This morning I woke around 3am to switch parenting shifts with my husband. 3am is so early. It’s been a full month of waking at that time and going down to the living room and trying to sleep on the couch but really just staring at Penny and wishing she would be more of a quiet sleeper and wondering if she’s still breathing when she actually is a quiet sleeper.
We have been trying to put her in the bassinet more. She is very noisy. Every few minutes or so she squirms and whines and kicks and then falls back asleep. It’s hard to stay in the same room with her and actually get any decent sleep. This morning I threw in the towel after a 4am feed and listening to her whine in the bassinet until 5:30 and pulled her out and laid her on my chest. She sleeps so quietly when she’s being held. Before I would have thought this made me a bad mom, but now I’m seeing that it just makes me a mom. A “tired of waking up at 3am, just want 8 hours, feeling delirious, but so in love with my little peanut” mom.
It is my first Mother’s Day today. Even though I’m tired and my life is so different, I am happy to be her mom. She cant write me a sweet card or make me a gift, but she is such a gift in herself. There were times when I didn’t think being a mom would be an option for me. I had many months of feeling defeated and less of a woman because of a negative pregnancy test. Then one day, after many months of other kinds of tests and procedures, it was positive.
She had her one month appointment the other day. She is in perfect health. Her weight and height are right on track. Despite not really knowing what I was doing, I was doing a good job. As it turns out, no one really knows what they are doing. It is constant trial and error and trying not to feel guilty when you didn’t get it right.
We switched her formula to a soy based type at the suggestion of her doctor. She has been doing really well on it these past few days. Standing in the formula aisle is so overwhelming. There are so many brands and types within those brands, it’s hard to know which one is going to be the right choice to make her strong and healthy and smart. I went with the Target brand. Feelings of mom guilt washed over me. Am I being cheap with the one thing that keeps her alive and gaining weight? Does it have all the same ingredients I don’t understand but seem really important as Enfamil? The can was $15 cheaper than Enfamil. $15 cheaper!!! And it only lasted us less than 4 days. Suddenly the cost savings won me over. Store brand is okay, I keep telling myself. I love her and she’s healthy and doing well on her soy formula and will she really mind that it’s not branded?
Everyday I am in awe of motherhood. Even though most of us are just winging it, we are warriors. We grew a tiny human inside and our bodies provided everything they needed. After 9 months, we gave birth, in one way or another, to that tiny human. Giving birth was the most painful and traumatic thing I’ve ever done. The other day I caught myself thinking that I could do this again, assuming my body would allow it. Then the baby wouldn’t stop crying and I was so tired and I remembered how much the first few weeks sucked.
All moms are warriors. They carried and brought a life into the world. And then they cared for that life, as best they could. They fix booboos, sing made up songs, rock and swaddle like a champ, provide nourishment, and still maintain a social life and clean house (most days).
So Happy Mother’s Day to all the women warriors out there! Whether you are a mom-to-be, a woman trying to become a mom, a mother figure, an adoptive mom, or a birth mom… you are doing great and I am so in awe of you all!