Hello internet. Not sure how many moms or parents follow this blog because I haven’t posted anything overly parent related lol. I realized mostly it has been recipes that have gotten my attention to post.
Today I am going to talk about mom stuff. I’m going to say right off the bat, I do not agree with mom shaming. Every one of us moms are trying our best. There is no manual, rule book, or game plan you can have that will turn out a perfect kid product. You have to do what you feel in your gut is right for your child, your family, and your own sanity. If I see mom shaming in the comments, I will delete them and deactivate the comment section. This is on any an all posts I make. You have been warned.
A little about me, I am an “older” mom. Most of my family had kids younger, early to mid 20’s. I would have rather been a younger mom myself, mostly for the possible increased energy to deal with the endless energy children seem to have. However, I didn’t meet my husband until I was 28 and there isn’t a single thing I’d change about it. I’m a firm believer that everything in your life prepares you for a certain path and I couldn’t image being married to anyone other than my husband. I can be neurotic, demanding, moody, and many other things and he is so “go with the flow” that we balance each other amazingly well.
So back to my daughter lol, now that I got all hubby mushy. I found out I was pregnant with our daughter Avery 2 weeks before our wedding. She surprised us with how quick she decided to join us. We had planned on being pregnant a few months after and I had prepared myself for the possibility of having a hard time conceiving since I am a plus size gal. I’ve heard it can be difficult when carrying extra weight. I guess losing weight from wedding stress pushed us along lol. When we got married I was 7 weeks along and in the thick of first trimester nausea.
Everything went pretty smoothly. It was a normal pregnancy by all accounts. I had occasional things I was nervous about, if she stopped moving a lot, any spotting, headaches, etc that I’m sure all new moms are nervous about too. You’re growing a human and you’ve never done it before, you’re allowed to make the occasional trip to L&D to get a check up. Towards the end of pregnancy, probably about month 7 or 8, I started to feel really tired. I wasn’t able to do all the things I wanted to around the house. My husband and I were living with my grandpa, he was mid 80’s when we lost my grandma and me moving in worked out as I was moving out of my apartment and he started needing someone around more. I made all his lunch, dinner, and snacks, did all the shopping, scheduled his appointments, took him wherever he needed to go because he opted not to drive. I was happy to do it. The new tired feeling made me not want to do any of those things and I started to feel like I wasn’t doing enough.
I started to feel like I was useless, questioning and doubting myself. Would I be a good mom? Would I be able to keep taking care of everything if I could barely do it before the baby came? It was a big mess. They say hormones really mess with your emotions and boy they were right. I mentioned it to my doctor and she suggested I talk to psych to make sure I was doing ok. I was never able to make it to an appointment before I had Avery so I tried to deal as best I could. It would come and go in waves and I always talked myself out of going because I was in an “upward swing”. Looking back, I really should have just gone.
I dealt with so many issues during delivery and after Avery was here that I think talking to a professional would have been a good idea. Delivery was hard emotionally. I had gone in at 38 weeks with a headache and low-grade fever. I have Kaiser and they have you come into L&D to get checked out before they admit you, kind of like ER for pregnancy. I tried to get some rest while hooked up to fetal monitors. I should also mention, Kaiser’s policy is if a mom has hypertension and you come in 38 weeks or later, they have you deliver for your safety and for the safety of the baby. I didn’t know this.
So I’m tired and scared I’m going to have to deliver. My blood pressure went up so much that they said I had to calm down or they were going to pull her right then and their C-section team during the day was the best team to use. I was there in the middle of the night. I did my best to calm down and relax. C-section was the option at the time because Avery was breech, both her feet were in my pelvis. The plan was to try to turn her around and be induced to deliver vaginally which was my birth plan. If they couldn’t turn her, I was going in for surgery. I had not, in any way prepared myself to undergo major surgery.
Long story short, she didn’t turn and I had to have a C-section. I felt like a failure because I couldn’t have my daughter naturally. You read all these things about how a vaginal birth is best for you and baby and by not being able to do that, I felt like I cheated Avery out of something beneficial. Part of me wonders if having a C-section caused my issues with breastfeeding too. I think that is what messed me up the most emotionally. I was never able to produce enough to adequately feed her. She lost too much weight in the 3 days between when we got home and her newborn check up. The sent me home with as much premade formula as possible to feed her to see if we could get her to put weight back on.
Talk about a failure, my own body couldn’t do the one thing it was designed to do. Have a baby and feed it. It took me weeks not to feel ashamed that I had to give my daughter formula. I did everything I possibly could to get milk to come in. I’d feed her, pump constantly, eat lactation cookies, make lactation smoothies, I even landed myself in ER because one of the supplements they suggest caused me incredible abdominal pain. I was never able to produce more than 1 oz in day. Even now, when she’s almost 11 months and coming off formula soon, I feel like I failed her. In my mind I know fed is best, no matter how she gets it. The benefits of her being on formula meant that we could go out and I didn’t have to worry about breastfeeding in public which is its own issue we won’t go into here. My husband could get up and feed her and let me sleep and I got help when we went to visit family and friends since I wasn’t her only food source. I keep reminding myself she is happy and health and that is whats important. But it still bothers me.
All this kind of carries over even now. Just like any mom does, I wonder if I’m doing a good enough job for her. Am I the best version of myself for my family? I’ll have days where I’m so frustrated trying to get her changed or in pajamas that I can’t help but cry and feel like I don’t deserve my family. Just last night I fought tears trying to get her bathed before bed. She is starting to get her own mind and personality. This is great but makes doing things that are necessary difficult. I remind myself to give myself a break, we have gone thru a lot in the last 6 months.
We lost my grandpa in November, we moved 100 miles away from our friends and family so we could buy a house and have me be home with Avery. I’m completely thankful for the chance to be home and be with her everyday, but a new town means minimal friends let alone other mom friends. Then in March, we lost my other grandpa unexpectedly. We got a lot to process and get thru. I don’t want to bog anyone down or load them up with my issues since everyone is fighting their own battles you can’t see.
I’m hoping my feelings and over-emotional moments are due to the pile of things life has stacked on us lately. I will say, getting this out, even in digital form, feels so amazing. Even if no one reads it or can understand what I’m feeling, I got it out of my head and off my mind. That in itself is a big step to feeling ok.
So in a very rambly nutshell, if you feel like you aren’t enough or inadequate, you’re not alone. There are other moms out there struggling and you don’t have to feel happy everyday. Not being OK is OK sometimes.