I usually don't quote other people's work often in this space, however, as a new mom I've been hearing so much advice from friends, family, doctors and Google on how to take care of this new little nugget of mine.
And while most of the advice is solicited (seriously, I'm calling everyone about everything and settling in with my new mom tribe to know I am not alone in this journey of new motherhood) some of it is not. And while I know it's coming from the very best place, it makes it hard to know what's right, what's wrong and what is just one persons experience or opinion.
Then I came across this entry below from a book published in 2002 and it spoke to me. Like "I could have written this myself!" kind of speaking to me. It was as if I wrote it based on how I feel about being a "pacifier" to my newborn son and I couldn't have written it better, so I decided to include it below. This is a topic that most women, both mothers and non-mothers have given their opinions on.
The Human Pacifier
Credit: Lu Hanessian
From NEW BEGINNINGS, Vol. 19 No. 1, January-February 2002, p. 14
I'm sitting in the rocker with my son in the blue light of dawn. We've been at this a few weeks now, getting to know each other after nine months of anticipation. I am searching for feedback; a sign that I'm doing right by him, getting closer to figuring out what ails him when he seems so inconsolable.
I would love to hear your feedback. New mamas - when our babes feel safest with us, there is nothing wrong in giving them security, love and the closeness that can only be achieved by allowing them to soothe themselves on us.
I am completely devoted to being that person for my precious son, especially during this "fourth trimester". My son who arrived into a big, scary world that he has yet to know how to navigate. I am all he knows, I am home to him. And I pray that through his life, I will always be home to him. That in my presence he would feel safe, secure and oh so very loved.
Our Little Man is 4 weeks old today, and technically one month old on Monday, since he was born August 5th.
And I love him with all of my being. So much so it aches. I can't believe the miracle we prayed so long and hard for is in our arms. And he is wonderful and perfect.
Motherhood is definitely rocking my world in amazing, beautiful, wonderful and challenging ways. This adventure is like nothing else I've ever experienced and I am humbled everyday. My ability to love harder, deeper and selflessly also grows with each passing day with this new little love of my life.
Sometimes motherhood feels so lonely, at the same time so fitting. It's like he's so brand new to us, but at the same time he feels like he's been our family forever.
Mr. Charming's work was beyond amazing and he was able to be at home for a lot of the time during our first two weeks home as I healed and we adjusted. Four weeks in, I am learning how to be on a newborns schedule, and as I spoke of being humbled daily, I have learned that in the days when all I've done is snuggled my son, fed him many times over and bathed only one of us (that would be him, haha) that I can be OK with that in this season of my life.
Which I'll admit has been really hard for me. I've felt guilt over not performing well as a wife. I've felt guilt over not blogging and Instagramming. I see so many other new moms in my circles already on outings with their newborns Snapchatting and blog posting and I've had to pray and let go of comparing. I'm not them. And I needn't be. I need to adjust to motherhood at my own pace and possibly when Little Man starts napping again (for the past few days he's found it fun to nap no more than 20 min spurts, which means "sleep when they sleep" doesn't exist for me right now) I can be more productive.
But in these moments, instead of being frustrated or feeling guilty, I consistently strive to turn that into feeling blessed that I can relish in more time singing with him, enjoy his snuggles when the only place he will sleep is on my chest and be thankful that he's at an age where he needs me more than anything else in this world.
I know those moments are so fleeting.
He is growing like crazy, and at his Naturopathic Ped appointment he weighed in at 9 lbs 14 oz! We had to supplement on formula for a while, which I wasn't crazy about, but it was for the health of the babes from him being so jaundice in the hospital and I was just given the green light to start breastfeeding exclusively since he's gaining so well and has grown almost 2 full inches!
He has also hit all the 4 week milestones and has even reached 2 of the 8 week milestones AND a 3 month milestone! Proud of my little over achiever. #NaturalBirthMama.
His baby book also arrived today from Land Of Nod (can you say OBSESSED with that store?) and I can't wait to start filling out all of his little moments.
I am praying for all of you other new mamas out there. Those of you that are sitting in the darkness, nursing your little humans, praying over them while also praying for sleep. I pray that you will find your tribe of mamas, and that I too, will find mine.
And may I continue to look to God and be thankful for this season. This chapter, where we are at right now and kiss my little blessing a million times over.