What Becoming A Mommy Has Taught Me: Part 1

August 2, 2010 mommytobeaver
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Having been Charla’s mommy now for a little over 2 years, I have learned a lot about both what it means to be a parent and myself. Over the last week I’ve been thinking about what triggered me to parent the way I do. Part of how I parent I’m sure came from my own parents style. My mom was also a stay at home mom and my younger brother and I were the focus of her days for the first few years of our lives.

When I got pregnant, I fully expected to be going back to work. Since I worked in the infant room in a daycare, my baby would be with me all day. However, at her 20 week ultrasound the technician could not get a good look at her umbilical cord. This was the first day of a very long second half of pregnancy. After a more in-depth ultrasound, it turned out her cord did not have all the blood vessels it should have. There are 3 main vessels which run through cords and hers only had 2 of them. Because of this she was prone to problems with her heart, kidney’s and premature birth. The night I found out about this I cried and cried. Tim and I had just found out we were having a girl. I had hoped and wished for a girl my entire pregnancy and I wanted to go shopping for her. This news seemed to suck all the excitement out of what should have been a joyous day.

For me, this was when the protectiveness and guilt began forming. The questioning also started. Why me? Why her? What did I do wrong? Could I have done anything differently? Will she be okay? The rest of the pregnancy went smoothly. I had a few more ultrasounds to make sure her growth was on track and 2 non-stress tests per week. I went into labor during my 36th week. Charla was born weighing 6lb 2oz and was 19 inches long. Her lungs worked brilliantly, she had a bit of jaundice which cleared up on its own and she was able to come home 2 days later.

She was so tiny. I’d never seen something so tiny. She smelled so good. I would sit and hold her, smell the top of her fuzzy head and kiss her squishy cheeks. Now that she was out, all that protectiveness had a focus. I had a very difficult time sharing her. I didn’t like laying her down and wanted her within eyesight at all times of the day. I often wonder if this would have been different if she had not had the cord problem, if she had been born full term or if she would have been a boy.

Due to all of this over protectiveness, Tim and I didn’t go out much. I did not like leaving her even for a few hours. I trusted my parents with her, or my brother and sister in law, I just wanted to be with her all moments of the day. I took over all aspects of parenting. Feeding, bathing, soothing, etc and didn’t leave much for Tim to do. This was the beginning of her developing a super strong attachment to me and basically rejecting everyone else. To a point, we are still dealing with the after effects of this today.

What has all this taught me as a mommy? First of all, accept the help. I would get burned out but unable to pass her off because either Tim wouldn’t know what to do with her or she wouldn’t allow anyone else to sooth her. It also taught me that I need to keep any guilt I feel from effecting her and that most of the time, any guilt I’m feeling is unwarranted anyway. There was nothing I could have changed so her cord would have been healthy. The best thing I could do in the situation was stay monitored and I did that. I’ve also learned that I can be fiercely in love with her but still allow her to be her own person. I can’t control everything she does and sometimes she will make poor choices that will hurt her. While it will hurt me to see that happen, it’s something that she needs to learn and experience for herself.

More insights to come this week!

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Entry Filed under: Daily Thoughts

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