All About Me
I am a working, Midwestern mommy of two beautiful girls. Here’s a short version of my story.
Growing up I only dreamed of four things. I wanted to find my “Prince Charming,” go on fabulous adventures, be a teacher, and have kids. While planning my life out in elementary school, I thought my “Prince Charming” and I would meet in college; that’s how it’s supposed to work, right? However, it took me well into my late 20s to find him. In the process, I became an upper elementary teacher, worked on two professional degrees in education, and traveled around the world with Mary. (We really had some fabulous adventures—sigh.)
So when I finally did get hitched at 30, I was ready to start having kids right away. After all, I was GREAT at watching all my little cousins when I was younger. I babysat in high-school, and I LOVED it!!! To top it all off, I am a teacher! I am really GOOD with kids, and I have LOTS of patience. So, I KNEW that I was going to LOVE being a mother, and that I would be AMAZING at it.
Let’s just say that things didn’t quite go as I dreamed they would after the birth of my first daughter.
After refusing sound medical advice from all four of my doctors, I decided to have a natural birth, despite my baby’s extra-large size. (Natural births are always the best right?) Although I succeeded to the amazement of all, I had many physical complications following birth. In addition, I had problems breastfeeding, and my daughter was a terrible sleeper and eater. It ended up being the perfect storm. I was in a lot of pain every single day with little to no sleep. No, being a mother was NOT what I envisioned it to be.
I was in tears. I loved my daughter like crazy, but I hated my life. Not only that, but I hated that I hated my life. My family members and friends that had kids didn’t seem to have the kind of experience that I did. They remembered only wonderful things about their babies and LOVED being mommies. Talking to them only made things worse.
I looked in books for sympathy. I looked to the internet for sympathy. Nothing. I just wanted to read something from another mommy that had an experience like mine. I wanted to hear, “Yes, this is normal. Babies can be very, very hard. You aren’t a terrible mom because you aren’t in nirvana bliss about being up all hours of the night or about nursing.” I wanted to laugh at some funny stories and mommy sarcasm. Nothing.
My husband and I made it through. It gradually got easier and easier with my first, although I can say that it seems to come and go in cycles- a difficult month then a few easy months followed by another difficult month. And before I knew it, I was pregnant with our second daughter. (Although our first baby experience was traumatic, we always knew we wanted to have more than one child, so it was a planned pregnancy.)
I was dreading every moment of her coming out. I was not looking forward to the due date like most expecting moms that just can’t wait not to be pregnant anymore. However, I was determined to do some things differently this time. For starters, I followed my doctors’ medical advice and had a planned C-section. (I’ve had two kinds of deliveries, and I’ll tell you right now that a planned C-section is the way to go if you have a baby bigger than 9 lbs. More on that later.) My husband and I also changed our baby parenting style a bit from Day 1, and it really paid off in terms of sleeping. However, our second child was a dream sleeper and eater. She was a wonderful nurser and sleeper. I wasn’t in extreme physical pain, and I was getting plenty of sleep. It was like I always dreamed it would be, and I could see why so many people could not relate to my first experience. If you only had deliveries and babies like sweet C, my second daughter, then you would NEVER know nor be able to understand what it’s like to have a difficult baby.
Really, I wanted to be a part of this blog to be for someone what I desperately needed with my first child. Here’s some I’ve been there, done that, sympathy! Parenting a difficult baby is HARD and FRUSTRATING! You aren’t a bad person! You can make it through to better days, and yes, there will be better days! I hope you can read about some of my experiences, how I got through them, and how I course-corrected somewhat with my second child to make that baby experience better.