My photo
Appointments in Danielson and N Stonington CT, and via Skype, FaceTime and telephone - 1/2 hour session $30.00 US.

Nurturing a New Mom Back to Health

At one point during my menopausal years a hormone kicked in that clearly stated: “I am ready to be a grandmother.” My children did not cooperate at that moment, and for years I patiently waited for their hormones to catch up to mine.

My patience paid off, and one memorable day, my daughter announced, “We’re having a baby. Will you be with me for the birth?” I could barely conceal my excitement; I had to make sure I heard her correctly.

“You want me with you in the birthing room?”

“Yes Mom. I don’t think I could do it without you.”

And in that moment, any pains of our past began to dissipate. Together we had a mission that began immediately.

Shan’s pregnancy with Connor was smooth. Early on she experienced a few days of morning sickness. It was quickly healed when I explained the emotion that is often attached to the nausea. “Morning sickness is usually connected to fear of motherhood.” Shan quickly recognized her thoughts and healed her fears. One thing she was not afraid to be was a good mom.

Pain was a different story. Her connection to “fear of pain” would not allow Shan’s labor to be quite as graceful as her pregnancy.

Early contractions began a week past her due date. Four days later, they were consistently 20 seconds apart. Sleep was a memory of the past, and exhaustion was inevitable. We were back at the hospital for the second time listening to the same story. “She is not ready; go home until hard labor begins.” I could not help but intervene. Something did not feel right; the pains had become stronger but refused to progress any further. I insisted that she was not leaving the hospital until the baby was born. That began a process of intervention which Shan obviously needed.

When all attempts to help her into the next faze of labor failed, she was induced. After a long, painful afternoon followed by three hours of pushing, Connor entered the world, healthy and content. I left mom, dad and baby late that evening knowing our new family was happy and safe.

Early the next morning, everything changed. A few hours after his birth, Connor had twice stopped breathing and was immediately admitted to ICU. Amongst tubes and doctors and nurses, Mom and Dad visited this perfect little being hoping to love him back to health.

This scenario made no sense to me. Connor was healthy and strong. What was the issue? One doctor commented that he was the healthiest baby he had ever seen in ICU.

On his third day of life, Connor was discharged from ICU, connected to a tank of oxygen. Three weeks and a specialist later, his condition was finally diagnosed. Denver babies often have a hard time connecting their brain to the thin air of the mile high city. Connor simply needed a little help until his brain and lungs are able to work together. Eventually, he will be off the oxygen, but for now, it was essential. We all came to peace with this reality.

Once Shan and Connor were home, I realized that I was not there to take care of Shan’s baby at all; I was there to take care of mine. And in the process of doing that, my baby was able to take care of her baby. Shan's traumatized state would not excuse her from a mom’s need to take care of her newborn child. My job was to ensure she maintained her strength by taking care of everything else.

The long list of the “do’s and don’ts of parenting” that accompanied them home from the hospital began to cause great stress for everyone. And the don’ts seemed longer than the do’s. Don’t hold him too long; don’t let him sleep in your bed; don’t this and that to the point that fear was becoming a part of her mothering technique. My advice was simple: “Do what feels good and makes you happy; as long as it is done with love it cannot be wrong.” And from that moment, Shan and Connor settled into a routine of loving being together.

In between the dishes, the laundry, the cooking and cleaning I took time to spend precious moments watching the two of them bond as mother and son. There is a beautiful energy that takes place during those early days of life. Connor learned to feel safe and secure in his mother’s arms, and Shan learned to love nurturing him. I was blessed to witness it all.

As the days went by, the trauma Shan experienced during labor and birth was evident. Her body demanded that she be gentle with her self. With the help of Rescue Remedy, Arnica, magnesium and me, Shannon began to heal.

It was many days before I took Connor into my arms. I was in no hurry. Connor was where he belonged and I loved watching from a distance. Eventually, in the middle of one night, my daughter handed me her precious child. “I’m so tired mom. Will you hold Connor so I can get some sleep?” It was my time to bond with my new grandson. From that moment, Connor and I spent intimate time together somewhere between the hours of 2 a.m. and 6 a.m. It was the happiest part of my day.

I am forever grateful for this wonderful experience shared between a mom and her child.

1 comment:

JM said...

There is definitely a special bond between mother daughter and grandchild. I also recently experienced this with my own daughter. I will hold the first week of her being a mother and my new grandson in my memory forever..