Happy Thursday everyone!!! Thank you so much for checking out today's From One Mom to Another post....today's featured guest is one amazing mamma named Chelsea! She blogs over at the super cute blog Red Velvet Rooster!! One of the things I love about Chelsea is her openness and honesty about being a mom...it is very refreshing to read a post so direct and sincere when it comes to motherhood! I hope you enjoy this post as much as I did! Happy Thursday!!
1. Something you wish you knew before having a child?
I wish I knew SO many things before having a baby! I wish I knew how painful and awkward the recovery from vaginal birth can be. People think it’s just C-sections that are painful, that’s a lie. I wish I knew how hard the sleep deprivation can be, but also that it will be short lived. I wish that I knew just how much money we would be spending on diapers and wipes. I wish I knew how pointless it was to stock his closet with cute button up shirts…all of which he has worn once or not at all. I wish I knew how pointless a lot of stuff on our registry really was. Crib, co-sleeper, diaper pail, swing, diapers, wipes, pajamas with footies and formula (or breastmilk) will get you through the first 6 months of life without a problem! Lastly, I wish I knew just how fast time was going to fly once you have a baby. They only stay a baby for a few seconds it feels like…
2. Most surprising Mommy moment?
How challenging breastfeeding is and how much your production can be hindered by stress and anxiety. Bubba had to be put under the bili-lights for 24 hours at the hospital a day after we took him home. We were lucky enough to be able to have a room with him, but I had a meltdown during this time and I let stress and anxiety take over my body. We all went home the next day and I breastfed that next month. I loved breastfeeding and the bond it created between my son and I. I loved feeling like I could provide for him, literally, everything he needed.
A week or so after he had been in the hospital for jaundice, I began to notice that nothing seemed to make him happy. He never fell asleep after nursing and instead continued to cry. He would nurse for 45 minutes at a time and still was not satisfied. He gave me blisters from nursing so hard. He was super gassy and was only sleeping 8 hours…A DAY! I also began to notice that he didn’t seem to be gaining weight and my breasts were not nearly as full as they were before we took Bubba to hospital for his jaundice. I knew all of this was not normal, so I decided to pump one day and see how much milk I would get. I got 1 ounce in 30 minutes of pumping. It was then I realized that he had not been getting enough to eat from me. We went to the doctor to confirm what we already knew. He had dropped almost a pound from his birth weight in a month. That same day I rushed to the store and got a bunch of Similac Sensitive. Watching him drink that first bottle of formula was the most amazing moment for me. For the first time in Bubba’s life he was satisfied. He fell asleep right after that first bottle.
I cried a lot about the fact that he was so hungry for a month and I had no idea. I cannot look at pictures of him from that first month without crying. He looked like a tiny, old man. To this day, I still cannot believe that it took me so long to realize there was a problem…but hey, it’s not like they come with an instruction manual. I cried a lot about the fact that I could not breastfeed as I was planning on breastfeeding him for the first year. I was comforted by the fact that Bubba loved his formula so much and by how he began to thrive and grow into the huge 22 month old boy he is today. When we have our next child I hope I will have more success breastfeeding now that I know what to expect and now that I know more about products like Fenugreek bars, teas, etc.
3. How has Motherhood impacted your life all around?
Being a Mama is the most important, fun, moving, overwhelming, stressful, terrifying, hilarious and rewarding job ever. Becoming a mother has helped me become a better person. I am more patient and understanding. I am less judgmental and extremely protective. The small things, like a messy house, don’t get to me as much anymore. I would much rather spend time playing with tractors and trains with my son than washing the windows and that is OK. My priorities have completely shifted. My focus is 100% on my family and our experiences together. Motherhood is a role I have always known I was born for. That doesn’t mean it isn’t one of the hardest jobs out there though. Most of the time, I can cope with anything. I have been able to handle the sidewinder curves our adventure takes us on…other times you will find me in a dark corner, head in my hands, rocking back and forth. We are only human after all.
4. Best piece of advice?
I know I am only supposed to give the “best piece of advice” but I felt these all are worth mentioning.
-Trust your instincts. If you think there is an issue, you are probably right.
-Don’t worry too much. 9 times out of 10 you are doing it right…People have been making babies and keeping them alive since the beginning of time. If cave women could do it without all the fancy gadgets we convince ourselves we have to have, we can do it too.
-You are not a perfect Mother and you never will be…so quit trying. Just be the best you can be.
-Don’t forget about your relationship with your Husband. It is easy to do, but your marriage is just as important as your child. If your relationship is not healthy, your child will suffer from it. I am guilty of not balancing wife and mother very well at times and it is something that I actively try and work on every day.
-No matter how bad you think you look…take pictures with your babies…you will regret it if you don’t.
5. Anything else you would like to share?
Be conscious of the fact that babies and children are VERY perceptive. They can feel your emotions. If you get frustrated, they react to that. If you are sad, they can feel it. While I was transitioning to a new job I was very stressed and anxious and Bubba felt every bit of it. He threw fits over everything that week. He literally had a conniption fit over dropping a toy one day. Once I picked up on what was going on and made a point to leave work at work and the issues were solved. Bubba was much happier within the first day of me, consciously, letting go of my anxiety and keeping it out of the home. Being a Mom is a lot about faking it till you make it, at times. Your emotions take a backseat to your child, which is not always healthy…but it is part of being a Mom. The really awesome flip-side to this is that Bubba is my saving grace on a bad day. If I am having a bad day, being the class clown that he is, within five minutes Bubba has me laughing and I have forgotten that I was ever having a bad day. Kids are great like that.