Monday, May 10, 2010

Transition to Mommyhood: A series

Just before it's time to head out for the doctor's office, I've finished feeding the baby and decided to change her diaper also. While I'm changing her diaper she begins to spit up a little. I quickly pick her up from the changing table to pat her back and make sure she doesn't choke. She's fine, but quickly pulls her classic move and begins to pee. Since we were in the middle of a diaper change, and I'm now holding her, I realize she's peeing only because I can feel it falling all over my feet. I quickly extend my arm to hold her out away from my body and hopefully spare my clothes. Success, the only casualty was the floor. I do my best to clean her up while holding her away from my body, then place her back on the changing table. She's unhappy to be left here un-diapered, but I need to clean up the floor. Three trips to the kitchen for paper towels and the floor is cleaned up. Now I need to wash my hands and get her dressed. I buckle her into her carseat which she hates unless we're in motion. But just as I get her buckled, my phone rings. It's my brother. He's at work and wants me to Google something for him. In the time it takes me to explain that I'm on my way out the door to take the baby to a doctor's appointment which we are now late for, she has filled up her diaper. Back out of the carseat... back on the changing table... get clean... back into the carseat... finally out the door at the time of our appointment. Oh well.

Welcome to Mommyhood!

Over the past two weeks I've been thinking about all the things that have changed and how I've made my "Transition to Mommyhood." There are so many things I've wanted to share with my friends who are expecting their babies any day now that I've found helpful. Maybe some of these things will be helpful to my friends who are already mommies too. Either way, I've decided to share these things as a series. It just seems like the cool thing to do on your blog these days. Plus I could write them all as one post, but it would be time consuming to do all at once, and it would make one super-long post for people to read all at one time (not that I'm a stranger to writing those).

So, let's begin!

The first topic I want to cover in the series is NURSING! It's one of the first challenges you encounter when you reach Mommyhood, if you choose to nurse. If you choose to bottle-feed then this topic will not be so helpful (that I know of). There are all kinds of things people will tell you about nursing, just like they've been telling you throughout the entire pregnancy. You'll hear the horror stories, the stories of how simple it is, and all kinds of advice on what to do and how to do it. Armed with all those stories and pearls of wisdom, you should go into nursing with the understanding that it's still going to be a challenge. Like a cartwheel, someone can explain to you all about how to do it, but until you're trying it yourself, it's really hard to fully understand.

I felt confident going in because I had gotten lots of pointers from my sister who has four children. However, it was still a learning process for me and the baby. What helped me with this part of the transition to Mommyhood was listening to my instincts and reading cues from the baby. Nurses would inevitably come into the room for something when I was trying to feed her, and they would want to offer their assistance if the baby was fussing at all. I always welcomed their help. Being a first-time mommy, chances are they knew things I didn't. What was the worst that could happen? They offer me advice that didn't work and I try something else. Unfortunately, more times than not, that was the case. I explained to every nurse who tried to help me that my baby had a stuffy nose and she had a hard time breathing when she was latched, so she kept unlatching to breathe and then latching again. Maybe it was because I was a first-time mommy, but they all seemed to disregard this information. They told me to stuff the breast into my baby's mouth as far as I could, even if she was screaming and struggling. This was nothing short of traumatic for me and the baby. She was turning bright red, shaking and screaming, not to mention gasping and snorting for breath every time she could pull her face away from me. I didn't want feeding to become this terrifying experience for her when she thought her mommy was trying to suffocate her. So when the nurses left I would hold her close to let her calm down and then go back to letting her latch and unlatch as needed. It was painful, I won't lie. But that pain was more than bearable in comparison to the look on her face when the nurses would smash her face against me.

It took a few more days after we got home for her to really get the hang of latching on and staying on. The stuffy nose was no help, and we're still battling that. It got more painful before it got better. But once the real milk came in she didn't have to work as hard to get it and things have been on the upswing from then on. The bottom line here is that nursing is a learning experience. I gladly listened to the advice that the professionals offered, and then did what I felt was best. I had to hang in there when I felt like I couldn't possibly let her touch me, and I'm glad I did.

I hope my friends who are about to enter Mommyhood have great nursing experiences (if they decide to nurse) and are able to use my story to help them transition to Mommyhood!


  1. I'm gonna have to print off each of these posts and make myself a book to re-read... you know... whenever ;] i'm so excited to read the rest as it comes! I love the real-life mommy-ing blogs, but the OMGmom is a little much at times!

  2. It's so cool to hear about your experiences as a new mommy. It's fun to relive those times because it's amazing what you forget once your baby is a toddler. And since I'll be going through this again pretty soon, I'll be sure to pay attention. :)


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