As Mother's Day quickly approaches, I am finding myself thinking about when I first became a mother. This upcoming Mother's Day weekend is extra special to me, because my oldest son is graduating from the same college I graduated from while pregnant with him.
Thinking back to the early days of motherhood, I remember the sleepless nights. I was so tired that I even feel asleep while talking on the phone one evening! I felt like I knew very little about being a mother. I was weepy and overwhelmed.
The first week of breastfeeding was rough! My son was not latching well but I did not realize it since I had never nursed a baby before. A nurse came to to our apartment to weigh him and she misread the scale. She told us he was gaining well and was almost back to birthweight. However, a day or two later the lactation consultant reweighed him and said that he was not only not gaining weight, but he was still losing weight!
I so wanted breastfeeding to be successful! What helped me persevere? The support of my husband and the support of our family doctor and lactation consultant as we learned the breastfeeding dance. Why do I call it the "breastfeeding dance?" Because the mom learns baby's signals for nursing and how to care for him and the baby stays close to mom and practices latching and suckling in her warm, loving arms. In the beginning when a couple is learning to dance, they step on each other's toes and awkwardly try to practice the steps. However, with time, the dance becomes second nature and enjoyable and the couple doesn't need to concentrate so hard on the steps. Breastfeeding is like that.
Yes, I remember a lot of the challenging parts of becoming a mother: labor, birth, sore nipples, and impatiently waiting for the lactation consultant to call on the phone. However, I also remember the beautiful parts, too: the milky, sleepy face of my son after he nursed to sleep, the smiles and giggles, and the sweet smell of my son after his warm bath. All those wonderful days of motherhood and especially breastfeeding far outweigh the difficult days!
What memories do you have of becoming a mom?