Friday, February 20, 2009

As I was reading the comments from last night's post I had a big smile on my face. Why? One, because I really do appreciate everyone's comments and advice. This is such a learning process. But secondly, and more importantly in my opinion, is that I truly appreciate everyone's honesty. Almost everyone that commented honestly admitted that they don't have all the answers. That they don't know one set way that it all works out. They were open and honest and admitted that you just have to try and try and try again. Mommies - novice and veteran - were admitting that they didn't have all of the answers. Whewh! What a relief for this mommy. It makes me feel more "normal" that there are others that don't have all the answers and that they have to try and try and try again to find what works. I wish more mommies would be open and honest about being a mommy. I wish more mommies would admit that it's not all glitz and glamour and that it's really hard work. Women are so afraid to admit that they don't have all the answers, that they don't know how to fix a problem, or even admit that things are difficult. 

With that being said, I'm going to be honest.  I'll be honest about my mothering experiences and abilities from pregnancy days until now. 

This is me being honest.

I truly enjoyed being pregnant. I loved having my pregnant belly, even if for only six months. I loved wearing maternity clothes, especially form fitting ones because I wanted everyone to see my belly. I think mommies are the most beautiful creatures. C-sections are awful. My incision still bothers me to this day. I was in tremendous pain after my C-section and my ankles and legs were so swollen I could hardly walk. (Missed the swelling from pregnancy, but definitely made up for it afterward.) The day I was discharged I stood in the shower and cried and cried to my mom because I hurt so bad and said in my most pathetic voice, "Why don't other women tell you how awful this is?" I hated breastfeeding. (I am sure some of you are gasping.) I did. I admit it. Well, I guess I hated pumping. I tried breastfeeding for two days when Morgan Kate was about 11 weeks old and quit. I thought it would be a bonding experience, but it kind of creeped me out. I pumped for 13 weeks and then I was done. Each time I sat down to pump I cringed and felt nauseous. Had Morgan Kate been full term I don't know that I would have done it at all. Thankfully my husband, nor my mom, ever pressured me to do it and were completely supportive when I stopped. However, even when I made the decision to stop I felt bad. But only because I was afraid of what other mothers would think of me. I use disposable diapers and lots of them. I do shower everyday, but usually not until after lunch sometime. I let Morgan Kate take naps in her swing, in my arms or wherever she will fall asleep. I let Morgan Kate watch TV. She loves to look at it while she is playing on the floor. I think she loves the colors and sounds and I happen to love Rachel Ray. It works out for both of us. Often times I think back to my childhood and try to do things the way my mom did them because I think she did such an amazing job. During our first few weeks at home I struggled with the lack of sleep and told Travis numerous times, "I am so over this newborn thing. I am ready for MK to be four." I hold Morgan Kate a lot because one day she will be four and I won't be able to catch her. I have cried to MK's pediatrician and to many, many others. I love that MK looks just like Travis because he is an amazing Daddy and so deserving of our little family. During the middle of the night while I am feeding her I hold Morgan Kate just a little bit longer so that I can smell her and love on her. I have to write down all of MK's feedings and medications because otherwise I would forget. When I leave MK and Travis to go grocery shopping or run an errand I get really sad because I hate being away from them. I worry about being a good mom. There is so much I have to learn. As much as I loved being pregnant it terrifies me to even think of being pregnant again. Everyday I look at her and then stop and thank God for this amazing little girl. I love this little girl more than I could have ever imagined.  

So there. That was this mommy being honest. 

If you feel the urge to be honest and want to share, please feel free to post your honesty in the comments section. You don't have to be a mommy to do this. You can be honest about anything. Go ahead. You should do it. It's very therapeutic. 


Jenny Garris said...

Oh Heather, you are so wonderful. You are so, so normal and feeling such normal things---or at least I felt/feel the same way you do about a lot of it, so I'm hoping we are normal! ha ha
I absolutely loved being pregnant--everything about it! I'm sorry your time got cut short. It makes me sad that I won't get to do it again. And I totally understand why you are terrified to think about doing it again, but I really, truly hope that you do.
I am glad I breast fed for over 9 months, but I am so happy to have my body back. Honestly (which is what you're asking for here!) I did it for Joel's health. It didn't feel it was a bonding experience and it was really hard for the first couple of months. Then it got easier, but I still often wished someone else could feed him and give me a break! Pumping does not give the momma a break!!
People also think staying at home is so much easier, but I'm not sure about that yet. I'm thankful for the time with Joel, but sometimes I wish that I could drop him off at daycare so someone else could fight the naptime!! Although that has recently gotten much, much better, which is another thing....people told me it would just get harder, but honestly I think it is getting easier! Yes, there are always challenges, but I totally understand why you would wish for MK to be four! (When they are 4, we will wish they were babies again probably! ha!)
I also let Joel watch tv. He even has a dvd player in the car because otherwise he screams his head off. I'm hoping when he gets to face front (in two months) that he will be happier in the car because he can look out the window. The irony of this is that I said I would "never put my child in front of the tv"-- I think God knows how to really show you a thing or two about the "I will nevers". I have broken many of the "rules" from the books and I worry too about all kinds of things that I never thought I would. But it was worth every penny (which was quite a bit!) and worth the wait.
My last confession is that I cry big ol' tears just about every time I read your blog. Tears of sadness for your frustration and the fact that you are on "house arrest" and tears of happiness for your little family and MKs miraculous journey.
Hugs to you and your pretty girl! :) Jenny

Elizabeth Graham said...

Great post! Im so glad you talked about being completely honest tonight. I feel that, as moms, that can be one of the hardest things for us to do. If we admit that we have no clue, that we are scared, it makes us believe that others will think poorly of us as moms. I didnt love being pregnant- I wanted control back over my body. When I first had my son, I remember looking at him like "Who is this little thing?"... It took me a while to bond with him. I had post partum depression... not many women speak on that but its so very real and it can cause bonding issues. Breastfeeding is a story and a struggle in itself. I felt incredible guilt when I finally gave up. Im no where near a perfect mama... I wish more moms were real with each other. I wish more moms had been real with me. At the time, I didnt really know anyone else with small children and all I heard was "Children are such a blessing!"... and they are... but there are times that I dont feel that way. There are times when all I can think of is more sleep, that I feel short with my kids, that I lose my patience. This job is hard and its scary at times. Two kids later, I still dont know what Im doing a lot of the time. Allen and I were just talking the other day, after surviving for days on a few hours of sleep with a screaming baby and a toddler that can throw a mean tantrum... several mean tantrums... that we couldnt wait until the kids are older. If you ever need reassurance, Im sure I have a story for you. You're doing such a wonderful job.

amanda pyle said...

Ok, so I'm not a Mom, but I'm going to give this a try!
1) YOU are an amazing person. You're an amazing mom, wife, daughter, sister, & friend. I hope that one day (when I'm a mommy) I'm just like you:)
2) Travis is a fantastic father & husband. His love & devotion to you and Morgan Kate leaves me speechless.
3) MK is a miracle from God, and I truly believe that God put her on this earth to remind us all of His goodness & grace.
4) I'm glad to know that when I have babies I can call you - someone who will tell me how it really is:)
I love you all!

Hollie Heming said...

OK, here goes...

I didn't enjoy being pregnant until about halfway through and then it didn't last long. I felt guilty when I became pregnant while so many friends (including you) wanted it so badly. I was so grateful, but also felt guilty that Will was born at full term and has had no health problems to speak of.

I also hated breastfeeding. I did it solely for Will's health and then by his 10 week birthday I was also DONE!

I hated being awake in the middle of the night and many times wished Jason had the right "equipment" to take care of those feedings. I also hated pumping.

I was in pain for almost 5 weeks after Will's birth, though I never once blamed it on him. I was so lonely being home away from work and friends. I'm glad I was able to have 3 months at home, but am also glad to be back at work.

I love Will and Jason now more than I ever have. I am so completely grateful for my sweet little family. And, it has gotten easier.

I still hate that he has to go to daycare but that's the way it has to be for now. I do wish I could be home with Will for every smile, every cry, every bottle, every new experience, but I think I enjoy my time with him so much more because of that.

Feeling more normal now? One day, when you can get out and about, we will have to all swap mommy stories. There is so much more I'd love to share with you, but not here :). Thanks for opening this up! This is like free therapy! We'll call you Dr. Heather, for sure now! I hear Will "talking" to his daddy now, so gotta run. Don't want to miss a thing.Love you lots!

Jennifer said...

Heather, your posts make smile :) I love your honesty! It makes such total sense. I agree that as moms we have a hard time admitting our struggles, but believe me, we ALL have them! Being a mommy is hard work. It's by far the toughest job I've ever had (also the most rewarding though). I had to laugh when you said you cried about how terrible the csection pain was and that no one told you that. Now I didn't laugh b/c it was haha "funny", but funny b/c I think that God doesn't let us remember that pain for long. Therefore we don't "think" to mention it. I know the recovery sucked, but so did those early days (weeks/ months) of newborn, extreme sleep deprivation! And holy cow, I'm so close (9 days away) to those days again that I'm petrified! I may be calling you soon for advice :) I have lots of stories to share with you, but I'd rather do that in person :) So I'll just say that you are awesome and I love you, MK and Trav lots! Jennifer

Denise said...

***applauds*** Great honesty on your part! As I read it, I had so snicker some, half of what you said is totally me! I swear you stole the words out of my joke!

While we are being honest:

I loved being pregnant, I am sad I never showed, I loved my maternity clothes and miss them. I am so angry that Parker was born early, but I am thankful he was born because he would have died otherwise. I hate my scar, I hate that I had a c-section, my belly still hurts from my scar, sometimes I swear there is still a baby in there. I have no desire to be intimate again because I don't want another preemie. I hated the sounds of the NICU, there were nurses I didn't like, Drs I didn't like. I am devastated that I never got to breast feed Parker. I hated pumping, I pumped for two months, then I stopped, I had nothing left. I went home and cried every night. I missed the nurses and Dr.s when I brought Parker home. I worry about everything in regards to Parker, I sometimes have to go in to watch him sleep just to make sure he's breathing, I worry that I let parker play on his back too much, I let parker watch tv. I worry Parker won't grow anymore, I hate changing diapers, I miss my cuddle muffin - he'd rather attack mommy now, I love Drew, I love that he is standing by me. I have PPD, I also have Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. I didn't get to meet parker until 3 days later because I was so sick I was in the ICU. I hated the ICU, I still cry about Parker, I worry I am failing as a mommy. My heart hurts a lot because I wish I could make Parker's refulx go away, I hate his spit up. I doubt my skills all the time, I have cried to my pediatrician, the first weeks parker was home, I called him daily - the ped. I always feel like Parker doesn't eat enough, I worry about Parker out in public. I wish Parker would just sit up already, but I don't want that yet. I love that I am meeting other mommies with preemies, it's great to connect and I love them all dearly! Oh and today my son had a meltdown in the nursery for the first time - and his number was posted for all to see during the service.

I could go on, but I am thinking that this could turn into a book!

Anonymous said...

We do try to protect our children and not be totally honest. Being pregnant, breastfeeding, raising children is not easy. It is all trial and error. Parenting is not easy. You can ask what this one or that one did or does, but it is all in what you as parents feel comfortable in doing or want to do for you and your children. Moms and Dads do not have all the answer. Not even grandparents. We all do the best we can and want our children to have better that we did, not that we had a bad childhood. We just want better for our children that we had.
Love you.
Aunt Jan

The Fricks said...

Honestly, this was a wonderful post!! And so true! And just as a hint, not everything is the same with each child. I HATED breastfeeding with Josie (and like you was scared what other mothers would think), but I gave it another shot with Wes and loved it. Each one is different. But, always do what is right for you and your child. Wonderful post!

Los Bianchi Carrillo said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Los Bianchi Carrillo said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Los Bianchi Carrillo said...

Hi Heather,

I can relate to so many things! I don't really care about what people would think but I did feel bad when I gave up pumping. I just had to make sure Agustina had a sane mom to come home to so I just gave up! I did wonder if I was a bad mother for not trying harder. I didn't follow preemie rules when Agustina came home, we where out of the house on the second week and I let every member of the family and friends hold her. In spite of a lot of peoples comments and suggestions (everyone seems to think the can have an opinion on your parenting)I was off the feeding schedule on the second week, I let her sleep for as long as she wants or as often as she wants. She sleeps for barely 10 minutes on some days, and sleeps for up to two hours other days. I stopped tracking her feedings, I just let her tell me when she wants to be fed, I also let her watch tv, I also wished she was four already, I cried every night for the first week when she came home and hated my self for thinking it was easier when she was in the hospital. I hated the first 3 and a half months of pregnancy because I felt so nauseous ALL the time, and wondered why all women said that pregnancy is so great...and when I finally got to the good part it was over .. hated that part too!! I didn't spend a lot of time in the NICU so I could keep my mental health... so I just visited for an hour in the mornings and an hour in the afternoons.. and yes, also thought this made me a terrible mother. My c-section wasn't so bad to be honest though it did take me about three weeks to feel like my self again. I recently left Agustina overnight at my sister's house so we could have one night off with my husband.. felt bad, and not too bad... missed her a lot, but where thrilled to be able to wake up at 9am.

And finally, no one ever tells you how much everyone will try to tell you how to raise your child! Hate that part the most!!!

My motto is: NO ONE knows what's best for Agustina better than I do because I AM HER MOTHER!!!

For me what works is to not take everything too seriously!

XOXO, =)

THE SPIVEY"S said...

Oh my gosh that sounds just like me. I think that if you are not worried about some of the things that you are worried about, then you are not the best mother that you can be. It is all about worry because you are now raising this little human being. I can remember when I was pregnant and everything that I did I worried about...what I sleeping on the wrong side, what would happen if I sleep on my back (love my back), was I hurting him if I leaned over to hear my students read, etc. Now, I have all these other he getting enough to eat, is he warm, how is his stuffy nose feeling, what about that terrible cough he has, etc. It is going to last forever because a new phase of their lives will lead to new worries.
I too loved being pregnant. I look at people who are pregnant and wish that I could be pregnant forever. I loved the fact that he was growing inside of me and I was providing him with what he needed (hopefully). I just can't wait (and can wait) to be pregnant again.
I also hated breastfeeding. I did it for about 2 and a half months (until I went to work) and cried everyday while I did it. It was one of the hardest things that I have ever had/choosen to do. I am not sure how I will react to breastfeeding when I have our next baby...will I do it or not. Who knows. However, it is so crazy because when I let it go, I was really upset that we were not going to have that bonding time together...however, we get it other ways and I have not cried about feeding him since I stopped. What a relief.
Thanks for letting us get these things out. I wish I could write more but I have to go to tomorrow with 19 other kids. What a great idea of a blog.


Jill said...

Hey sweet girl...seems I have really been an awful friend as I have really lost touch with LIFE..and most everyone..A LOT going on and this is not the forum for ME to vent in...however...YOU are an awesome Mom..I got through most of Parker's Moms comments..and had to stop reading as I had tears streaming down my MUCH I see myself in her thoughts. BUT...ladies...our children somehow all survive the things we over think...
Pregnancy was painful, I loved my belly..but I hated constipation...peeing on myself...the fact it was so hard to breathe..I loved feeling the baby move.....
My boys both watched TV...Hard Hat Harry, Barney, Thomas the tank engine...SAVED ME...AND they learned things!!! Today my men children (15 and 17) really only watch History channel, Military channel...they still learn so much from TV. They both have a PC IN THEIR ROOM...they both have a cell phone (that was one of my NEVER's!!!)they have both had long straggly hair (and I have survived) and amazes me how everyone else knows SO much more than I do how to raise my children...!! kids both drink soft drinks...AND they eat sugar!! Some days I swear I suck as a Mom..but guess what...they are bright, happy, healthy boys who love their Mom and don't do drugs and drink and all that stuff...We have survived!! and will too! Oh..I flunked breastfeeding!! and ya know what...the boys are FINE! I too used disposable diapers and did NOT feel guilty about it. and as a single Mom who works 12 hour shifts..they get something froma a fastfood restaurant at LEAST once a week! I am very lucky that they love veggies and salads (as a meal) but again, I have not stressed over them having a french fry as a toddler or god forbid sugar. They have been exposed to all kinds of food so nothing to them is "tabu".

OK...nuff of this rant...we all do things differently, and somehow they survive. :)

I have Jeans address for you..I did not forget I have just had alot going on.

Love you, mean it!! You are doing a fabulous job!