Motherhood: A Learning Process
“When a baby is delivered, a mother is also born into the world.”
I read this in @chibialfa’s tumblr, in her birthday post. When I read it, I thought: “what a nice and touching copy”. But that’s about it. I couldn’t really relate to it. But it all changed about a month ago.
On July 12, 2011 – 11.05am to be exact. Because that was when I was born as a mother, to a beautiful baby girl named Aqila Maharani Rahman.
Honestly, I never pictured myself as a mom. I’m probably the least motherly person. I don’t have the patience, I cringe whenever there are too many kids at one place, and I don’t have that tingling spider sense to play with kids whenever they’re around me. People say it’s going to be different when the child is your own – but how could I be sure of that? What if I still don’t have the courage to carry the tiny baby around-because she’s so fragile? What if she cries? What do I do when she needs to have her diapers changed? Or when everything looks OK but she still cries? Can I handle it?
None of those thoughts crossed my mind when I heard Aqila’s first cry after 12 hours of labor. Or when I first looked at her as she was put on my body for IMD. All I can think of is how much I love that tiny thing and that I would do just about anything in my power for her, whatever it takes.
Now, more than a month after her birth, I’m still adjusting to this new role. It hasn’t been that easy. When they say motherhood comes naturally, well that’s certainly not the case for me. Just like a newborn baby, a newborn mother also needs time to learn how to survive in this new world.
Breastfeeding was definitely a challenge. I literally cried, sweat, and bleed during the first two weeks. Everyone kept saying that’s what being a new breasfeeding mom is like. And so I thought I was just over reacting, and not being a strong enough mom :( But when they saw my nipples, then they knew what kind of pain I was in, and I was glad that I didn’t make that stuff up in my head. I went to a lactation counselor and she said Aqila had a condition called tongue-tie; which can be a barrier to breastfeeding, as it makes the baby not able to suck properly hence hurting the mom’s nipple even more than it already is. Not only that, because of the poor sucking, the baby will not get the maximum milk intake, causing her to gain less weight. The counselor, which was also a pediatrician, performed an incision on Aqila’s tongue to fix the condition, and afterwards things got better. It still hurts a bit, but now I don’t find breastfeeding as terrifying as I used to.
Then there was the growth spurt phase, the time when she wouldn’t stop crying for milk. Everytime I put her down after breastfeeding, within a max time of 15mins she’d cry again. At first I got all stressed out, thinking I must’ve done something wrong, or maybe the breastmilk isn’t enough, etc. But then I browsed the net and found that it was a normal condition. I also consulted with the pediatrician (thank God she can be reached via txt!) and she also assured me that there was nothing wrong. And with that I calmed down. Within a few days, Aqila was already on her normal breastfeeding behaviour again.
The hospital’s policy of 24 hour rooming-in helped my husband and I to get used to baby-carrying faster. My husband is just like me, scared of holding newborns. But he can do it just after one night of rooming in. As for me, since I still felt faint for the first 24 hours, it took me an extra day to do the same. But hey, for someone who has never held a baby under 3 months old, I’d say that’s a serious achievement!
The diaper changing? That is the easiest part, trust me :D
The point is, motherhood is a learning process. There are still a lot of things that I don’t know, a lot of things I still need to learn. But I am enjoying the learning process, by accepting that there is no way I can be instantly good at this. Afterall, as a mother, I am only 42 days old. And the thought of that made it all easier for me.
Thank you Baby Aqila, for bringing a new mother into this world. Bear with me as I learn, kiddo :)
Post a Comment
You must be logged in to post a comment.