I literally could not take my eyes off my child. I watched him all the time even when he was asleep. Just like that, I was a mom. I was suddenly responsible for this awesome, cute, helpless individual. Don’t get me wrong, “helpless” here is not derogatory. He was entirely dependent. I had to determine when he was hungry, cold, hot, tired, needed to be cuddled, etc. My sisters and I wished there was some kind of indicator on him to show hunger, heat, cranky for no reason!
I was not alone. Thank God for ‘omugwo’. I had loads of moms around me to put me through. Believe me; I was really eager to learn. Looking back, I should have taken things a bit easier and rested for as long as I had all that help around me. My Mom, her eldest sister, my mother in law, my mother’s close friends, some close ‘mommies’ from church, you name it.
My mom, a very good cook on a normal day brought her A-game. She prepared pepper soup, ukodo-pepper soup and yam, gbagba soup and so many other delicacies. I technically swam in pap (akamu, ogi, eko). She stuffed me in the name of breastfeeding. I had to look for an assistant, my younger sister who helped very eagerly with my meals- she needed the strength for ‘auntie duties’. *winks
Establishing breastfeeding was a serious hurdle (God bless whoever invented the nipple shield). Maintaining the flow was another matter. I was a nervous wreck about the whole breastfeeding failure for the first few days. Trust a new mom now! Worry, worry, worry! Am I doing this right? Am I doing that right? Little did I know that that was just the beginning of the list of uncertainties- Is he sleeping enough? Is he getting enough milk? How often should he poo? Funny thing, getting answers to some of these questions didn’t exactly stop the fretting.
Mothers murdered sleep, not Macbeth. Sleep became a luxury. The advice “sleep when your baby sleeps” was not very practical for me. For the first one month when I had help around me, this was possible. After that, when baby slept, I cooked, ate, tried to avoid sorting out house chores (emphasis on “tried”), etc. It felt as though every time I tried to sleep, he woke up demanding attention.
I took pictures, loads and loads of them. I just couldn’t stop. This was my priceless gift and I just couldn’t help but wonder at every single move he made. To me, he was perfect and I wanted to document every single moment. I tried to get his firsts on camera. I missed the first time he rolled over.
Considering that this was just the beginning, I was in for a long ride of beautiful milestones.