i haven’t written thatcher’s birth story yet (it’s coming, i promise!) but i’ll let you know things didn’t exactly go to “plan”. like most of parenthood, already.
i felt radiant during pregnancy, so healthy. when i pictured motherhood, i had in mind the same thing. i would be a beautiful, glowing mother. i would be able to go out to eat with my mom and gracefully breastfeed my child. i saw maternity leave as a time to bond with my baby, and also maybe get some things around the house done that we hadn’t had a chance to do. you know, organize our financial paperwork, create a home office in one of our “junk rooms”, take beautiful photos of my newborn, paint our hutch, decorate, create a book of our wedding photos, etc.
this last month hasn’t been like that.
i have stains on my clothes. not from thatcher, but from me dropping food (mostly ice cream….). i never realized how long and exhausting a process fixing my hair is. as for organization? i’m lucky if i get the dishes put in the dishwasher some days. and as for beautiful, healthy, radiating? i have a major cold sore outbreak and huge circles under my eyes.
breastfeeding didn’t go to my plan. problems with latch, thatcher making hamburger out of my nipples (tmi, i know), feeding all day/night long, me crying through each feeding out of pain and frustration. after a meeting with a lactation consultant, we decided to let my infected, severely traumatized nipples heal. so i’ve been pumping instead.
i felt like a failure. like because i couldn’t nurse my child and have had to supplement with formula i failed him. i would never and have never judged anyone else who didn’t nurse and used formula, so why was i so hard on myself? he’s healthy, he’s growing, he’s absolutely perfect. and i’m healing.
i had heard about mothers guilt while pregnant. oh wow, did it hit me like a truck. worrying that i’ll not be able to give him what he needs. feeling guilty about starting work again soon. worrying that i’ll fail him, that i won’t do my best.
i’m letting go of this guilt. it’s a constant prayer of mine. i might not be able to give him everything, and will certainly mess up. but i have so much love to give him. i have a wonderful marriage with his father, who is crazy about him as well. i have my faith to share with him. i have my time to give him. and those are really the most important things, right?
the house may be messy. i might look terrible. but my days are spent cuddling my amazing son. and giving him so much love.