So I’ve been struggling pretty much since I was pregnant with my new role. I had completely unrealistic expectations of myself and what I would be able to accomplish as this baby was growing inside of me. I had entirely too many projects on board, and became super stressed when my body intervened and made me slow down. Then came the near death scare for both of us (baby and I) and subsequently his birth and my proverbial death. I was so burnt emotionally, physically, mentally, and I really began to struggle, I experienced the darkest of times and perhaps it’s a flashback of being sliced open when I was full of fear and had tried to make peace with dying before they put me under, who knows, but weird violent images would go through my head. I feel embarrassed to even admit that, but I am sure I am not the only one who has experienced this. Then after that came five weeks of going back and forth to the NICU seeing my baby. I was a mother, but I was so distant as I healed and as he developed in the humidcrib and with the breathing help. Finally after he came home, here I was, here we were, a family.
Baby will have been born ten months ago this month. It is only now that I am really understanding that I cannot take on other projects. Period. I cannot. I feel an immense amount of guilt when I am not able to do it and that doesn’t help me at all. My main priority at this moment is being a mother to a baby that needs me. He is eight months developmentally this month and can stay sitting up on his own when I help him into that position. He is no where near crawling, he needs me all the time.
Two days ago I had an incredible scare when feeding Baby A while out with another mum and bub. I was giving him roasted veggie bites, and all of a sudden he couldn’t breathe, he couldn’t cough, he was choking. I could see it in his eyes that he couldn’t fix it himself, I picked him up and patted him hard on his back again and again as he puked, as the pieces started to come out, but they weren’t all gone, I had to fish them out of his tiny little mouth, and I held him close to hear him breathe, it took what felt like forever, but he did. I was so shaken from this, I still am, I have tears in my eyes as I am sharing this.
My job as his primary caretaker, is to nurture and love him. It is to protect him and ensure that he is safe. It is to help guide him and help him develop into his own person. My role is all consuming. I wake up in the night with my heart dropping every time I hear his breath change. I feel him so strongly all the time. When he cries, it goes deep into my soul, and sometimes it makes me cry too.
I love my baby so very much. My husband and I consciously chose to have Baby A and we are so lucky to have him. We are so lucky to be parents. I am so lucky to be a mother, to be Baby A’s mother. I never imagined my life to be quite like this, but this is my role, one that requires me to be here one hundred percent of the time for my baby, for my precious little person. My role is to be the best mother, the best version of myself that I can possibly be. Everything else will sort itself out. My role as well is to be a wife to my husband and to ensure that our relationship is going well and feels balanced emotionally and physically as well.
This is a totally unique time in my life and it will never be this way again. It is up to me to deal with my own emotions and not project them onto anyone else, especially not our child. He is a pure expression of joy, of innocence, of total trust. I am so lucky to be in this position. I am so lucky to have such a happy and joyous baby. I am so lucky that I get to be the one to hold him. I am so lucky that I get to be the one who is there when he wakes up. I am so lucky that it is me whom he reaches for. I am a mother now. This is my role.