How To Maintain Your Sense of Self as a New Mom

You just had a baby, and life is chaotic—you’re still figuring out your routine, and somebody’s always crying. It’s no wonder most new parents lose themselves for a while! Even though you’re putting all your time, effort, and love into caring for your new bundle of joy, you still have to take care of yourself to keep your sanity. It’s not always easy to make yourself a priority, but learning how to maintain your sense of self as a new mom is crucial for your mental health. 

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A Checklist To Prepare For Your Newborn Baby

With a baby on the way, one of the most exciting things you can do is prepare for their arrival. From purchasing the things you’ll need to arranging a space for them to sleep, there’s a lot you can plan to ensure everything goes as smoothly as possible. 

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Momup! Monday: The Miraculous Moment you become a Mom

Mama’s to do list:

  • Laundry
  • Birthday Breakfast (as a tradition in our family we only have donuts on birthdays), daddy gets up early to get the donuts (even on a Monday morning) and we all have breakfast together as a family.
  • Morning drop off
  • Drop off donations at the Animal Shelter (those darn kitten and puppies are so cute, it is so tempting to take one home). We did not take any home but we did pray that each one would find a warm and loving family to call their own.
  • Get stuff at the grocery store for thanksgiving
  • Stop at Hobby Lobby to get a birthday gift for our daughter
  • Clean house before parents come for a birthday celebration (it will be her third)
  • Momup!
  • Parent/Teacher conference (had to reschedule, mommy confession, I totally missed the original conference, I wrote it on the wrong date)

It was six years ago today that my first child was born.  My husband and I wanted to be surprised so we did not find out the sex when we went to the ultrasound appointment. We asked for gender neutral items at the baby shower and it was a good thing we did because our second child was a boy, so we had practically everything for those first few months, like baby clothes, blankets, sheets, etc.

I remember my husband and I had spicy chicken wings around 10pm the night before she was born.  At 1pm those wings kicked in because I was experiencing the worst heart burn ever, contractions, and my water broke.  Being first time parents we rushed to the hospital, you know, like the movies.  I didn’t want to have my baby in the car!

Yes, I thought pregnancy was a license to eat. I gained a whopping 70 pounds (shhh). I only gained 45 pounds with my second pregnancy and a mere 35 with my third.

So we got to the hospital and I was only dilated to two centimeters.  So they had me walk the halls, and walk the halls, and keep walking the halls.  Then they checked me and I was at two centimeters.  I remember being so nervous, this wasn’t what was supposed to happen, I was supposed to be making progress. In the movies I would have already had my baby by now and been back to a size 2, come on!

They hooked me up with pitocin and WOW did things get real, REAL INTENSE! Those contractions were so intense I found myself praying to God that it was my last.  I so desperately wanted to go natural with my birth and have no drugs but the intensity of the contraction was exhausting and the darn nurse kept coming in and increasing the amount of pitocin I was being given.  The nurse suggested that I take something so that I had enough energy to push when the time came.  CRAP! I thought, I totally forgot about the pushing part, I totally understood why they called it labor. So I went for the epidural and I suddenly felt like a failure, here I was trying to provide the healthiest pregnancy and birth for our child and I had fail, my first task as a mother and I had failed.  So I was given the epidural which felt like a relaxing massage compared to the intense contractions for that darn pitocin.  For the next five hours I gave myself a hard time, I kept thinking, I just drugged my child, my poor baby, now my baby will never get into Harvard because I got the epidural that is going to impede that Harvard gene, what have I done! Then the nurse interrupted and said it was time to push.  Well, that has to be something I can do right.

So I started pushing and nothing.  They moved my body in weird positions trying to get the baby to rotate. All the while I was still feeling guilty about the epidural, and wondering if the epidural already took its effect on the baby and maybe that was why it wasn’t moving.  Then they had me push again, but nothing.  Panic really set in, and I prayed again.  I asked God to forgive me for the epidural and please, please help me, give me the strength; I did not want a cesarean.  Just then the baby started to budge.  An hour and a half into pushing and another problem presented itself, the baby’s heart rate was dropping.  NO! I thought, NO! We have not come this far baby to have somthing happen to you now.  Again, I prayed to God to do whatever he had to so that our baby would be born.  After vomiting a few more times, having the cord carefully removed from her neck, (it was around it twice), and two straight hours of pushing our beautiful baby was born sunny side up, the baby never did rotate.  Then the doctor said the words my husband and I had been waiting for the past nine months, “it’s a……GIRL.

18 hours of labor, and the baby was 7lbs 3oz 21inches long

First time Mommy amazed at the beautiful blessing that is her baby girl.

I had a baby girl.  As soon as I gazed into her beautiful eyes I could feel the presence of the Holy spirit.  I had just experienced a miracle. I was now a mother.  It was at that moment, while there were a handful of people in the room engaging in various activities that everything stood still, as if it was just the two of us, her and me lying on the hospital bed.  I exclaimed to her that I was sorry for the whole birthing process but I am not sure if it is truly a breeze for anyone, the good thing is we forget, that is how there are so many people on this planet.  I also confessed that while I thought I had the perfect birthing plan that it turned out God and her had a different plan and I will come to peace with that one day (I am still working on it). I also shared with her that this motherhood thing is new, I may make a few mistakes along the way, but if it is anything as remotely amazing as the last two minutes I will be the most blessed mommy on this planet.

Happy Birthday Baby Girl and thank you for making me a Mommy

Please share your first moments as a new mom, from the serious, to the humor.