It has been exactly 1 month and 14 hours (but who is counting lol) since the earth-side arrival of my babygirl Reign. I have been a mother officially ( i believe once that baby starts to grow inside you, YOU are a mother… period) for one month … and boy oh boy!! My respect level for ALL THE MOTHERS before me and those coming after me is at an all time high. How do we do it?! How did you all do it?
To say this short journey have been easy, loving, comfortable, amazing would be a big exaggeration. This journey has been scary but empowering. Amazing but challenging. Joyous but tearful. Loving but hard! As crazy as it sounds… I would not trade each minute, hour, day that I have struggled or cried for NOTHING. I love this little human that my husband and I created. I felt inspired to write … or in this case,TYPE… some of the things I have learned. Now I am in NO WAY an expert… I am just a FIRST time mother that have been responsible for a little human and have survived the first month lol. I do hope however this helps others that are beginining their motherhood journey. I have been SOOOO fortunate to have a village of mothers that have helped me this far. I literally have atleast ten women I can call ANYTIME to ask questions and bounce ideas off. This to me is a major blessing as I know there may be a mother that do not have the same. I hope this info helps. To TRY to make it short and sweet (or as short as I can make it) .. I decided to bulletpoint. Here we go …
- It is a GREAT idea to plan… but do not hold tight to one single PLAN. Labor…delivery… even baby are all so unpredictable. As much as I would love to tell you my birth story was AMAZING, I am still coming to terms with certain aspects of my story and hope to tell those details soon. As of now, just understand… I did not have a PLAN B or C. I exhausted my PLAN A (before I even began) and ended up going through Plan B,C,D, E …. lol. I was a little devastated to say the least
- DO NOT COMPARE your story to anyone else. Every pregnancy is different. Every labor is different and every struggle is different…period! What happened or worked for someone else, may not work for you and IT IS OKAY! I remember talking to a mother who had her baby before me. She made it sound like her pregnancy was a breeze and then her labor was nothing short of amazing. Meanwhile I struggled with indigestion, my feet swollen to the point it hurt to walk, I felt HUGE and again… my birthstory was not a easy task. I had to stop myself at comparing. It will drive you crazy!
- That brings me to this point… NOT EVERY ADVICE IS MEANT FOR YOU. People LOVE giving unsolicited advice. Telling you what you should do or need to do because it worked for them. Understand… every piece of advice is not needed. Learn to nod, say thank you and let the advice leave the opposite ear it entered in. Who cares what you did 5, 10 , 20 , 30 years ago lol
- ENJOY THE MOMENT… even the waiting…contractions… everything !Take it ALL in. Remember the looks, the people, the smells, the feels… because you wont get that very moment back. I remember my water breaking and feeling so happy but scared. I sat on the toilet and was about to get up and get things together. Something hit me and said “why are you rushing?”. I sat back on the toilet and allowed myself to be in THAT moment. Im sure my husband thought I was crazy when I stayed in the bathroom minutes longer then came out and said “lets lay back down’. I just really wanted to be relaxed and take in the feeling of “im about to meet this human that has kept me up and kicked my ribs” lol.
- YOU WILL CHANGE! Mentally, physically, emotionally … it is inevitable and necassary. I am ONLY a month in and I can tell you… the way I look at life is different. I want to protect her from everything. My body is different… I am not beach ready lol. My approach is different… soft-spoken went out the window when it comes to babygirl. I AM her advocate! Im still learning to embrace all the changes.
- TAKE YOUR TIME… as much as the world want us to think being pregnant is no big deal… IT IS!! Do NOT push yourself to prove to anyone that you are superwoman. You are literally already that! I learned this… I started off as a pregnant Nurse that would run to a trauma just to prove to people that I can still do whatever. I had to pause that mindset quick. My body would tell me LOUDLY to sit down and chill. I listened… especially during a pandemic ( that blog will come soon)…
- This brings me to another point… LISTEN TO YOUR BODY! if something do not feel right, SPEAK UP! IF it does not sit right with you… say it! Call me paranoid but I would call the midwife line quick if I had questions or concerns. I would rather call and be sure then to wait and something happened. Maybe going through a miscarriage made me that way … regardless, I listened to my body on a few occasions. Some were false alarms and some were to save my own life!
- EVALUATE YOUR SUPPORT! Building and having a strong support is so necassary! Yes we would love to rant and rave about how we “did it by ourself” but WHY?!? Why is this a sign of strength? I never knew how much support I had and needed until 2020. Wedding, Marriage, miscarriage, pregnancy, birth… my eyes burn from holding back tears at how much my husband, family, friends/sisters have stepped up for me! Asking and accepting help is not my forte’ … but during this time, I was humbled…quick! I needed every text, every call, every cashapp, every laugh, every gift, every act of kindness. I am GRATEFUL! I wish everyone had the same support… if you do not, find a support group near you!! Find other mothers that are valuable and CONNECT with them. Do not do this alone. Reach out to me if needed … Im new at this but I can help in some way!
- BOND! Take time to bond with your little one. As much as you want to share this new life with everyone and the world, Do not rush it! Give yourself time. Give your mate time. Just give time…period. It can be overwhelming trying to be introduced to this new life, get acclimated with your baby and being a host to family and friends… especially during a pandemic. Take a day , a week, heck a month if needed. Gradually introduce he/she to others. I thought about this alot. Some days I just had to take a day with just US. I remember my best friend telling me this. I did not listen (remember that whole advice thing…) then it hit me one day and I felt more overwhelmed than relaxed. It’s ok to welcome help but it is also ok to take a rain check when needed.
- Stop saying FAILED … I would say “my body failed me” or ‘I feel like I am failing” or “I don’t want to fail”. Each time I said that word… it hurt! I am a person that break through doors and find windows when faced with challenges. I make the impossible POSSIBLE. Failure was not suppose to be in my vocabulary. However, certain circumstances made that word come up. It was not until recently when a good friend of mine… stopped me as I kept saying that word. I evaluated how it made me feel… and stopped it! I don’t like the word so why keep giving it energy?! I did not FAIL! I am learning … learning… learning…
As I grow and learn… I am sure this list could get longer and longer. I am coming into terms that with motherhood, you have to expect the unexpected and enjoy it if possible lol. That is the best way I can say it. Heck just recently, I gave babygirl a bath (I felt accomplished!), gave her a forehead kiss, picked her up ( without a diaper …smh) and instantly felt a warm sensation. That sensation was not a loving feeling lol … Lets just say homegirl gave me a nice and smelly surprise in my hand, on my shirt and on the carpet. Just when I thought we were good … See… the UNEXPECTED!