Saturday, October 19, 2013

A Mother's Communion {Some First Thoughts on This Beautiful New Journey}

It has been just over two weeks since our sweet girl entered our life. How did we live without her? She is such a blessing to us and makes our family feel so full. When I got home from the hospital, I was on some birthing high. I felt really good, definitely sore and in need of rest, but really good. My mom was in town which was such a blessing. The first week was such a whirlwind of nursing and sleeping in stints of two hours. Week two brought some new challenges, but it also brought my sister Joy and her son Aedan. Thank goodness they came because Danny was at work full time and I had my first really hard day with Annabelle. She nursed all day and cried if she wasn't nursing. It made me feel concerned: am I producing enough milk? Is she getting a good latch/suck to get the most she can? I just wanted to do a good job. The biggest challenge, though, has been slowing down. We live in a world where we are told to get as much done as possible at one time. For example, I have five tabs open in my internet browser right now. Not enough to check one website and spend some time perusing; I have to check five. I catch myself looking at my iPhone, checking IG or Facebook while I nurse my sweet girl when I should be looking at her, taking in all of her sweet details: the way she holds her hands together when she nurses, the way she gazes around taking in all of this new world, the rhythm of her breathing. Of course, nursing does take up a lot of time, so there is a practical side of trying to get something else done while nursing, but I am going to try to put away my cell phone and focus on her.

For the first time in my life, I care about someone more than myself. Of course I love my husband and care about him with my whole heart, but having child brings it to a whole new level. I want to do my best to serve her and provide for all her needs. That is my call. But I also have to remember to take care of myself. I can't do a good job taking care of Annabelle or my husband if I do not take care of my needs: rest, relaxation, nutrition, and eventually exercise. On Friday, I was over-tired and extremely weepy. Every mole hill became a mountain and I just cried in Danny's arms about how hard this new life step is. Hard, but beautiful. Praise the Lord I am married to a loving and patient man who affirmed my motherhood and my feelings. 

I have also begun a 54 day Rosary Novena. It is 27 days of petition followed by 27 days of thanksgiving. I love it. Danny and I prayed this novena right before we got engaged, so it holds a special place in my heart, but I am praying it with a new heart now-the heart of a mother. It gives me such an appreciation for Our Lady and her sufferings as she watched her son suffer. Earlier this week, I had to take Belle to get a prick in her foot. I couldn't even look as they pricked her because it just broke my heart to see. She was nursing and I just kept looking at her and telling her they were almost done. Later that night, I prayed the Sorrowful Mysteries and I couldn't even fathom the suffering Our Lady experienced. I am overwhelmed by it. How my motherhood has already increased my devotion to Mary! I hope to always run to her in my motherhood; to ask her for the grace to mother in the proper way and to have confidence in my vocation as a mother. 

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