Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Becoming a Mother

Quiet morning here.  Baby and I went to a new mom/baby group-- sort of a support group for moms and playtime for the children.  We know about it from a mom I know in La Leche League.  It was really nice to go and talk (well, mostly listen) about the challenges of being a mom.  It's kind of a cliche but it's true that it's hard but fun and rewarding to be a mom.  Some days are harder than others, but never ever would I give it up for anything.  Baby is just too cute.  I think reading a lot of parenting magazines and-- depending on the playgroup-- being in playgroups or especially reading blogs about moms and babies, the hard side of parenting gets glossed over.  I think I'm quite patient and most of the time when there's yogurt everywhere or Baby pulls down the stack of towels I just folded, or does some other exercise that strengthens and fulfills her curiosity but means more work and organizing for me, I do find it quite funny and end up laughing.  But sometimes I don't and I feel exasperated.  Usually it helps me to see things from her point of view rather than mine-- yes, maybe if I want our floor to be clean, I need to clean up the cereal (or better yet, just let Pug eat them), but Baby is enjoying doing whatever she's doing with them.  Babies experiment.  At the Portland Children's Museum, I remember reading there that babies do experiments all the time naturally.  They make hypotheses and check to see what happens.  This is so true in life.  So usually when she's making a mess, as long as it isn't hurting her or making things too tough for me, I let her experiment and make her conclusions.  Maybe she's a budding scientist.

Only a few people know, but before I got pregnant with Baby, I had a very early miscarriage/ possibly chemical pregnancy.  It happened very very early on (which is why I always suspected chemical pregnancy). Husband and I were in Maui on vacation, and I remember getting a very faint positive.  I took the test at sunrise.  I was so happy.  I bought a little wood necklace that I wanted to give to that baby someday.  A day or two later, everything changed.  I felt okay, if a little shocked, while we were in Hawaii, but as soon as we got home, I started feeling really depressed.  It was December.  I spent most of that month at home.  One day I went to Bed Bath and Beyond and from my car, saw a mom and baby in the parking lot.  I cried and went home.  Those were hard days.  I wondered if I would ever have a baby.  

I read somewhere that fertility is often very high following a miscarriage and that if there's no health reason not to (there wasn't for me), to try again for a baby soon after.  So we did and I think it was the cycle after the miscarriage that I became pregnant with Baby.  It was the very end of January.  Getting pregnant with Baby is what made me feel all better.  I have never felt bad about the miscarriage since then.  All the gloom and depression disappeared.  

I also went to acupuncture for fertility treatments, and to boost up my energy/immune system.  

And when I got pregnant with Baby, I started to bond with her right away.  This was a very conscious decision on my part.  Unfortunately, I think it's become this sort of normal phenomenon for moms not to bond with their babies during the first 12 weeks-- I'm sure out of fear of losing the baby and then having to deal with the loss.  But my feeling is that it will only help if mom and baby bond from the very beginning.  I wish western medical doctors encouraged this.  I do think it's healthy and very beneficial to the mom and growing baby to experience the love and bonding from the get-go.  In the sad event that a loss does occur, mothers can have some comfort in the bond they shared with their babies, even if for a short time.  Denying the excitement of pregnancy and bonding could, in the case of a loss, contribute to a mother's sadness, grief and guilt.  Many many women have miscarriages.  I wish, in hindsight, I had told more people about it.  I think it would have helped me.