Sunday, October 16, 2011

Lessons in Motherhood

This morning was great because my friend Amber was in town and stopped by to meet baby Russell. She brought tea and muffins which was fabulous and little Russell got something fun.


I have seen the commercials for this toy and just love it because it's a dinosaur. Russell has a couple of cute outfits with dinosaurs on them and I just think they're cute. I remember being into dinosaurs at one point and I still think they're pretty cool. Maybe Russell will like dinosaurs one day too.

2008 baby! At the Beauty Bar!

Anyway it was great to see a friend I haven't seen in forever. We got to do a quick catch up on things before she had to leave to drive back home. I'm hopeful her husband will get the job back here in Vegas so we can hang out with our kids. That would be fun.

Ok, so I've wanted to write my thoughts on some things I've learned since being pregnant and becoming a mother.

1. Expect the unexpected. My pregnancy was actually a very textbook typical pregnancy but once we got labor going just about everything from then on was not anything I even remotely imagined. I wanted a natural childbirth but ended up being induced and having an emergency c-section. I wanted my baby to be healthy but he ended up in the NICU for over a month. I wanted to breastfeed but he has to have formula thickened with rice milk because of a swallowing issue. Little Russell had a true knot in his umbilical cord which from what I have seen is a one in 1,000 type of thing. I ended up with eclampsia a week after giving birth which happens but is not typical. Seriously just about everything I imagined happening didn't or was changed often very quickly. Even though it has been a roller coaster ride I wouldn't change a thing because it has all made me who I am as a mother so far and I know it could have always been a totally different story.

The first time I held Russell was when I was in the hospital for eclampsia.

2. Have an attitude of gratitude. No matter what happened to me or to Russell I feel very grateful every day that I still have him and that he is doing as well as he is. I have friends who have experienced true tragedies in their lives with their children and it just reminds me how precious life really is. It kills me to see people who take their kids for granted or worse abuse them. I feel Russell is a gift and truly a miracle that I am blessed to have. I treasure every moment I have with him and always will. Not saying I'm perfect and sometimes when he wakes up for the millionth time at night I can be cranky and exasperated that my sleep has been disturbed but I don't let the negative get to me so I can enjoy the time I have with him.

Do you see kitty in the background? >^..^< Meow!

3. It's up to you. I have quickly figured out that you can read a million books, troll the forums online, read advice columns and magazines but in the end it's up to you. As a mother you have to decide what's right for you and your baby. It's true, Google doesn't have kids... Yes you can Google something to see what others are doing but in the end the decision is yours. Breastfeed or not. Co-sleep or keep them in their own room. Lots of toys or only a few. Seriously there will always be someone who will tell you that you must do this or that in order to have a healthy/happy/social child but I feel there is only so much you can do because in the end your kid will become whoever he/she chooses to. It's up to you to figure out what pediatrician works best for you and your baby, what medicines you will/won't give your child, how you'll discipline him/her, etc. I have learned you can't be afraid to ask for what's important to you because if you don't no one else will.

Happy Russell loves his play mat.

4. Enjoy the moment. I love rocking Russell to sleep. Yes there are some who would say you should sleep train your baby by putting him down while he's tired but not sleepy. Others may say you shouldn't do that because then he'll only fall asleep when you rock him. Well for right now I love being able to cuddle him. I love to see him smile as he falls asleep, to hear him breathing and to just hold him close to me. Especially since I didn't get to hold him and love on him for a while after he was born I figure I'm making up for lost time and just enjoying him while he's little. I know he's going to grow up quickly and one day I know he'll just crawl off my lap and go play with his toys. For now I'm enjoying the moments when I know he can't escape and I can just love him.

He's so cute when he sleeps. I love holding my sweet baby.

5. I enjoy babies. Seriously I have never been one to like kids. I never played with dolls as a kid, I babysat other kids maybe a handful of times, my brother isn't that much younger than me and I grew up away from the cousins that were my age or younger. There weren't that many young kids in our neighborhood growing up so I never got into kids. Then as I grew up I would be that person being bugged in the store by the parent who's kid is a screaming hot mess. Drool was gross, spit-up and poop were even worse and babies were fragile and were best left in their mom's arms. Now I find I really enjoy babies. I don't mind a crying baby as much because I know how it feels to be on the other side of the screaming baby. (Of course if a kid is just acting up and their parent isn't doing anything about it, that still is annoying.) Other babies make me happy and I can change a blowout without gagging. I loved being pregnant and I love being Russell's mommy. I am definitely amused by how much my opinion of babies had totally changed now that I have my own.

Rockin' some mittens being watched by Minx. Minx loves little Russell.

Becoming a mom has been an interesting journey. Sometimes I still find it odd to say that I have a son and that I'm a mom. I'm still learning things every day. I'm also still learning about my own mothering style which I know will continue to evolve as Russell grows up. I know that everyone's journey is different and there often aren't clear cut right/wrong answers for anything as a parent. I am definitely excited to see if some of my friends who have recently married will have kids too. It's an exciting journey I can't wait to share with my friends.

8 comments:

  1. It's so awesome that you are enjoying every moment! Great advice!

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  2. Thanks. It's been fabulous. I'm learning so much from Russell. :)

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  3. You are so amazing! And I love how honest and candid you are about everything~ I don't think it is in the cards for me to be a mother, but if it ever happens by chance I will be calling you for advice~just know I already always look to you for inspiration! You are an amazing person Heather! I'm so glad our paths have crossed in this lifetime! :)

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  4. Heather, you're an awesome mom! Russell is so calm and happy because he is a reflection of you! His pictures are adorable, but nothing beats the real deal. So glad I got to meet him yesterday and get in on his snuggles. I can't wait to watch this little fella continue to grow and evolve into the little man he's going to be! So much fun! Cherish the moments ~ they fly by fast!

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  5. i am having so much fun reading about your experiences now being a mom, and i know you are enjoying being a mom even more!!! ;)

    your little one is soooooooooooooooo cute!!! and he has the best mom EVER! ;)

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  6. Oh you guys are amazing!!! Tiffany you never know what the future holds and should you become a mother I'd definitely be there to support in any way I could. I'm so glad our paths crossed too. You're so talented and real it's fabulous.

    Amber so glad you got to stop by and meet our little man. I already see time flying by fast. It hasn't been long but he's already growing out of some of his "newborn" outfits that he had.

    Jenn thank you so much. I'm glad you're enjoying reading our story. It's been wonderful being a mom and Russell is a wonderful baby. I hope I'll be a good mom to him.

    HUGS to you guys! I love you all!!!

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  7. I'm that mom with the kid acting up in the store. It annoys me too, but sometimes there is nothing you can do because it will just cause a bigger scene if you try to do something. I've had some horrible experiences with people thinking that I'm doing something to my kid when trying to get them to behave so I figure it's best to let them throw the tantrum that have someone accuse you of doing something you didn't do! Just my two cents there, but I love reading all your posts!

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  8. Hey Andrea. I have lots of sympathy for parents dealing with temper tantrums because it's true, sometimes you just can't get them to quit. I'm mostly not about the parent's who let their kids pull stuff off shelves, eat things and put them back and basically just wreck the store. I mean wouldn't most people put something back if their kid takes it off the shelf or pay for it if they eat it? Then again what I am learning is that no decision is easy for any parent. There are so many so called "right" ways to parent and there seems to be so much pressure to be "perfect". I wish it were easier to not judge others and to be more supportive of each other even if the other parent is doing something opposite of what we do. Glad you're enjoying reading the posts. :)

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