When you’re a new mom, everything is, well, new! Your body is new (and not necessarily improved), your sleep schedule is new, your routine is new, your lack of a shower is new…you get the idea. Sure you slightly and secretly mourn the “old” life but you adjust like all moms before you and what seemed new and scary at first slowly becomes the new norm until the old life feels like so long ago (even if it has only been weeks).
One new thing that I really struggled with at first was getting out of the house with my “extra cargo”. I never realized how easy it was to run an errand when all I had to do was decide to run said errand, grab the keys and my purse and go. Now I have to think about when Henry last nursed and whether I want to take the stroller or the baby carrier and are there diapers in the diaper bag and the biggest one…what if he cries inconsolably in public? We had been going through a phase where Henry would break into crying fits and no matter what I did – nursing, bouncing, changing his diaper – nothing seemed to make a difference. Having a crying fit at home, though not enjoyable, is manageable because it’s home. But having a crying fit in public, well that is stressful and quite frankly, terrifying to a new mom. So I played it safe and stayed close to home. We went for walks around the block or to the local library branch where I knew I could quickly walk out and walk home if the crying started. But after several weeks of that, even Henry was going stir crazy! So we decided to take a weekend and drive to my Mom’s where there would be plenty of extra hands to help and plenty of parenting experience to ease the fears. And wouldn’t you know, it was easier than I expected. We ran errands, we went to church and we even got to share one of our favorite fall activities with Henry – apple picking!
I started to feel like myself again after that weekend. I got out of the house and I did things that I would always do, I just did them with a baby. And it wasn’t that scary! Even when he did cry in public, I realized it was silly to be embarrassed because most people just looked at him and said “aww”. People expect newborns to cry. That’s life. We can’t sit at home worried about crying. So get ready Henry because we have a lot to see and a lot to do!
The last time I logged in to A Little Old Fashioned was on August 13th! I can’t believe it was that long ago, yet I can remember the day exactly. The piece I was working on was titled “Wishing and Hoping” and it was about looking forward to the arrival of Denning Beta but in a patient, “all good things come to those who wait” sort of way. I had the day off and had gotten up early to surprise Phil with coffee and donuts for his birthday and we were enjoying the peacefulness of the morning in our office. I felt fine, like I had the day before and the day before that. Little did I know that I would never hit publish on that post because my labor would start later that evening just as we were wrapping up our last date night before life got crazy.
The next morning, August 14th at 3:33am, Henry Otis Denning was born coming into the world at 8lb 14oz. It was a whirlwind labor with the entire event moving much faster than I ever imagined, but I was able to deliver at home, as planned and we couldn’t have asked for a healthier baby. I hope to share our birth story someday soon as I know it will allow me to not only capture the memory but also to process it. For now though, I am working through what I think is an even more challenging event – the transition to motherhood. See, I am actually writing this from my phone because well, it’s hard to balance a laptop and a baby in your lap at the same time. And the few times a day when I have my hands free I can only think about eating, sleeping or showering. Can you blame me?
But we are settling in – Henry to life on the outside and me to life as his mom. We still have a lot of learning to do, but I am told that it gets easier and the most demanding days, both physically & emotionally, are soon to be behind us. If that’s true, I hope that I can get back to writing more because I miss it. I never thought that sharing my story would be a means of expression for me, but it has become a part of my life that I look forward to. My story will obviously change in many aspects, because I have changed, even in just the last 8 weeks, but regardless, I look forward to this next chapter and I look forward to seeing what is in store for me and for our new family.
The ideas for this post have been in my head for weeks, but somehow every time I sit down to write the words I am unable to.
Have you ever kept a secret for so long that when you’re finally able to tell the truth, you’re not sure you can? Because the secret has become something that belongs to you and you’ve learned to protect it so much, the thought of sharing it is frightening, even though deep down you know that it will be a relief?
Well, we have been thinking for awhile now that we’re ready for something new. And while change is not something that I always welcome with open arms, sometimes you just have to trust yourself to do the right thing. So this summer we will be bringing something new into the world and our lives will change in a way that I can’t even fathom. I am nervous and excited at the exact same time, and yes, sometimes I wonder what we got ourselves into. But I am lucky to have Phil who reminds me that we are going to be amazing parents and that everything our baby needs, we already have.
So I guess the secret’s out…and I do feel better to have shared it with you. In fact, I’ll probably be sharing a bit more with you about our journey between now and August if that’s ok. Here’s to something new!
The inspiration for this post’s title came from this song.