The Birth Of A Mother [the first 7 days]
All the exhaustion, effort and physical pain vanished instantly the moment you were placed in my arms.
Holding you bought such a joy, satisfaction, awareness, peace and relief.
Watching you get hooked up to machines and out of my arms for the first night was unexpected, challenging, worrying and also reassuring that you were being taken care of.
Such a high, but such an unexpected turn to not take you home as we planned.
Squishy tummy. Sitting hurts. Bleeding often. Peeing sooo much at once. That’s new.
My tummy is still half the size it was in pregnancy. Legs are sore like I’ve done a huge workout. A little breathless. Not wanting to move much.
I get to hold you again. Expressing colostrum is my only way to help you. Improvement overnight, you little champ. Less stuff hooked up to you, yay!
Your face is wondrous.
We went to have lunch out of the hospital. I cried in the car because it didn’t feel right not having you with us.
We decided on your name. Leo. Lionlike. A leader. A strong man. We know this is who God is calling you to be.
More improvements. Things are looking better and better for you.
I got to hold you and feed you while the sun came up. It was beautiful. Then you lay on my chest and slept, I slept a bit too.
I love how you fold your little arms and rest your head on them when you’re sleeping on my chest. You sleep just like Daddy. It was the best way to start your first Sabbath morning.
More good news. You’re not on any machines anymore! You get to come with me back to my room and out of special care nursery. Now you get to be with me all day.
Body is still sore, less however. Tender lady parts. Still bleeding, especially after sitting. Tummy has gone down a little. Dependables and massive pads are life right now. Hair’s not done. Looking forward to a shower. Daddy arrives and I shower. Best. Feeling. Ever.
Feeding is beautiful. You are so gorgeous when you feed. I hope we get into our rhythm soon.
Last thing comes off you. The sticky tape where the fluid cannula was. You didn’t every cry. What a champ.
Did I mention I love you? So much.
Tonight you were with me for the first time. Next to my bed in your little crib. I’m nervous. I want to be there for you, know when you’re hungry or got a wet nappy. Or just need holding.
I try to sleep while you sleep. All I want to do is watch you. So I do.
Feeding challenges. We got help from an old bird who says “feedings her thing.”
You fed well.
Waking next to you. There’s nothing better.
I’ve got more energy. I’m antsy. I want to take you home. I want fresh air. I’m over the hospital.
Last check with the paediatrician. You’re good to go!
Excitement. Elation. Joy. We’re taking you home, Leo. You’re happy and healthy and ready. We are too.
Still a bit tender to walk. But more energy today.
We are home!
I bathe in healing herbs. It feels amazing. I’m overwhelmed with love for you. Tears come uncontrollably in the bath. I’m a mum. You’re my son. How can I do this justice? What a calling. I’m honoured. I’m scared. I’m amazed. I’m in over my head.
All I want to do is love you well and mother you right. God please show me how.
Mama [my mother] is amazing. She’s cooking, cleaning, helping, sharing her wisdom. She knows how to settle you.
Daddy is so awesome too. He can settle you beautifully.
But only I can feed you. We struggle. We can’t latch. You cry. It hurts. All I want to be able to do is love you through feeding you. You settle with sucking my little finger. I express. We syringe feed you. Yay - at least you’re not hungry now.
We put you down in our room but you don’t settle. Mama offers to take you and settle you so we can sleep. Okay.
I wake at 4:30am knowing somehow you need to feed. Mama has watched you all night. You feed beautifully. You settle quickly. Thank you Jesus.
Tears come again. It’s you. I just love you so much and I want to show you. How can I today? I will tell you, I’ll hold you, I’ll feed you, I’ll express for you, I’ll read your first Bible book to you, I’ll pray for you, I’ll nourish my body well for you, I’ll change your nappies.
You feed beautifully today. We are getting there. We can do this feeding dance. Just be patient as I learn to work with you, my little love.
You’re so darn cute! You are cuter every day. Your little ears, your tiny nose, those hands that stroke my breast when you’re feeding. Those lips that pucker up. Your eyes that capture my heart. You are truly fearfully and wonderfully made.
I’m so privileged and honoured to have housed you and now take care of you.
Your little noises when you sleep are divine! I stay awake just to listen.
I’m emotional all the time. I cried watching Nat geo with Daddy because I couldn’t wait to watch it with you and show you the monkeys. I cried ‘cos the daddy monkey saved the baby monkey from falling out of the tree.
First feed midnight. You’re so cute when you feed. Your little hands holding my breast while you suckle.
Second feed 3am. Just you and me did this. Nappy change. Feed. Settle. Back to your bed. Breast pump the other side.
Tired. The reality of that word is sinking in. Teary. About everything and nothing. Loving. You are just everything to me. Wow.
Breastfeeding is a challenge. It’s hurting and it shouldn’t. It’s rewarding when we work it out but heart-breaking when it doesn’t.
Nap time today. For you and me. Thank you.
Nipple shields are life. Best feed both sides with them. But alas they come with a downside - loving silicone instead of skin. Lactation consultation helped us - we found a new feeding position that you love! No nipple shields! Feeding both sides! Win!
Burping - losing. Your cry tears my heart. I want to help. I don’t want you to feel pain. Everything I try doesn’t work. Thanks to my mum you are ok tonight.
Bath time! Could you be any cuter?? Love you so much Leo.
My bath time. Relaxing. Healing. I cry, and I laugh at myself crying just thinking of you and how much I love you.
Holding your hand and you holding mine while feeding. I don’t ever want to let go.
Looking into your eyes as you stare, explore, blink, look for me.
Watching you in pain as you experience gas and air and not knowing exactly what to do to help. It’s almost unbearable. I love you so much.
We’re finding our feeding rhythm - yay!
Watching you sleep is mesmerising.
You’ve been Earthside one week and already you are my world.
You’ve already expanded me in so many ways.
I’m still me, but you’re making me into a new me, something deeper, more sacred, more intimate and loving and frightening than I’ve ever known.
You’re giving me glimpses of this being a lifelong growth of my heart, development of my character, and lesson of giving up control and just loving without measure.
God help me to love you, Leo, with a heart like His, because you are His child, His precious, chosen boy gifted to me to love & cherish and bring up well.
Love, Your New Mother x