Just a friendly reminder before reading. I don't edit. You must read all typos and grammar mistakes. I'm a Mommy, not an author of a book :)
Looking back and now chasing a very active 25 month old, I realize how easy my Mom made being a Mommy look. I never remember her looking tired. She never told me that she didn't want to read to me. She never told me I couldn't help her cook and splash eggs and flours all over the kitchen. She never looked sick. I never heard her complain.
I babysat a lot. I've been a Nanny. I've worked in daycare. I graduated from Clemson with a degree in Early Childhood education.
Words can't describe how happy Patrick and I were when we found out we were pregnant with our little peanut. How Happy she makes us everyday of her life even when she's throwing a major tantrum. I wasn't nervous at all. I loved being pregnant and folks let's face it, I had morning sickness for six months. But there's absolutely nothing better than a baby kick or hiccup. It's a miracle. I remember the first time Patrick felt Raileigh kick. I remember putting ice on my belly so my Daddy could feel her move. AMAZING! I remember the ultrasounds, how tired you could feel, and I always felt like if I could model myself after my Mom, I'd be amazing.
I was scheduled to have Raileigh via c-section on July 17th, my beautiful niece's birthday also one day after my birthday. I was wheeled into the room, while Patrick stood outside, complete panic on his face because they wouldn't let him be with me to have my spinal. At 12:26, I had Raileigh Brooke, a beautiful girl with an APGAR of 9. That's the moment, I knew something was wrong. Her reflexes were good. Her pediatrician said she was wonderful. Day two, the night nurse kept running in every thirty minutes, doing vitals and watching her respiratory.
I knew something was wrong, but she just smiled, told me that her respiratory was up and she'd be back. The next day another nurse said to pack our bags to get ready, a doctor would be there to discharge us. That was at 10:00 in the morning. At 5:00 that night, my heart ached, as my gut feeling was right. Raileigh had a heart murmur. I can't explain to you the emotions that I felt. I can't explain to you how much I wanted that button to push to make it all go away. A whirlwind trip in the NICU with an amazing neo doctor and we left the hospital seven days later with a diagnosis: VSD/PDA heart murmor, GERD, right toricollis, jaundice, delayed gastric emptying and appointments with three doctors to follow Raileigh and two clinics for supervision. I was a Mommy on a mission. My daughter was perfect and I was going to show the world just like my Mom did that my daughter could meet milestones and that she would conquer her goals!
My Mom flew in three weeks after Raileigh was born and I went back into the hospital, not fun, but was blessed that it happened at a time where my Mom could take care of her with my Aunt there by her side helping!
Raileigh pewked at minimal 30 times a day. I do not wish Reflux on anyone. The doctor changed her formula to the more calorie supplemented with breastmilk because she went from 6.7 to 4.9 with breastmilk. In doing this, it curdled in her stomach after my Mom fed her and was holding her up and she barfed what looked like oatmeal. My made made it look to easy as she flipped her over and got it out of her mouth onto the towel (which we had plenty because she couldn't keep anything in her tummy). Mom then called me into the room to look at it and to call the pediatrician. I wanted to shout fix her Mommy to the top of my lungs. I had to become the adult, the Mommy, and take charge. I did and after finding a gastro and the right pediatrician for her, Raileigh's reflux is now controlled. But I must mention something here for first time Mommies and Daddies:
Here is what they don't remember to tell you:
1. Breastfeeding does not feel natural and when you have to pump to send it to the NICU you feel like you belong on a dairy farm right beside the cow. (There's a funny story about this, but I shall share it in another blog).
2. HORMONES are horrible. You will feel like killing your spouse one minute and thinking he is king the next. Men back away, far away, and tell your wife you will take the baby so she can sleep. I promise you, the hormones will go back to normal. Beware. I think mine were not completely back to normal for six months, Patrick still says I have my moments, haha!
3. You are exhausted. You haven't slept for months and now you are responsible 24 hours a day for this little miracle. When I babysat babies overnight, I could go home and nap later. What they don't tell reflux Mommies that have to feed their babies every hour is how to survive on zero sleep. The angelcare sleep monitor can rescue you. I promise you! The sleep will come or you will just adjust to none! :)
4. Cloth diapers are not gross now. Get a diaper sprayer and be on your way to saving money. I wish I would have listened early on because I could have saved about 1800 bucks!
This list could go on and on.
Mom you made it look so easy! I think when you retire, you should move in! Being a Mommy is the most amazing thing I've ever done. Having her say I love you Mommy or jumping in puddles in the rain giggling is awesome, but I must admit there are days where I am so tired, that I wonder how my Mom did it. She always had a house full of us with friends and cousins and I never saw her look tired/exhausted/sick. She's my hero. I can only pray that the eye cream and lotion and coffee will keep me going so I can allow Raileigh to see the world as my Mom allowed me to see it. She's my hero!