I never realised how much being a mother would change me until I became one. When I got married people told be how marriage identifies how selfish you are but motherhood identifies a whole set of flaws that have been hiding in the back of the closet for goodness knows how long!! Selfishness is not one of them though because I don't think it's possible to be selfish & care for a newborn!! You'd be in big trouble if you tried that!! I have however, learnt what a short temper I have. Whether it's snapping at Tom unnecessarily or over-reacting when looking after Rebekah, it's horrible and I don't like it at all!! I also worry in a way I never did before. From the moment I found out I was pregnant I have worried about Rebekah. Not in an abnormal way ( I wouldn't describe myself as a worrier) but in a protective, maternal way I guess (if you spoke to Tom he might have a different perspective... I think neurotic might spring to mind. Hee hee) I think having been a gynae nurse & now working as a midwife didn't help with the normal pregnancy anxiety. I know far too much about what can go wrong in pregnancy. Gynae gave me a totally unrealistic view on early pregnancy & it's various complications & midwifery... Well lets just say that working in a specialist high-risk unit like I do doesn't help one focus on 'normal' pregnancy.
Unfortunately from 12weeks, 'normal' was not a term used to describe me & overnight I became 'high-risk'. For those of you who don't know me, I developed very high blood pressure (bp) when I was 12 weeks pregnant with Rebekah (and history has repeated itself in this pregnancy). I was started on medication immediately and was very closely monitored. This scared the life out of me. I was terrified I was getting pre-eclampsia & had visions of 'crash sections' (emergency cesarean) at a hideously early gestation. I had to constantly remind myself to be rational and to trust God. Many people were praying for me & as I mentioned in an earlier post I was able to come off medication for most of the 2nd half of my pregnancy (which is totally abnormal as in pregnancy, blood pressure usually rises from 20 weeks not falls). This was a total answer to my prayers. I remember when I first became ill one of my friends asked me specifically what she could pray for & I said "please pray that I won't have to take these drugs for the rest of my pregnancy". I hated the idea of my baby being pumped with drugs & I wanted more than anything to come off them. She, herself had also suffered with high bp & pre-eclampsia so could relate to what I was going through. She responded by saying "Eleanor, you do realise that in reality you will have to increase the medication you're on as the pregnancy progresses, not come off?" I knew this but as I said to her "If anyone can do it, God can" and he did!!!
I stayed off medication until approx 33/34 weeks and within 2-3weeks of going back on it I'd had it increased, a second drug added, was admitted to hospital, developed pre-eclampsia & gave birth naturally (drug free I might add!!) to my beautiful precious Rebekah. She was perfect. Even as I write this now I get tearful as I remember it all. Her growth was never affected by my bp or the drugs and aside from the fact she was a nightmare to breastfeed in the beginning you'd never know she was a 36 weeker.
I was in hospital for 11days before and after she was born. It was a long time, I HATED it before she was born!! I was lonely, bored & cried a lot!! But, I must say, now when I think back to the time after she was born I treasure it!! It was such a precious time. At night it was just Rebekah and I and I loved getting to know her and doing everything for her. In the day time Tom would come and together we fell in love with our baby girl. It was hard to not all be together (probably worse for poor Tom who had to leave us every evening) but both Tom and I remember that time very fondly. I can't believe how quickly the time has gone since then & that we're gonna be doing all again in the spring!! YAY!! In spite of the problems I have, I LOVE BEING PREGNANT!!!
Since Rebekah was born our lives have changed dramatically. I'm sure it has been hard at times but I think I look at it with rose-coloured glasses once we come out of each difficult phase... Breastfeeding difficulties, colic, teething etc. But every day I learn something new about her and watching her character develop is amazing. Any 'bad day' we have is nearly always outweighed by how much fun she is. We were very blessed as he was an easy baby who wasn't particularly grumpy & only really cried when something was wrong. But let me tell you when she cried, half the street could hear!!
Yesterday I wrote about how emotional and hormonal I was... All my worries about the day ahead were for nothing (Andrea you were so right!!) and we had a fab day. Rebekah makes me laugh and laugh!! She has a great sense of humour and as she is learning to talk and communicate more we just have a lot of fun. I find I love her more each day! My mum always says to me "now you have Rebekah you know how much I love you & Miriam (my sister)". Then she always laughs because she says every time she says I have a look on my face that says "you don't love us like I love Rebekah!!" Ha ha ha. It's true and I bet every parent reading this thinks the same. We all think our children are the best and we love them the most & I don't think that's a bad thing. Another thing my Mum used to say was that she was amazed how much you can love your children but how wonderful bed time is!!! How true. Sometimes I am so tired & if Rebekah has had an especially feisty day, I love it when she gets in bed & Tom and I have time alone. Other times however, like last night, I miss her like crazy when she's asleep & I secretly hope she'll wake up so I can have a cuddle with a warm sleepy toddler. Does anyone else ever feel like that?
I better go now before I bore you all to sleep and before my girl wakes up from her nap. It's Friday afternoon so we're off into town to meet Tom from work & have a coffee or dinner together as a family to kick-start our weekend.