Amanda and Mason
I would like to dedicate this blog post to my favorite new mommie, my sister-in-law, Amanda. Little baby Mason was just born two weeks and three days ago and would you believe he was born with a mohawk? Full head of jet black hair, absolutely adorable and perfect. Yes, I am a proud auntie! This is the second child for my brother, Jesse and Amanda. Their daughter, Lili just turned two last week, so needless to say, they have their hands full!
After a difficult pregnancy of gestational diabetes, pre-eclampsia, and intermittent bed rest, (while taking care of a toddler) Amanda spent two and a half full days in labor to produce this little bundle of joy. Despite all that, Amanda is doing great and just so in love with little mason. I remember that feeling vividly. For me, it was sort of an odd revelation. I guess I thought after marrying my husband that I would never have that feeling of falling in love again. That genuine “butterflies in the stomach”, all-consuming feeling of overwhelming love for another human being. When I had my first daughter, it sort of snuck up on me and took me by surprise. I mean, I knew I would love my baby, but I was definitely unprepared for how overwhelming it would be. When I had my second baby, I was prepared and ready and it was just the sweetest feeling in the world.
Some other mommies have told me it takes different periods of time for the “falling in love” to happen. I guess it is just part of bonding and it is a process. I know Amanda is so in love right now. She is just swooning over that gorgeous little man in her arms. I can see it in her eyes and it is the most beautiful thing in the world.
Along with that unconditional love comes such an incredible responsibility! We, as moms and dads are the only ones who can truly know our babies and care for them in exactly the way they need us to. That revelation terrified me to the core as I held my new baby. The assumption that I was solely responsible for the well-being of this new little person. Her health, her development, her intelligence, her spirituality, her self-esteem, her emotional growth, her ability to grow up into a well-adjusted human being. It was daunting. I say assumption because I quickly learned that it was not solely my responsibility. My whole little community rose up to my aid immediately. My husband, my parents, my in-laws, my sister, my brother, my friends, my pediatrician, the list goes on and on. I continue to draw on the assistance of my entire community in raising my 14-year-old and 11-year-old daughters. Now instead of babysitters and library story-time, I rely on teachers, coaches and car-pool. It truly takes a village.
New mommies often don’t know this or aren’t ready to accept it. They want to do it all themselves, even admit to feeling like a failure if they raise the white flag for help. As a second-time mom, Amanda knows this now, but it is still difficult. She has support of family and friends, but she would rather do it all herself. Amanda is a smart mommie, though. She knows that in order to truly take care of herself, she has to take advantage of help when it is offered. It only makes us better moms. I keep learning that lesson over and over, still to this day.
I make home visits to teach new parents baby massage all the time and I see tons of emotions when I walk into the house of a newborn. I see joy, excitement, love, and so much affection. Underneath all that I see anxiety, apprehension, and sometimes even a little hint of panic. I just want to hug these moms and tell them “it’s going to be ok!” “You are doing a great job!” Often when the dad or mother-in-law leaves the room, they whisper to me, “this is harder than I thought!”, “I don’t know if I am doing this right!”, “What if I screw this up?”
I love new mommies so much. They are trying so hard and they are so well-meaning! Oprah put it best when she said it is the hardest job in the world.
As I sat in the nursery with Amanda while she struggled to get Mason to latch on, she showed me all the new things she got for him. The new baby swaddle blankets to properly swaddle and calm him, the Baby Connect app to track his feedings, the black and white mobile to visually stimulating him…just wanting to give him all of the best!
That’s why I do what I do. The entire mission of Aimee’s Babies is to empower mommies with all the education they need to give their babies the best start possible. It doesn’t take much; a lot of love, a little knowledge, and a ton of confidence. I hope that the information I put out there through my DVDs, apps and website give new mommies that sense of confidence. When we know better, we do better. I just want to help mommies feel like they know better.
Mommies, you got this! Just like Amanda you are strong, and brave, and knowledgeable, and such incredible mommies! Happy Mother’s Day!