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Newborn

mother-didnt-breastfeed

A lot of things failed to go to plan in the weeks surrounding my son Jackson’s entry into the world.

I hoped to go into labour at 41 weeks. Yes, I actually hoped to go past term, purely because we needed that time for our nursery renovation.

I hoped for a birth story like all my friends’: the requisite number of hours of labour, an epidural at just the right moment, and a modest amount of pushing, with little to no tearing, thank you very much.

I hoped to shed a few tears. I hoped for immediate skin-to-skin contact, for a photo of our new family of 3 mere seconds after baby’s first breath of air.

I hoped to breastfeed.

What I got was far beyond what I ever could have predicted.

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value-mum-friends

When you become a mum, you get to join a highly populated community of seemingly isolated people.

Hear me out. It’s a good thing.

Motherhood is a crazy, intense mixture of being opened up to a wonderful society of women who have given birth and are available for support, advice and encouragement… while simultaneously beginning a journey that is actually just about you and your child, slogging out the everyday together as you learn how to function as a new family unit.

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redemption-shalom-birth

Image credit: Amelia Hambrook Photography

Do you like birth stories? I do.

At first I loved them because I needed to hear how labor and birth could be – for others, all normal and beautiful and full of love and connection.Redemption and Shalom: More than a birth story

My first birth experience was quite the trauma, and I went to see a therapist when my first baby was 4.5 months. I realized it was probably not normal to still be in tears every day, think it’s okay to leave my baby by herself in her bouncy chair thing, and notice her stop smiling.

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rejecting-lies-pnda

Some days are not so good and I’m not the best mother on those days. Some days I don’t deserve to be your mother. But my prayer is that you won’t remember these days and you will never doubt how much I love you…

The above entry was added to my journal when my first baby was almost 3 and my second was 18 months of age. Soon afterwards I was diagnosed with PNDA, however I’d been struggling long before then.

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baby-sleep-night

“He’s been sleeping through since 6 weeks”. My jaw dropped and my heart sank. I thought a baby that slept all night was a mythical creature- like a unicorn, or an Au Pair. I wanted to be happy for her, truly I did, but those words stung. I made mental swats at the self-doubts that began buzzing around my mind. I was coping with our sleep situation in my own way, but I was jealous.

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self-care-tips-first-day-home-newborn

Bringing home a newborn baby for the very first time is an experience like no other. It’s wonderful – your home is now a family home, where millions of memories, big and small, are about to unfold. It’s scary – you’ve never in your life had such a vulnerable little person be so dependent on you. It’s beautiful – you’re learning to love in a new, fierce way. And it’s exhausting – nothing can prepare you for it.

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time-sent-home-newborn

This post originally appeared on Her Happy Heart.

My son, Jackson, is a week and a half out from his first birthday. To me, that is insane. I won’t bore you with the cliched comments of “Time passes so quickly” (though it does) or “Please stop growing up, baby boy!” (but seriously…) Maybe it’s the fact that I’m spending all my time on Pinterest for 1st birthday party inspo, maybe it’s because my bestie has just brought her own tiny man into the world, maybe it’s a combination of the two and goodness knows what else.

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