My Journey to Motherhood

August 25, 2014

Finally, I got the time to post an update!  I’ve wanted to share my journey as a new mom but life had been very busy and exhausting for the past weeks since little baby Rafael came.  He’s busy sleeping on his swing right now, so I’ve got spare time!  Yahoo!

I’ve always known that mothers are the greatest persons on earth but I never really fully understood how G R E A T the word great is until I became a mom.  When I was still single, I’ve always dreamed of being the best mom and the most loving wife in the world.  I wanted to have a happy family but I’m scared of giving birth.  I’ve conquered that fear the day baby Rafael came into this world and I’m proud!  Initially, I was eyeing the option of getting an epidural but it will not be covered by the insurance company and it was too expensive (AED 2,500 according to my OB’s secretary) so I just erased that option and tried to convince myself that if other women were able to make it without an epidural then I can make it as well!  Labor contractions are so painful!  I cannot even find the words that would exactly describe how it feels. All I know is that all the pain is so worth it the moment I saw baby Rafael’s face!  Giving birth is a painful experience but it made me feel like a “super human”.  Once you become a mother, you would feel that there’s nothing more in this world that you cannot bear for your child.



After giving birth, I thought that I will finally have the time to relax, a time to recover from the painful delivery at least!  But I was wrong.  The first few weeks were very stressful!  I was sleep deprived since I am breastfeeding baby Rafael (newborns have very little stomach that gets full easily and empties easily as well, so they need to be fed every 2-3 hours).  While I was still pregnant, I thought I’m fully equipped already in caring for our newborn but then again, I was wrong!  I never ever thought that breastfeeding was going to be so difficult.  Baby Rafael had a good latch when I’m nursing him but my breasts wouldn’t just cooperate!  I’m not producing any milk at all!  On our second night at home, baby Rafael would just cry every 30 minutes because of too much hunger and the very stressed me would try my best to nurse him even though I know nothing’s coming out.  On day 3, he was crying and screaming and he just wouldn’t stop.  I was very stressed.  I was helpless.  And I ended up crying too.   I’m not feeding my child anything.  I felt like I was just a bad mother!  To make things worse, we were informed by the hospital that baby Rafael needed to be admitted to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) because of his elevated serum bilirubin.  Being a nurse, I know how serious the complications of hyperbilirubinemia has on our baby.  So the feeling of being the worst mom in the world hit me once more!



This was not the way I imagined how my life would be after baby Rafael’s birth.  I wanted to be the best mom that I can be to my sweet little one and at the same time still look good (in the eyes of my husband, Ronnie, at least).  But I didn’t have enough time.  I have to pump milk every 3 hours (even during the wee hours in the morning) to increase my supply (I want to give baby Rafael the best milk, my own!), sterilize the pump and the bottles, take care of baby Rafael the whole night, morning and afternoon until Ronnie or Ate Mot gets home from work so that I could get at least 4 hours of uninterrupted sleep.  Did I mention that sleep is such a luxury when you have a baby?  Getting at least 4 straight hours of sleep is H E A V E N!  

I started producing breast milk on day 4.  Since I don’t have enough supply yet, we needed supplemental feeding of infant formula.  I am mixed feeding baby Rafael with expressed breast milk and infant formula, as soon as day 4.  In short, he’s bottle fed which caused him nipple confusion.  When I was able to establish a good supply of milk, he won’t latch to my breast anymore to feed!  But since mama will be going back home on Saturday (meaning, no one’s going to watch over Rafael so that I won’t be disturbed in pumping breast milk), we started training him again to latch and nurse on me.  The first few attempts were heart breaking because he wouldn’t latch and just cry on top of his lungs.  Ronnie even told me “Nagpatalo ka kay baby?” (I understand his concern that breast feeding baby Rafael is more convenient than expressing breast milk which is way too time consuming); I just told him: “Paano ako mananalo kung ganyan ang itsura ng anak mo? Namumugto na ang mga mata habang tumutulo ang luha.  Every mother would understand how hard it is to see their child crying.

I almost gave up on breast feeding but I came across several blog sites of nursing moms.  I was inspired reading relactation stories of different moms who had similar experience like I did.  So we tried it once more.  With lots of patience, practice and prayers, we finally did it today!  Yehey!!!  I am just so happy for baby Rafael’s achievement!  Did I mention also that we were able to get through a day already without infant formula?  That’s double yehey!!!  I am a very happy mommy!  



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