Our baby has arrived! Scout was born on 6 January 2020 at 9:22am, weighting 3,065kg. We are delighted to be her parents and appreciate all well wishes sent. Allow me to take you on the journey in this post.
The weeks leading up to Scout’s arrival were very difficult for me. I was heavily pregnant and felt that I needed time to get ready emotionally for the arrival of my baby. I became extremely irritable and couldn’t quiet the anxiety around the birth, not because I did not trust that God would keep her safe but because there’s the reality of complications. I also did not know what to expect in the delivery room and couldn’t bring myself to watch a C-section video; I was afraid that I’d freak myself out and so I went into the procedure with only the basic information that the OB/Gyn had given me.
We had known for a while that she’d be delivered on 6 January 2020. I shared this date with a few close friends and family and kept saying mid-January to anyone who would ask about her arrival because I didn’t want them to overwhelm me with too many questions. But it didn’t help. Many older moms made their disapproval of my having a c-section known, even though it was for medical reasons, and at the end of December I started get floods of messages asking if baby had arrived. There was also loads of unsolicited advice; some people added to my anxiety when ‘cautioning’ me about things I hadn’t even thought of. I found it odd that the arrival of a new baby could make some people behave strangely and quite inappropriately at times. Anyway, it helped me make the best decision for my family.
I logged out of Instagram and turned off my phone’s data in the days leading up to her birth. I asked Wesley to notify our close friends and immediate family once she’d been born. It allowed me to focus on myself and our baby and to spend the last few days bonding with Wesley.
We woke up at 4am on 6 January and made our way to the hospital by 6am. At 9:22am Scout was born. I cried tears of joy and relief and could not believe how beautiful she is. I loved her instantly and, unexpectedly, love Wesley more since her birth.
The crazy thing is that you instantly feel physically lighter once the baby is out! That was quite a relief because I was very uncomfortable at the end of my pregnancy.
I took to motherhood quite quickly. Her crying doesn’t unsettle me and instinct has guided me through most of our journey this far. Caring for her has been the easy part but my recovery and emotional well-being has been a bit challenging. There are the silent struggles that people don’t really talk about that I don’t mind sharing:
- Sleep deprivation can make you feel crazy. It really helps to have support and some time to rest so having my mom stay with us was a real blessing once we’d gone home.
- Postpartum anxiety and depression is real and it’s difficult. People get so excited about the baby that they forget that mom may be having a tough time.
- There’s this rush to see the baby and it is overwhelming. I’d said yes too soon and it affected my recovery that, after a week at home, I decided that I’d have no visitors until I was ready. Having that time to heal did me the world of good.
- Having a C-section is not taking the easy way out! My recovery is slow and I have been in a lot of physical pain. It’s an operation from which you have to recover while seeing to a baby and that takes its toll on your well-being.
- You can have it all together and still feel that you want time and space to bond with your new family. I’d love to say that I was thinking about everyone else after my baby was born (note the sarcasm!) but I really just wanted time to figure it out.
- The hype dies down and then you get to see who really cares about mom, dad and baby. Sadly, those who bombard and rush to get in the door first are often the ones who go AWOL, asking how things are only around special occasions in hopes of an invitation. Listening to more experienced moms as well as checking my inbox has brought me to this conclusion.
But when the hype dies down the real magic begins and you realise that you have this beautiful, innocent person to love and care for. You find your rhythm and your baby brings you so much joy by gripping your hand tightly or moaning in gentle satisfaction as she feeds. That’s been my experience and I know that many moms find it difficult to connect with their babies because of many reasons and that is okay, too. Motherhood is unique and I want to encourage that we appreciate when moms struggle. It’s not all that you see on social media; while I make the effort to clean up and put on a fresh tee on a daily basis, there are days when I only get to shower at 3pm because I was tired or my baby was especially needy on that day.
It’s been a roller coaster ride these last three weeks, from having to go back into hospital to getting her to wake only once at night to feed. It’s also been really special to watch her bond with her dad and her grandparents. I appreciated it when Wesley said that I am clear about my mothering but that I’m not pedantic or overly fussy about others interacting with her.
We are heading towards week four and I think I will attempt driving at the weekend, seeing that we’ve managed some short evening walks. I’m still going to take it in my stride and allow the 6-8 weeks to make a full recovery so that I can start to feel stronger both physically and emotionally.
I hope you can tell that I absolutely love being a mother. It’s something I always knew I wanted to be and I feel blessed that I’m enjoying the experience. I’d like to take you along with me for the ride but not necessarily in the way you’d expect. While awaiting her arrival I had so many questions about raising a child and, as a teacher, I was so curious about how one stimulates development. I have done quite a bit of reading and have decided to start a series named ‘Raising Scout’ in which I share our weekly experiences and I share what I’ve done to encourage her development. They are everyday, practical things that her and I do together so that she’s not just eating, pooping and sleeping but that she’s being engaged on a daily basis.
Remember to subscribe should you want a weekly update to the series. I hope that you’ve enjoyed this little view into the starts of motherhood and, once again, thank you for taking the time to read this post!
Until my next post, Bronny xx