Monday, January 26, 2009

Catching my breath

As my sweet baby snores in the sling, I thought I'd take a moment to write a post (as long as she lets me :) It's been 2 weeks now since M. came into the world and joined our family. I know babies grow exponentially in the first two years, even the first 3 months, and I have to say, there is a lot of growth taking place for Daniel and I as well. The first week, we were blessed to have Daniel's mom here to help out with everything around the house, and to offer an extra pair of loving arms for M. to snuggle into. I was exhausted from almost 3 consecutive nights in the hospital without sleep, so it took a good part of the first week to 'catch up', as much as I could with a newborn, that is. Daniel went back to work this past week, and I was on my own. The first day was rough. M. never wanted to be put down, I was starving, and any time she cried, I felt like a failure. I know this is not the appropriate response to a baby's cries, but I think a touch of the "baby blues" was affecting me, and I took it personally. I honestly started to wonder if I was "cut out" for this whole mother role. I know I've never wanted anything else than to be a wife and mother, but the reality of motherhood's demands with a newborn hit me hard.

A baby turns your life upside-down. Day and night have no meaning anymore, they all run together. Your time is no longer your own, it must be focused on the needs of the child, and let's not forget there is a marriage to nurture as well. Daniel has been an AMAZING father and I couldn't imagine a better partner to be a parent with. He holds her whenever he is home (unless she needs to be fed), which is a nice break for me and my back.

Selfishness has no room to thrive when you're a mom. Sure, you can have selfish thoughts, but the freedom to indulge them is just not there like it used to be. I'm realizing more and more just how selfish I am, and how easily I want to give up when things are hard. Well, God has given me the biggest (and greatest) challenge of my life, one that can NEVER be "quit". There is so much to learn, and so much I know God will teach me through motherhood. It truly is a path to holiness, if one seeks God first in everything (which I am FAR from doing, Lord help me!).

I'm thankful to say that I'm starting to understand M's needs more, which makes things a bit easier. I know she only likes the sling or the Moby wrap when she is ready to nap. She basically only cries when she is really tired, other than her 'fussy hour" around bedtime. She takes FOREVER to nurse, and I just have to accept this fact and enjoy a book or a movie during feedings :) She hates the swing, but we'll keep trying... If I want to shower, I just have to accept the fact that she will cry while I do so. Housework will have to wait til dad gets home, and then I run around like crazy getting stuff done (it's actually been more productive for me to have a newborn, because I see "free time" as time to work around the house).

All in all, we're figuring each other out. SHe is a wonderful baby, and I love her with all my heart. I'm trying to cherish this early stage, despite the challenges.

ok--baby is now wailing..... time to feed!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

More to come

Just wanted to write a quick post to say (if you haven't heard), that our baby girl was born on January 10th. Her name is Magdalena, and she weighed 8 lbs. 15.5 oz, and was 22 inches long. We are all doing well, thank God, and have been enjoying the help and company of Daniel's mom for this whole week. I plan on posting our "birth story" soon, but have not had a chance to sit down and put my thoughts together. I am pretty sleep-deprived at this point, and have not gotten into the habit of napping during the day like I know I should be. I would love to hear pointers from you moms out there on ways you coped with the lack of sleep. Also, if any of you had babies that didn't like sleeping without being held, how did you deal with that?

Being a mom is wonderful, though I know it will be the greatest challenge and blessing of my life. At this point, I'm trying to fight the temptation to get discouraged, compare myself to others, and wondering if I'm doing things the "wrong way" all the time. Oh well, we live and learn one day at a time.

That's all for now....I will write more about the baby soon, I promise :) THanks so much for all of your prayers and encouragement for our family!

Friday, January 2, 2009

Contentment in 2009

The year has had an emotional beginning....but not for the reasons one would expect. Instead of ringing in the New Year with my baby in my arms, I woke up on new year's day with tears of frustration and disappointment. I'm not blogging today to "vent", but in hopes of refocusing. I'm tired of being frustrated, angry, disappointed, and dejected about still being pregnant. Last night, as Daniel and I were driving home from a visit to his Grandma's, I decided that if I don't seek contentment and peace, I am heading for even more disappointment. I have to accept the fact that I have NO control over my baby's arrival, and no control over the fact that so much family has come to see us without getting a chance to see the baby. This has been the hardest reality for me...knowing our closest relatives and loved ones can't just "hop over" and see the baby whenever it's convenient. Instead, much of our family had made arrangements to be around when we "thought" I'd be due, only to have to head home in disappointment since the baby is still not here. I know it's "okay" and I shouldn't feel bad, but I naturally do. I want to share this joyous time with as much family as possible, and each day that she doesn't come, that dream fades more and more.

Back to the point of this blog....contentment. I realized last night that throughout my adolescent and adult life, I have struggled with being content. I've always held the carrot of the future out in front of me to get me through the current situation i was in. I think about what "could be", to escape from the reality of what "is." Even when there is so much good in my life, I somehow manage to always think about how it could be even better. This is sinful and selfish of me, and it really has to be addressed.

My wonderful big sister, Carrie, had a chance to visit me briefly this past week (which was amazing!) and she said something to me that really struck me....As she knows I have struggled with accepting the fact that I live so far away from family, she reminded me that Santa Rosa will be the only "home" Maggie will know, and I will have to do my best to make it MY home too, for her sake. No more fantasizing about life in Portland, and what it would be like to live closer to family.... because now Daniel and I have a family, and we need to make the most of our life here in California. I make very few resolutions for 2009, because I think this is going to be the greatest challenge of the year; a challenge that will take ALL of my focuse, energy, and strength.

By God's grace, I awoke this morning (early even) with no tears, but with a sense of serenity and peace; two things I have not felt in awhile. The sound of rain and the soft breathing of my husband next to me was so comforting. Immediately, I started thinking about all the things I want to do today, and realized I won't be able to do any of them for awhile after baby comes. This realization made me thankful for the day, and not to think of it as "just another day that I have failed to have my baby."

So, for today, I am still pregnant.....and that's okay. I hope to spend the day rediscovering my non-maternity clothes, sewing napkins, watching movies (maybe even GOING to a movie), reading, doing some last-minute shopping, etc. As Napoleon Dynamite says so eloquently, I think today I'll do "WHATEVER I FEEL LIKE DOING......GOSH!!!"

And I'll end with that.... HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ALL OF YOU!