Monday, February 7, 2011

On Being a Young Mom

Part II
more stories.
(but first, I don't know how to answer comments and feel like the one who commented got my response.  I'm so glad that Laura Beth and Kate felt a connect to what I wrote - this next post is more on the baby stuff and had already been written and scheduled to be posted on the 7th - It's intensely about new babies and those struggles - but still - it's about God breaking me and chiseling me into this wrinkled 59 year old lady.  :-)
1.  I could not have been more excited about my very quick pregnancy.  I had been married 6 months when I got pregnant the first time.  Not planning it - just naive about the reality that "one can actually get pregnant".  A lot of passion, not much planning.  I LOVED being pregnant - all four times.  I could enjoy it today.  I am one of those women who enjoy being pregnant.  My body does better pregnant, than not pregnant.  I wonder if it's the whole other mix of hormones.  I don't know.  I will say this - each pregnancy altered my body chemistry.  After the first one, my libido jumped down about, well, I don't know how many notches, but it was different.  That's all I'll say about that.  My 4 daughters read this blog and, well, sorry, they'd just rather I didn't go there.  I love and respect them.  What I just said?  They all know that much.  I've discussed it as a genetic possibility.  I've spent a lot of my marriage climbing out of that "throwdown" - and recently I said to one of my girls....there's hope.  You can climb out.  But who wants to spend that time climbing when you could be......ummm, sorry -
2.  Loved having that first baby.  I loved her as much or more than I ever dreamed.  It was a whole other rebirth for me.  During my first pregnancy my mom was threatened with breast cancer.  I still had many many heartstrings attached to my mom.  That threat during the pregnancy of a baby I had not met nor realized fully - well - I remember not even wanting the baby or being able to be excited about it if I wouldn't have my mother.  My mother (along with so many billions of other mothers in history) gets the Mothering Crown.  She does.  Oh, that I would be 1 pinch of the mother she was.  So, when I hear of young women losing their moms - I'm incredibly moved by it and sympathetic.  I was spared from that.
Anyway, Mom was protected from those cancer cells' spreading - she lost her right breast and it afforded her, after recovering from that, much more joke material than she already had.  I had my baby and was reborn into parenting.  wow. magical love.
3.  Okay - sleepy - sleepy - and the baby cries a lot.  What's that about????  I remember calling an acquaintance - closer than other acquaintances - she was in the middle of a Tupperware Party and I apologized for calling - but wanted to know if her 2 babies had cried a lot.  I remember knowing that she must feel weird and awkward and not knowing how to answer what must be a very obvious question I had just asked.  I also remember realizing that ladies in other countries who carry their babies in slings around their bodies must be on to something.  I needed my hands to be free so that I could do housework and carry my baby at the same time.  I was in the middle of making our bed in our apartment bedroom, and I decided to figure out how to wrap Ann securely in our flat sheet and wrap her around my frame so that I could move about and do house/apartment work.  I tried and tried but never got it.
4.  All of my babies were great nursers.  They latched on immediately, hence, I was not sympathetic toward moms whose babies didn't nurse very well.  God got me for that one.  Ann and Laura Beth paid the price for that.  Each of their first babies were not natural nursers.  Sad.  sorry.  But I'll tell you a funny story that Laura Beth already knows, and Ann, and I've even told Joy Baldwin Finch who was SHOCKED.  I was staying with LB during the following days of Ada's birth. Ada was NOT nursing and I was thinking, "I know I could get that baby to nurse!....if it was just me!!"  So - one night, up with Ada, while Laura Beth and Scott slept - I dared to try it.  Even though she wouldn't get any nourishment, still, it would be like a pacifier, I could teach her what to do - and boom - Laura Beth's nursing problems would be solved.  It didn't work.  I am the champion nurser and Ada was having none of it.  Humbled. Surrendered.  Relinquished.  Sorry.
5.  Babies and growing them up.  Let's see.  Sarah was my easiest baby.  God blessed her with a very very pleasing temperament.  Easy.  Easy.  She still is very pleasant to have around the house.  Guess what I thought???  that Charlie and I had gotten very good at parenting by the time we had our third baby.  I deemed myself an expert.  We had this thing licked.  We were ready for the speaking circuit if people would just ask.  And, with all of that, even the easiest baby is hard.  I recall being so sleepy with Sarah, that I would wake up in  bed and nursing her and not know how she got there.  I actually asked Charlie, the first time it happened, after waking him, "did you get Sarah and bring her to me?"  He had no idea what I was talking about.    I would wake up and I would be sitting up in bed and nursing her.  I also remember being so sleepy and knowing Sarah was full and being at my wit's end and Charlie took over.  He had never had the confidence or wherewithal to do that with Ann and LB and he did that with Sarah.  He told me to go to sleep and he would get her.  He rocked and rocked and stayed up with Sarah.  I went to sleep.
6.  Oh - back to Laura Beth - my most difficult baby.  Not my most difficult child or human being - but in infancy she was the most difficult.  (I have no "most difficult child".  all equal in easy and not easy)  Laura Beth and infancy did not get along.  She had reflux which at that time had no name.  Every drop of milk she consumed went into her belly, quadrupled and left the nutrients and sent the rest back up.  She was a very fat baby but was losing volumes of liquid through her reflux.  She was up at night a whole lot and wanted to nurse continuously.  She would nurse in desperate fashion and it would come up through her nose and mouth.   One night, I was also desperate.  I was downstairs in the den.  Charlie was upstairs sleeping.  I was so very very frustrated that I put Laura Beth down on the couch, and left her safely as she cried and flailed.  I went upstairs into our bedroom and grabbed the rocker which was in there, and BUMPED it loudly downstairs - with the intention of waking Charlie with great purpose.  He waked up.  He got the message - but really had no solution.  Laura Beth wanted to nurse.

Those are a few more stories.  There are so many.  I never think about them.  I'm 59.  I have to jar my memory to think of them.  But when I do?  Very vivid.

I think I'll do a part III.  this is kinda fun.

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