Mother. That’s quite the title, isn’t it? I know it’s been a hot minute since I’ve been here, which isn’t much of a surprise. I was right the last time I wrote here though, it was my last pregnancy update as I did get induced. Being induced, which wasn’t something I wished for, ended up being a little more complicated than I’d anticipated and it ended with an emergency c-section! See? Even though I’d refrained from making up a ‘this is what I want’ birth scenario and remained as open about the experience ahead as I could; what happened was still something that threw me. I guess it’s one of those things you can never really imagine what it’ll be like until you go through it. What happens will happen and just because you’ve been through it once, doesn’t mean it will be the same the next time. If I’m being honest my whole birth experience was quite a mess and it took me a while to be able to allow myself to think about it as ‘messy’. However, I think that’s a topic for another blog post all together.
So, motherhood. It’s been one hell of a ride! It’s wonderful and I feel privileged and blessed to be able to experience this. That being said, I want to be honest with you guys because I’m quite sure all of you have heard what a blessing motherhood is and how wonderful it is to have children and that children are the reason for living. While I agree with all of it, that’s not the whole picture. Being a mother (or parent in general), especially a first time one, is challenging! I remember our first night together as a family, in the hospital, he was so small and I was so scared that he was going to break somehow. Even if they’d told me that he’d be small, I hadn’t realized just how small he was going to be. He came out weighing 2820 grams (and dropped some of that initially, like practically all newborns) and he was 49 centimeters long. During the days leading up to his arrival I’d seen people on social media share their photos of their babies and they all seemed big and sturdy somehow. He, however, wasn’t. No one had prepared me for the fact that I’d be so worried all the time. Being so small and with a newborns undeveloped coordination, his jerks that he got during sleep worried me. Being worried continued to be a pattern and still is, at least the first time (or first few times) something happens. Coming home, even though I was so happy to be out of the hospital and have baby B with us at home, I cried a few times a day. My hormones were all over the place, which caught me by surprised considering I hadn’t felt very hormonal at all during pregnancy. I’d read about baby blues though, but as the days went on I was a bit concerned that maybe this was something else. Again, on social media, people share their happiness and smiley faces about their newborns. No one mentions the worries and the heartache that happens when your newborn cries until they turn red and can barely breathe.
Being a mother, a parent, is literally wearing your heart on the outside of your body. You feel everything on a whole new level, both the good and the bad. I loved him from the first second I saw him and it felt so overwhelming. The combination of that deep felt love and worry, it made me feel incredibly raw those first few days (a bit over a week), I was also quick to judge myself and blame myself. If he was sad, I figured it was because of something I’d done, or hadn’t done. Breastfeeding wasn’t working well either, which I really beat myself up about. It felt like I should be able to do it, something that seemed to come naturally for everyone.
Baby B is 9 weeks and 1 day old now (I’ve been trying to finish this blog post for the past two weeks though, ha!). I can’t believe that he’s already 2 months old! He’s amazing and seeing him develop new abilities is the coolest thing ever. He started smiling at week 6 and while his smiles are still quite elusive and not always easy to trigger; it’s the most beautiful smile. I can say that it gets easier. There are, however, new things and developmental phases (leaps) happening constantly. As time goes by though, you learn to recognize the signs and you feel a little bit more confident in what you’re doing. For my Swedish readers, there’s a good app called: Växa och upptäcka världen, that keeps track of these leaps that your baby takes seven times during its first year. It syncs with your calendar too, which is great. I guess the conclusion is that the worries are here to stay and you’ll just have to go along with it and learn from it. I’ll say one thing though, for me, motherhood and being B’s mother in particular still felt very natural as soon as he was here. I know I was lucky in feeling like that, not everyone does.
Considering the fact that I’m so very new at all this, I don’t know if I should share any tips. I will, however, say that: to all of you new parents out there, you can do this and trust me, you rock and you’re doing great! Try to not get too caught up in the worries and enjoy! I already wish that I’d been a little bit more chill in the beginning and taken way more photos and videos that I ended up doing. So yeah, don’t let the worries (and fears) get in the way.