The first day at home

Someone once said that when a woman finally becomes a mother, she would come to appreciate her own mother more.

I never grasped its full meaning until my first day at home with Jamaine.

When I woke up that morning, I knew a tremendous challenge lay ahead of me: I had to take care of my baby while I took care of myself.

Before Jamaine was born, I always told my mom that I could take care of my baby and I did not want to burden her or anybody else for that matter. I was confident that Kernie and I can handle everything down pat.

But as the reality of the situation sunk in, it dawned on me that we couldn’t. I was still in so much pain so moving around wasn’t easy.

More than that, I suddenly felt clueless on how to take care of Jamaine.

She seemed so tiny and fragile, I was afraid I would break her or hurt her should I make one wrong move.

My mom helped me get through my mommy jitters. I tried to remember everything as she taught me how to feed Jamaine, wash her bottom, change her nappies and give her a sponge bath.

It was like being in “Mommy Preschool.” And I was determined to make the grade.

I watched my precious baby intently. I patrolled her crib like a girl scout armed with nappies and a breast full of milk ready to respond for any cry of discomfort or hunger.

But I learned this kind of vigilance can sometimes send one on a panic attack.

Jamaine seemed peacefully asleep when she suddenly jolted and let out a little cry, squirmed, stretched and flailed her arms and legs. I tried feeding her but she wasn’t hungry. I checked her nappy but it was all dry. I carried her and tried to rock her back to sleep but she won’t stop squirming.

I was ready to cry in frustration if not for a loud tooting sound minutes later. I felt a warm gush in her nappy that put all my fears to rest. As it turned out, she was just trying to poo.

Lesson learned: not all cries are a cause for alarm.

As I was getting a crash course on mommyhood, Kernie was equally determined to be the perfect house husband. He went to the market and cooked “real food” (our term for home-cooked meals) for lunch and dinner.

He played with Jamaine and couldn’t get enough of her. It was fun seeing this other side of him as a doting father.

The real challenge came at night time. I was careful not to get into a deep sleep in case I might not wake up when she cries.

I expected I might have to wake up every now and then to feed her or change her nappies. What I didn’t expect was that I would have to be awake almost the entire night.

My cute little Jamaine suddenly transformed into a feeding-peeing-pooping machine.

She was hungry every two hours and peed and pooped right after. It was like a never-ending cycle of feeding, cleaning and changing nappies.

And just when I was about to enter Lala land, she awakened and stretched her arms and legs as if to welcome a bright sunshiny morning.

But it was only 3 am.

My eyes were drooping fast but I tried to rock her and sing to her every song I ever memorized. I looped my lullaby playlist 4 times over but no amount of singing could make her go back to sleep.

I could say I’m a veteran at all-nighters but this one almost knocked me down.

She finally fell asleep at 8 am. I hurriedly tried to get some shut-eye knowing she’ll probably wake up for a feeding two hours later.

It was just our first day.

I know I’ll have to gear up really hard for more sleepless nights for the next five years.

Or more.

I'll just have to take it one day at a time.


Anonymous said…
Aww... Jayme! Mahirap ngang talaga yan... I am not yet a mother but nung time na tumira sa amin ung anak ng auntie ko... it was like night turned into day... we took turns taking care of her (",) mahirap pero lam mo pag napatawa mo siya or she acknowledges u... mas heaven ang feeling

Lynda said…
ang cute ni jamaine! rosy cheeks - parang siopao! hehe, naka-blush on na ba yan? joke!

relax, mommy jayme, panganay eh. if you and kernan decide to have another baby, mas alam mo na gagawin mo - but i'm sure you too are already good parents to jamaine. ingats!
sexy mom said…
firt day jitters! you'll soon learn--bu instinct. mommy instinct.

you know what i did when my babies cried in the evening? i gave them my breast, sometimes, they fed, but sometimes, they just enjoyed the warmth and the comfort. that way, they didn't cry, and i could sleep.

best wishes, dear. baby jamaine is such joy, isn't she? am sure words cannot express what you feel right now.
ria said…
hello! i've started lurking just recently and i just wanted to say congratulations on your adorable baby! :) and lots of luck on mommyhood. i sure am learning a lot of things from you. :)
Angel Jayme said…
Rach: We're still getting the hang of it. It's amazing how I can spend the whole day just looking at her. I do catch some smiles every now and then. And I agree, it feels like heaven.

Lynda: Oy, natural rosy cheeks yan ha..hehe... We're still not as great as we want to be, but we're trying everyday.

Sexy Mom: Thanks for the tip! I've been breastfeeding Jamaine and I intend to continue for as long as I can. It can get pretty tiring but having her so close to me makes it all worthwhile.

Ria: Thanks for visiting! There's really still a lot of things I need to learn myself. But I'm glad if you've picked up something useful here and there. You're most welcome to drop by anytime.


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