Motherhood: A Learning Process

dessey

“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 :)

17 Comments

  1. ninit
    ninit yunita January 11, 2012 at 6:37 am

    Love this article!
    Mengingatkan pas awal2 jd mama :)
    Bisa ga yaaa jd mama… Pas anak lahir, ternyata insting keibuan emang muncul dgn sendirinya ya des… Gantiin popok udah expert bgt deh hehe…

    Hows baby Q sekarang? Pasti tambah lucu deh :)

  2. dina noermadi prastyawan
    dina prastyawan January 11, 2012 at 8:16 am

    love the article des…yang loe tulis soal ketakutan itu adalah semua yang gue rasain saat ini…=p

  3. sLesTa
    shinta lestari January 11, 2012 at 8:33 am

    bener kata ninit, baca ini bikin gue inget ama awal2 jadi ibu. just like you, i’m also not the type of girl who is maternal. i don’t have the patience to be with kids, everyone who knows me, know that. but when my daughter is born, that maternal instinct just kicked in. sampe2 nyokap gue aja takjub ngeliat gue hehehe.. ternyata emang kalo anak sendiri beda. the patience just comes naturally..

    and i’m sure you make a really good mother to baby Q. welcome to both of you, mother & baby :)

  4. January 11, 2012 at 8:35 am

    Fotonya Aqila yang pojok kiri bawah… Huhu, lucu sekaligus bikin simpati, hihi. Kaya nanya, “Mama mana? Mama mana? Kamu siapa sih? Mama mana?” *towel-towel baby Q*

    Duh, sekarang ini juga lagi takuuuuut. Takut ga bisa jadi orang tua yang baik. Bertanya-tanya, “nanti kalo aku stres gimana? Kalo aku capek gimana, terus aku ga akan nyakitin anakku kan? Kalo nanti malah jadi baby blues gimana?” Hikssssssss :(

  5. ipeh
    Musdalifa Anas January 11, 2012 at 9:50 am

    Baca artikel ini
    seperti napaktilas 3thn yang lalu, bingung, stress krn Asi sedikit, kadang ikutan nangis kalo baby nangis, hehe.. Dan sekarang setidaknya kita udah belajar menjadi ahli parenting u/ anak kita masing-masing.. :)

    Great article Momma Dessey, salam kenal dari Bogor untuk baby Aqila :) TFS..

  6. January 11, 2012 at 9:51 am

    waaa, iya nih, jadi inget dulu pas baru lahiran… tos dulu, motherhood and baby bonding juga ga comes naturally buat gue dulu. usahanya banyak banget dan penuh air mata… hu hu hu.

    btw, sukaaaaa banget ama foto2nya…

  7. ninit
    ninit yunita January 11, 2012 at 10:05 am

    eh itu baby Q foto kiri bawah, gigit bibir ya? hiiii lucunyaaa!

  8. Habibah
    Habibah January 11, 2012 at 2:16 pm

    Love this article, :)
    Coz I’m a mom wannabe and never used to with kids or babies. Agak canggung gitu kalo sama baby-nya orang, nggak tau gimana cara nyenengin mereka, begitu punya ponakan, agak meleklah sedikit tentang per-baby-an.
    and now, I’m waiting for my baby to come, :D
    wish that I can be a good mom too like you all, mamas!!

  9. mamasha
    mamasha January 12, 2012 at 5:01 pm

    articlenya oke bgt. ternyata hampir semua ibu mengalami hal yg sama ya. yang paling gak tahan waktu si baby nangis pagi2 dan si baby belum pinter mimi asinya. jd inget dulu saking stressnya suka ikutan nangis. hehe tp ada quotenya kok “these too will pass”, dan aku berhasil dan bangga :)kuncinya adalah “sabar” (aku termasuk ibu yg gak sabaran lho)

  10. kanivari
    kanivari January 13, 2012 at 3:09 pm

    Huaaa mo nangis baca artikel-nya.. Sama persisss!!! (Kecuali bag tounge tie-nya) Baru 50 hari jadi ibu,dan baru kemaren growth sprout lg,hari ini balik normal,dan menghasilkan PD yg begkak,samaaa bgt!

  11. Mama Cattleya
    Diana Christianti January 16, 2012 at 3:57 pm

    bagus banget tulisannya… Bisa ngungkapin perasaan seorang newborn mother yang ga punya riwayat deket atau ada di lingkungan bayi atau anak-anak. Aku minta ijin untuk ambil beberapa kalimat yang bagus buat jadi status FB… Hehehehe… ;)

  12. Alderina
    Alderina Gracia January 16, 2012 at 5:38 pm

    Ohhhh… Ternyata menyusui itu bisa sampai begitu ya O_O

    Aku juga sampai sekarang berpikir kalau punya anak itu bakal ga ok, secara aku juga kaya Mba Dessey :P Keseeel liat anak kecil dimana-mana :D

    Semoga nanti kalau diijinkan Tuhan, saya bisa kuat dan kaya mba Dessey (liat timelinenya yg selalu bangga ama baby Q)

  13. dessey
    Desy Khoirunnisa Rahman January 16, 2012 at 5:39 pm

    Yaay akhirnya sempet juga login :D Selama ini cuma baca2 komennya via email..

    Terima kasih ya mamas semuanya, ternyata ini hal yang dialami sama banyak mama baru ya, jadi nda merasa sendirian dehh..

    @kapkap nda laahh instinct ibu pasti melindungi anak, mau kita sakit kayak gimana yang penting anak baik2 aja. Kalau bukan buat Aqila kayaknya nda sanggup deh bertahan lecet akibat tongue tie. Tapi kl udh lihat dia ketiduran habis mimik, kayaknya semua sakit terbayar

    @Ninit haha iya dia emang suka “ngeget” gitu, gigit bibir bagian bawah. Kebiasaan dari lahir masih keterusan sampai sekarang tuh ^^;;

    @slesta hahaha sama lohh ini semua orang juga bingung, gerwani kok sekarang sabar bener yah xDD

  14. neena_ardyanti
    neena January 19, 2012 at 3:34 pm

    Alhamdulillah,bukan cuma aku yg ngerasa kaya gini.. sekarang lagi hamil dan ngeri kalo ngebayangin nanti gendong,nyusuin,mandiin,ngerawat bayi yg baru lahir,takut ga bisa.. setelah baca ini jadi agak tenang.. :)

  15. mamimumemo
    mamimumemo January 19, 2012 at 10:31 pm

    @ Dessey… setuju banget kl motherhood is INDEED a learning process!!! proses pendewasaan seorang wanita juga hahaha krn aku kdg panik bingung dan merasa seperti ibu yang buruk buat anakku krn aku kdg ga ngerti mesti gimana dan tentunya ikutan cranky kalo anakku nangis :p

    tapi bener, akhirnya naluri ibu itu memang berkah Tuhan yang luar biasa…. walau kita ga pernah di “training” merawat dan mendidik anak kita, tapi kalu mau tenang dan ikutin naluri yang kita punya… dijamin ga rusak2 amat hasilnya hahahaha

    aku pernah dikasih tau juga, merawat dan mendidik anak itu harus berani cara cowboy alias nekad2an aja…. selama itu tidak mencelakakan anak / kita sendiri :)

    to all moms diluar sana… semangat!! berkah menjadi ibu itu luar biasa ;)

  16. andinigelar
    andini ardani January 25, 2012 at 3:02 pm

    Ternyata aku gak sendirian ya…percaya banget kalau motherhood is a never ending learning process. Sebagai orang yang sangat education-minded pas hamil aku langsung panik browsing,n bela beli buku kehamilan plus cara mengurus bayi sampe daftar parenting class segala..Sadar kalau aku gak punya bekal apapun.
    Berbekal hasil belajar kilat selama sembilan bulan, akhirnya lahir juga kedunia yang dinanti-nanti. Tuhan Maha Besar, walaupun masih tetep merasa takut tapi cinta kepada si anak membuat si ibu bertahan dan terus belajar untuk memberikan yang terbaik…paling suka kata2nya Dessy yang ini “Just like a newborn baby, a newborn mother also needs time to learn how to survive in this new world”
    Group hugs Moms! none say it is an easy job but never give up! Keep Calm and Carry on :)

  17. dyna_rochmya
    dyna_rochmya January 27, 2012 at 8:52 pm

    yuph, everything in life is all about learning! Aku juga sama pas awal2 abis lahiran. Sepertinya kekhawatiran2 itu adalah bagian dari post-partum depression atau yang biasa kita kenal sindrom baby blues. Setelah kupikir2, solusi dari semua itu adalah dukungan dari orang terdekat, terutama suami dan ibu kita. Apalagi ibu, kita bisa share banyak hal, and believe me, dia akan menguatkan kita.

    Waktu Pelangi umur 3 minggu, aku langsung pindah ke rumah suami. Alhamdulillah hari kedua setelah pindah, aku dah bisa mandiin sendiri, dsb. ditambah lagi, Pelangi orangnya anteng dan mudah tidur..:)

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