Sunday, February 24, 2013

The Cheerful Color Toh-Ma-Toe: The Guilty Feeling


What I didn't expect about motherhood...

No, it's not the lack of sleep or those sort of things. I knew about that. What I didn't prepare myself for is the psychological effect of being a mother. Some women have been wanting to be a mom since they were very young. Some women - like me - have this "If it happens, it happens" attitude about being a mother. But I didn't expect this...

The guilty feeling.

I felt guilty when I didn't start lactating right away after my c-section. I felt guilty when I started lactating and I felt I didn't produce lots enough milk for my baby. I imagined milk will just flow from my breasts right after giving birth and I could fill one or two or three baby bottles with just one pumping. (Now you know how clueless I was, am, about all the motherhood thing) 
I felt guilty when was annoyed that my baby was crying and all I wanted to do was sleeping or surfing the internet.
I felt guilty that I didn't master the whole taking care of a newborn baby skills in 24 hours. 
I felt guilty that I had to ask my Mom to help me with the baby. I felt guilty that my Mom had to leave my Dad alone at their house at my hometown since I need her with me here in Jakarta. Me and the baby need her with us. 
I felt guilty that I couldn't give as much attention to my husband as when before the baby arrived. I felt guilty that I didn't look as presentable as I did before the baby, since I was so occupied with nursing, taking care of the baby, eating, and eating and eating because I'm ravenous after each nursing time.
I felt guilty (and helpless) when the baby cried and I couldn't figure out why he was crying.

I'm so thankful that my friends - mothers also - have been giving me encouragement messages via facebook, and telling me that it happened to them also, and for me to "hang in there, we've been there, too, and you'll do just fine".

Support from one's spouse at times like these is precious. I was nursing Baby Michael one night and the baby cried because for some reason on that particular evening I couldn't produce enough milk. I had to give him some additional formula for that particular night, until the milk started to flow again the next day. I felt so bad and so guilty and helpless. It's like, I love the baby so much, yet I couldn't give him enough milk?! Suddenly my husband said to me: "Look, honey, Baby Michael is looking at you with his huge eyes, lovingly. He said 'I love you, Mommy. Thank you for waking up all night to feed me. It's OK, Mommy, I don't mind eating baby formula once in a while. Uncle Bob drank formula, too, and he turned out just fine.' " That's what that dear husband of mine said to me. I felt like crying and hugging him.

I'm not against formula. My nephew and niece were raised on formula and they turned up to be strong, , healthy, smart teenagers. My brother also was fed on formula since he was one month old, and he's the healthiest and smartest among us three siblings, and he's still super close to Mom. My husband and I even welcomed the idea of giving our baby a mix of breastfeeding and formula bottle should the situation doesn't allow exclusive breastfeeding.

So, yeah, I know the guilty feeling is illogical, but I couldn't help it.

So here I am sharing this with you all, so if any of you ever have this kind of experience, know this: you're not alone! ^__^

And you know what helps? Each time I'm nursing, I say a little prayer and give everything in God's care. Sounds cliche, but it gives me a certain peaceful feeling. 

I am not always in control of my own life or of my family's life. But The Lord is. Always.


"Do not worry about tomorrow. 

Tomorrow will take care of itself. Sufficient for a day is its own evil." 

(Matthew 6:34)


I was 31 weeks pregnant in these picture. 









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11 comments:

Tracy said...

HI there, praying for you as you and baby figure out your day to day! Thanks for linking up
God bless
Tracy

Sylvia R said...

Oh, my, this brought back memories! I'd forgotten how much I'd felt all those guilt feelings! And I think one of their side effects is tension, which can keep the milk from coming! Prayer like yours and good support = such good answers.

Accidentally Wonderful said...

I am so glad I found your blog! My daughter is due in 9 DAYS, and I've been nervous, not about the delivery, but about what comes after. Thanks for being so honest! It's good to know I'm not alone =) New follower! You can check my blog out if you'd like http://accidentallywonderful.blogspot.com

Wholesome Womanhood said...

I can relate to this! My daughter is four months old, and I wasn't prepared for the feelings of inadequacy and guilt that came with motherhood.

Farmlife Chick said...

BleSs your heart!!:) keep up the good work! Guilt plagues every mother in one area or another. It's because of the expectations we place on ourselves and most certainly comparing ourselves to others.
I just saw a post on Raising Mighty Arrows and she was going through the same thing you are with lactation. So, you are absolutely right, you are not alone! She made delicious looking lactation cookies!:) be encouraged!!! Blessings!:)

Judith said...

LeeAnne, you are growing on me as you share such honest, caring posts about your new season of motherhood. You are on the right track because you love baby Michael so much and although you have those guilt feelings that come from a concerned mother's heart, you are seeking to do the very best for him. You are learning to be sacrificial and you will somehow learn how to balance motherhood and still give in your relationship with your wonderful husband. I love that your mother came to help you. That is so special that she was able to come. You probably honored her and pleased her so much that you would need her. That means so much to a mom. I love that you are praying for your son. Keep praying as he will need it in the years to come and you will need wisdom in raising him.

I love your outfit and you look wonderful for being 31 weeks pregnant. Thanks for linking up at WholeHearted Home this week.

Ana from Sweet Serendipity said...

Cute outfit!! Love your top!!

Patti said...

Please don't fret - you are doing all the wonderful mommy things, and your baby knows it! Thanks so much for linking p to Visible Monday xoxoxo

Ann, Heather and Sheila said...

First of all, you look fabulous in your tomato-colored top. I shouldn't really speak to the child-related issues since I forgot to have children, but I did find a little girl to "adopt" as a granddaughter. I do know that raising children is one of the hardest, yet most rewarding, jobs a woman can do. I've watched close friends and family members raise their children and here's what I know: as long as the children are loved, they pretty much forgive any mistakes made by their parents and they turn out just fine. So relax and enjoy!
Heather from Friendship, Life and Style

Sam M said...

I haven't had my own baby, but I'm studying to be a doula and heard that many mother's feel this same way. I bet it's hard not to feel guilty when you want everything to be perfect for your little one. If you're feeling like you're not producing enough milk it might be a good idea to meet with a lactation specialist, or a breast feeding clinic. Sometimes diminished milk supply has to do with the baby not latching on correctly so he doesn't end up drinking a lot of milk so your supply dwindles. They can also tell you about herbs or prescriptions to up your supply.

Naomi@What Joy Is Mine said...

Find much encouragement friend that most mommies struggle at one time or another with feeling guilty that we aren't doing an adequate job. But know you are doing just fine. The fact alone that you knew how to remedy the baby's feeding shows what a good mommy you are. I'm sure you have offered much encouragement to other new mommies with this post. Thank you for sharing it at WJIM. Keep up the good work.

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