A few years ago I had started another blog called Raising a Pistol. My intentions for that blog was to share my experiences good and bad in my journey as a new mom. I had read mommy blogs for years but not many had the trials and difficulty topics that I was looking for. Not every day is full of roses. As mothers we all have good and bad days, yet for some reason I felt like I just kept getting the short end of the stick! Nothing went right, starting with labor. Or lack there of.
I was induced a week late because baby girl wasn’t ready to come out. 36 hours of cervical ripening and it just wasn’t happening. The Dr came in and said I’m sorry but it’s c-section time. I kinda knew it was gonna end that way. So she pulled out the cervical ripening device and I had my very first contraction almost instantly. I walked to the OR hunched over saying, “who would ever choose this kind of pain!” Lol! I sit on the operating table and the anesthesiologist goes to give me the epidural and I totally felt like every birthing scene from every movie I’ve ever watched where she screams ” YOU DID THIS TO ME!!!” He says “Toni you’re going to have to sit still”, when I abruptly interrupted yelling, (Insert super growly over animated voice) “DON’T TELL ME TO SIT STILL I’M IN THE MIDDLE OF A CONTRACTION!!” Haha! I can laugh about it know but it was soooo not funny in the moment! I was a mess. I had a panic attack while laying there numb. And the Dr stops to look over the curtain mid process to tell me that even if I had tried to deliver naturally, baby would have gotten stuck and we would have ended in emergency c-section anyway because my hips just weren’t made to spread the way they needed to for delivery. Great! 🙄 It was literally one thing after another. A Lot of moms have birthing plans and ideas of how things are going to go in their heads and are devastated when things don’t go as planned. I should have known better to have any expectations. But of course I did and I was royally disappointed.
Nursing my baby girl didn’t go well and that really hurt my spirits. At 9lbs 7.6 oz, she came out wanting to chew food already! Lol! She didn’t know how to suck and we had to teach her with a bottle. By the time she got the hang of that, nursing was just too much work for our little chunk. So I pumped milk for her for the first 6 months. Every two hours that she ate, I pumped while giving her a bottle. That hands free pumping bra was genius and a God send!! I was too cheap to buy more than one at $40 a pop, so I bought $5 nursing bras at Walmart and cut little slits in them to do the same job. It totally worked too!! I just couldn’t produce enough milk at the rate she was going so we also had to supplement with formula. Let’s just say 5 months of a super gassy and fussy baby and 6 different formulas later, we finally found a formula that settled well with her tummy. Gerber Goodstart is what we ended up on and there was no generic so that really hurt the pocket book. Obviously she was worth it though! It was the corn in the formulas that upset her tummy and the Gerber didn’t have the corn in it. Whew! Her tummy still wasn’t getting full enough so we added rice cereal into her bottles. Therefore another issue trying to cut bigger holes in the nipples of bottles so that the thicker milk could flow through. Another trial and error experiment and a good month or so in I came across the Avent brand that had nipples specifically made for thicker liquids. We did it! We finally made it all work and life could move on the way I had hoped.
Good things finally happened when we got her formula figured out. It was like a light switch turned on and she just soared! She crawled at 5 months and was walking by 9 months. Shoot, she was running at a year old and there was no stopping her. She talked early too I think around 6-9 months she gained full use of her words and by the year mark she was speaking small sentences. Way more advanced than any kid I had ever seen. With those new found words at an early age came processing trouble. She could tell you what she wanted or didn’t want but couldn’t make since of why. She could recite words but didn’t always know the meaning. When we didn’t understand her or she didn’t get what she wanted, oooohhh that girl would throw some fits I tell ya! And because she didn’t do anything a typical child would do, she unleashed in self-destructive anger. She would bang her head on every surface in the kitchen. The dishwasher, the fridge, the stove, the cabinets… And scream and cry. It was so bad that when we saw her dr (which is frequent in the first 2 years), I made sure to tell the dr to make notes in her chart. God forbid she seriously hurt herself in one of these raging fits and we ended up in the ER. The last thing I wanted to be accused of was child abuse. Which was surely not the case but these days people get in such an uproar that I needed myself covered just in case!
We knew at an early age that our girl was strong willed. But both hubby and I were raised with strong discipline that we had every intentions of passing along to our daughter as well. But lord have mercy, what do you do when your child is literally nose to nose with you? Grinding her teeth in anger? Veins bulging in her neck? Screaming in your face until she has to gasp for air? Hitting and squeezing you to get her point across? I’m not opposed to a good old fashioned spanking. A swat on the hand. Or even a smack on the mouth when needed. No I absolutely do not beat my child. Don’t get any crazy ideas. I simply discipline how I must in order to survive the day or even that moment. But shy of beating her, what else could I do??? When I got stern, so did she. I cried to anyone who would listen. But it didn’t solve my dilemma. So I prayed. And prayed and prayed and prayed. And the phase that I thought would never end started to disappear. Before I knew it, I had a sweet girl that loved to learn. Everything was appealing to her and she didn’t have time to be angry about anything. She loved life. Life was good! As I’m writing this I think back at all these moments and wonder how it all went by so fast. Every bad phase we had was just that…a phase! Taking her off the bottle, potty training, keeping her hands to herself. It was all a phase which was replaced by another one. But I guess that’s just how parenting goes. And right when you think you’re getting the hang of something, that phase goes away and you find yourself struggling again.
I cried multiple times a day, every day, for the first 6 months. I wasn’t depressed (I didn’t think), life with a baby was just plain hard and nothing seemed to go right. Not to mention the lack of sleep was getting to me. Baby girl didn’t sleep all day like most newborns. She took 10-15 minute cat naps. I was a walking zombie. It. Was. Brutal. But it never slowed me down. Life with a newborn, a husband, a home and a full time job was serious work.
While writing this I’m starting to think that maybe my journey as new mom should be written into a book because this isn’t even half the battles I faced and power struggles I almost lost with my little pistol. There is so much more that I could and will share. Maybe my time will come to tell it all but for now please know that there are mothers out there just like you. Feeling like there are more bad days than good. And I want you to stop and remember who’s daughter you are. You and I are sisters. Our heavenly father, the most high God, entrusted us with these precious human beings. To grow them up for one purpose… to tell others about the greatness of God. To share the story of Jesus bearing all our sins so that we can have eternal life with God! He never gives us more than we can handle. But He does want us to ask Him for help and trust that the direction he leads us is all a part of his plan for our lives. Have faith and know that there is great reward when we are finished raising up our little ones! God bless you and if you would like me to pray for you please email me or comment here. I believe in the power of prayer!