First name: Kim
Number of kids and ages: 1 daughter, age 2
The most surprising thing about being a first-time mom is how thick that newborn fog is, and I wasn’t prepared for how much my anxiety would spike! We had a unique experience with our daughter that caused a lot of stress. But slowly the constant anxiety eased up and I was able to enjoy more and more of my new daily life and those sweet or funny moments with a baby.
My expectation vs. experience breastfeeding was my daughter wouldn’t nurse and I tried everything: lactation consultants, feeding clinics, different nursing gadgets like breast shields, etc., but nothing did the trick. It was so exhausting! It turned out my daughter had a cyst in her throat that wasn’t diagnosed until she was 3 months old, no wonder she couldn’t nurse or drink a bottle very fast. It took too much effort to suck and she couldn’t breathe. Poor thing! Even after the cyst was surgically removed she wouldn’t nurse and at that point I stopped pumping because I wasn’t even producing much milk from the stress of it all. I was so relieved we found a reason for the feeding issues. I tried to give myself and the situation grace, and I slowly started feeling more back to myself again and less anxious.
I thought feeding my daughter would be easy and bonding but it was a source of great stress because she wasn’t nursing and she was losing weight, was off the growth chart, and not eating very much from a bottle either, and when she did eat she would scream. So many tears from both of us.
She’s happy and healthy and thriving now so everything is okay now though! My perspective on life has changed and this experience has helped me be so grateful for the simple things, like her ability to swallow without issues now.
The best piece of advice about motherhood is find joy and humor in the little things, talk kindly to yourself, take one day at a time, and ask for help!