Stress. Anger. Frustration. Everyone feels it, but only some let it show. I have never been one capable of successfully hiding what I am feeling. Many have described me as being an open book. My thoughts are not only shared through words, but through sighs, facial expressions, and actions. A couple of years ago I entered the working world of customer service and realized that hiding my thoughts was the better option most of the time. A positive attitude, whether real or forced, is what was expected for someone to work in my position. I found that the more positive I was, the better my day went.
You see, when I became a mother on August 15, 2016 everything changed. My life was no longer about only my husband and I, but it was about this new beautiful life that we were now responsible for. The words we said, that looks that we gave, the body language we expressed and the actions that we did, would not just reap consequences for us, but now our daughter. That was a big wakeup call for me. From now on, I would have a little girl watching my every move and listening to my every word. Would she hear me mutter a cuss word as I stub my toe, or would she see me roll my eyes at the clerk that is taking forever at ringing up my groceries? Would she even hear me holler at the slow poke driving in front of me? I realized that I don’t want her to see or hear any of that. I want to set a positive example for her in life and show her the correct way of dealing with negative things that we come across each day.
In my opinion, parenting is the most important job in life. Motherhood is the only job that I have ever dreamed of having. A little back-story… the day my husband and I found out we were pregnant, we became responsible for another life. Personally, at that moment, my life changed, and I wanted nothing more than what was best for my new little baby. My new goal in life was to provide for my baby. Becoming a mom was a scary thought. So I did what any nervous pregnant woman would do… I hit pinterest. I searched through every “We’re having a baby” article that was posted, and read numerous blogs to learn everything that I “needed” to do, for the next 8 months, to ensure that a healthy baby was born.
At 8 weeks we were able to have our first ultrasound, and hearing our baby’s heartbeat for the first time was surreal. My husband and I had always talked about leaving the gender of our baby as a delivery room surprise. But I’ll tell you what… it is much easier to say that when you are not growing a tiny human being. Every inch of me HAD to know whether I was carrying a boy or a girl and as each week went by my husband began to get more and more curious as well. We had an ultrasound at 12 weeks, and of course it was much too early to tell; but we cast our vote anyways. We were both team girl.
Week 18 came around, and we invited our friends and family over to my parents’ house for the big reveal. We decided let our family reveal the secret by spraying us with silly string. (Because who wouldn’t want to be covered in sticky colored string pieces!) The countdown began and before I knew it we were covered with PINK silly string! My heart skipped half a dozen beats; I was going to have a daughter!
To make a long story short… well… shorter than most of my stories are… 21 weeks creped by and before I knew it we were checking into the hospital to be prepped for induction. I don’t know how it feels to rush to the hospital in labor, but it sure is weird to check in, knowing you will have a baby the next day! So there I was, a day before turning 39 weeks, stripped down to my fuzzy socks and a hospital gown… anxious.
Throughout the entire pregnancy I had heard numerous birth stories, both wonderful and horrible. I had been told what to take, what not to take, how to breathe, what to wear, how bad it hurts, how it doesn’t hurt, take the epidural, do without it and so on… My doctor had prepared me for probability that my daughter’s delivery would most likely result in a C-Section due to the odd, flat shape of my pelvic bone. I knew more facts than my brain could handle and yet I felt as if I knew nothing. Nothing truly prepares you for meeting your daughter for the first time.
The nurses came in and gave me some medication to start the induction process and to help me sleep. But lets face it… I didn’t sleep much. Morning came and my drip was started. Contractions began mild at first, but grew stronger by the hour. The doctor came in to do an evaluation and I was dilated 1 ½. She broke my water and the contractions became more severe. Several hours later, my epidural was put in place and I was evaluated again. This time I was at a 3, however, the doctor was not impressed by the very slow progress and informed me that my child’s head had already begun the process of shaping into a little cone. The space was too tight and it was recommended that I go ahead with the surgery. Once I agreed the doctor said 7 words that I played over and over in my head for the next 50 minutes: “Are you ready to meet your daughter?”
My nurse, Laura, began rushing around the room fixing my IV lines. The anesthesiologist, Jake, came in and taped my epidural line in good so that I could be transferred. By this time I had no feeling from my belly button down, so they rolled some blankets under me and hoisted me to the bed that would transport me to the operating room. I can still remember it like it was yesterday. I heard the sounds of bed rails snapping in place and doors opening. A few minutes later, I saw the bright lights above the operating table and the instruments that the doctor would use; and although I was very anxious, I felt a hint of excitement for a few seconds.
My anesthesiologist was wonderful. He hooked all of my lines up, explained everything that was happening and that would happen, which made me much more comfortable. The shakes began, and quickly my body went numb to up to my chest. By that point, my husband and our photographer were escorted into the room, and the doctor began to scrub in. Then it was time.
I closed my eyes to concentrate on breathing (which was harder than usual due to the epidural that caused my chest to feel heavy). All at once I felt nervous, excited, scared, and impatient. Three minutes later I heard the most beautiful sound of my daughter’s first cry. Instantly tears began to flow from my eyes. I had never been so happy in my entire life. My doctor showed me a quick glimpse of how gorgeous miss Natalie was, and then she brought her to the warmer where she was cleaned, measured, weighed and immunized. Unfortunately the placement of the warmer was across the room on the other side of the drape, but luckily my husband was able to video it all so that I could watch what I missed later. Those are videos that I cherish so much. As soon as she was born a lot of pain meds were pushed into my IV as I was being stitched up.
For the next 20 minutes I laid on the table trying to control my happy tears as I heard Natalie crying. They wrapped her up and handed her to her sweet daddy. All I could do was glance back and forth between the two of them. There was so much beauty on her face, and such pride and love on his. Once it was all done, they moved me back to my bed and I was able to hold my baby for the first time.
From this point on, many of my memories are fuzzy due to the medication, but I do remember holding her and thinking, “oh my goodness, I am in love.” I now think that each time her sweet face looks up at me. It is a love that will never fade and that will last for the rest of my life. She is now a few days away from being three months old and I couldn’t be a more proud mom. She is getting big so fast and learning new things every day.
One of the most exciting things for me each day as a new mother is watching my daughter smile. I love making goofy faces, uttering funny sounds and doing funny dance moves, just to get her to smile. Most of the time she smiles when she sees me smile, and that made me think. If she sees all of my smiles, she also sees each time I frown. If she hears my funny noises, she also hears the frustration and anger when I speak sometimes. Realizing that made me want to strive to be more positive each day. I love the fact that all that my daughter knows at this point of her life is positivity. Now of course, I won’t be able to keep it like that for long, but it sure will be sweet while it last. I want her to learn that when there are tough days, we smile and move through it.
I know this has been a fairly long post, but I wanted you all to learn why I have decided to start this blog. It is to showcase the joys of motherhood, to share with you the positive things that happen day to day, and to encourage and inspire you to live your lives the best you can and not allow all of the negative things in life to get you down. There is no greater joy than giving life to sweet babies and then watching them grow and learn and develop into a wonderful child whom you can be proud of.
My challenge to you this week is to decide strive to be positive in the midst of a very negative world. Show your children what it is like to love and to be loved. And most of all remember to smile.