Grasping a Mom Identity

My honest journey, That I Understand Will Never Be Over

“Oh crap!”, “What did I do?!”, “Did I really pray for this?” …

When I gave birth to my son I was scared out of my mind. I honestly did not have that glorious moment that they talk about in all the books and in the movies. You know the classic scene where the mother is out of breathe and the doctor says “It’s a boy (or girl)!” and the mother is just so happy and she takes the perfect baby to her chest and the perfect inspirational music starts playing and then cut the scene to when she is nursing her baby in the perfect nursery and everything’s PERFECT. I am going to call it straight out- Not My Experience.

Halyse and SimonThat moment when I was handed Simon, my son, I was crying and out of breath and they asked me if I wanted to do skin to skin . I thought of course! That’s what the books say to do. That is the right thing to do. They put him on my chest and I just started crying from exhaustion and I couldn’t believe that this baby was finally here. I knew that he was miracle and total gift from God, but I all I could think was “OH CRAP”.

Let me give you some backstory. I had never held a baby before Simon. Yep, you read it  right- not one time. In a way that was a special moment because the first time I held a baby was when my Simon was being laid on the my chest. I grew up an only child so I had no younger siblings to help out with, and no practice with anything that had to do with babies. As a result of that, I was so shaky when I first held Simon. The medicine, the epidural, and the nerves, gave me the severe shakes. I couldn’t hold on to him for long. The next day I was so nervous that I would break him so I held him super stiffly. I would look at him and my heart was full but my stomach started to go into knots.
The next couple of days would be the biggest learning curve of my life. When we got sent home, every day for four days  we had to leave the house at least once. So I  did not get rest and time to heal. Simon had jaundice and we had to go to Children’s Hospital and UT Hospital for testing. (He was fine after about five days.) Nathan, my husband had to teach me how to change a diaper, I was not good  at nursing. In fact I was so bad at it that I eventually got mastitis. I was running a fever of 102.0 and I felt like I had the flu. My confidence was getting weaker and weaker. On top of all that the Baby Blues where in full swing.
Baby blues: “A common temporary psychological state right after childbirth when a new mother may have sudden mood swings, feeling very happy, then very sad, cry for no apparent reason, feel impatient, unusually irritable, restless, anxious, lonely and sad.”          MedicineNet
I  was crying every night, struggling to understand, ‘What did I do? Why did I have a baby? Why do I feel this way? And how in the world I am going to responsible for this tiny human?’ I would cry to my husband “It’ll never be the same. It will never be just me and you, and I don’t want to do this anymore.” That was about twice a day. Every night he would hug me and say “This is how you felt when we got married too. I’m not worried about what you are feeling because it’s whole new role for you, just like being a wife was a whole new role, but look how great that turned out.” Every night for two weeks we would have to sit down and talk things out. He would have to remind me that this stage was only temporary and that what I was feeling completely normal. The two week mark hit and it was like a switch went off. Just a peace in not exactly knowing how it will turn out.

Halyse Nate SimonI now look down at my three month old baby and think of all we have accomplished together. Nursing? We’ve got it down pat. Scheduling? Check. Sleeping through the night? YES, every single night. Absolute love? No doubt.

I now know that every mom changes and evolves with her baby- whether its 3 days, 3 months, 3 years, 13 years, or 30 years. You and Baby have accomplished a lot together and there is more learning and unknown to come. I can’t wait to learn from him. I can’t wait to have conversations with him. I can’t wait to adapt to what he needs as he goes into different stages of life. I look at Simon and he looks back at me and I see so much more to come. I’m now thrilled for my new role as mom because I know  always be a newbie at this, and I’m okay with that. There will be times when I say “Oh crap!” “What did I do?” “What were we thinking?” and I will have remind myself…. “Hey Halyse, you prayed for this.”

Happy three months, my baby.

Halyse G.

4 Replies to “Grasping a Mom Identity”

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