Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Lately



Whether asleep or awake, he is now my life....little Rafael.

Learning to be a mom is amazing. Learning to be a parent together with my husband is amazing as well. Learning to cherish these difficult, beautiful first weeks for what they are, irreplaceable, is humbling.

I was so caught up in the basic grind of things, changing diapers, nursing, comforting, worrying....that it truly took me by surprise yesterday when I gazed down at my son, who was drinking at my breast, and was absolutely overcome with love. The hard nights and and tired days all melted away and all that was left was this awe and pure love. Now that I'm no longer dealing with my own poor health, or consumed by worrying about whether I am doing everything right and whether or not this next day or night will bring something unexpected and difficult, I am really able to just LOVE him.

People talk about having baby blues, where you 'cry for no reason.' A few times I found myself on the verge of tears, usually when Raffi was crying and I was trying to soothe him, and I must say, I don't think the tears are without reason. I realized I was saying goodbye to my old life, and facing the fact that I'm a mother now. They weren't tears of sadness, but of growing pains. Growing up. Letting go. And toughening up, too. Ramon tells me again and again: "Be strong. Be strong. Be strong." It's my new mantra.

Thank you all for the wonderful notes you leave me here...I do read and appreciate each and every one! It's very hard to get to the computer these days, so my blog posts are far and few between. I know you understand.

Happy October....enjoy this most glorious season!

21 comments:

  1. Oh goodness, I got teary eyed reading this post. Feeling those pains of fatigue, the moments of utter joy & disbelief, etc (from when we brought our foster baby home from the hospital), but knowing these were the days dreamed about forever. You worded it PERFECTLY in calling them 'growing pains' -- i admire your honesty, ability to be raw and gift of finding the joy and beauty amidst all of it. Sending you love, peace, caring hugs and hopes for restful hours ahead. Your son is absolutely gorgeous. :) ><>

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  2. Dear Dawn,

    I write to you after another sleepless night with Margaret (teething)! Your words ring so true. Motherhood/parenthood is transforming. I've found that the best part though is that the love you feel for your baby grows every single day. Every single day, you love them more. It's the most amazing gift of life, to love more every day. I've never known anything like it.

    If you'd ever like to chat: acountryfarmhouse@gmail.com

    xoxoxooTrina

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  3. Dear Dawn,

    Just a little note to thank you for sharing your beautiful journey to motherhood. Your baby is so precious and I'm glad you're both doing well. Please know that you are strong, sweet, talented, and Rafael is a fortunate little boy to have such a loving mother. May God continue to bless you and your family.

    Warmest wishes,

    Bridget

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  4. Dear Dawn,each day you get richer and richer loving this baby and caring for him,worring for him,getting tired for him. This is motherhood,the most beautiful experience for a mother and this will not stop when he will be grown up. You'll have more challenges and more worries and more joys. Nothing will ever stop your love for him .

    Mamma Carla

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  5. Cheers Dawn, I am so glad your health is good again! Rafael looks wonderful and I agree so much about those tears! (The tiredness and the responsibility add to them too!).

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  6. Oh Dawn...Your little Rafael is so precious!!! Asleep or awake...smile... But I do understand the fatigue and the wondering how we are suppose to just know how to be a parent!!! But my little boy is now almost 50, so I guess God knows better than we do..lol You will do fine, please know you're in my thoughts and prayers.

    Blessings...
    xoxo Gert

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  7. Such a lovely posting. Rafael is so adorable.
    The best advice I ever received was from a pediatrician. I asked him once how I know what is the best advice or thing to do, and he told me to do what feels comfortable. He said a mother has a sense of what works for her and her child. If you are not comfortable with what you are doing, your child will sense that.
    Worked great for me. People would tell me how to potty train, how to feed him, etc. I did not worry about potty training (dr. also said you never see a 20 yr old still in diapers)and when my son turned 3 he started using the toilet and I did not go through stress like everyone I know did!
    Enjoy your child and do not feel pressured.

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  8. Dear Dawn,

    Congratulations on your beautiful baby boy.....he is so wonderful! i love to look at the photos you share of Raffi.....that sweet face makes me smile! oh my goodness he is cute!!!
    i'm sure as a mother you don't always know if you are doing the right thing but when you lead with love...it is the right thing. enjoy quiet moments with your son and be strong in the moments when you feel like a fish out of water....you are perfect!
    sending love & hugs
    xo.
    k.

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  9. Dearest Dawn...what a doll your son is, & how wonderful to be able to write that at last...your SON!! I love this journey into motherhood that I'm sharing with you...seeing the joy unfold with each day. Sending love and hugs to the whole family xoxo Rachel

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  10. What a darling little boy! Those sleepless nights and days will be long gone before you know it. You'll be able to linger in the shower again. And have time for you. And your love will continue to explode for baby Rafael. Enjoy the love. The Mother in you. xo

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  11. Hi you:),

    I'm glad to hear that you're feeling better. He's such a beautiful boy.

    You are a wise mama; it's sometimes so hard to be present in the moment, when there are (seemingly endless) diapers to be changed, you're running on no sleep and it feels like you don't have time to do a thing but nurse and plan for the next feeding:). But it so quickly changes and soon, it's hard to even remember the sweet mama/baby naps because he'll be into everything:) (not that it's a bad thing, but it changes so quickly!!). You seem like you realize that and, I think, that being present in the moment, even when the moment is tiring or something other than perfect, is all that you can do.

    Give that little boy some snuggles from his friends in Boston:). xox, Blair

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  12. Oh, he is growing so fast! What a dear, sweet face!! You are doing so well and you are strong! Those are precious, quiet moments in the still of the night when you are feeding him, loving him!! Sending lots of love and extra hugs your way, Sherry xxxx (I, too, am so glad you are feeling much better!!)

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  13. a young mamma I was asking if it was a hard time with her new born baby answered that no, it's sufficient to follow him, the baby does everything (he knows what he needs) you just follow his directions .... very filosofic answer, I often think to this and it's true, most of the times we make problems where there are none, make complicated simple things, listen to your Rafael, he knows you are a wonderful mamma

    madamada

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  14. My mother always said that the "instructions come with the package" with regard to raising a child. You will learn what to do and what not to do and be better for the experience. You cannot fail because of the unconditional love a child has for his/her mother. The most difficult lesson for me was to accept help..I wanted to do it ALL..which is not good for mom or baby. ;-) The house will wait, the blog will wait, etc...so make time for yourself. xoxo

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  15. What a precious little peanut! So glad everyone is doing well.

    Congratulations again!
    Elise

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  16. You said this so well, Dawn. These early weeks are truly one of life's most difficult and rewarding challenges. It's both fortunate and unfortunate that they go by so quickly! Rafael is breathtakingly adorable!

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  17. Dear Dawn, Hello from San Diego, Ca. I have been wanting to write you for quite some time now - having been shown your blog by my Nourishing Traditions/Price,Pottenger Foundation teacher and dear friend. She knew I would enjoy following along with your journey, as I too have just given birth to my first child - Stella Constance, on September 22 at 9:04(a week late). I had hoped that she would wait and not be early, at least till the end of August - my husband travels for work as well (www.elteneleven.com) and his tour ended on the West coast August 27th. And, together again we gathered the last of our baby needs - and waited...and waited. At our "due date" doctors appointment we agreed with our OB to have a scheduled induction for the 22nd. Having been born at home, grown up in the 70's, and not being attuned to Western medicine - I had a very natural birth plan, needless to say it all went out the window...except for going with out pain meds. I didn't labor as long as you - but pitocin induced "natural" contractions made it seem like a life time. When I read your birth story, I sat there with Stella at my breast - recounting my own story in your words. I cried, and felt - feel such an affinity towards you. I love the pictures of Rafael - Stella could be his fare haired sister. Those lips, skin and eyes - I too spend my days and nights just staring at her in amazement. She will be 3 weeks tomorrow, and I cannot remember what life was like with out her - and then in brief moments I wish to have my own time again, to indulge in a long shower or to have a five course meal with my husband. I am so very comforted by your words, and admire your ability to be open and expressive to those of us who come here to catch a glimpse of your lovely life. I'm not sure how this works, when yo will read this or if you will respond - but I will keep coming to see your updates..and would be honored with a response when you have time. Many Blessings, India

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  18. Oh Dawn your header is "beautiful"! You are so gifted...you're such a great photographer!

    Love ya,
    Gert

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  19. He's beautiful. So true. Becoming a mom is harder than anyone thinks and yet at the same time you can feel your heart growing exponentially. It will get both harder and easier. Just remember, you are a rockstar and that apple of his eye.

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  20. Happy October to you and your darling new family too xxx

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