This is my first blog post. I’ve talked about having a blog for the past several months in attempts to jumpstart my soon-to-be wildly successful writing career and spend more time with my new son. I’m sure I’m the first person to ever say that. After a dreamy 48 hours of intense speculation, visions of myself in a cottage by the sea (probably Maine) tapping away creating my latest best seller, and ludicrous delusions of a well-behaved toddler staring up at me lovingly while I published my wittiest post ever, the luster faded and I went back to what I normally do: I leave my darling baby with a nanny every morning, work a 10 hour day, come home to spend not enough time with my darling baby before putting him down, frantically make dinner for myself and my husband, stare at the TV for an hour or two, and then pass out complaining that I should have gone to bed earlier/we should have had sex.
That all changed last Saturday. Two major events happened: 1. Bruce stood by himself for the first time … only for two seconds, but it counted, and we were amazed, and 2. Bruce had his last night feeding ever. Now this is not a blog about breastfeeding (and I’ve read plenty of those), but simply a shout-out to all mothers who are desperately trying to do right by their babies. Mothering is hard enough, compounded by the pressure of keeping the kid alive, so successfully weaning him (with very little tears I might add), felt so surprisingly bittersweet.
The first two months of nursing were hell. HELL. We simply did not get it when Bruce first came out. I so wanted us to naturally merge as we had been the previous nine months and continue our loving symbiotic (ok, let’s face it, parasitic) relationship. I imagined myself looking like Miranda Kerr blissfully and effortlessly breastfeeding.
Instead, he ripped me to shreds in the hospital, and I hand-expressed colostrum that we fed him with a dropper, which apparently was not enough Mrs. MeanestNurseEver thankyouverymuch. We hired a lovely and incredibly helpful lactation consultant who finally got him to latch days after he was born, but I dealt with incredible pain for the first two months. We learned the ins and outs of bottles, pumps, nipple shields, nipple cream, tongue-tie, clogged ducts, mastitis, and mothers milk tea (TMI yet?). Even worse, Bruce was slow to gain weight, which sent me into an emotional tailspin. In short, when I wasn’t passed out or the living dead, I was nursing a newborn with tears streaming down my face from the pain. Every day I wanted to quit. Somehow, however, I mustered the sick masochistic dedication to stick with it and here we are at nine months going strong (although Bruce’s top two teeth have come in so his nursing days may be numbered). If only I applied that plucky dedication to my workouts, I might actually start to look like Miranda Kerr.
Seriously. SERIOUSLY? I spent my maternity leave walking around in old boxers and ratty nursing bras constantly on the verge of tears. My unwashed hair was in a perpetual knotty mess of a bun and my makeup and heels collected some serious dust. I could barely leave my bedroom let alone the house. Does this look more realistic?
There is a really hideous photo of myself that used to be in this post, but is now hiding due to the current anonymous nature of this blog. It will return in good time – you all are in for a treat!
To make matters worse, Bruce wasn’t a good sleeper, and the zillion of people that proudly told me their baby slept through the night by 12 weeks I wanted to punch. Exhaustion is an understatement for what my husband and I felt those first several months, and we learned intimately how exhaustion affects one both physically and mentally. The middle of the night spats got pretty heated at times, I was constantly irritable, and sleeping on the couch right outside Bruce’s nursery because the depressing norm.
So when I successfully weaned my 100th percentile-chubby-cheeked cherub from his last night feeding last weekend I felt an incredible sense of relief and achievement. But I also felt an overwhelming sense of tenderness and nostalgia. When I concluded that last 10 PM feeding, I walked back to our family room, looked at Dean, and let the tears fall. What I didn’t realize, is that like Bruce, I had become accustomed and very attached to our night nursings as well. To the stillness of the house, the soft light from the hall, and most importantly, the sweet babe looking to his mother for comfort and love. The best moments were those when he would finally fall asleep, and I could just cradle him against my chest, peering over every inch of his angelic form, inhaling his intoxicating scent, and giving countless kisses to his soft skin. These moments became especially precious the older and subsequently busier he got during the day. I know all moms keep mothering for those moments, and this blog is dedicated to keeping those moments fresh.
I am constantly concerned I will forget something, that an affecting moment will leave me, or that I won’t remember a tremendous feeling or sensation. I love photos, videos, special words scribbled that a friend or relative said, and memories of wonderful times. I’ve never been great at keeping a journal, but I hope this blog and my new business idea (more on that to come – still thinking up ways to spend more time with busy Bruce) will allow me to indulge in capturing these moments that might make you cry, but they also make you smile.
2 thoughts on “Baby and Mommy Milestones”
This post totally struck a cord with me. Thank you for taking the time to share this moment with such transparency and humor.
Thanks so much Isla! So happy to hear that someone could relate!