Sunday, November 10, 2013

My Wonderful Husband

Recently I was thinking about how far I came when it comes to nursing.  Nursing did not come easy for me.  I had to jump through a lot of hurdles, which included a tongue tied baby, low milk supply, milk blisters and more.  I really wanted to breastfeed my baby and my husband also wanted me to breastfeed too. We had taken a breastfeeding class when I was pregnant and it sold him on the idea of breastfeeding.  Well, when the baby was born nursing did not come naturally for me.  And I don't think it came naturally for baby either.  We both struggled at it.  In fact I struggled with it so much that we had to feed baby formula a couple hours after she was born.  I felt like such a failure.  However , the Women's Heath unit at Mayo had wonderful nurses and lactation consultants.  They were really supportive and willing to see me succeed.  However, once we left the hospital it was just me, baby, and hubby. 

The next 2-3 months were really hard for me.  I would have several visits with lactation.  However throughout the whole time my husband was my cheerleader.  He would continually tell me how proud he was of me, he was willing to help out around the house and do the grocery shopping so I could focus on nursing and pumping.  When he was off from work for paternity leave he would wake up with me in the middle of the night for the night feedings.  He would sit on the couch with me while I nursed.  He would change the diapers and bring me the baby.  When we were supplementing each feeding with pumped milk, he would handle all the supplemental feedings when he was home.  Right away from day 1 I was pumping to make sure my milk came in and then to help increase my milk supply.  My husband was the one who would wash all the parts for me. 

That wasn't the only thing my husband did.  For the first two weeks he changed all but probably a couple diapers.  I think I only changed one diaper before he went back to work.  When I was on maternity leave, he would come home everyday for lunch and help me.  Sometimes it was just changing the diaper.  Other times it was watching the baby so I could shower or take a short nap.  I was so grateful that he would take the time to come home everyday.

Now my husband willingly picks up the baby from daycare everyday.  He helps clean the kitchen most nights, in fact baby even helps with unloading the silverware from the dishwasher (she loves it!).  And he still changes the diapers everyday.  Most nights he gets the baby ready for bed right before I feed her.  It means so much to me that he does all these things.  It gets to be a lot for me to go to work, take care of the house, and take care of the baby.  I easily tire.  Every little bit that my husband does to help out means a lot. 

I am very thankful for my husband.  He means a lot to me.

Monday, November 4, 2013

One Year Reflection

This past week I've been spending quite a bit of time reflecting about this past year.  I can't believe that my baby is going to be a year old this week.  When I look back at where I was at this time last year I can't believe how much things have changed. 

This time last year, I was still pregnant and full of emotions.  I was scared to experience labor.  I was excited to find out if we were going to have a boy or a girl.  What will this baby look like?  How big will this baby be?  But I was also scared of the unknown.  I had a lot of fear.  How will we pay for the baby?  Will we be able to save money?  How will our life change?  Will we be able to participate in bible study?  See our friends?  How will we balance our new life?  So many unknowns, so many worries. 

Now that I look back, I could feel those emotions again, but not in the same way.  As I feel some of these emotions again I think, "Why was I so worried?"  I am amazed with how God provided.  I have no idea how we make ends meet.  I have no idea where my energy comes from.  How was I able to survive off of 3 hours of continuous sleep?  Looking back, I can tell you that it was God who got me through it. 

One of the emotions I have very vividly been remembering is the feeling I had sitting in that hospital room.  I was in shock!  I couldn't believe I just had a baby.  I didn't know what I was doing.  Feeding was not as easy as it looked.  I remember feeling like such a failure as a mom in that hospital room.  I was not a natural when it came to breastfeeding and we had to give baby some formula.

I had a lot of torment the first 6 months or so of being a mom.  I had felt like a failure because feeding wasn't easy.  People would come up to me and tell me how cute my baby was, but then they would also go on and talk about her "rash" which was actually bad eczema.  I hated when people would ask me what's wrong with my baby when they would look at her when her eczema would flare up.  I felt like a bad mom for going to work and not being a stay-at-home mom. 

While you're in the moment of sleep deprivation, low milk supply, cluelessness of being a new mom, and just the 180 your life makes the moment you have a baby, you just can't imagine how it's going to go by so fast.  But it does.  All those people were right when they would tell me it'll soon pass.  Yes, the first 3 months were probably the hardest.  I have no idea how I survived.  But eventually I started sleeping at night, my milk supply increased, I started having confidence in myself as a mom, and I started getting into a new routine and becoming accustom to my new life style. 

Now my emotions and feelings are completely different than they were last year.  I realized that I don't have fear about the future.  I'm not scared about how are we going to pay for XYZ.  God had miraculously provided over and over again.  I don't feel like a failure as a mom.  I feel like I'm a really good mom.  I've loosened up and I'm not as paranoid.  I'm not calling the doctor's office asking ridiculous questions.  I feel like I'm more relaxed as a mom.  Maybe it helps that the eczema has really cleared up a lot these past 3 months and people don't ask me what's wrong with my baby anymore.  And maybe it's because I had to face some of my deepest fears when I was pregnant and a new mom.  And once I faced them, things really weren't as bad at all.  I got through them. 

It's been a roller coaster of a year.  But I would not trade any of it!  I can't imagine what our life without our baby girl.  Yes there was a lot of challenges and a lot of growing but it was worth it.  I'm glad I worked hard and preserved with nursing.  I'm glad I made the sacrifices I did.  Instead, I got to have some wonderful experiences and memories with my baby.  Everything I went through this past year, good and bad, was totally worth it.  I hope it made me into a better person.