I’ve asked some of my favorite creative mamas to help out while I’m away with our new baby. Today, the talented Eva from Sycamore Street Press is sharing some thoughts on motherhood! And p.s. to any new or aspiring stationers out there: check out Eva’s new online class: Stationery Business 101! –Nole
5 Things That Surprised Me About Motherhood – Eva Jorgensen of Sycamore Street Press
1) It’s not always easy to get pregnant and have a baby.
Of course, I knew that things like infertility and miscarriages existed in the world… I just never thought they would happen to me. And then they did. And then I began to see that they happen to a lot of other people, too. Now I know, of course, that they are frightfully common. Yet they are still frustrating and heartbreaking every time.
It took me over 3 years to have Ingrid. During that time, I couldn’t talk about it. It felt too close – too personal. Once in a while, I might open up to a close friend or family member – or more likely – another woman who had struggled with something similar. I feel incredibly fortunate that I have my two children now. I think the wait made having them that much sweeter for me. But I know it could have been much worse. My heart goes out to everyone who is struggling with the desire to grow their family, but for whatever reason, is unable to.
2) Giving birth makes you a superhero.
Both times, giving birth has felt like an incredible athletic event to me – an extreme sport! (This article explains it so well.). Afterwards, I felt so proud of myself. And I felt in awe of all the millions of mothers who have gone before me and given birth to children of their own. I remember after I left the hospital with Ingrid, I looked at every mother I met with new eyes. I was in awe of them. I still am.
3) Feeding babies isn’t always as simple as it seems.
I’m the oldest of 4 children, and have worked as a nanny in the past, so I didn’t think I’d be in for much of a surprise when I took my first baby home from the hospital. And I especially didn’t think I’d have any surprises when I took my second baby home – after all, I’d gone through it before!
But you guessed it – both babies were full of surprises. Ingrid wasn’t thriving and didn’t get back to her birth weight for 6 weeks after she was born, despite all of our efforts and frequent visits to the pediatrician. It turns out she had a tongue tie – the kind that’s not easy to diagnose – and her mouth simply didn’t work the way it was supposed to. Once a lactation consultant figured it out for us, it was a simple fix. But I still feel so bad for baby Ingrid when I think back on that time.
Lars had the exact same tongue tie. We figured that out right away, of course. What we didn’t count on was that he would also be colicky, have acid reflux, and multiple food intolerances. We were grateful that he always seemed to gain weight just fine, but the poor little guy just cried and cried around the clock, no matter how hard I tried to comfort him. We eventually figured out ways to lessen his discomfort, but it was mainly a waiting game until he grew out of it. (And thankfully he did.)
4) Kids have a mind of their own (starting at a very young age).
Ingrid is 3 1/2 years old now. Since the age of 2, she’s been very opinionated about her own appearance. She insists on wearing “braided pigtails” every single day. She picks out her own outfits, shoes, and accessories every single day. She even gets upset if we can’t find the right coordinating pajama top and bottom. I get a kick out of it, but on the other hand, I’ll admit that I had visions of dressing my little girl up until junior high — ha! And Lars – at 15 months, he doesn’t talk much yet, but he is still very clear about his likes and dislikes. I know just which books, toys, and foods are his favorites.
It’s so fun to see their little personalities emerge.
5) As much as I love my career, I would give it up if I thought that was the best thing for our family.
Having a family was always a dream of mine. And I always knew that my life would revolve around family. However, I also love Sycamore Street Press and have put my heart and soul into it for 7 years now. I never thought that I would ever be willing to give it up. But now that I have these two beautiful little miracles in my life – I would do it. I would give up my career if that was in my family’s best interest.
Luckily, I don’t have to make that decision, though! Sycamore Street Press provides for our family. It allows my husband, Kirk, and I work together, from home, and on a flexible schedule. It’s a blessing in our lives. (So don’t worry about it going away anytime soon, ha ha.)
Photo Credits: Jessica Peterson