A few days ago, a new baby was born in the family! As you all know, we all get excited with that. I am an aunt!! We won’t see her soon because she does not live in Colorado, but every day we think about her. So I got inspired to write about motherhood. Many weeks ago I blogged about when they told me my baby was dead. Go ahead and read that so you can have an idea of what I said back then. Again, whatever I say here, it was just my experience. I know not every experience is the same, and we have all experienced motherhood in very different ways.
I chose to have a cesarean; this was on April 25th 2008. I remember the night before, my husband, my mom and I went to eat out, knowing that our lives would change the next day forever. The next morning I got all packed, and my husband and I went to the hospital. Having the epidural made it not as bad as I thought, and I was ready to get done with 9 months of pregnancy. I had my amazing doctor there, and I was surprised that for them it was totally normal what they were doing. I remember they started talking about best places to have breakfast in Denver, and I just joined the conversation knowing that in just few minutes I would be a mom. All of a sudden they said, “Here it comes!” I had no idea it was going to be that quick.
And yes, there he was! He started to cry, and all of a sudden I thought, “Oh my God! This is real!” He got put on oxygen and was brought to me. I didn’t cry; I was just processing everything. I chose not to breastfeed, so I told them it was ok for them to feed him while I was trying to get movement back in my body. I remember a nurse wanted me to breastfeed and brought my baby to me. I was not motivated; I did not want to do it. I was kind of upset that they did not respect that. My baby was not latching on so the nurse took him back.
The first night was funny. I remember people telling us that the nurses could take our baby all night so we could rest. We said, “No way! We want to be with our baby all night.” Yeah, sure. As soon as that baby started crying, oh my goodness! And if he was not crying, it was all nurses coming to check up on me or something else. We did not sleep at all!!!! We learned our lesson. We were trying to be the perfect parents, LOL. We decided to take advantage that we were in the hospital and let them take the baby. The second night was so much better!!! We slept more.
We got many visitors, and I got spoiled. Going to the bathroom was not fun at all, and I wish someone would have told me that I would have my period right away, LOL. My mom made me laugh so hard that the pain was terrible. So I had to make sure to take my pills on time. It did not feel real to be a mom; I was worried of what was to come, when real life would hit, when visitors would stop coming, and when my mom would be gone and I had to do it all on my own.
Being at home became interesting. I set up a routine because that is how I like it. So I would feed my baby every 3 hours, and he was on formula so he could be fed by whoever was visiting. I was happy about that, but everybody was asking me why I was not breastfeeding him. So I started to pump milk; that really did not go well. I had to pump each breast like 20 minutes each, and as soon as I was ready to sleep, my alarm went off to feed formula to my baby, so after 3 days I realized I could not sleep at all. I made the decision to put myself first because I knew a happy mom would be better. Thank goodness I had my mom there with me who supported me each step of this boob adventure, LOL!!!
I talked to the pediatrician who supported me cutting breast milk, so after that I felt free. Breastfeeding was not for me, but it is for many moms. I tried not to feel guilty and kept going. I remember when my husband had to go back to work was a little hard because he was the perfect mom. No, really!! He loved being with the baby; he was the expert giving him bath time while I would freak out thinking that the water was too hot or too cold. One day when he came back from work, he opened the door without even looking at me or saying hello and went upstairs to look for the baby. I felt so sad; I remember that feeling of loneliness and not being sure of what I was doing.
I realize all pregnancies and experiences are different. My baby weighted 8 pounds, so why was I the same weight after I gave birth weight? No clue, LOL! Personally, my bonding experience with my son was not coming. I worried about that. While I went to counseling for a while, I had to stop because my mom was going back to Peru, and I had to be with the baby. My husband enjoyed singing, reading and just staring at the baby. Those lullabies sounded sad for me, and my husband became the primary love-giver to my baby. I enjoyed just taking care of him, making sure all of his basic needs were met.
I remember my husband wanted to be very involved, so he specifically asked to be woken up at night. Well, that didn’t go as expected. No idea why he could not hear the cry, so I would get the baby and start yelling at my husband for help. He didn’t answer for a while until I finally will saw someone in the doorway.
“How can I help you?” he said very sleepily.
“Please go downstairs and bring me the formula.”
Oh my God, it took him forever. I didn’t know why it was so hard just to get it. After a few minutes my husband came back with a towel. Really?! A towel?!! Go figure, he was still sleeping. So new rules came to this house: do not help me at night!!!
To be honest I never felt that bonding experience that I saw my friends had, that I saw my husband having, and that every book and TV show talk about it. I thought, “What is wrong with me?” I also knew I had to be my TrueSelf because if I faked it, it could have been even worse. I knew everything would be fine and that my baby chose me for a reason to be his mom. I was not the mom who would be in the house just having eyes for her baby; I wanted to be me. So I reached out for help, for friends and from there everything got better.
As my bonding experience never came during the early years, I wish someone would have told me it was okay. I shared my story with a few moms and to my surprise I was not alone. But people did not feel safe sharing what they really felt. If you are a new mom, you might be feeling exactly what the book and the movie and everybody is telling you to feel. Or you might be like me. Remember to be your TrueSelf. Do not be afraid; ask for help; many people will offer. You might as well take advantage. You need time to yourself too and don’t forget that you were a wife first.
Was it scary not to be the typical mom? A little. Do I regret it? Not at all. I let destiny work on us, and to be honest I wouldn’t want it different. The connection I have with my son now is infinite. It is godly, and I am sure it is because we took our time to know each other. We created foundations, we did not push each other, we were respectful and compassionate. We were our Trueself.