother, and no one will replace it, I still get the odd unsolicited advice from people, but it does not upset me, I just nod, agree and move on with my day. I feel like I can breathe now if it makes sense, I don’t feel so stressed out all the time anymore, I know what she likes and dislikes, I know her cries; when she is just moaning, or unhappy or sick. Although I am sure as she goes through different stages in her life this will change again, I find myself in a state of contentment as a mother now and this took me 7 months.

It took me 9 months to create a little human being, 9 months for my body to completely change, 9 months of crazy hormones (and a little after) and 9 months to prepare for this amazing little human, don’t rush yourself to adjust to all these new changes, it took me 7 months to feel good and to confident in my abilities as a mother, and to completely immerse our baby into our lives.

Good things take time, and as we all know – It is oh so worth it!

So breathe, and give yourself a break, it will get easier, and then harder and then easier again, and in the midst of all these ups and downs, you will find yourself again; not the old you, but a new you, stronger, happier and yes, emotionally stable.

 

 

 

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The Bond Between Mother and Baby After C-Section

Everywhere these days you see people favouring natural birth, the benefits for both you and baby are endless; recovery, your babies’ strength and the thing we hear mostly is that the bond between you and your child is so much stronger because you both went through this process together.

The problem with this is that life does not always work out the way you expect it to, life happens!

And it is statements like above that make women feel like less of a mother because they had to have an emergency c-section or opted to have one instead of natural birth, women are bullied and shamed for making this choice instead of going the natural way (it is the same with the whole debate about breastfeeding vs formula feeding).

The fact of the matter is that having a c section does not lessen the special bond between you and your baby, I had a c-section, and from the moment she was born there was nothing but love, I still had my skin to skin, I still breastfed for about 8 weeks, she still cried for her mommy and she was still comforted by me. In no way did I ever feel as if my bond between my child and I was not as strong as I hoped it would be, in fact; it surpassed everything I thought it would be, the love I have for her is indescribable and in no way did the way she was brought into this world, affect that love.

I admire women who gave natural birth, to me, having had a c-section; I can’t imagine how incredible that whole process must be, and how amazing and proud you must feel afterwards for having done it and bringing a healthy baby into the world.

But for me, in that moment they cut me open, nothing else in the universe mattered but my baby being healthy and okay, how it happened did not matter to me, how far along I was at the time didn’t matter, how many toes she had did not matter, if I was going to breastfeed did not matter, how much she weighed did not matter, all that mattered was hearing that  first little scream and knowing she is okay, in that moment; I couldn’t care less about myself, when I heard that first cry, the biggest sense of relief washed over me – my baby was okay and now I can breathe.

I have read so many stories about women who are distraught and so disappointed because they ended up having an emergency c-section, and they really wanted to give natural birth, and this breaks my heart, it happens so often where society places so much pressure on moms to do things a certain way, what they think is best for you and your baby, and then when a woman can’t do it that way, due to whatever reason, we immediately feel like we failed as mothers.

I am here to tell you that it is okay, you did your best, and your baby is here, that is all that matters, what they eat or how they came into this world will not matter to them when they grow up, what type of parent you are will! Whether you were there for their first heartbreak, and how you treat them when they make a mistake, whether you spent time with them growing up; these are the things that will matter to them as adults and what they will pass on one day to their own families and relationships.

We must stop focusing so much on these small things and focus on raising humble and kind little humans that we can be proud of, and be parents they can be proud of, in the end these are the only things your children will remember about you when you are gone, not whether you gave natural birth, or had a c-section or breastfed or formula fed.

Be proud to be a mom, embrace it, and be the best you can be every day, and I promise you, it will be enough.

Angelique

Developing Your “Mom Self”

There is some fundamental shift once you become a mother, all the “me” issues you used to have disappear into thin air, and you see the world differently than before, this effects every part of you being, your thought process, your relationships, your patience, your priorities, your day to day activities, the way you think, basically everything about you changes.

Don’t get me wrong, my personality is still in there, and I am still me, I am just different, I know how weird that sounds, but for me; I am stronger emotionally; when you become a mom, you have to put your emotions aside sometimes, you cannot have a breakdown right now because you have to feed or bath your baby, so you put it away for later, when later comes you are over it ha ha.

There is just this whole new side of you, and that’s what I call – The Mom Self.

This takes some time to master, as with any new role in your life, practice makes perfect, and this one particularly is so overwhelming and takes some time to get used to.

The day my baby was born, everything was chaotic, so many people, doctors, nurses, and the moment is kind of just too big to fully grasp and take it all in, you and your partner don’t really seem to get the time to chat or to get used to the idea because then grandparents and aunts and uncles pitch up to see the new bundle of joy.

I had a C-Section, so the whole process was just such a shock to my system, I read so many things on the procedure and talked to so many moms that went through it, and yet, it was nothing like I thought it would be, it was so scary being awake (that was the worst part for me) and the adrenaline and the excitement is overwhelming (I use this word a lot, because well, there is no other word for it).

That night I was alone at last in the hospital, they took my baby and looked after her during the night for me to rest after the surgery, the next morning at 5 am, they wheeled her in and left her, I remember thinking oh my word, you can’t just leave her here alone with me, what must I do with her?

The feeling I had was pure panic!

What was I supposed to do with her? I read so many books on what to do, and talked to so many new moms, and yet, in that moment, it all disappeared, and the reality was staring me right in the eyes! I was a mom, and I had a baby, a tiny one at that, and was even unsure about how to change her diaper in that moment.

Now, 6 months later, and I am so comfortable with her, don’t get me wrong, I still has days where I am not sure what is going on and second guess myself, but these days are less than they were. The only way to get to this point is time; give yourself time, don’t be so hard on yourself in the beginning or well, ever for that matter, being a mom is a very big change for a woman, and like all changes in life, you need time and patience to master this role and to fully be comfortable in it.

So, take a deep breath and give yourself a break! You will get there!

Angelique

 

Why having a baby is such hard work

I know we hear it a lot from moms out there – “babies are hard work” !

Well they were right ! 🙈 Being a first time mom you don’t really realize how much of your time a child would take , and its not just the attention (which to me is the best part) but your other chores.

My whole day revolves around getting my baby to nap and eat at the right time ! Routine in this matter sucks ha ha it leaves no room for spontaneity or unplanned events .

In between these naps (which are sometimes only half an hour) I need to get to work (luckily we live on the same property as our lodge) and wash and make myself presentable and cook breakfast and dinner and make food for my baby and wash and sterilize bottles and and and and … there just never seem to be enough hours in the day to get to Everything!

That whole thing about “sleep when the baby sleeps” only works when you have a newborn, this type of sympathy disappears very quickly as your baby gets older and you become less emotional (admit it, we were all a wreck those first few days at home).

At the end of the day , you just got to keep on keeping on, there is no down time, nor do you get to quit because you do not feel well or you are having a bad day, motherhood builds character like no other situation in life, you learn selflessness in its purest form, and a type of love that no words can describe.

What an honor to be called mama !

Angelique