date your husband

That scary day...

... and it will come for many of us. That day when your husband or partner sees you so overwhelmed, so frazzled, that they take a day off from work just to make sure you and the baby are safe.  That day came pretty early on for me.  It was some time in the first few weeks.  My nipples were so sore and raw and every suck she took felt like a stabbing pain.  It was scary how angry at my little one I was.  I knew it wasn't her fault, but I was so upset at my situation.  That night, I was fighting the pain, fighting the feedings, wondering why we had ever wanted to get pregnant in the first place, and wondering how I could ever get through this.  Luckily, my daughter smiles so much and is a happy baby, so the next morning, I saw through the fog and made it through the day.  No other day has been as scary, but there are still mornings when I wake up in the fetal position and think "I don't want to be MOM today.  I just want to sit at a cafe with a book.  Someone.... anyone... please help me get back to my old life!?!"

I just want silence and to not have to walk and bounce, walk and bounce.

But the other day, when we took the stroller out of the box and grandpa took her out for a long stroll (at least an hour), I didn't know WHAT to do with myself.  I missed her and wanted nothing more than to walk and bounce.  I kept going outside to see if I could catch a glimpse of them or if they were on their way back but no luck.  I went to go grab some sushi, but that took a whole 15 minutes and then I was back to wanting my little one back in my arms.  The grass is always greener...

I started going to the famous Faith Ploude breastfeeding support group at Mercy Hospital on Tuesdays.  It was helpful in many ways- the information is very valuable.  But what I was looking for was more of a place to just BE.  Be disheveled, be heartbroken, be tired, be a mom, be a woman, be breastfeeding, be open, and be supported.  I wanted to talk with other moms, talk feelings and experiences, as opposed to sit there and hear a lecture.  However, my one huge takeaway from it was "date your husband."  It was really funny the day she first brought it up, she said "ladies, there is alway someone circling your husband.  I don't care how fat or ugly he could possibly be, some shark wants him. So date your husband once a week!"

So I did.  We went to have sushi at a restaurant very close to our house.  I had pumped enough to leave a feeding with one of the grandmas.  I showered and put on the most comfortable dress that didn't make me look frumpy and ugly. We were out for an hour and dinner was great.  We talked and stared in each others' eyes.  I actually learned a few things I didn't know about my husband that night.  But for the other 40 minutes, we were talking about our little one and about how great she was.  We couldn't stop talking all about her.  Then grandma called that the meltdown had begun so we quickly paid the bill and rushed back home so fast you would have thought the fire department had called to tell us a fire had broken out in our place.  We got home and had a big love fest with our little one.  So funny how I've fought the changes and think I can't handle it and then poof... suddenly, I'm a mother and it doesn't feel so scary.

There are those days though that I worry about everything.  Worry about her health, my health, my husband's health.  Worry about finances, worry about the world's influence on her, worry about worrying.  The worrying can become overwhelming.  Add that to the list of overwhelming things about parenting.  The list seems to get longer and longer as the days go by.

But then eventually, I started to trust and feel more confident with my mothering.  I hear from a lot of moms that you start to feel like YOU again at about the nine month mark so that is another great thing to look forward to.  Most people cannot believe when I tell them my nipples are still sore and that she still eats as frequently as she does and if I let it get to me, it can be disheartening.  But now I'm choosing to hold on to the good stuff instead of the bad because the baby grows and changes so much and no one phase will last forever.  The best advice I keep giving myself is the one I have heard from many midwives, natural mommas and doulas... "this too shall pass."