Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Welcome to Reality.

I want to take a step back in time and relive a moment that changed my life forever.  The day we got to take our baby boy home from the hospital.  The day I truly felt like a Mommy.  I always want to be able to remember this and to be able to share it with M when he gets older...And now, for the feature presentation:

December 30th 2010 was a day I will never forget. We had gone into the hospital as a couple of 24 year olds and came out a Mommy and Daddy. I was extremely excited to be outside after a long 4 1/2 days confined to the lovely walls of the hospital...I remember vividly that feeling of the warm breeze hitting my face. Yes, you heard me correctly. It was indeed the end of December but it was an incredibly warm 73 degrees, sunny and a tad windy. It felt like the end of May, not the end of December. Now, besides the unusually warm weather, we had a new little life to look after. I remember thinking that I didn't know what I was doing. I mean, how could they let me, an immature little "girl" take this human being home and raise it into an adult? Yes, we had taken birthing and parenting classes but nobody could prepare me for what was to come!

One of the first pics I snagged of him on a venture out of the house.
We had to drive 3 hours right out of the gate to even get this little bundle home. I remember thinking about how crazy drivers were...how did I never notice all these bumps and how fast my husband drives.  We had to make a pit stop half way home, not because M was unhappy, but because I was fresh out of a major surgery (an unexpected c-section), riding in the backseat and my pain meds were starting to wear off. Not only that, but I was breastfeeding and nobody could prepare me for the pain that those things could cause when your child hadn't eaten for 3 hours...yikes!!!

We made it to our apartment, finally, after what seemed like 10 hours. I made myself comfortable on the couch with M as A and my Mom (who had made the trip with us to help us out for the first week at home) unpacked the car. I was exhausted and all I wanted to do was climb into my own bed and go to sleep. But I couldn't. I had to keep this little person alive. He wouldn't sleep in his pack and play, or his swing or his crib...no, the only place he could sleep was snuggled up on my chest. Needless to say, I got maybe 2 hours of sleep a night for the first week. Plus, A had to go back to work that Monday, and I didn't want to wake him every time M woke up to nurse, so the couch and I became best friends. One night, my Mom laid on the floor beside me, giving me words of encouragement since all i could do was cry while I rocked and rocked him, trying to get him to fall asleep. It was, by the way, 3 am...was this normal?? I didn't see how it could be!

The day my Mom left for home, I remember thinking how could I do this all on my own?? She had done so much for me. She had cooked every meal, did every load of laundry and cleaned the apartment from top to bottom. She also watched M while I showered, napped and regained my composure. I didn't realize how good I had it with her until she left. How did she do this 24 years ago? And work full time too? My mom seriously is my hero. Reality really hit me in the face the next day after she left. This was not going to be easy. In fact, this was quite possibly the hardest thing I've ever done.

Three weeks later, running on about 10 hours of total sleep I remember thinking to myself "please, make this stop. I can't do it anymore. Why did I want this? Can we just go back to before?" I thought I was such an awful Mom for thinking that, but I wasn't. Come to find out, I was actually perfectly normal. Why didn't anybody tell me this before?

I learned a lot those first few weeks. Like, breastfeeding was a full time job in itself. And I wanted to do this for a year? Am I nuts?? I mean, really? Every 2 hours, like clockwork this little 7 lb being wanted to latch onto the only thing that was sustaining his life. I felt like a milk cow. Literally. They always make it look so easy on those baby story shows, but I'm here to tell you, it's not! It's a lot of work, painful and hard to judge how much they are getting. But, that connection we had through all of that did make it worth it. I have never regretted that. In fact, to fast forward a bit, we ended up making it to the year mark!
How could I be mad at that sweet wittle face?!

M was only 2 months old when Aaron came home and told me that we were moving to Minnesota "temporarily" for the busy season at his work. "Are you kidding me? M was not even sleeping in his own crib yet, and we are moving 400 more miles away from our families?" But, it was either move with him, and see him everyday or stay in Liberty and only see him on the weekends. Well, it was a no-brainer, but that doesn't mean it was easy!

Stay tuned for tomorrow's next chapter as we look at what life was like as a Minnesotan...and did I mention not knowing ANYONE? Ummmm, yeah.

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