New Mom: Personal Reflection: Lessons and Experiences


"This will be my greatest Soul Adventure yet!"
Me at 40 weeks pregnant  image by Malaika Brook Smith Lowe

"I feel grounded, our hearts are tied together and I no longer fear the commitment"

A few weeks ago I became a mother. It seems insane to think of myself this way although I had 9 full months of pregnancy to get used to this fact. Before I gave birth I had a distinct floating feeling  I was not settled or trying to put down roots. I did not want to commit fully to anything because I felt like it would imprison me. Now as I sit and type this blog post, slightly (who am I kidding) sleep deprived, I look at my daughter sleeping beside me and true to the cliche "I could not imagine life without her". I feel grounded, our hearts are tied together and I no longer fear the commitment. In fact commitment no longer feels synonymous with imprisonment. 

It seems strange that during my pregnancy I never thought to  thoroughly prepare myself mentally for the practicality of being a new mom. Sure I gave thought to the type of parent I wanted to be generally and the values and lessons I wanted to pass onto our child but I did not really think about the fact that I would  be doing something entirely foreign to me and that it would be so all consuming (I literally talk non stop about my baby and her latest and greatest diaper surprises...as well as making everyone listen to her farts which amuse me so). I have not been around babies since my teenage baby sitting days and even then I was never around them for more than a few hours. It is a completely different ball game (obviously) when it is your own child.  It is a steep learning curve!

"What a rush! I just felt so much love! "

During labour I felt empowered. There was a bit of a scare that I would not be able to deliver naturally and so I was so happy to actually be doing it on my own with as little intervention as possible. I remember shouting at the doctor and midwife saying how amazing it was and also shouting at my daughter like a motivational personal trainer "we can do this!...we are amazing!...we were born to do this!!". It seemed like the actual delivery process did not take that long, in no time my slimy, screaming, and wriggly daughter was in my arms for the first time. What a rush! I just felt so much love! 

Once we got home that real mommy deal began. I was so lucky to have my partner, parents and close friends around to support me. Just having my dad awake and watching movies as I got up during the night to nurse baby made it feel less lonely. During the first week when baby was about 4 days old I spent my first day alone with her. That day was the first time I cried because I felt so overwhelmed when I tried to take a shower (never thought that would feel like a mission) and all she did was fuss although it seemed like all her needs were met (clean, fresh nappy, cuddled and fed). It did not help that I was starting to feel the onset of baby bed fever due to (and it gets a bit TMI at this point) engorgement.

"Becoming a mother for the first time is like taking a bus in Grenada for the first time, you are mostly hanging on for dear life while  attempting to look composed (and failing miserably)..."

Becoming a mother for the first time is like taking a bus in Grenada for the first time, you are mostly hanging on for dear life while  attempting to look composed (and failing miserably) and sometimes looking out the window in awe at its natural beauty. You sway from just looking at your new born bursting at the seams with love to feeling completely overwhelmed (which may or may not lead to uncontrollable crying and apologising...that part does not usually happen when taking a bus in Grenada). I  have learned that this is completely normal and also heavily influenced by the sudden hormonal changes a mother experiences just after birth.

It has taught me to act quickly and deliberately when getting things done not directly baby related, for instance showering or eating. I  have also adapted the habit of multitasking (still in the learning phase).There seems to be little time for just being because there is so much I need to be doing. My time is spent feeding, comforting, singing to, cleaning and staring at our beautiful daughter .When she sleeps, I better find myself in bed  or some horizontal surface for at least 1/2 of the time she spends knocked out because I just never know what the future holds on the sleep front, my time is hers entirely and that is a huge paradigm shift for anyone used to being on their own beat.

"I am learning to not feel shame about dependence in a time where independence and the mantra " I don't need anyone" is glamourised and valued above all else, especially for women"

Before I gave birth I was warned not to try and be "super mom" and to accept any help that is offered. It was hard at first because I felt like I pretty much had it under control. I even said to my partner that I thought that in the beginning of parenthood a father could not be of much help because of how dependent baby is on the mother (we are the food supply you know!). However, when sleep deprivation took its toll and I was "zombie mom" a helping hand was never refused, and, I also learned to ask and that that was okay. It is at this time when I really appreciated a good support system because although  I could technically do it on my own (as so many mothers have done and are doing....major respect!) having a helping hand, or a listening ear, or a cooked meal being fed to me as I feed baby (yes my amazing mother did that for me) or just feeling supported becomes very important and my ego has had to take a back seat...or better yet it saw itself out the door while I nursed my milk vampire baby for hours on end. I am learning to not feel shame about dependence in a time where independence and the mantra " I don't need anyone" is glamourised and valued above all else, especially for women.

I know this blog post is very different from what I usually post (but I have a sneaky feeling that mommy posts will not be infrequent from here on out and we all just have to be okay with that). I have been very deliberate in keeping my pregnancy off social media because I was not ready to share something so very personal and life altering until now. This exercise in deliberate none sharing in a culture of sharing almost everything with complete strangers gave me a lot of perspective and has changed my social media habits.  However, there is merit in sharing our experiences online. I have been watching new mom vlogs on youtube a reading in forums and blogs about the experience of becoming a mother for the first time. It is reassuring knowing that I am not alone, and, that the emotions, experiences and challenges I had and have are not unique to me.  As that old german saying goes "A master has never dropped from the heavens". This will be my greatest Soul Adventure yet!

Are any of you new moms? Tell me about your Soul Adventures of mommyhood, I would love to hear from you.

Peace and Bliss from me and baby,

Grenada Soul Adventurer



Comments

  1. Congratulations I hope you and your new bundle of joy are doing okay.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Congrats. I'm a mom of three and my first time experience was an amazing one. You'll enjoy every bit of it

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you! it is already such a beautiful experience.

      Delete
  3. Congratulations. I'm a mom of 3 and my first time experience was an amazing one. You'll enjoy every bit of it

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There are moments of magic, chaos, screams and pure love and joy....I am learning it all comes with the territory.

      Delete
  4. Sheba it has been really special for me to have the opportunity to connect with you through your pregnancy journey. Thank you for sharing this reflection on this incredible transition that is taken place in your life. You are a beautiful being and it is such a joy to know that you have created another unique and necessary addition to this world.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for that beautiful comment, it means so much to me. It was great being able to attend your MaterniTea Yoga/ Pregnancy Education series with my partner, it really added something special to our the pregnancy journey.

      Delete
  5. When I had my son, I wish I had more family around. Once my partner went back to work I was on my own for 3 months during most of the weekdays. It was a difficult just doing simple tasks like bathing and the first two weeks of caring for my son around the clock was exhausting but rewarding to be able to bond with him. I wish you all the best with your baby.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes it is a round the clock demanding job but also the most rewarding. It is an incredible responsibility caring for such a vulnerable little being and support sure does help. But, for all the days I did it alone I have grown more resilient and our bond has strengthened.

      Delete
  6. Sheba, congratulations! I am so very happy for you. Thanks so much for sharing your experience. I am a mom and I understand everything that you are going through - evening crying, apologizing etc! I know the feeling of being totally blind sided by a little bundle where everything is turned upside down ... in a real good way! You, my friend, are off to an amazing start. There is so much in store for you! Treasure the moments. Some of them may not feel so treasurable, but trust me, they are. Time goes by quickly! She will soon be toddling around the house on chubby little legs... treasure the sounds of her little feet even! Record as much as you can (she will thank you for it). I truly wish you all the very best! Blessings!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Shirley! I am on her like the Paparazzi! She has already grown so much and it is amazing to see her discover more and more each day. Her latest and cutest is the baby talk, its basically one sound but with so much expression! Also those smiles I get are melting my heart.

      Delete

Post a Comment

Popular Posts