Type A Pregnancy…Disrupted
Type A, official definition: an individual who is more competitive, outgoing, ambitious, and impatient.
Motherhood, unofficial definition: One person who does the work of twenty. For free. See also: masochist, loony, saint.
During my 39 weeks of pregnancy I defied most “what you should do” rules. I ate sushi occasionally (see Japanese women), drank — not in excess by any means — wine (see French women), enjoyed soft unpasteurized cheeses on occasion (personally I find fast food worse and just as dangerous, see Chipotle contamination), and worked out incessantly going to Soul Cycle and Barry’s Bootcamp until a few days before I gave birth (my water could have very well broken on the bike, yep).
The epitome of a Type A individual, I was on a mission to be the fittest, healthiest pregnant woman on the block all while planning for the “perfect” baby with the cutest clothes I could find, creating the most Pinterest worthy closet-nursery, and checking the boxes on all the gadgets one would need for our little addition. My OBGYN sarcastically and continuously asked me if I had anything negative to report during my appointments given I never had bloating, kankles, stretchmarks, excessive weight gain, etc. The worst of pregnancy was terrible acid indigestion (props to Tums). In all honesty, the whole experience was quite easy, joyous and surreal. Perhaps it was the hormones, maybe being able to eat anything without gaining crazy weight, or most likely the thought of growing a little human that gave me an everlasting warm fuzzy feeling for those 9+ months… until my water broke 1 week early. Little bump quickly became reality and my “I have everything planned” scenario escaped my control.
I planned on giving birth naturally; the epidural was demanded after dilating from 0 to 5 inches within hours. I wanted a vaginal birth; I almost had an emergency C section. I thought my labor would be fast; 17 hours later. I envisioned holding my baby for hours when she arrived; shortly after skin to skin she was taken to the NICU. I imagined her being complication free; she was immediately hooked up to monitors. I thought we would be discharged in 2 days; she was kept in NICU longer and had a scope put down her throat to ensure her stridor would not affect her breathing/eating coordination. I couldn’t stand the sight of her little IV and cried incessantly. I dreamt about breastfeeding easily; we had to supplement her with formula at the hospital after not being able to feed her despite being called in every 2–3 hours in the middle of the night to attempt. The emotions were exhausting. It truly was the longest shortest time.
Miss Jameson turned 4 weeks old yesterday (4/9) which means almost a month of relying on motherly instinct but really having zero idea of what to do. Things are becoming easier but are certainly not easy. My phone — and really, Google — has become my new best friend. I have new mom friends who are invaluable. I’m producing more than enough milk but Jameson wasn’t eating enough/was losing weight so I’m EP (exclusively pumping). This alone is difficult for both my husband and I but at least I know she’s being fed which takes precedent. Transitioning from always having something to do and being needed in my career to sitting at home watching Netflix between the 3 hour feeding sessions is a true test (though the past 2 weeks we’ve made a point to be as social as can be outside of the apartment). And then there’s night, the most frightening part of the day. Will she sleep tonight? If she doesn’t wiggle around and grunt is she still breathing? Am I making enough milk to satisfy her hunger? Will she know if I don’t change her diaper until the next feeding? Is she warm enough in bed or are her little toes getting cold? Am I bad mom for using a pacifier to quiet her cries?
I feel the normal emotions I know I’m supposed to have as a new mom — impatience, sleep deprivation, worry, you name it — but also possess much guilt that these negative feelings are present despite loving her unconditionally. “Settle down, she can sense your frustration,” my husband says to me. If only he could feel what I’m feeling. Bless him though for being the support I need. I certainly have a newfound respect for single mothers, moms whose husbands don’t get paternity leave, and those who have multiples.
Jameson is the love of my life. I never knew I possessed love so deep until she came into this world. But, motherhood is difficult and I know it won’t get easy anytime soon. Until then, I’ll learn from my mistakes, pass on wisdom to other new moms, tell my husband I love him daily, kiss those little baby, cheeks, toes, and hands as much as can, and cherish every moment of this new life.
To all moms out there, we are so strong and are in this together :)