Thursday, October 10, 2013

Things That I Know about my first year of motherhood

By no means is this a tutorial on how to raise your child, it is simply a verbal collection of my thoughts and experiences during my first year as a mother.

First off, let me say that I LOVE being a mother.  I know, most women say this.  But I REALLY LOVE being a mother.

Secondly, I could not do what I do without the most amazing partner in the world.  My hubbster is an equal partner in this child rearing business and acts as though he is daily. WE could not do what we do without the help of my mother-in-law, who watches our wee babe when we work.  In my house. YES I AM LUCKY.  I know this.  Props to all you single mommas out there.  And props to those mommas who work full time.  

The most precious lesson that I have learned from my wee babe in the past year:

Sometimes, you need to LET IT GO

Let's start at the beginning..............

Before I birthed my wee babe, I read books.  You know, those books.  The ones about bringing up baby to be a respectful human being.......starting at day ONE.  So I had in my mind what I was going to do, and what kind of momma I was going to be.

Here comes my wee babe.  Not in the way my Type A self expected (in a tub at the birthing center).  She came in her own way (after 31 hours of labor in the hospital).  And, yes, it was as everyone told me.  The first time I laid eyes on her I was forever changed.  For the better.

For the most part, the first couple of months went as expected.  We were tired.  She was amazing.  I birthed a good feeder and was blessed with the ability to breast feed.

Fast forward a few months.  Enter my Type A personality again.  Now is the time when those books tell you that you should be doing things a certain way.  At certain times.  I tried.  And tried.  And tried to make it happen.  I sought advice of friends.  And I tried.  And I bought more books.  And I read blogs.  WHY wouldn't my wee babe do the things that she was supposed to do?  She wouldn't sleep when she was supposed to sleep.  She liked to eat when she was hungry, not on a schedule.  

I spent so much time worried that I was a bad mother (ahhh- the guilt!!) because my baby didn't sleep well.  And because I COULDN'T let her cry it out. (Props again to those who can and do.)  

I fought my natural instincts for months, trying to schedule my wee babe.  And then, then.  The most miraculous thing happened.  I gave up trying.

When my wee babe was around 6 months, I let it GO.  I followed my instincts.  Why wouldn't I?  She was following hers.  Something in me felt that her sporadic eating/sleeping patterns was related to my milk supply and her internal cues. Duh, right?

And the past 6 months have been AMAZING.

She doesn't sleep through the night.

But she's happy.  And so healthy.  

And that makes me happy.  At the sacrifice of precious sleep.

A few other lessons that I learned:

1.  Don't feel pressured to sleep when you babe is sleeping even thought that's what everyone will tell you to do.  My Type A self was most relaxed if I checked things off of my list while she was napping.

2.  Being in great shape pre-baby + breast feeding = easier time getting back your bod.  But it does take some TIME.

3.  Some women have a lot of lipase in their milk (me).  This makes storage difficult, because the fats are quickly digested (good for baby, not good for storage) and the taste changes (gets "soapy" or spoiled tasting).  This does not mean that you cannot pump and store your milk.  You can scald your milk on the stovetop (barely steaming) and it stores fine.  This does not mean that your milk is "bad".  It just makes it not as tasty for babe.  MANY women experience this but it is rarely discussed.

I am so grateful to my wee babe for teaching me so much about life and love.  She has taught me so much more than I ever could have learned in a lifetime without her.


  1. Happy birthday to your Wee Babe! You sound like a GREAT mother :)

    Happy day!

  2. Excellent words. So true. And, I didn't know the scalding tip for milk. Mine definitely smelled different if it had been frozen. My daughter didn't care a whit, and my son refused to drink defrosted milk (so my toddler daughter drank it from a sippy cup - no way was I dumping out the gold that is pumped milk!) Happy 1st year - it always seems like such a fun milestone for parents too.

  3. ahh, the first year! In as much as mine was crazy, it's crazy beautiful! I actually learned laughing at my own crazy mishaps at motherhood, haha! You have got to love motherhood:)

  4. how do you know if your milk has lots of lipase in it? even straight from the fridge a couple days old (not frozen and defrosted) it smells kind of sour and has a pretty thick layer of fat...but she doesn't seem to care. but it doesn't smell so good to me, maybe its what you're referring to?!

    1. Jessamyn I learned that mine had a lot of lipase because my daughter wouldn't drink it. My midwife asked if I had tasted it- so I did. It had only been in the fridge for 6 hours but tasted really sour and soapy. It's not bad for baby- unless they won't drink it!