It still hasn’t dawned to me yet. Motherhood, that is. I quickly transformed from busy career woman into household slave. My newest boss, the six-pounder I carried for nine months.
Let the pain remain, or not
From the time I knew I was pregnant, I’ve been looking forward to a normal delivery. I had a good reason for this: it would hurt my husband’s wallet much less. Physical pain was another story.
But with a low-lying placenta diagnosed on my fifth month ultrasound, I was doomed. Good thing, it went into perfect birthing position on the last trimester and lo, I got what I wished for. I even opted for an anesthesia-less labor, if only to shout out to my husband that he did a great job taking care of me during the past nine months, accompanying me to every single pre-natal visit until labor time.
My, I never thought I had that much tolerance to pain! I almost give in to the very tempting epidural when it was just an hour or two before showtime. My mind is focused on giving the best push so we won’t go CS. And I was very cooperative, listening and following every direction given out by my doctor, while my husband held my hand and cheered all the way.
So she was born. She is the most beautiful thing that happened in our almost two years of marriage. She is the best thing God gave me, our contribution to mankind. And she was born on August 31st.
Bring on the breast
I never thought breastfeeding could be very exhausting! Much more than birthing itself, breastfeeding gave me only three or four hours of sleep each day, with those hours spread throughout one day. I would just pass the day sitting down and waiting for feeding cues from my baby, sometimes forgetting to eat, drink and pee. I can’t even poo in peace because here she is again after a few minutes, crying shyly for food.
It also made me a captive of our condo unit. I’ve been waking up and sleeping with the sight, sound, and smog of Manila for the past month. I haven’t gone out except for two hospital visits – the week and the month after.
I don’t know when this will end. I can simply end this by giving in to formula feeding. I would, at times, be discouraged to continue breastfeeding, especially when I think of going back to the usual lifestyle I had – work, church, and more work. But I know I should not.
One thing’s for sure, I’ve given my daughter the best gift – my breasts.
The month after
Much have happened, much have been said and done. And much have changed with the way I see things.
First, that motherhood is the best career any woman can have. Just taking care of the household and the children says it all.
Second, without previous experience or diploma to show, you become a mother just like that. The past month was hard, especially the first week. I was forced to learn how to bathe, breastfeed, change diapers and clothes, carry her very fragile body and soothe her when she’s crying, check 24/7 if the baby is doing fine (as almost all she did was sleep in the first weeks), make sure that every nook and cranny of the room is clean.
Finally, you can’t do it alone, even if you’re a superwoman. Of course you can’t make a child, unless Immaculate Conception would still happen after the Blessed Virgin, but you get to share this wonderful experience with the one person you truly love. And while you’re at it, you should have family and friends to assist you being a novice mom.
It’s fun. It’s hard. It’s parenting someone who came from inside of me, flesh and all. She is God’s greatest gift to us, and I am just so happy and humbled to experience all of this. This is just the beginning of a new stage in my life.