I decided to write a little blog while on maternity leave because I think many of our patients can relate – and laugh along a little bit.
First and foremost, I am not a writer. So when I sat down to write a “new mommy blog,” all I came up with is blanks, so bear with me.
Mommy-hood. Wow is life different! Now, as a pediatrician, I know a LOT of stuff about children. I preach it all day, every day. I take what I’ve learned in school, residency, practice, and other moms and regurgitate it to more moms and dads. However, life experience is totally different and eye-opening. Now, all my life I’ve taken care of children outside of medicine – whether it be babysitting, being a nanny, having extended family around but nothing compares with having one of your own! I find myself constantly struggling between mommy-brain and pediatrician-brain.
I am in week 2 of little Kingston’s life. So far, so good. I think… if you count living in a new world with crying, diapers, breastfeeding and more diapers. Which is what I expected. What I didn’t expect was how HARD it would actually be, and how WONDERFUL it would be.
Breastfeeding is HARD. Now, I tell all moms-to-be and new moms this. How it’s harder than you think, even after everyone telling you how hard it is. I’m sure bottle feeding is hard as well, although I don’t have much of that experience yet. I think the hardest part is you have to do it YOURSELF. Bless my amazing husband, but he can only do so much. Really, the responsibility is your own – the mommy. That’s where the guilt comes in. The guilt is what I didn’t expect. Guilt about everything!! Did he get enough? Am I making enough? Is he growing alright? Am I eating enough? Drinking enough water? Am I failing as a mother? I feel guilty when my husband gives him a bottle at 3am to give me a break! This is where being a pediatrician doesn’t help too much. Mommy brain takes over. I’m sure the hormones have something to do with it as well
Breastfeeding is COMPLICATED. Do I pump? How do I increase milk supply? Power pump? Foods and teas? He only wants to eat on one side. Do I pump the other side? Just alternate sides? I havn’t had any problems with latching or pain or anything, so I can’t even imagine how that would complicate things further. Kingston is a snacker. How do you stop that? It would be much nicer to feed WELL every 3 hours rather than just a little every hour. My doctor brain tells me this is normal, just feed on demand and your breastmilk should keep up. My Mommy brain screams “I’m TIRED!!!” It’s a whole lot harder to do all this while utterly exhausted.
Also, no one ever told me how amazing it is. Being a mommy is AWESOME. There is nothing like the love I feel when I look at him. Even in the middle of the night, when he has only given me a 45 minute “nap”, I may groan and mutter to myself “you’ve GOT to be kidding me”… I will still get up, feed him and hold him with all the love I can give. I feel like being a mommy is what I was meant to do.
Maybe next week I’ll write about sleeping (if I learn anything about it by then)!