Motherhood Matters

The Joy of Motherhood

If you think you know true exhaustion, try being a mom. The work is never-ending. You go on and on.

A few minutes ago, I woke up from a nap. It felt like a decade of sleeping, though it was only 3 hours. Yes, three hours! I was that tired and didn’t even realise when I went to bed. Thankfully, Niya was even more tired and still is sound asleep.

The truth is, motherhood is the hardest work. Yet at the same time, the most satisfying. It is sacred to be a mother. There is no describing the soul-stretching fortitude it can bring to anyone seeking more purpose and direction.

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Motherhood Matters, Nuggets of Inspiration

9 Months of Motherhood

My Niya is 9 months! It is hard to believe how fast time went by but I am so very grateful I’ve been able to spend every day at home with her. I’m learning so much — about life, my potential and developing my talents as I do my best to be a good mom. Motherhood is the greatest university.

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Motherhood Matters

This is Motherhood

Close your eyes

Imagine time

swept away by baby kisses Continue reading “This is Motherhood”

Motherhood Matters

6 Months of Motherhood

While Niya naps I am listening to my favourite LDS children’s music and contemplating my blessings. 6 months have passed since I gave birth. 6 amazing, blissful and sometimes stressful months. In both the happy and hard times I’ve seen the hand of the Lord holding me up. I love the humbling and sacred journey only mothers know. I am grateful to be a mom.

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Motherhood Matters

5 Life Lessons I Learned While Breastfeeding

When I decided to exclusively breastfeed Niya I had one goal in mind: I’d give her the best nutrition possible for the first six months of life. I knew it would take time, and sacrifice and I wondered if it would take a toll on my body — more specifically, my weight (I’ve always been thin). But I decided to go ahead and see how things would unfold. I can’t say it’s been an effortless experience. I’m happy though for the life lessons I’ve learnt along the way.

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Motherhood Matters

I Can Do This!

The days are falling into themselves. Life with Niya has a constancy, a flow and ebb. I am adjusting to its rhythm as I change diapers, coax grins, read books like The Foot Book, The Nose Book, Are You My Mother? and Ten Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed. Niya’s eyes are always bright with curiosity, a brightness I hope will never be dimmed. She is the joy of my mornings though I often feel relieved at nights like these when she is asleep.

Recently, she has become a bit more demanding. (But not the kind that gives headaches, thank God.)

On Friday, she got more shots, ended up with a fever. At first, she seemed fine and we even took a nap when we returned home. But she woke up screaming like I had never heard her scream. Gave her Cetamol (the liquid kind for children) and she eventually settled down but she has been more clingy since. Perhaps too because I was cuddling her so much during her fever. Perhaps because I succumbed to the urgency of her tugging hands and liquid eyes; my nipples became her pacifier.

Today after I put her on the bed for a nap, she started screaming. I went to the bathroom and watched her from afar, noticing how she was starting to quiet down but as soon as she saw me she started screaming again.

I am learning her tricks.

I love how I am the center of her world in a way that only a mother can be. Revel in the moments when we can sing together (yes, she sings — a drawn out kind of coo), take early morning walks. Sometimes I just stare at her face — her perfect mouth, nose and hairline shaped just like her Dad’s. I look in wonder and thank God for the miracle of this baby that is healthy, active and happy.

When I consider the future and its uncertainties, the over-thinking part of me gets desperate to make plans, to fill the unmapped spaces of doubt. But mostly, I feel buoyed up by my hopes and the evidences of God’s love, revealed in all the goodness He has brought into my life.

Best of all, I am looking forward to next month when I will see Niya’s Daddy again. I know a significant change is looming but we are used to change. We are used to this pliable life.



Co-Sleeping Advice from a (Sometimes) Lonely Mama

When Niya was born, I remember getting tons of advice from the nurses in the hospital. These include one nurse sharing a scary story about a mom who was co-sleeping with her newborn and ended up smothering the baby (or crushing her… I can’t quite remember exactly). The nurse said, “Whatever you do, make sure you DO NOT fall asleep in bed with your baby. If you feel sleepy, put her in her crib, then go to bed.” Trouble was Niya came into the world a few weeks earlier than I expected — I didn’t even get the chance to set up the crib before being discharged from the hospital!

We co-slept for the first two weeks — there were problems with setting up the crib and I eventually was able to borrow a crib from my sister who lived nearby. After that, co-sleeping would occur quite by accident on those exhausting nights when I’d end up falling asleep while breastfeeding Niya.

She’d find a perfect position atop my sometimes naked chest, root for the nipple, latch… I’d look at her face with half-asleep eyes, not knowing when I drifted off to sleep. Then the morning light would seep through my window or I’d wake at the sound of Niya’s whimperings.

Co-sleeping has worked miracles though I must admit my ambivalence towards it didn’t change until my return to Jamaica. One of the benefits is the beautiful 5+ hours sleep that began about 2 weeks after Niya’s birth.

Thankfully, I’ve never experienced the kind of sleep-deprivation many other new mommies talk about. Nowadays at 3.5 months, Niya sleeps throughout the night for at least 10 hours… The fact that she’s right beside me makes it easy to simply pop my nipple in her mouth when she cries out in her sleep. She often feeds at least once in the night. We are both half-asleep during the process.

Of course, one of the main reasons I decided to officially accept co-sleeping — at least for now — is because it soothes the loneliness. Being away from her Daddy is tough. In the past year, we’ve spent a total of 7 months apart.

I love having her near me at nights, feeling her warmth when she turns and snuggles against me. (I told her Daddy a few nights ago how she sleeps just like me because when he’s home I often cuddle up to him and he ends up close to the edge of the bed. He used to say how I bruised his arms with all my snuggling. Haha! Poor soul.)

The best part of co-sleeping with Niya is waking up to see her smiling face (No, she actually grins… unlike her mommy who is definitely not a morning person).

If you are a new mother, don’t feel guilty for doing what works best for you! You have the right as mother of your baby to follow your gut and not be afraid. Of course, it’s best to follow wise counsel and to research your options but remember you carried that baby inside you for 9 months… Your hormones have coursed through her, your blood nourished her… You have that instinct to do what’s right for your baby and family.

Don’t be afraid! And good luck!