In our series, “Mahmee Stories,” members of our community share snapshots of their real, personal journeys through motherhood. Every story is different. We ask all members to be respectful in their comments on these posts. Offensive or disparaging remarks will not be tolerated.
Coming home with my first baby was intimate. We had lots of time to absorb and just be in our little family of three. My first baby took to breastfeeding pretty much right away. I actually have a picture of him grabbing my breast in the hospital! I nursed, slept, nursed again. We really took it easy.
Bringing home our twins was very hectic, mostly because we didn’t bring them both home at the same time. We had a two-year old at home, I had been on hospital bed rest for 5 weeks and then our twins came early and were placed in the NICU. I was kicked out of the hospital quickly, even though I had another difficult c-section. So my days consisted of taking taxis back and forth to the hospital to nurse, coming back home to pump for when I wasn’t there in the afternoons and taking time with my toddler. Thankfully, my husband works from home so he took his paternal leave and was there for all of us.
Breastfeeding my twins was a whole other challenge. It was horrible with the babies in the NICU, hooked up to apparatuses and unable to suck for the first few days. I pumped the moment I got a machine in my room and just kept going. I wanted to give them everything to help them along. Once they could suck, I would nurse them in the NICU, and then eventually I was nursing them both at home. We did the football hold with a twin pillow.
Eventually, the routine of nursing, taking care of all three and not sleeping enough took its toll on me. At around two months, I had an episode of numbness in my head and arm. A trip to the hospital in an ambulance began the sad process of not exclusively breastfeeding the twins. It’s funny how in that moment, I was not as concerned for myself as I was for not nursing my babies. I guess that’s motherhood! So breastfeeding didn’t have the same comforting feelings the second time around.
Motherhood is a rollercoaster of feelings, magnified by life events and milestones. It’s all surprising, no matter how much you read or prepare. Having a friend or community is a fantastic way to share and have support for dealing with those surprises. My blog, AskMamaMOE, is where I can share some of my own challenges and I love reading the comments that readers leave me. We’ve become a team in this motherhood adventure.
I think giving into the massive life change of becoming a mother was easy for me. I know a lot of moms struggle with the shift in lifestyle and try to squeeze it all in. But I surrendered to this change the moment I was pregnant. I still stressed and worked hard, but I very much ran my day based on their needs. And truthfully, doing it took away a lot of stress for me. I am overwhelmingly grateful to have had that opportunity for their first years.
My best advice is to take time. I see a lot of new moms on their phones, multitasking, and I just want to say to them, “these moments will be gone real soon so look up.” It’s really hard to focus these days but I promise if there is anything worth focusing on, it’s watching your children discover, play, interact, ask and grow.
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