Thursday, February 21, 2013

The One About the Newborn

Gwen is now almost 5 weeks old. It is incredibly insane how quickly the last month has gone by. People always tell you how quickly time goes when you have children and they weren't kidding. Right now my life mainly revolves around this little girl.

Right after her birth, my first thought was "I am never doing this again...ever." Every time I thought about giving birth, I felt traumatized. When I saw the clothes I wore to the hospital, I was stricken with fear. I couldn't even listen to my labor playlist in fear of having flashbacks. But then, Gwen and I have moments like this:

And I remember why I did what I did and birth doesn't seem that traumatic anymore. There is a sort of amnesia that happens. While I remember being in intense pain, I also feel detached from it. As if it wasn't really me that gave birth or like I watched it on TV and sympathized with the woman pushing on the bed for 43 minutes. So, the next birth will not involve meds though I am sure when the time comes I will be begging Joseph for them just as I did with Gwen's birth.

Our first night home with her, I was so scared that she was going to die. I cried so much that night and Joseph just held me and prayed for me. I was extremely emotional for the next few days, overwhelmed with the thought of having to care for this little creature in such a scary world. I felt irresponsible for bringing her into such a crazy place. But I was also overwhelmed with love not only for Gwen but a new kind of love for my husband. Both loves were much more intense than I could ever have imagined.

We are slowly getting used to each other. Getting to know each other. She knows that I will pick her up when she cries (not fusses...but truly cries) and that I am the keeper of the milk. I know that she likes to bounce in her Daddy's arms and that no amount of coercing will get her to take a pacifier. 

Though there have been so many sweet moments with our little Gwenrito, (or Nugget, Ducky, Gwen-a-roo, many nicknames!) there have also been many frustrating moments for me that leave me feeling extremely guilty. If I can't figure out why she cries, I get mad and I know she can sense it. It makes me feel as if I am a bad mother - only a month in and already getting frustrated to the point of tears. I had prepared myself so well for birth but failed to prepare for life after birth.

Many of us do this with weddings as well. We plan our perfect day - focus on our dress being just right and get upset if our bridesmaids don't do as we ask. We cry if our cake is the wrong shade of white. Our attention is completely diverted to the physical aspects and we forget to prepare for the aftermath. I know I did and our marriage suffered for the first year because of it.

I am glad that I am recognizing this now, instead of a year from now. This time I won't become disconnected, discontent and defiant towards our little family as I did when we first became man and wife. It is an extreme life-alterning event and being prepared (well as prepared as one can be) is so important.

There are a few things I know: her smile is the most beautiful thing I have ever seen. More beautiful than the ocean and the view of the clouds from above. Baby poop no longer scares me as it once did and yes, sometimes there is projectile poop (as we learned on our first night home with her). Finally, I have the most amazing little family.


  1. Love these pics! Haven't seen them before. What a precious little family!! :)

    1. This is the debut of the photos! I will be posting all of them on Facebook soon!

  2. Wow Jess! I am so proud of you! You have become such an awesome woman! You will be a great Mom!

  3. Awww. beautiful! I know what you mean...did same thing with John. came to a point when he started sleeping in his crib at 4 months and I would wake up every couple hours to check on him and finally I was like God I'm placing him in your hands and trusting you with his life because this mama needs sleep!! Yes you are so right. I did feel like birth consummed my thoughts and did not think about after the fact when he was brought home and I was left to scare for something so little and fragile by myself. I was too busy researching differ pain management and birthing positions more than praying over the womb. looking back on it you are so right about feeling detached from birthing...I remember its and pieces of it...I remember reeling as if I was about to die at one point and I was having the shakes really bad...ic an remember telling myself and hubby while going through contractions "this is beep beep crazy...I will never beep do this again" ....but what you said described how I feel to a tee! like how you detach yourself from the experience and its like you were watching someone go through it. It truly is a mirac le from God that He allows so much pain but we do forget the intensity of it. I'd go through all if it again in a heart beat for my little man ;) your pics are absolutely beautiful!!! congrats again!! You have awesome days ahead!!

  4. Jessica I'm so proud of you and your little family as you put it. Gwen is so precious and I know your Mom is so happy too... miss you all so much.