Tuesday, January 6

rookie mom*

I remember so, so many times over the past four years of my fertility journey I would gather up all the strength I had to get out of the house and bring myself to the beach for a healing walk by the shore. Then, as I walked, I would pass adorable family after adorable family and it would break my heart. I would see cute mothers riding their cute strollers with their cute babies and as I would look away to watch the waves crash instead, I would think..."some day that will be me." It's amazing how much that longing consumes you when you are given the idea that you may not ever experience it.

So many tears streamed down my face behind my sunglasses on those days. So many times I would look down and just watch my feet walking forward in the sand so that I wouldn't have to see those moms and feel that heartache. I never once thought that any of those mothers may be having their own world of struggles. I never once thought that this day for them is their one day they are able to get out of the house for some fresh air and that walking in the sand is their sanity, their place of reconnecting with themselves.

I wish I would have known then, what I know now. That way, I might have looked a bit deeper into their story and had seen many mothers who perhaps looked at me with longing..."there she is all by herself on the beach, only responsible for her, so much free time, free time...how I long for what she has." I think it would have helped me to know that during those walks on the beach, I too was holding something so valuable but I was often too depleted and saddened to see it.

Today I took Cedar to the beach alone for the first time. It was early in the morning and my favorite beach is about a 25 minute drive away. I had been looking forward to this moment for years. It was my turn, right? My day on the beach with babe dream coming true.

Well, he cried a lot of the way because there was one burp that decided to wedge itself into his gut about 10 minutes after I put him in the car seat. Damn...I thought I got all of those burps out before we left! So, by the time we finally arrived, he was angry and not at all his Zen self able to appreciate fresh ocean air. I thought for sure once I got him in the stroller and walking, he would doze off into baby-la land. Well, the dirt road down to the beach is pretty intense. Its steep, with a lot of rocks and bumps. How would I know this because I've never needed to take it? I always took the stairs. So, as I took the stroller down the road, holding onto dear life so that it didn't tip over, he totally starts wailing. Wait! I never saw babies cry on their way down to the beach! I thought for sure once we get to the sand, he'd stop...but he didn't, so I decided he must need the rest of his bottle. There was an issue. The sand was damp and wet...you know, like winter beach sand but whatever. I laid my blanket out, plopped myself down and held him to feed him. Oh my...the sun was in his eyes and I didn't have a sun hat for him. So, I am sitting in the middle of the beach, on a blanket with a newborn and my bum getting soaking wet and all these people walking by are looking at me like I am a total rookie and haven't a clue what I am doing. He was wet and cold and annoyed and I was ill prepared. I felt myself on the verge of just bursting into self pity tears but then I took a deep breath and showed him the waves while he finished his happy juice. I propped him up on my chest so that I could put my other hand over his face to block the sun and we finally had our moment of Zen.

After this, I walked him for a bit (see video above) but then quickly got into the car so I could change him (who knew that strollers make you spit up all over everything) and then head home. I thought I was okay but then half way home I just burst into tears. I tried to figure out where all the emotion came from and then I remembered. All those times I walked on the beach longing for what I have now and here I was, having that dream moment and in all honesty, it was totally awkward and uncomfy and I just wanted to go back home. I realized that I had a certain expectation of how it was supposed to be and was trying to live up to that expectation today but failed miserably.

The drive home was a cycle of remembering the pain of my longing for so many years, then feeling guilty for being annoyed by all that transpired and then forgiving myself for having very normal feelings that all new mothers have. I'm trying to find my groove, my center, my Zen, my ability to let go...and I know that will take time.

I cried more today on the couch and I am just letting myself cry. This is a lot. Going from (in)fertility to adoption and the myriad of emotions in between...its just a lot to take in and work through. Thank goodness Cedar-love has the patience of a saint and that we are head over heals for one another. We'll figure it out together.

I'd love to hear stories like I just shared with you. A day when you took your babe out and it was just a comedy of errors. It would help me to not feel so isolated and alone with it all.


Blogger The Van Dervens said...

everyday is a challenge and a blessing and utterly exhausting but all part of an incredible journey. just wait til you start 'mommy and me' stuff. it can get pretty awkward. i wish i could say it gets easier, but i can say you get the hang of it. and right when you think you have something figured out, they throw you a curve ball. every time. hang in there girl, you weren't alone before you had your baby, even though i bet it felt like that often. and you still aren't alone. but it will feel that way pretty often anyway.

January 6, 2009 at 9:15:00 PM PST  
Blogger Unknown said...

Oh the stories I could tell you.
In the six years since having my son it has not been at all like what I had imagined. Every day is a reminder that everything *is* and in it's is-ness it is perfect. Perfectly normal, perfectly necessary, perfectly perfect. Despite all the surprises and busted ideals it is profoundly beautiful in all it's complicated messiness.

The grass is always greener they say. ;-) But it isn't really. It's just the angle you're looking from.


January 6, 2009 at 9:16:00 PM PST  
Blogger Kathleen said...

i have a hundred stories about mishaps when i was a brand new mom (heck...i am still having mishaps as he grows and changes).

like the time i went to change him at target and was surprised by a poopy diaper...and even more surprised when i realized that i had forgotten the wipes! yuck.
so i am standing there, needing to wipe him but not wanting to walk away from him on the changing table to get tissue.
luckily, a sympathetic woman offered me some wet paper towels.

of course, i had a whole pack of wipes in the CAR.

you WILL find your groove.
my sis-in-law told me that i would find mine and i didn't believe her (liam was a month old). i thought, "how will it ever go smoothly? how will this ever be normal?"
but it does and it is.

listen to your heart. you know cedar better than anyone. it will click. it already has. : )

i love reading about your journey as a mama. i can relate to the feelings about wanting a baby SO MUCH and feeling guilty, now, after finally being a mama, wanting some free time.

love atcha', sister. big time

January 6, 2009 at 9:17:00 PM PST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

aw, little mama! I feel for you...when my little munchkin came into my world it was certainly not what I expected...good and bad!
It is so over-whelming in the beginning...and everything is hightened by the emotions of a sleep deprived new mama! It'll get easier...and sooo much more fun, very soon!

January 6, 2009 at 9:21:00 PM PST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Believe me, every other mother would nod and say- yes, been there. I am sure so many probably looked and thought you adorable with your little babe. Do continue to take him there, as I am sure you will. The sounds of the waves beautiful and the sights divine. He will fall so in sync with your little journeys there, soon it will be a piece of cake:) I have a three week old and feeling the overwhelm also, just so you know I feel ya!!

January 6, 2009 at 10:13:00 PM PST  
Blogger RGZ said...

oh, denise: any mom who tells you she didn't have one, two, a thousand of these moments is lying. viciously lying. sure, it is more subtle for some than for others, but the romanticized idea of our first foray into parenthood always suffers a blowout sooner or later. i think it may be more intense for you and for people in situations similar to yours because you had so many years of longing -- the painful kind. but, that said, oh yeah: we have all had that clumsy not-as-i-thought-it-would be experience.
i don't want to take up 3 screens, so i will abridge the top 3 new mom disasters i have had in ruby's 19 months of life.
in the hospital, ruby and i were the breastfeeding rockstars of the maternity ward. she latched immediately and we needed no coaching. one week later, ruby had gained so much weight that our ped declared my milk "superfood." imagine the glow. 3 weeks later, ruby had blood in her diaper and i had a raging case of mastitis. she sat in her bouncy seat, so hungry, while i lay face down in a warm tub, desperate to stop the unbearable burning and pain in my nipples so that i could feed her. i was home alone with her, both of us crying, me face down in the tub. not the image i had of my beautiful bonding breastfeeding experience.
when she was 4 months old, we had been in seattle for a month and were living downtown. feeling confident -- i had the hang of this stuff now -- i strapped her into the bjorn and walked the beautiful seattle city streets. i had bottles packed, of course, and figured i'd find a cafe or coffee shop where i would feed my beautiful baby, the envy of all the career hustlers. oh yeah. right in front of anthropologie and urban outfitters, the child starts to WAIL. jarred, i stopped in my tracks, took her out of the bjorn without taking the bjorn off of me, squatted on the sidewalk, pulled out a bottle, balanced the cap on the top of my bag so it would not be contaminated, fell over (but kept ruby off the ground), regained my footing, lost my hat, and clumsily tried to get her to accept the bottle. she was feeling my frustration and embarassment, and she absorbed it. lunchtime on 5th avenue: every type of well dressed seattleite looking -- literally -- down on me in my disheveled sweats and heat-miser hair, squatting on the sidewalk trying to feed a precariously balanced screaming infant.
last week on the city bus ruby crapped her biggest crap ever all over my jeans. and i was out of wipes. this is 18 months in.
i haven't yet dared try the beach. i'll tackle that this summer. you are a braver woman than i, momma.

January 6, 2009 at 10:41:00 PM PST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm not a mom, but I have walked babies on the beach and I found it much easier to do so in a baby bjorn sling thingy (see! not a mom)... it was less cumbersome and felt easier to manage. just a thought.

And having watched so many of my friends struggle with feeling like an incompetent mommy - only to see them blossom into the greatest mommies ever - I can say without hesitation that you are not alone and everything you are feeling seems to be what all my friend's felt with their first. and yay for you for sharing it all on here so other new mommies won't feel so alone when it's their turn.

January 6, 2009 at 10:42:00 PM PST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was just about to suggest what debbie has... a sling. Wearing one is very liberating and it's wonderful for the baby to be next to your heart beat :-)

January 6, 2009 at 11:14:00 PM PST  
Blogger Julia said...

Read Eckhart Tolle's "The Power of Now". It talks of course about living the present moment fully, but how about many people cause their own pain by constantly living in the past or future, missing out on what is happening right now. It's really helped me a lot.

I've had many comic moments and made many mistakes - still do - but you just go on. I try not (and don't) care about what other people think about me and how I handle the kids. That works wonders!

January 6, 2009 at 11:23:00 PM PST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i love your writing style and it brings it all back so clearly - the newness, the awkwardness, the raw vulnerability you feel (is it your own or do you channel your baby? i always wondered...)

there were so many times when i'm sure we looked like the perfect family or when i looked like the perfect mum - walking on the beach, along city streets or though parks - and in fact what i was, was terrified to stop moving -when my little tyrant had FINALLY gone to sleep but if i stopped he'd wake.

i would totally second the baby bjorn suggestion - gosh awake or asleep they love being close to the beating of your heart.

and here's the thing. sigh. i dont think you ever relax and truly enjoy motherhood till your second child - the first is always so new and fraught and everything is loaded with importance. however you got there

January 7, 2009 at 12:12:00 AM PST  
Blogger Mary said...

oh darling, my sweet darling friend... I have been there.
Be gentle with yourself again.
Know that you will be on a rocky road to figuring it out for about a year. I was so bound up on "doing it right" that it wans't until the night before turtle's first bday party that i literally sighed, and realized just how tense I had been for the last year. Then I sighed and let it go, and made a vow to myself to not be so hard on myself, not hold myself up to whatever standard of perfection I was skewidly seeing. Mihigna, the saint that he is, spent that year telling me time and again, when i would burst into tears, certain that I had screwed something up and our poor daughter was going to be missing some vital emotional part of the puzzle, he would hold me, make me look in his eyes and tell me, "no one is a better parent than you. I don't know what 'more' you think you could be doing"
That helped.
Be gentle, the tears, worries and frustrations will still come.. but remind yourself, you are doing your best in the moment. And keep talking to cedar.. remember he CHOSE you... he knew you'd rock as his mom. breathe, relax, enjoy these moments, however they present and play themselves out... they will be gone much too fast.
you are doing fabulous! love yourself, love cedar and boho boy. and let yourself off the hook. Cedar will forgive you, already has, now you forgive you!!
You're a rocking mamma!!
hugs and love to you.

January 7, 2009 at 1:13:00 AM PST  
Blogger Emma said...

How about the time we went to the shops and my then six-month old (I didn't even have the newborn excuse) had a exploding nappy (diaper) incident in a coffee shop - and I had forgotten her change bag.

Or just two months ago, I took her to the beach on my own - just like you. I had my camera, it was a sunny day, I was going to take pics of her playing happily on the beach to print off for family for christmas presents. And, just like Cedar, she screamed and screamed from the minute we got there. Ended with me in tears all the way home.

She's 19 months now - we still have bad days, but 99% of them are great, amazing days. It gets easier, you'll find your way, you'll have a lot of imperfect moments along the way, but you'll look back on them all and smile one day. Promise.

January 7, 2009 at 1:28:00 AM PST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

ergo packs are lovely for little ones. or better yet, a mobie(sp?) wrap. it is liberating andhands free and warm and snuggly. your babe will fall asleep and be comforted by your heart, your heat, the rhythm of your feet.

a million stories of poop and wetness, tears and screams. sand and rock buffets. a million more of frustrated mama days and weeks. and a million more of gentleness and learning. you are all learning. be gentle with yourself.
"momma zen" is such a good read.
as well as "unconditional parenting"

January 7, 2009 at 2:45:00 AM PST  
Blogger Sleepandhersisters said...

Yep I think we all have those stories... and plenty of them.

I remember thinking how lucky the women I saw out with no babies were as I struggled with my newborns... and then instantly feeling guilty and a bad mother about those thoughts. (I had mine 12 years apart and I had the same thoughts with both of them as newborns even though I knew it's not like that forever, it still hits hard)... It's a huge thing having a little person to rely on you so completely, very draining... and I think also the enormity of the task ahead is mind blowing. I asked myself, am I good enough for this so very important job? But I think we find as time goes by we are the perfect person for the job. I don't think it ever gets easier it just gets different.

The thing with babies and kids is that just as your getting used to a phase or an age they go and change, it is really hard to keep up sometimes. I remember being exhausted listening to my daughter talk at me as a young child, she would have to have to comment on every single thought that went through her mind. Now she is 15 and hardly says a word... I know just when I get used to the silence her voice will come back again.

Anyway I have a silly story for you... I was having my first plunket visit (not sure if you have them in the states but for a few weeks after your baby is born the plunket nurse comes to your house to make sure you are doing ok) I had baby Ben (now three) undressed and ready to be weighed... I was so embarrased when the plunket nurse turned him over to put him on the scales... he had a little 'made in China' sticker stuck to his butt!!!

Not quite a comdey of errors, but I know the plunket nurse thought it was funny.

January 7, 2009 at 3:07:00 AM PST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Denise - My first daughter was a very easy baby from day one and I actually (secretly) thought it was because of ME! So, I felt good and ready for baby #2...except baby #2 could not have been more opposite -she disliked pretty much everything: other people, stores, strollers, snugglies, other kids, any noise above a whisper and any weather that wasn't 65 and still.

So, now I had a very mobile two year old and an extremely sensitive baby. I cried every single day (again, secretly)for at least one year. For one, I wasn't wonder-mom - two, gee, all my other friends seemed to be juggling two and more kids effortlessly and three, no one looked at me like I was the best mom anymore. Ouch.

I totally understand what you are going through. What can I say other than it is HARD and WORTH IT. I can tell you are an awesome parent. I love your honesty and wish I didn't hide my struggles so much!

P.S. Daughter #2 central nervous system matured at around 2 and she is now a wonderful, happy and rather intense 11 year old. Big sister is still easy! Susie

January 7, 2009 at 4:02:00 AM PST  
Blogger kristen said...

this post just made me love you more...

i honestly didn't drive alone in the car with my daughter until she was three years old! granted we lived in the city and only used the car on the weekends, but i didn't drive her alone until then i was that terrified of everything you've just described.

be SO proud of yourself mama, you are doing a great job.

much love. xo

January 7, 2009 at 4:10:00 AM PST  
Blogger DS Borror said...

Here's one, though I have several, I had to take my newborn to the grocery store in the fancy new car seat that was supposed to hook on tight to the grocery store cart...and it did, nice and snug, went shopping without incident and was getting the groceries in the car when I went to lift her out of the car and the car seat was stuck...I couldn't extract her from the cart...i literally had to scream at the cart boy (the kids who go round and collect the carts people leave in the parking lots?) to get a store manager (I couldn't call the husband who was deployed in Bosnia) to help me...the poor kid looked at me like I was a complete idiot...anyway it took several minutes - why would a store manager need in the parking lot? Passerbys would try to help, but no one had any luck...did i mention it was freezing cold too? At this point my daughter was crying that awful mad cry...somehow the manager came out and was obviously a dad and helped me get her unstuck. It was humiliating and embarrassing and just what I didn't need to boost my confidence as I thought in my car, how the heck am I going to last until my husband gets home?
THere are many other episodes that at some point you can laugh about but not quite in the moment it happens.
My aha moment w/ my kids came w/ my first when I finally figured out how 'constant' a newborn - baby is...somehow that was not what I expected when I first thought about having kids...somehow recognizing that fact - that the newborn needs me for everything and even going to the bathroom alone is no longer possible - made it easier for me. Not that it didn't bug me still at times but it somehow made my expectations a bit easier.
Hang in there...most of us moms have totally had these moments...

January 7, 2009 at 4:19:00 AM PST  
Blogger mercedes said...

i've been such a longtime lurker of your blog, and it's so very inspiring and heartfelt, and dammit, real.
you share your life and your worries with us, your avid readers, in a way that most people would never dare... not in an online blog followed by a lot of people you know, and probably more that you don't.
i have 5 children, and should be, by most accounts, a pro at this.
but trust me, what happened to you is completely normal and i still do stuff like that. (and i've been a parent for 14 years).
i forget lunch money, permission slips, and have even been known to call a kid or two by the dog's name. once, i even made up a birthday, one kids birth month, another's birth date, and yet another kid's birth year.
you're doing wonderfully. don't stress over a wet bum and a gassy baby. if those are the only issues, consider it a good day.

January 7, 2009 at 4:45:00 AM PST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

been there, done that, got the T-shirt!
I was gonna be this cool single, hippie mom with my baby blissed out in her carrier on my back.
Hahaha! Right!
They follow their own agenda, don't they?
When my daughter was about 2, we went for a wagon ride to the farmer's market. We were so cool in our matching tye-dyed sundresses, buying organic fruits & veggies.
Then as I'm crossing a busy intersection, she decides to dump strawberries and peapods out of the wagon, all over the street!
She's giggling - I'm trying frantically to retrieve our scattered fruit, cars are beeping at me...total chaos. I began to laugh so hard, I had to crouch down to keep from peeing my pants.

Sometimes you just have to give in to the moment and enjoy.
And many moments you will have. Every age has it's challenges and the one thing I've learned is that it's never what we expect.
Cedar is already showing you that.

And we are all rookies, every day!
You're doing fantastic!

January 7, 2009 at 5:16:00 AM PST  
Blogger Alberta Art Classes said...

Oh, Momma. We all have these stories and plenty of them! The first few months of my daughter's life were such a struggle. She is 18 and readying for university and I still grapple with being the right kind of mother at the right time. I haven't mastered it yet. When she was a babe, we lived on the North Shore of Oahu. My dreams were to take long walks with her in the sling along the shore, watch the sunsets and surfers. Our days looked more like this, I would awake feeling exhausted from waking EVERY TWO hours on the dot, my nipples were raw, my once long, thick hair, envy of many, was falling out in clumps so I had a bald spot near my temple. I have picture, proof. My husband worked in town, so we were alone most of the day. I washed and hung what seemed like thousands of diapers a day. I would have to leave her inside because the mosquitos were so bad, usually she would be crying while I hurried to hang the diapers. Oh, did i mention? She hated the beach. Did not like it one bit. There we were, living on one of the most beautiful beaches in the world, she hated it. She would not even walk on the sand until she was 8. She tolerates the sea now and even swims in the ocean, but then, oh, my dreams lay in a sandy clump at me feet. There was also the first time I went out without her. I was in line at the grocery store behind a very famous world surfer, very cute. A baby cried in the distance, within seconds, said cute surfer man turned to say hello just as both of my breasts let down what seemed like gallons of breast milk, soaking two large, wet circles on each breast. Nice. Welcome to the sisterhood, my dear. I thought I would smell like milk, spit up and poop forever, but I think it is finally fading...

January 7, 2009 at 5:39:00 AM PST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love your story and feel for you. (((hug))) It gets much, much better and much, much easier.

My first trip to the grocery store with my son was one of those burst into tears, crying moments. I remember going to the store and he was asleep and all was well and about 15 minutes into it, with a nearly full cart, he started wailing and nothing I could do could get him to stop. I just stood in an aisle and held him trying to do the "sushing/rocking" and nothing. Woman were coming by saying, oh maybe he's hungry, etc. And I just lost it and started to cry. I left the full cart in the aisle and went home.

Feeling like a complete failure and thinking, I've never seen any other mother with a baby leave a full shopping cart in the store.

I have many other stories too but they become less frequent as time goes on. I'd say the first 6 months to a year are definitely the most trying. It's that lack of sleep thing. :)

January 7, 2009 at 5:48:00 AM PST  
Blogger marzi said...

i have way too many rookie mom moments to begin writing about. i wanted to comment on your note about not being about to see other mothers when you were trying to be a mom yourself. i too had this problem. going to target was a depressing event. it seemed like every woman there was pregnant, all the time! i was jealous. i was bitter. i was even angry at these women. i knew i shouldn't have been. it wasn't their fault. but it was something i couldn't control. then, after i was finally a mom myself i realized that i never even considered that any of these women had gone through exactly what i was going through. maybe these pregnant ladies had tried for years to get pregnant herself. maybe she knew the exact feelings i was having. maybe this was her glorious miracle baby.

it taught me a big lesson. (even though the lesson took a long time for me to realize) i no longer envy others. i have no idea what their lives are really like. maybe they have it worse off than me. maybe they've been through more. maybe they deserve (and worked hard for) what they have.

i love reading your stories and can relate to so much of what you write. things will get better. promise.

January 7, 2009 at 6:06:00 AM PST  
Blogger Leslie said...

Sweetheart, you're really not a rookie mom. You're already so enlightened -- understanding why you're feeling the way you are AT THAT MOMENT . . . rather than figuring it all out years later!! Give yourself a gold star for that!

I've always been a person that has expectations about how a situation is going to play itself out. I have spent many, many years disappointed in just about everything and when I finally realized that I just needed to let those expectations go, I was ashamed at myself for the years when I let glorious experiences be clouded by my perfectionist goals. I'm much more forgiving now . . . and more willing to take every situation AS IS, flaws and all. And those days that would have been normally "ruined" in my mind because of those preconceived notions, are now much more memorable and special . . . even if chaos did occur!

Gentle hugs to you and Cedar! You're doing great, Momma!

January 7, 2009 at 6:19:00 AM PST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

O the normalcy of your experiences...
we all have those days and they are frequent.
i have snipets of them each day and try to laugh it off, sometimes i cry it off.

just simply going to the grocery store with kids is an adventure, you never really know what they are going to do or say.

just keep doing what you are doing and work through it moment by moment. there will never be a day that it the same again and we all just have to be one with that. i think that may be the secret!

here's to loving our babies!

your words are so real, love your blog.
every woman feels what you are feeling although she may not expose it...yey for YOU!

January 7, 2009 at 6:27:00 AM PST  
Blogger Erin said...

Oh yes, welcome to mommyhood. You'll be peed on, pooped on, and screamed at in ways you could never have imagined. Virtually no outing will look like the perfect happy baby commercial you envision before leaving the house. :-)

When my little man was about 8 weeks old, I took him to lunch with some girlfriends. One of them came from work and couldn't stay for long because she had a huge, important meeting to get back for. Within 5 minutes of meeting her, my son threw up ALL OVER her very expensive suit. And she didn't have time to do anything about it before her big meeting. I still cringe when I think about it.

Hang in there. You and Cedar are both doing great!

January 7, 2009 at 6:27:00 AM PST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Although it isn't entirely relevant to your story, this is by far my favorite reflection on the experience of motherhood.


She says it better than I ever could.

You'll both be so much better people for having each other in your lives. Hugs to you.

Rebecca F.

January 7, 2009 at 6:29:00 AM PST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

LOL (as i think about what we all fantasize over and then the reality! humor is the survival tool that helped me through the tough times -- granted maybe AFTER the fact and your writing brought this back so clearly for me) -- hey hon, just gotta tell you that this is just the beginning -- wait til they can talk (and scream insistently at the top of their lungs -- in very public places and with very articulate language) for chocolate, to nurse (back in the days when no one was nursing speaking children), etc.) -- it sounds to me like you are going through postpartum depression and it usually hits about now when it's hitting you -- once you hit the 8 to 12 week range, you should start hitting a more comfortable groove, but there will always be bumps and challenges along the way, cuz there are no operating instructions with kids and the parenting learning curve, well dang, it's just one steep hill...

p.s. you were also probably seeing those other mamas after they did a few practice beach runs when they knew the beach would be empty -- proud that they finally looked competent on a stroller outing...the funny thing is, a friend once said to me "you're a star in your own play and your the only one watching it" -- i sometimes try to remember that...

January 7, 2009 at 7:12:00 AM PST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wish I had just one story to relate, but there are too many to mention. And it doesn't end. I still have those rookie-mom moments because even though I am not a rookie when it comes to babies, I am a rookie when it comes to 6 year-olds. And I'll be a rookie when it comes to 7, 8, 9,... The only thing you can do is to laugh at those moments rather than beat yourself up (which is what I tend to do) because that can wreak havoc on your self-esteem. Nobody gets this right 100% of the time. We have all been there. I'll say it again, if you're doing the best you can, that's more than enough. In the grand scheme of things, Cedar will be none the worse for wear because you forgot his hat one day. What he will remember is how much you loved him and provided him with such an amazing life.


January 7, 2009 at 7:14:00 AM PST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The rookiness never ends. One day you feel you are getting the hang of it and then suddenly your six year old tells you he knows about Santa and promises to keep it to himself for the sake of the other kids. You are then floored and speechless.
We are never prepared for the weather we think is ahead. All you can do is dance in the rain and turn your face to the sun.
You and your baby and your boho boy are fabulous. Thank you for sharing.

January 7, 2009 at 7:24:00 AM PST  
Blogger Vivienne said...

i don't have a story, as i'm still a single girl yearning to have a baby. but this post is a beautiful reminder for me. every time i see a mama on the street with their cute lil' one in a baby bjorn whispering sweet words into their little ears I just fill up with envy and sadness, not remembering all the goodness of my life right now. most days i'm aware and grateful for my independence but its big learning to figure out how not to get lost in the wishing!

January 7, 2009 at 7:35:00 AM PST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I didn't bring my first born into a store until he was 7 months old.I had so much anxiety about him crying or pooping out in public.

Woman really need to be more honest with one another about the sometimes not-so-fabulous parts of motherhood. Otherwise we are constantly comparing ourselves to that shiny , happy mother
you see at the park, school, grocery store...

Sharing a yukky motherhood moment with another woman does NOT make you a bad mother!
It connects us to one another.

Thanks for sharing your moment Denise.

January 7, 2009 at 8:33:00 AM PST  
Blogger erin said...

i'm sitting here just thinking how wonderful it is for you to share all of this. i didn't have fertility struggles, but i had my many moments of feeling awkward and like "this isn't how it was supposed to be" days. i still do! and my kids are 5 and 6! parenting will always have it's struggles and hard days. with every phase a child has, your whole parenting routine and knowledge will have to change too. it's a constant road of learning. once you have something down...they change! it's never as i planned it, but as hard as the hard days are, there are sooo many wonderful, beautiful surprises. i laugh everyday. but i also (especially in their baby/toddler years) have had a lot of spin out days where i think i will lose my mind. literally laying on the couch crying my eyes out, feeling like everyting is hopeless. parenting is such a roller coaster! i love that the blogging world has made this struggle more known. like you said...so we don't feel alone in it.
i often wondered if people who have struggled to have kids didn't have those down days. if they reveled in waking up at 3am, or quietly and calmly took on a unconsolable baby. i have been jealous of that notion. in a way, it's just nice to know that parenting is parenting. the hard stuff is hard for everyone, and it's "not just me".
again, thank you for your honesty and openness.

January 7, 2009 at 8:46:00 AM PST  
Blogger Rowena said...

I don't have a moment like that to share... not because I didn't have them, but because I had so many for so long that they blur together and I can't isolate any.

Your moment on the beach feeling like a rookie? I bet all the passing moms were going, "Oh, I remember that."

That's a bad day of mommyhood. And they happen. But it's weird that even on a bad day, there are all these other good moments. Even when I had ppd, there were moments that were great. I think. Those get blurred together too.

The first 9 months is a blur, actually. That can be a very good thing.

January 7, 2009 at 8:47:00 AM PST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The pool of stories to draw from on this topic is huge and wide. It seems that no matter how many times my children try to teach me this painful lesson, I still make similar mistakes.

I live in Toronto and it’s snowing today. Your post combined with the weather reminded me of a particular incident when my first daughter was just two.

As a good Canadian mother, I thought it would be really great to take my daughter and her new toboggan out just after a big snow storm. After bundling Emily up in a snowsuit that made her as wide as she was tall, I trudged slowly to the toboggan hill with her in tow.

When we arrived at the hill I was pretty tired but one look at that big hill and the large open field at the bottom and I was ready to go. Emily took one look at this hill that was probably two hundred times taller than she was and she must have imagined herself falling off the face of the earth because she started to cry. The more I tried to convince her that it would be a lot of fun, the more hysterical she became. I finally gave up on trying to convince her but I was damned if I was going to go back home without going down that hill. So, I went down and left my screaming child at the top of the hill. The entire way down the hill and the entire way back up I was just feeling like a complete failure.

I packed Emily back on the toboggan and headed home. She stopped crying and just enjoyed the simple act of watching the snow.

Hard lessons. But you're right. It's so much better to share the stories and feel like you're not alone in trying to figure it all out.

January 7, 2009 at 9:05:00 AM PST  
Blogger Unknown said...

I think you are amazing in so many ways, but the fact that you took Cedar to the beach makes you my hero.

I don't think I took Isabella anywhere until she was 8 weeks old because I was so paranoid. But now when she is upset I take her to the grocery store, it's the one place that actually calms her down. It's funny, and fun, the things you will discover about Cedar.

I lost count of how many places we had to leave because she was wailing, or I didn't bring the diaper bag, etc. and I felt that everyone was staring at me. Now I know, after an incident on an airplane (I wrote it last night but it didn't save- I will tell you when we talk) that the people who I thought were staring at me are actually just remembering when their babes were this age.

We are all in this together love.

January 7, 2009 at 9:32:00 AM PST  
Blogger Crystal Chick said...

My son is 9, and over the years I've had many moments that didn't go as I had imagined them in my mommy-fairytale imagination. Only recently have I learned to let go a little bit. To know that there are too many elements we can't control, and they might interfere with our fairy tale. So, I adapt to the situation.

Last weekend, I finally took my dog to the dog park for the first time. He's a bit of a wild one, you see, and I was nervous but ready to get him around other dogs. My son & I packed Thunder (the dog) into the car. As soon as we pulled out of our neighborhood it started raining. Ok, this stinks, I thought. My son pointed out the rain, and just as he did that, it started pouring buckets. I started feeling frustrated, but then I just... let go. I said we'd drive to the park anyway and see if it had stopped by the time we got there. Then a moment later I said, screw it! If it hasn't stopped when we get there, we're getting out anyway. As we pulled up to the park, the rain stopped. We talked about what a great sense of humor God has.

Of course, there were no other dogs or people, even, at the park thanks to the rain. But we had the best day ever with it being just us.

January 7, 2009 at 10:16:00 AM PST  
Blogger Crystal Chick said...

PS. When we look at those "happy moms strolling down the beach" we see the beauty of motherhood. What we don't see is that the whole way to the beach her baby was crying, or that he just spit up all over both of them and she had to rush and change clothes (or not change at all and walk down the beach smelling like spit up!)

I imagine someone passed you by and thought "Oh, how I'd love to be able to sit in the wet sand and watch the ocean with my baby. She's so lucky."

January 7, 2009 at 10:20:00 AM PST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hang in there. It does get easier. But kids will keep you on your toes and feeling like you are walking on the edge no matter how old they are and how much experience you have! My firstborn was a baby who would only sleep in a moving stroller. I pushed him down sidewalks covered with snow, in 20 degree weather, for HOURS at a time, shoving M&Ms into my mouth for comfort and desperately wishing to just be home. My second born threw the mother of all temper tantrums while boarding an airplane at age 2 and absolutely refused to be strapped into her seat. We came *this close* to being removed from the airplane, and I am certain the entire plane would have cheered as we left.

You know how they say "Sleep when the baby sleeps?" Well, my motto was more like, "Cry when the baby cries." And my babies cried A LOT!

This is a hard, hard job, and you are learning as you go. Be gentle with yourself, and someday, sooner than you think, you'll be crying tears of laughter at the ridiculousness of it all.

January 7, 2009 at 10:36:00 AM PST  
Blogger Lil said...

Denise, you rock because you're already letting yourself tell the truth about your experiences with Cedar...and you already realize that half the battle of being a mom is bursting the illusion that we've set up for ourselves.

I was going to be a earth mama...all blissed out on my daughter, breezing through our days high on each other and letting the rest of my responsibilities fit where they could. Ha ~ 2mths in got severely depressed, hospitalized and my family basically raised my daughter for the next 5mths. Yeah, it was the farthest thing from what I envisioned...and when it finally dawned on me that I was my worst enemy and expecting too much from me and her...I began to heal.

SO you see, you're so freaking ahead of the game when you have these moments and realize that they are what they are ~ no judegment...only opportunities for honesty. And to further spread your honesty to other's so that they don't set themselves up either for a huge fall.

Rock on Denise and Cedar...


January 7, 2009 at 10:58:00 AM PST  
Blogger pakosta said...

I feel that way a lot as a mom! you are NOT alone! I thought with my first one that nursing was going to be this great connection thing and my first daughter HATED it so so much! at 3 months she got teeth and bit me! and 8 months she went on a nursing strike and would NOT nurse at all for 3 weeks! by 10 months i gave up and gave her a bottle! she's stubborn! and got her way! and i thought it was going to be this awesome experience! thankfully God saw my tears and gave me a great nurser the 2nd time around, loved it so much she nursed til she was 3 years old! I AM sure i have plenty more stories, but that one stood out to me! you are not alone!

January 7, 2009 at 10:59:00 AM PST  
Blogger Amy said...

I could share stories upon stories that are similar to the one you wrote, and I will at another time...But for now, let me just say that every single thing you mentioned here is normal and understandable and completely ok. He'll be fine and you'll be fine and you'll figure it out together. The one thing I've learned from this ride called motherhood is that it's best just to give up all expectations and concentrate on the hope and wonder and awe those little ones bring with em. When I do this (and it's a struggle much of the time) I am able to get past how I thought things should be and just feel how they are.

Sending you much love.


January 7, 2009 at 11:32:00 AM PST  
Blogger Wendy said...

" Time and again you'll be stripped of your preconceptions, judgments, ideas, theories and opinions of motherhood and left to go straight on through the inexplicable experience itself...I know. I understand. Me too."- Karen Maezen Miller

(She really does know everything)

Welcome to the "Other Mothers Club".


January 7, 2009 at 12:28:00 PM PST  
Blogger mames said...

i do not think there is enough room in the comments section for the stories i could tell, twins and roookie mamas have a lot of those moments and very little zen in the first year.

i hope this does not sound wrong, but i have been waiting for this post. i think because i started reading your blog when i had just become a mama and i so wanted mama-hood for you but i was also so amazed at the idealization of mama-hood while i was mired in the hard hard parts of it.

i am glad you are giving us your experience so we can write and say, totally normal; the tough not working out as planned bits, the crying, the figuring it out as you go along, the sometimes feeling like what the hell was i thinking flashes. it is a crazy time, those early months, and there were actually times i envied you your time and your freedom despite your huge desire to come into mama-hood.

so, just to let you know, it does get easier with the growth of both of you and there will always be us, your mama tribe to tell you that.

but the crying in the carseat, well, we still have that...and mine are almost two. no zen babies for me, beautiful amazing boys, but definitely no zen. hugs, girl. you are doing awesome.

January 7, 2009 at 12:44:00 PM PST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh sweetie! There is no Zen to find! It's only you. Sorry if I set you off on a rocky trail. Just start where you are and keep it simple.

A narrow range of motion is a good thing in the days of poop, pee, spit up, and all kinds of fluid unpredictabilities (That means everyday.)

And call me.

January 7, 2009 at 12:52:00 PM PST  
Blogger Jessica S. said...

i am so impressed with your posts since cedar has arrived in your life...you are honest when you know it might not be taken well by some who read your blog...i am proud of you bohomama, so proud...you will figure it out, no doubt.

January 7, 2009 at 12:56:00 PM PST  
Blogger Teaworthy said...

This post reminds me of the moment in Eat Pray Love when a new italian friend tells Elizabeth "be kind to yourself when you are learning something new"
I know it is hard. I've been there so many times.
There's a myth I had in my mind about what it would be like to finally be a mom. I spent the first few months of my daughter's life looking at her and feeling she would never be able to comprehend how much I loved her, how long I had waited for her and how magical I wanted to be to her. If my voice didn't sooth her, I felt like I had failed...hadn't earned the gift that I had been given...just tore myself up fearing I would never be enough and that it would never be as magical as I had always imagined. And eventually, with the assistance of a little sleep and prayer, I let go of the myth of motherhood and let go of what I thought it would be to just accept each moment for what it is.

I cut out a page from an old Real Simple once that had a photo of mom and baby and said, "there's no one way to be a perfect mother, but a million ways to be a good one." I taped that sucker to the nursery door. It's still there, 3 years later, giving me permission to just do the best I can in that moment.

You're an awesome mom and already a pro. prayers for you.

January 7, 2009 at 12:57:00 PM PST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

And hey, I just watched the video. Look at how much he trusts you. You can't make a mistake with him. Not possible!

January 7, 2009 at 1:00:00 PM PST  
Blogger Colie said...

Isn't it interesting how we romantize everything. Relationships, parenting, family, holidays - we think that other people experience this perfect/wonderful experience and forget that its ordinary. It's real and reality is not always comfortable and romantic. There are moments that are romantic and beautiful - but they are still ordinary. (Ordinary Miracle by Sarah McLachlan - good song).

Enjoy all your ordinary moments:-) and when they are extraordinary - take a moment to be in it!
Have fun!

January 7, 2009 at 2:36:00 PM PST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh sweet fancy Moses -- so many tales to share!! But the one the comes to mind immediately was when I was taking my son to meet my former co-workers for lunch, which already had me a little nervous but I thought, No big deal. After all, he loves riding in the car! Yeaahhh...but not that day. He started screaming his head off five minutes from the house, and just kept ramping up until I finally called and cancelled our date, turned the car around and headed for home. He stopped crying right about the time I started. (Funny how that works out!) Anyway, every mom I talked to after that had a similar tale; we WILL learn to bend to the will of our new masters! ;)

By the way, I can also relate to that rookie feeling and I'm on kid #2. Everything is such a big production! And I sort of pride myself on being prepared, and I am never prepared. It drives me nuts! Not enough snacks, not the right outfit -- it's always something. But you know what? We live and learn and go on to fight another day. It gets easier. It really does.

January 7, 2009 at 2:50:00 PM PST  
Blogger jon-erik said...

Hmmmmm......very interesting story my California Sister.......It seems to me you manifested yourself @ the beach one day becoming a family you wished for.....so you went with Cedar in January...wet n unpredictable......could I ask very politely....when you went to the beach and saw all the family life that you were manifesting....was it in the summer or late spring........and if so.......go back and relive it again...go back to the beach in the season you visited it with your fertility yearnings.......then, I think and feel it will manifest that moment of tribulation that you seek....do not let January @ the beach get ya down....go back into memory and see what season you actually where there manifesting......its just a thought...because your intent and journey is very beautiful!
Love J-E

January 7, 2009 at 3:06:00 PM PST  
Blogger Leah said...

Now you've left "Rookie-momdom" and hit the "real mom" stakes! ;0).
I am seven years & four children into this journey and I am still as Rookie Mum as it gets. Things like thinking "oh, the library will be great" only to drag them out half an hour later, the two youngest wailing and my 7 yr old complaining about her "butt-head" brother & sister in her loudest voice. LOL.
Your posts are so true, honest and wonderful. I am loving being able to watch your journey - I only wish I had someone like you to read when my first was born, someone to tell it like it really is whilst still being so cool :0).

January 7, 2009 at 3:29:00 PM PST  
Blogger ~Michelle~ said...

Oh my, what J-E posted was beautiful! Absolutely beautiful. So wise, encouraging and heart warming.

January 7, 2009 at 3:34:00 PM PST  
Blogger Nic Bridges said...

There were too many days like that to recall - often I wouldn't leave the house without the help of another grownup. I spent much of my children's babyhood feeling inadequate & clumsy - I didn't have the strength and confidence in myself that you have, that arrived much more recently for me. And my babies are now wonderful teenagers who are so amazing that I can see that I did a good job without even knowing it at the time. You'll be fine.

January 7, 2009 at 3:55:00 PM PST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh, I'm sorry you had such a hard time at that beautiful beach. Where I'm from we can't take strollers on the beach, sand is too soft, so we just sling our babies and take a nice brisk walk. You should sling Cedar next time you are on the beach. He will love being close to you and really looking around.

January 7, 2009 at 4:00:00 PM PST  
Blogger momjeans said...

Oh welcome to motherhood, the land of missteps and learning... :)

Today I drove with a friend to a museum in the city, and forgot to bring our stroller blanket (it's 35 degrees) and rain cover (obviously, raining). I felt like the worst mother scurrying through the chilly drizzle to the museum, selfish selfish me for wanting to see some art...but it was a short walk and we all survived.

And mine is a year old, so these little moments keep happening. I've been the mom who forgets the sunscreen, the sippy cup, the snack, the sling on the days where she just will. not. sit. in the stroller.

You just learn to forgive yourself quicker.


January 7, 2009 at 4:25:00 PM PST  
Blogger tricia said...

Thanks for making me smile:) My experience with my little ones has taught me that everything is completely unpredictable, nothing goes as planned, and all of it is the most wonderful journey. He is so beautiful:)

January 7, 2009 at 4:26:00 PM PST  
Blogger momjeans said...

p.s. my girl wouldn't sit in the stroller for more than a few minutes until she was 7 or 8 months old, so i second the suggestions for slings and soft carriers. we used the new native and the bjorn in the beginning and now use the ergo, and i've found they can totally change a "tender" day into a happy hugging one. good luck to you!

January 7, 2009 at 4:31:00 PM PST  
Blogger Christina Rosalie said...

Just a thought for next time: try a Bjorn or sling. Cedar will be all snugged up against you, and the bumpy stroller won't upset him...

January 7, 2009 at 5:08:00 PM PST  
Blogger Christina Rosalie said...

It took me so long to figure those things out the first time around...now I'm expecting the second one and am terrified--I feel like I've forgotten everything...

January 7, 2009 at 5:10:00 PM PST  
Blogger Kim -today's creative blog said...

I think all mothers feel like rookies, we've all had our misconceptions on how it's "supposed" to be. I remember feeling so out of synch for at least a year. It seemed like all my girlfriends were so much better at it than me. One afternoon while getting my stroller out, getting my one year old bundle secured, oblivious to looking like I knew what I was doing......I hear a desperate voice asking if I could help her. I see a new mother with a crying baby. She tells me that she can't figure out her stroller and that I look liked I knew what I was doing. I wanted to kiss her right there. That's when realized that we do know what we're doing........it just feel like it sometimes because it's all new.
Hang in there and just know that each stage is temporary. You will have that perfect day at the beach.

January 7, 2009 at 5:10:00 PM PST  
Blogger Jules said...

So many stories like this I could share. I feel though what's more important is to acknowledge the pressure we put on ourselves & other women. In those first weeks, months & years we should be relying on our tribe for support & teaching & reassurance but instead we feel we should be able to do it alone. As it appears that everyone else does too. And as we see friends struggle we think ~ no I won't interfere, step on her toes. She's doing it her way. I respect that.
Well I think that sisters of the world, it's time to step up. Recreate community. Embrace your women & call on them for help, then offer it when you feel to. Don't be worried that your actions may offend. Most likely they will bring your sister a ray of light from which she will draw her own strength.
(Sorry for the essay ~ have been where you are & with the wisdom of hindsight I wish I'd have called for help, and I wish I's have accepted it when it was offered.) x

January 7, 2009 at 6:04:00 PM PST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I can't share a story of where i took her out and it didn't turn out great, you will be shocked to know i haven't yet took my baby girl out further than to my parents house which is maybe 12 mins away. She hates her carseat and she hates to be in the backseat alone. She will be 5 months next week. My DH and i always go to town and do the shopping together. My mom thinks this is crazy but i haven't got brave enough. My baby girl is cool for the first 5 minutes when i leave the yard by myself but it seems after that she starts screaming and won't stop until we get to my parents house. So therefore you have took a challenge that i haven't been brave enough yet to do. I always find myself envying women that i see out shopping with their newborn or better yet with a newborn and with a toddler and they are ALONE.

Now if you want stories of my journey into motherhood i can share some with you :) Oh like the time that i KNEW my baby was pooping just after feeding her but i wanted to burp her first and i had her up on my shoulder patting her with one hand while i had my other hand under her tush and i felt something wet in my hand. Oh yes, it was poopie from a leaky diaper. And it gets better, i looked in my lap and oh yes there was poopie on my leg from where she had been sitting and i didn't know that it was leaking. That will make you cry!!! And she had just had a bath before her feeding. I called my mom crying asking her why didn't she warn me these kind of things happen!!! Oh boy the joys of motherhood.

It gets better, i promise. I do not feel like a pro at this at all but i have been where you are. It gets better. I still have my moments where i want to cry when we are having a bad day (or more like i'm having a bad day) and my husband can step in and know instantly what to do. I feel like he knows her more than me but he does have her all day while i work and on the weeks that he doesn't work he has her 24/7 literally. so he would know her more than me, but i have to just take a deep breath and just breathe. It always seems to get better....

Thanks so much for sharing, by you sharing it helps me to see that i'm not the only one having a tough time getting adjusted to motherhood!!! Please keep sharing good and bad stories.

January 7, 2009 at 7:32:00 PM PST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh how I love to read your stories of motherhood. This one gave me a good laugh because we've all been there. Almost 4 years ago I became a mother to a precious little boy. I had many moments that I had looked forward to including a trip to the beach that was not all rainbows and bluebirds. Fast forward to the present...I had my 2nd baby, a girl back in August. When she was about 4 weeks old I decided to go to Target to walk around and shop. My son was in a Mother's Day Out program so it was just me and her. Feeling proud of myself for getting out and looking decent we headed to Target. As soon as we get there she decides she's hungry. I'm nursing so I decide to go hide out it the fitting room to feed her. After we're done, I try my darnedest to burp her and she won't burp. So I finally buckle her in and head towards the baby section (of course) and out of nowhere she throws up. Not spit up. Throw up...out the nose, out of the mouth, soaking her carseat. I was horrified. I about burst into tears between the shoes and the men's pajama pants. I got her to the bathroom to clean up but had to put her back in the icky carseat. Needless to say my shopping trip wasn't as fun and relaxing as I had hoped it to be and the rest of my plans for the day got shoved aside. It's funny because some days I feel zen and think I know what I'm doing and then other days I still feel like a rookie mom.

January 7, 2009 at 7:59:00 PM PST  
Blogger Kristin Zecchinelli said...

oh dear love we have all been there. these babes do not come with clear manuals. and yes the expectation had become so huge to you it was bound to have a hiccup. i surely was a momma looking at the solo you in longing. wishing for 1 solo walk, 1 day to shoot photos anywhere i wish, so i am guilty as charged there. my alone moment was surely the first time i took my then 2 yr old and my brand new 2 week old to the grocery store for the first trip by myself with the 2 of them. i had put it off a full week. i was not a new momma, what was my issue? i was terrified. how do i juggle 2, and shop and check out? how?!?!?! well deep breath and just did it. i made my first mistake in getting them out of the car in the wrong order. who knew there was a wrong order. well there was. then stumbling through that the baby woke and cried and i was weeping thinking how can i do this, WHY did i do this (have another so close to my son) guilt guilt guilt self defeating. but we did it together. as you are doing, you and cedar. muddling through life, now together. crazy messy beautiful life.

January 7, 2009 at 9:02:00 PM PST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i would like to add that it only gets more and more fun and amazing each moment. yes, there are such challenges and thru those challenges you are forced to look deeply at yourself and discover a deep and flowing strength(even during, or after, the moments you may want to sack it all) you never knew existed..because the whole world changes once you are responsible for a new life. this is love. welcome.

January 7, 2009 at 9:20:00 PM PST  
Blogger Vanessa said...

this all sounds so familiar -even now (with 3 boys aged 6.5, 4.5 and 2.5!)- ...when those moments that you had been counting on, those milestones that you had dreamed of turn themselves around and seem to disappoint momentarily. the thing is -and i know you already know this- it's the little unexpected moments, the sudden, pleasant surprises that will fill your hearts with unwarranted magic and create beautiful, unique memories for you and Cedar. xoxoxox

January 8, 2009 at 2:14:00 AM PST  
Blogger Monica said...

I will add my story to the mix too. I remember being with a group of friends when my three year old had a meltdown and then I too had a meltdown. Right there in front of everyone. I was so embarrassed. I asked them all to tell me a story of a meltdown/awkward moment and I got nothing back. It felt so shameful, so here's my story.

My firstborn was a few weeks old. She was a spitter (soaked herself and me after each feed) so in addition to a change of clothes for her I always brought a change of clothes for me too. We were on our first trip out to visit the inlaws. An hour and a half drive. I was excited to get out and show her off. We packed the bags, coordinated the feeds and the naps, etc ... all a big undertaking in and of itself. We piled in the car and she screamed most of the way there. My nerves were frazzled, I was crying. As we pulled into the town in which my inlaws lived I noticed the diaper bag was missing. I crashed. Started sobbing. Completely undone. We went to the local, small town mall and my husband and I went inside to buy diapers and wipes. I took the babe in the car seat into the mall, b/c there was no way I was sitting in that car with her wailing. I stood in the mall corridors, tears streaming down my face, as I tried to comfort her. People streamed past me and I just stood there, feeling so alone, crying. I'm crying now, replaying the story for you. And it was nine years ago.

It's okay. It's all okay. You are normal. No need to feel guilty, although I did too ... for not being happier and embracing all things mommyhood. So that parts normal too.


January 8, 2009 at 8:17:00 AM PST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh Denise,
It's so good that you are writing about this. My son is 17 months old and when he was first born... oh my goodness, I THOUGHT I was prepared, but that sleep-deprivation can really kick butt. I felt so alone and so incompetent as a mother. I was too embarassed to tell anyone though. My husband really showed me How amazing that he is.

Bravo to you for your honesty!!! Moms need to read about these things... We need to share our experience to empower us all.... :)

Ps---life seems to get easier at the 3 month mark...


January 8, 2009 at 11:05:00 AM PST  
Blogger Terri Edwards said...

denise - i'm getting ready to make a cross-country flight with sofia by myself. i am as prepared as i can be but i KNOW it will not go according to plan. if i've learned anything in five months, it's that she is in control, not me.

i too envisioned what it would be like to finally have the baby i'd always dreamed of...oh, the things we'll do, i thought! what you have to remember is that cedar is a person with his own ideas and desires. we try so hard to make our motherhood experience into what WE want it to be, but we forget that another human being with their own spirit is here too. we just have to be flexible and open to the mayhem.

January 8, 2009 at 12:05:00 PM PST  
Blogger karen said...

i love your honesty and just know that its ok to be sad, cry it out and then you and cedar can both feel better. you are a fantastic mum, everyone has these days, thankyou for sharing yours in such a real way
ive had many of these days but with 4 new little ones (when i first started doing day care at my house, i was 18) some days are so tough with babies but they make us stronger women

January 8, 2009 at 4:00:00 PM PST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't have kids, so this is not really what you were looking for. But I just wanted to say that posts like these are what has taught me to be more reflective and make better decisions about how I handle my emotions. I have moments like yours all the time. Not the baby part, but the strong longing and then the realizing that what you had was good too, just in a different way. Just today I was talking to a former student who was feeling this way about going on to high school. It was cool to see her so reflective at such a young age; students often want to leave middle school and then tell me a year later that all they want to do is come back. It was nice to share this with a student today and then to read the same message on your blog, because it is something I am working so hard on but feel like I am failing often at it. But I suppose that even this feeling of working things out and figuring out who I am has good in it too and having it "figured out" won't be as good as I think it is now either. I am even trying to enjoy winter for once!

The other things I wanted to say is that it is posts like this one that have prompted me to not really care about the discomfort of sharing personal things on my blog. I appreciate your honesty a lot. I wrote my first deeply personal blog post on Wednesday and it felt good but still scary. But you have inspired me and given me courage. Your blog is one of the first I click on now...yes, partly because I love the baby pictures, but I'm sure I could find other pictures out there without the honest journey you write about.

I am happy to say I have met you and am looking forward to hopefully seeing you again in September.

You are always stronger than you know. That's how our brain works. If our brain let us daily bring ourselves to the edge we would need weeks to recover. But the strength is there when you need it, just remember that.

January 9, 2009 at 7:15:00 PM PST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just wait until the projectile vomitting!! You never know when or where it will happen but trust me, happen it will. In the car (then you dress your babe in your sweatshirt or but new clothes at you next stop), in your family bed so you all have to relocate, all over your breast feeding boobs, etc. You are forewarned.

January 10, 2009 at 12:54:00 PM PST  
Blogger hazelnutcottage said...

hi boho girl,
:O) i think i felt the way you did at the beach, during the whole of my firstborn's infancy!!! he was a DIFFICULT baby...looking back, i think he had reflux, or colic, but that's another story.

he would cry for HOURS.

i think what made his infancy so hard was that i was suffering from post-partum depression and i did not know it. i had read all about it, but when you are experiencing depression it is very difficult to say 'hey, i think i have post-partum depression'. and my hubby was new at this too, of course, and he didn't see it and there were sooo many days in the first few weeks when i was home alone with this screaming newborn...my hubby went back to work after just a week and a half, and i didn't have any other help...anyway, there'd be so many days my husband would find me holding baby in the hallway by our front door, practically hysterical (me) waiting for him to come home so that he could take the baby.

and my other first time mama friends had these NORMAL babies. the kind if you fed them, they'd fall aslepp. the kind where if you picked them up and rocked them, they'd coo and stop fussing. my little guy would just wail and wail. (i learned that swinging the carseat w/baby strapped in worked wonders. so did vaccum cleaner noise and vibrating massagers on the crib mattress...)

i remember going to wal-mart for a short shopping expedition, with baby crying and crying, and in the end had to whip out my boob in the curtain aisle and sit on the floor to nurse him. oh yeah. i did. (because when they want that meal, they want it NOW DAMMIT!)

anyhoo, i have 2 now and life is wild and chaotic. if there is any encouragement i could give you it is this:

...enjoy cedar. never mind what anybody says, never mind those books. and if you are feeling drained, tired, angry, disappointed in yourself and with the whole mommy experience, be extra kind to yourself and find others to talk to...it's okay. really. you are still a great mom and cedar will be just fine...you'll see...

January 17, 2009 at 2:24:00 AM PST  

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