After putting into words the birth stories of Lazar and Mila I decided it was only fitting to talk about what life is like now that they are both out of the womb! Giving birth to Lazar close to a year and a half ago was the best day of me and Paul’s lives! Becoming parents has been so extremely rewarding and also extremely exhausting! Not to mention the recovery of a c-section was way more intense and painful than I ever could’ve imagined! After going through 20+ hours of labor with no relief, my body was truly worn down. Adding the c-section on top of that, was a recipe for disaster (see Lazar’s Birth Story)! I couldn’t stand up straight let alone take a few steps, how in the world was I supposed to take care of a newborn baby?! I felt like I got run over by a bus! A LARGE bus (haha)! I remember feeling so overwhelmed sitting in that hospital bed, not allowing myself to take my eyes off of Lazar. I hated when the nurses would take him to the nursery, so I could “get some rest.” Honestly, when he was away from me, it just made me more restless than ever! It was like, the second he was born, I no longer had control…he was out, and I felt like I was watching my heart being taken from here-to-there. The feeling of helplessness consumed me… I was in a fog (mainly from all the medications) I just didn’t feel like myself and it was throwing me for a loop!
I figured once we got home I would start to feel better… NOT the case! I couldn’t even get off the couch without Paul helping me. Physically I wasn’t myself (I was in so much pain) and mentally I knew I wasn’t myself either. I was over the moon in LOVE with Lazar it was amazing! I would look at him and just start crying, thinking, “I am so in love with this child!” I would hold him in my arms and watch him fall asleep and wonder how life could get any sweeter! However, there were times I just couldn’t shake the feeling of inadequacy… I sometimes thought, “this sweet baby deserves better, I don’t know what I’m doing, Lazar deserves the very best!” I would think to myself, “How can I be the very best for Lazar if I can’t even get off the couch by myself?” Tears would fall and another day would pass. Paul did an amazing job at reminding me that God chose ME to be Lazar’s Mama and that I needed to have confidence in that! All those thoughts of doubt and negativity were all the devil trying to steal my joy! I was determinded NOT to let that happen! I prayed and prayed, dove back into my daily Bible readings and would ask God to help me feel better, heal quicker and overall be the best Mama I could possibly be for Lazar! My pain began to subside over the weeks and I started to gain more and more confidence! I’m so thankful that having those brief feelings of indadequacy only lasted a short time after Lazar was born! Paul was, and still is, my rock and comfort in those weak moments, and without him I would be so lost! Our relationship has gotten stronger and more consumed with love for one another, more than I ever could’ve imagined! I thank God for that daily!
Unfortunately, some Mama’s endure much more pain such as “The Baby Blues” or even “Postpartum Depression.” These topics are so serious and not discussed enough. Todays new Mothers are surrounded by a false idea that everything has to be picture perfect. Some of you Mama’s have had to endure a lot of sadness during what is supposed to be, one of the happiest times of your lives. In my opinion THE most important thing you can do is pray about these feelings and give them all up to The Lord! When you trust God whole heartedly to solve any issue or problem you are facing, He is absolutely there and wants to be the one to help! If things get too serious and just don’t seem to let up, that would be an appropriate time to talk to your Doctor. Like I said, I haven’t experienced the really tough emotions that can sometimes follow after birth, but I know it happens and every Mama has gone through their own struggles and battles at some point. I know when I am having a difficult day I can always lean on Gods Grace to pull me through! God also gave me the most amazingly supportive husband that loves our kids and I with his whole heart and with that, I couldn’t be more thankful!
One of my initial struggles as a new Mama, was when Lazar was born he ended up being “tongue-tied” (restricted mobility of the tongue) basically the little tendon under the tongue that connects to the bottom of the babies mouth can form in a way that restricts it (very common). After Lazar was born, this restriction made nursing him practically impossible without excruciating pain, bleeding nipples, etc. This also caused me to get a breast infection called, Mastitis…I mean it was just the most awful pain! In a nutshell, Mastitis is a plugged or blocked milk duct in a woman’s breast that has become infected. The symptoms are comparable to the flew. The pain was excruciating and the best way to fix it, is by having your baby nurse on the infected breast as much as possible…OUCH! The worst part was, we (the nurses and I) thought he just had a bad latch, which is what being tongue-tied causes (we just didn’t explore that opinion at the time), they suggested I use a nipple shield. The nipple shield is intended to help babies draw out your nipple if they don’t have a strong latch right away and because his latch was so narrow, he wasn’t receiving enough milk, causing a duct in my breast to become clogged and infected…Mastitis. The antibiotics cleared up the infection, but Lazar still struggled with nursing. I worked and worked at it with him, determined to get rid of the awful nipple shield (with a screaming fit from him almost every time) he just wasn’t having it! I finally made the decision to exclusively pump every bottle for the months that followed, until my milk inevitably started running out because I got pregnant with Wise Baby #2! Miss Mila!
I am completely convinced that God allowed Lazar to be tongue-tied so it would force me to pump, which ultimately led me to produce tons of storage bags of milk. Basically, after my milk supply dwindled because of my second pregnancy, I was still able to provide Lazar with my stored breastmilk. All apart of Gods wonderful plan! It wasn’t until we were in the hospital (when Mila was born) that the nurses finally confirmed Lazar was indeed tongue-tied and explained to me, “it is an easy “snip” to fix it!” Sheesh! Thanks for telling me now (haha)! **If your baby is having a difficult time latching or if breastfeeding is extremely painful ask the doctor or nurses to check to see if they are tongue-tied, especially before nurses push a nipple shield on you. A quick snip can immediately fix the problem and allow for a wonderful breastfeeding experience. Hospitals also offer lactation specialists that are extremely knowledgable and want to help! Don’t be afraid to ask! 🙂
As soon as Mila was born, I swear my heart doubled in size! Her birth story was certainly a lot less dramatic than Lazar’s (see Meeting Mila)! I had this preconceived idea that everything I went through with Lazar, was bound to happen with Mila…just silly, I know! I did have some of the same reactions after she was born, like I still hated when the nurses would take her out of the room, but this time around was SO different! This time around, I felt a confidence, this time around, I would think to myself, “I know exactly what to do! I got this!” Mila had a great latch and was breastfeeding perfectly! It was something I had prayed about ever since I found out I was pregnant! I desperately didn’t want to have to exclusively pump again, but I knew God had a plan and whatever was meant to happen was going to happen… I had faith that God had my very best interest in mind! I’m so very thankful His plan included a perfect latch! Being able to nurse Mila has been a sweet and special experience for me; and HOLY COW it’s a lot less work than exclusively pumping (haha)!
Once Paul and I started getting in a solid routine with Lazar and really feeling like we had this whole “parenting” thing down, God gave us Mila! The only way I can describe her is: AMAZING! She is the definition of a sweetheart! Being pregnant while raising a young child came with it’s challenges, but having a newborn while raising a young child has proven to be a crazy ride! Honestly there are plenty of moments during the day when both kiddos are crying and needing me at the same time and there is no way to make them both happy simultaneously… It’s a true test of patience! I remind myself in those moments how much I will miss these days! I even let out a chuckle sometimes like, “jeez this is crazy! But, it’s MY crazy!” Some mornings I dread when Paul says, “well, I gotta go to work.” I think to myself, “how can I possibly handle this alone?” EVERY SINGLE TIME, God comes through! He always gives me the motivation, energy and patience I need!
Each morning I wake up and thank God for allowing me to stay home and raise Lazar and Mila! I cannot imagine loading these two up evey morning and dropping them off. All those Mama’s and Daddy’s that need to do that to help provide for their families are doing an honorable job! However, I can NOT stand (for lack of a better word) how stay-at-home Moms/Dads get looked at like they have the easier end of the deal! Like it’s assumed I am sitting at home all day on my bum scrolling the web or reading the latest gossip mag! Sorry, that is just so naive and honestly, insensitive! A stay-at-home parent never leaves work, they don’t get a lunch break, sometimes not even a bathroom break (without a little mini pulling at your pant legs)! The truth is, each side of the spectrum could rant about how they have it harder than the other, but at the end of the day, each side has their positives and negatives. Personally, I am truly thankful for the position God has me in and frankly I wouldn’t change a thing! I have days where I feel so burnt out I don’t know why I ever thought raising one child was ever difficult… But then I remember the reality is, whether you have one or twenty-one children, or whether you stay at home or go to work each day, we all have our highs and lows! I believe we all need to rejoice over the highs and embrace the lows! One day we are all going to be wishing our kids were little again and if we focus too much on the negatives of life, we are going to miss out on all the beautiful positives!
Watching Lazar and Mila grow together has been so special for me to watch! Lazar truly adores Mila and gives her kisses with an “awwwww!” to follow any chance he gets! He calls her, “baybay” (in the cutest high-pitch voice) and sometimes would like to rough house with her, like all older brothers do of course! They nap around the same time everyday for about 3+ hours and go to bed at night around 7:30-8pm for about 12+ hours each! (I’ll be sharing my sleep tricks in a post to come!)
Somedays I just look at them and think, “God chose ME to be their Mama!” I have confidence in THAT & that thought alone, will bring tears of joy to me for the rest of my life!
Have Faith Mama(s)… Have confidence in knowing God has you exactly where you should be & live for all the beautiful positives in life!