Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Being a First Time Mother

I recently gave birth to my first child and from the moment he arrived I felt like I was on a roller coaster of emotions. I was on a ride going from complete happiness, to awe, to irritation, to anger and then back around again. You would be surprised at how complete lack of sleep will make you feel sometimes. Combine that with awful pain from vaginal stitches and having to take a lot of medication just to get it to ease up on you, those first few weeks can be pretty darn rough.

The first couple of weeks that my son was home my husband and I had him sleeping in our bedroom with us so that I would have quicker access to him when he needed me. Well, I soon discovered that babies make a lot of noise when they sleep. Well maybe just mine does. I really can not be sure. My son grunts when he is sleeping and every night when he would start making noises I would wake up thinking that he was starting to wake up but he would still be asleep. Then I would just lay there waiting for him to wake up because I was sure that he was about to at any minute and then when I felt like I was about to fall asleep I would just go ahead and wake him up to change him and feed him anyways. This method does not work out very well. After two weeks I convinced my husband to let me move him into his crib in his bedroom and ever since things have been going remarkably better in that department.

Besides trying to get a sleep schedule in order there are all kinds of other things you have to get used to. Like learning to hold a baby without feeling like you are going to break him. You become a pro diaper changer. You constantly smell faintly of spit up and you have virtually no alone time with you partner. That one can be the most difficult one of them all. After spending years of it just being the two of you it is really hard to adjust to not being able to do whatever you feel like doing when you want to. As soon as you think you have a minute and you get all cuddled up together the baby starts to cry and you have to get up and then he gets to be part of the cuddle time too.

But any of the things that could be considered an irritation are completely over powered by everything else. Like when your baby smiles at you or when he laughs. When you talk to him and he talks back with his little cooing sounds. When he is sleeping sometimes and he is dreaming about something that makes him happy and he just starts smiling and giggling in his sleep. I always tell my husband that he must be dreaming of boobie milk because eating is his favorite thing to do. Then my favorite is when he looks at me with this look like I am the greatest thing in his world.

Being a first time mom is not easy. You find yourself worrying over all different kinds of things. Worrying if someone breaks into the house. Worrying about the house catching on fire. I worry about him choking on his spit up while he's sleeping. Waking up in the middle of the night because the baby has been asleep for a long period of time and has not woke you up to eat and worrying if he is okay. I am sure most mothers worry about SIDS. It is the scariest thing that I worry about. Worrying, I guess, is one of those things that you just have to get used to because when it comes to children I will be spending the rest of my life worrying.

There is nothing more amazing than having a child and being able to call yourself a mother. So with all the ups and downs in the begininng you may begin to think that you do not have what it takes to be a good mother but I have learned that everyday it gets a little bit easier. Everyday you feel like you are a little bit more in control. Everyday you feel less like you have no time to get anything done. Everyday you feel like this day is just better than the day before it because everyday your baby smiles at you just a little bit more and you are always wondering what he might do next.

By Crystal Bowden

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