becoming momma

19 Dec

Motherhood is a strange thing…for 9 months I tried to prepare for what I thought motherhood would be like…but words can’t really describe how life has changed or the emotions that have run through me that I never knew existed until becoming a momma.

There have been amazing, beautiful and indescribable moments, and then there have been rough, ugly and messy moments. But somehow God eases us into being a momma with 9 months of sacrificing your body to grow a little baby, and then…after the baby is born, they sleep nearly all the time to help easing into the whole momma gig even more. For me, some of the hard moments came unexpectedly. I was adjusting to taking care of a little human, and I had to work at balancing my new life of being a momma, wife, friend, etc…

I expected not to get a lot of sleep, but I assumed the result of minimal sleep would just make me tired during the day. I figured I’d be tired, so I could just take naps to remedy the sleep I lost at night. But, what caught me off guard was how the lack of sleep took a toll on me emotionally. I felt like I was on an emotional rollercoaster that I couldn’t get off of, I would over-react to things I normally wouldn’t care about. I became weepy, and sort of felt like I was living in a tunnel, a constant circle of feed, sleep, poop, feed, sleep, poop. I love taking care of Lucia, but I felt overwhelmed at night-time, almost dreading it because I knew how little sleep I’d get. Everyone told me that the sleepless nights of waking up every 2-3 hours wouldn’t last for long, but while in the middle of it, it felt like an eternity. Slowly the nights got better, and Lucia started to sleep for longer stretches. Now she wakes up about two times a night, some nights more, some nights less, but overall I feel like we’ve made it through the worst of sleepless nights.

There were two things I researched endlessly before Lucia was born, breastfeeding and sleep schedules. I read books about this stuff, read blogs and talked endlessly with other mommas…I wanted to breastfeed my baby, and I set my goal for 1 year of breastfeeding. Thankfully, nursing has gone really well, and we had very little trouble getting Lucia to latch on, and my milk came in really quickly, and I haven’t had problems with not producing enough milk. I’ve thanked God over and over again for this blessing of being able to nurse Lucia. We haven’t had to use formula at all, she has only ever had momma’s milk, and I’m so grateful that it has worked out for us. I know that every baby is different, and that sometimes breastfeeding just doesn’t work, so I’m that much more thankful that this hasn’t been an issue for us.

The other struggle for me was how I tried to control her sleeping schedule. The first couple weeks Lucia slept almost all the time, then as she started to become awake for longer stretches, then I got ahead of myself and started thinking she was supposed to be on a strict schedule. I started treating her like she was a 4 month old, when in reality she was just a newborn. I expected her to be on a set schedule, all day, every day, and it just wasn’t realistic for her at that time. I overwhelmed myself even more by reading too many blogs and books, and started to feel like we were ‘behind’ in sleep training and that I was doing a crappy job at this whole momma-thing. I began obsessing over it, and it was all I could think about, constantly looking at the clock.  My sister gave me some really good advice…stop reading the blogs and books, and just watch for the signs and cue’s Lucia gives you. I stopped watching the clock, and started watching Lucia…if she showed me she was tired by yawning, having droopy eyes or becoming fussy-I started to soothe her and put her to sleep. If she woke up from a nap and was content, I didn’t feed her right away, but waited until she showed me she was hungry. I stopped feeling guilty for letting her nurse herself to sleep or sleep in bed with us at times. I eased up on myself and started to change the way I thought…I started to think more in generalities than specifics…knowing she usually wouldn’t stay awake for more than an hour or two-I keep an eye on the clock and remembered what time she woke up. It’s been freeing to let go of such a strict mindset. We like to go out on the weekends, which means her naps aren’t the best, but I want her to be able to roll with it and adapt…sometimes after a busy weekend, Mondays are a little hard for her to nap, but by Tuesdays she’s back on track with sleeping.  I know what our long-term goal is for her and her sleep schedule, and I’ve stopped thinking there is one narrow road to get there. I’ve realized that I need to ease up and not put so much pressure on myself, or on her-she’s a baby, and we’ll eventually get to more of a schedule with naps, and we’ll eventually get to her sleeping in her own room in her crib. But for now, we are content with where we are.

It’s all a learning process, and I’m sure-just when I think we’ve got one thing under control, another challenge will arrise…but I’m loving it!

IMG_5510

Advertisements

3 Responses to “becoming momma”

  1. newtorontomom December 19, 2012 at 8:46 pm #

    Such a sweet post 🙂 Yes, I also expected to be tired – and didn’t expect to be cranky and easily aggravated…

    On the schedule issue: the only thing we ever scheduled was bedtime. We were very strict about when bedtime starts and about it being dark with no intruding noises (we used humidifier to block out noises). And throughout the day Timothy catnapped and nursed whenever he wanted. He slept really well at night, so even though I wasn’t able to do much during his scattered naps of 20 minutes here, 30 minutes there, I figured it’s a fair trade-off…

    Good luck – you’re doing a great job. I expect it will be like that for the rest of your life. Figuring out your baby, only to see her change yet again… 🙂

    • denisemf December 19, 2012 at 8:51 pm #

      thanks for the kind words and advice! we are slowly working towards a bedtime routine, one thing at a time…right? 🙂

      • newtorontomom December 19, 2012 at 10:51 pm #

        Exactly – you’ll figure it out!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: