Step 1 – You MUST have the baby. They do NOT let you say, “I don’t think I can do this. I want to go home.” I KNOW because I tried it…moments before the doctor began my c-section. Phil was outside the operating room door and heard my pitiful plea. Now, my nurse was worth her salt. She got in my face and said, “You CAN do this. You have to do this for your baby.” Thankfully, I kept my mouth shut…and proceeded. My fear was MUCH worse than the actual procedure.
Step 2 – No matter how incapable you think you are, you do NOT get you off the hook. YOU HAVE TO BE THE MOM. You do not get to trade places with someone more able…more knowledgible…more motherly. Oi. This was a tough pill for me to swallow. I begged Phil to stay home and raise our baby. He was MUCH better equipped. He knew how to feed her, burp her, change her…etc. Alas, he wisely left the baby in my care…knowing I’d get the hang of it AND come to love it.
Step 3 – Surround yourself with other warriors (i.e. mommies). Shea, Christy, Mindy, Brooke, and Laura were my life-lines initially. They (plus Phil) are the reason I made it through the early weeks. They confirmed that my feelings (no matter how crazy) were normal…that I was normal…that I could do this…that it would get better.
Step 4 – Fall in love with baby. Breathe in that baby smell. Hold baby. Love baby. The weight of her in my arms is so perfect….
I’m certain there are more steps…different steps for each mommy. These were mine. ROUGH start…but I LOVE this new calling now.