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“What I’ve learned about new motherhood? I am strong.”

by Guest Blogger on October 31, 2012

Today’s post is brought to you by guest writer Tragic Sandwich. If you missed her first post on lessons learned from new motherhood, you can read it here.

you are the mother your child needs today, quote

Labor is hard, and after 32 hours of it, I was truly exhausted. But when the time came to push, I gave it my all. After the first push, I looked up at Mr. Sandwich and said, “I can do this.” He said, “I know you can.” And I said, “No, you don’t understand. I can DO this.” Because he may have believed in me, but until I got there, I wasn’t so sure. 

Two hours later, my doctor said, “Here’s where we are. You can have a C-section now, or you can push through three more contractions and we’ll use suction–but if the baby isn’t out then, we do a C-section no matter what.” Then he paused and said, “How are you feeling?”

I knew the answer I needed to give him: accurate and honest, but demonstrating that I was capable of evaluating my own status. So I said, “I’m exhausted and disoriented, but I understand what you’re saying, and I want to keep pushing.”

It turned out that they actually gave me four contractions, and I didn’t have to go to surgery. But it also turned out that I would find other ways to be strong.

Nursing was hard. So hard it drove me to tears on many occasions. So exhausting, and so unproductive, that I would pump all day to produce an ounce of milk. The nonstop schedule and the assumed guilt that somehow I was failing to provide for my child ground me down even further. In the end, though I found I had the strength to realize that what my daughter needed was food, and me, but not necessarily food from me. And all along, she’s been a thriving, active little girl.

I have had the strength to stay up all night when she was sick, and to endure the process of crying it out–and the strength to determine that while that technique may work for some, it didn’t work for Baguette or for us.

But most of all what I’m struck by is my physical strength. There have been any number of points where I’ve thought, “She’s getting so big. I don’t know how much longer I’ll be able to carry her.” But as she gets bigger, I get stronger, and I can still carry her. And I love that, because I won’t always be able to–but I’m so glad I can now. (Yes, she walks plenty–never fear!)

We’ve been lucky that, so far, we’ve not had to face real hardships with her, but we know those can come without warning. And we trust that if they do, we’ll find ways to support her and each other in whatever ways are needed.

Baguette is a strong little girl. She needs a strong mommy. And I’m so glad that I can be that for her.

How are you strong for your children?

Tragic Sandwich is a 40-something mom to Baguette, a rambunctious toddler who loves adventures. Together, she and Mr. Sandwich are making their way through the world of first-time parenthood.

Photo credit: Vintagechica on Flickr (Creative Commons License)

{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

susan October 31, 2012 at 12:54 pm

Motherhood does show us how strong we are. I am strong enough not to let a little thing like Down syndrome stop me from being the best mom possible and helping my kids anyway I can.

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Tragic Sandwich October 31, 2012 at 2:37 pm

We all do our best to give our kids what they need–you’re amazing!

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Elizabeth Kane October 31, 2012 at 3:59 pm

Mothers are true superheros. Honestly, I don’t think Batman, Spiderman, or the Green Lantern have anything on women finding the courage and strength to do the impossible every single day. Beautiful post :)

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Tragic Sandwich October 31, 2012 at 5:58 pm

Thank you! It takes so much strength to deal with the everyday aspects of parenthood. I am awed by people who do it facing greater issues than I ever have.

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Brittnie November 1, 2012 at 6:48 am

I agree! Mothers ARE super heros. We do hard, dirty work each and every day. We are usually stronger than we think. Praise God that He gives us the endurance we need each and every day to remain strong for our kiddos. I love this post and love the message on that sticky note!

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Sarah October 31, 2012 at 4:01 pm

I really relate to this, thank you! I remember early in my second pregnancy I worried about continuing to carry my (very heavy) toddler through the nine months. My doctor wasn’t worried and, sure enough, my strength increased as it needed to. By the end I was capable of holding one chunky two-year-old in my arms while carrying a nearly-full-term babe in my belly. I remember feeling strong then (tired, but strong). :)

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Tragic Sandwich October 31, 2012 at 6:00 pm

And, I imagine, good at adjusting your balance! :)

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Raquel October 31, 2012 at 4:43 pm

Yes, nothing tests your strength like Motherhood. There are so many times along the way too. It is amazing what comes from the heart. Enjoyed your post.

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Tragic Sandwich October 31, 2012 at 6:01 pm

Thank you! Love gives amazing power.

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