March 14, 2010

My First Week as a Mother

On 4:25 p.m. March 5th, I became a mother. The moment was not exactly as I had imagined it would be. Instead, of hearing my doctor tell me to make a final push and having my daughter laid on my chest; I was lying on an operating table waiting to hear that first cry. It was then that I learned my first lesson of parenthood - "You can make plans for your children, but they will often take you in totally different directions".

Hours later, in the hospital room, I held a screaming infant and looked at my frazzled husband as we tried to figure out why she was screaming. It was only after a few minutes, I had the thought to check her diaper. Checking her was something that I should have thought of sooner....I felt horrible. However, as my own Mama reminded "You'll make mistakes as a parent, better to learn to let go of the mistakes, and focus on what you do right."

I would like to tell you that the first 7 days of parenthood have been easier. But that would be a lie. Granted, having a newborn who sleeps for nearly three hours at a time, has made things considerably easier......there have been difficult moments. I have broken down in tears - worried that what we were doing was not the best thing for our daughter. Yet, I am learning that M and I have instincts in regards to our daughter and we have to trust our own judgement.

Joycelen is an absolute delight. She, M, and I have settled into a happy routine and schedule. I take most of the day shift - as I am at home - but once M walks in from the office that marks "Daddy time". We put her to bed around 10:00 p.m. and sleep blissfully until 2:00 p.m. when she cries for her first nighttime feeding. I take "first shift" - although M oftens wakes up offerring to help with the feeding and/or diaper change. Joycelen's second night feeding usually happens when M is getting ready to start his day, so he has taken over that feeding. He feeds her, burps her, and then settles her into the bed with me. She and I then snuggle and sleep until 8:00 a.m.

7 days ago, I entered a new stage of life. It is a stage that has already been fraught with trials, challenges, and especially blissful moments. I can not wait to see what lies ahead.