Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Back in the Saddle

Well, it's been about a million years since I've written anything here. Mostly because at first I was really busy being a pregnant nursing student. Then I was really busy being pregnant and hot and getting ready for baby to be born. And more recently I've been really busy being the mom of a newborn baby boy.

It's been really weird being the actual mother of an actual new baby. When your youngest child at home is 11 years old, and the last baby you had was placed for adoption, having that new baby in the house is a little odd. However, I am loving just about every minute of it. The couple of episodes of inconsolable crying weren't so fun for either of us. But even waking up at 3 am night after night can be fun because I get to stare at my little baby guy and memorize every little part of his sweet self.

I feel like I didn't really get to enjoy my big kid's babyhoods. With Big Boy I was 19 years old and so young that it didn't occur to me to treasure our moments together. I mostly spent my time wondering when he would go back to sleep, or get older and more interesting. We were totally broke and I was more focused on the fact that I couldn't buy lots of cute baby things than on the actual baby himself. I know now that I also had some post-partum depression that went totally unrecognized and, hence, untreated. I think that it would have helped our bonding a whole lot if I had some therapy and possibly some medication. I waited for 3 months for his "real mom" to show up! I clearly was not handling first-time motherhood all that well, and I was too afraid of looking stupid or incompetent to ask for help.

With Big Girl I had a 17 month old little boy and a husband that I, frankly, hated. I was also working full-time as the only financial support to our family while my husband got high all day long. Oh, and the last couple of weeks of my pregnancy we had his friend and the friend's girlfriend couch surfing at our house. They stayed for over a month after Hannah was born as well. Nothing like having unwanted barnacle houseguests when you're enormously pregnant and then have a new baby. And when Big Girl was only 10 weeks old I left my now ex-husband and that opened a whole new can of worms.

So many things took the focus off of my babies. I didn't know how to get it back. I didn't know that I should get it back. I was so young and so overwhelmed that it was all I could do to keep my head above water. It seemed impossible to even be a good mom, much less one of those gushy loving every second of motherhood moms.

And now here I am again. The mom of a newborn. I'm still stressed out because I'm in nursing school full-time. But I've had the summer off and Baby Boy will be 11 weeks old on the day I return to school. I've been able to sleep in with him in the mornings and spend hours a day just staring at him and cuddling him. My time off has allowed us to get breastfeeding firmly established while building a good supply of frozen breastmilk for use at daycare. This time around I'm much less focused on the stuff aspect of motherhood and more focused on the baby himself. I get to see my older children interact with their baby brother and get to know him on their own terms. I see how thrilled they are when he smiles his big gummy baby smiles at them. They'll be over the moon when he starts giggling at them, I just know it.

Here we go again!

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