When my Corban Gabriel was born, he was 7 lbs. 10 oz. When we left the hospital, he was 7lbs and losing, and nearly too jaundiced to leave. I was a first time mom, and a nervous wreck. Breastfeeding went well for all of... 20 minutes, and we had nothing but trouble from that point on. We had been in the hospital far too long due to my stupid induction, and the hospital stay prior to the birth of our son (3.5 days, in case you were wondering) sucked all of Jordan's vacation time. We got exactly half a day at home as a family before Jordan went back to work. That night, our first night home, was the only night of Corban's babyhood that he kept us up all night. I was sleeped deprived, hormonal, and so in love with with my boys...
Jordan got up for work and I sat on the couch and sobbed like a baby. Corban wouldn't latch on to eat to save his life (ha), I needed Jordan there with me, but he (mistakingly, I'll add) was called into work. I was so afraid to care for this new little life all alone. I don't remember the details of the day or the time frame of the next series of events, but I know they were closely linked. Corban was barely nursing. We were using sugar water just to get him to latch, and even that wouldn't always work. I'll spare you the details, but for myself, aside from worrying about not nourishing my son, I was in excruciating pain nursing as well. We had yet another weight check, and he still wasn't gaining enough. And had thrush on top of that. It took all I had to not burst into tears right there in front of the doctor. I felt like I was failing at being a Mom. And I was scared.
I went from the doctors office to Target to fill his prescription. At this time, he was all of 7 days old, and I did not have an insurance card for him at that time. It was going to cost many limbs without insurance, and I couldn't do it. When the pharmicist told me the price, I lost it. She was so sweet and kind, and made phone calls and got it all worked out for me, bless her heart, but I was a wreck. I wanted my baby to be okay, I wanted my husband there with me, I wanted to not be crying, for crying out loud.
I don't know why I just told that story, other than them being some of my first moments as 'Mama'... first moments of realizing the depth of my love for that little boy, how I would give anything in the world for him to be okay, how I wanted to give and be for him everything he needed me to be.
Those things haven't changed.
Corban had a little bit of a cough yesterday, and I noticed wheezing after picking him up from the toddler room at church. He is just a wheezer- since he was 5 months old, colds just end up in his chest, it seems. But anyway, we got up this morning, he wouldn't eat, was very whiny, clingy, etc. We were snuggling on the couch watching Jonah (veggie tale style) when I realized just how labored his breathing was. First of all, I could hear it above the movie. His chest was going in, his belly way out with each breath. It was fast and whistle-y. That Mama instinct kicked in and said "Something is wrong!". I whipped out the nebulizer (okay, so maybe I searched for it for ten minutes first), and pinned him down... literally, and attempted to hold that darn mask over his mouth until the medicine was out. It was a long, arduous few minutes, I snuggled him, and then all was well. I put in a call to the doc because I was worried- he'd never been wheezy like that before, and I just wanted someone to tell me he was fine. In a matter of minutes, though, his breathing was back to just like it had been before the nebulizer.
If I hadn't of been driving to the doctor's office, I probably would've gone to the Emergency Room- that's how scared I was. He was just moaning, wheezing, coughing, grunting. No normal noises were being made by my boy. He was miserable, and his breathing was - what words to use?- I don't know- it just sounded terrible. Long story short- we were at the doctor for an hour. It took two of us to get him through a second nebulizer treatment (that had the same Albuterol that we use at home, plus another medicine), as he squirmed and screamed and twisted and cried the whole time. He took a dose of an oral steroid too, and then the doctor came to listen to him for a second time, after him having medicine to calm things down. She could hear the crackling that indicates pneumonia on his lower right lung. We were sent home with antibiotics, steroids, and instructions to use the nebulizer 4x a day until this clears up.
Those same feelings I experienced in the first few days of his life- the fear, the desire to make it all okay, the hoping, praying that I was doing the right thing,the depth of my love for that little boy, how I would give anything in the world for him to be okay, how I wanted to give and be for him everything he needed me to be- were there full force. I once read a quote somewhere about deciding to have a child is to decide to have your heart go walking outside your body. Okay, so it's a little cheesy, but you Mom's can attest- it's so stinkin' true. Have you seen someone hurt your little ones' feelings? Oh man. Heard your child laugh... that real, deep, innocent belly laugh? Seen them give? Watched them learn? It does something inside of you. Being a mother has taught me so much about love... what it means, what it looks like.. unconditionally. There's a great vulnerability in it, too. A lot of unknowns. A lot of hoping and praying. A lot of surrender. A lot of denial of self. A lot of recognizing ones selfishness. Oh, but the love. The joy. The absolute delight of seeing your baby's first smile. Hearing "I love you" for the first time... those giant bear hugs with shouts of "Mama!". There's nothing greater.
I've said it before and I'll say it again: I love being Mama.