Laura’s Diary #4: 17 and a mother

Laura Angle, Blogger

Dear Diary,

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After impatiently waiting for nine months to see the little person who kicked me non-stop, gave me horrid morning sickness, tossed my self esteem down the drain, and broke me out into hot flashes in the middle of winter, my beautiful son was born on Sunday, November 9 at 10:06 p.m.

I had heard stories from other women complaining about their labor, (“My labor was 17 hours!” “Oh my labor was only four hours!”), but I think now I have all of them topped. My labor was an excruciating 31 and a half hours. Within that span of time, I was only able to sleep two hours.

My contractions started on Saturday, November 8 at 4:30, but I was so nervous I refused to acknowledge I was in labor until a few hours had passed. At first the contractions seem like minor menstrual cramps– irritating but not too horrible–but as time went on, the contractions intensified and started happening every two minutes and lasted for a minute.

The only proper way I can explain a contraction to someone who has never experienced one before would be like the worst leg cramp imaginable, multiplied by 100 and encompassing your entire midsection. My whole abdomen tightened up, taking my breath away. As much as I hate to admit it, I did cry a little.

Then the doctors came in after 31 hours and finally gave me the news that I could start to push. My whole body started shaking and I vomited. The doctors said I was “transitioning” into actually giving birth. After twenty minutes of pushing, I felt a sudden “whoosh,” and my baby was then placed on my chest. I was so shocked, all I could do was lay there gazing at him, not saying or doing anything. Andrew and my mom started crying.

I stared into my baby’s face for the very first time and felt an overpowering sense of love for this red, wrinkly, crying, gooey baby boy. I looked at him and knew that I would do anything and everything to protect him and give him the life he deserves. We named him Jackson Lawrence Strauther. (No, we didn’t name him after the character in “Sons of Anarchy,” we just like that name.) His middle name is after my deceased grandfather, and he took Drew’s last name, as I will do one day too.

I’ve also heard many women say that they hardly got any sleep because their baby would wake up so many times during the night. I was blessed with a baby who apparently was just as tired as I was. For the first month, he only woke up twice during the night. Now, he only wakes up once and falls right back asleep after I feed him.

For a while I fell behind in school because it was just so hard to take care of a baby and do homework. Of course, things would be easier if I had more than two hands, but alas, that’s just how we were made.

Going back to school the first day after he was born was very difficult for me. It’s common for new moms to want to have a break from their baby because it’s just so time consuming and exhausting, but once they get their break, they constantly worry about their baby. I am one of those mothers. Luckily, my mom stays home during the day to watch Jack and I come home at noon, so I get to spend most of my days with him.

Andrew and I found an apartment to move into for only $695 a month. It’s a beautiful two bedroom apartment with a furnished kitchen, hardwood floors, and brand new carpets. The area is all gated, so when Jack starts walking I don’t have to worry about him walking into the street.

I never imagined my life would be where it is now, but I’ve never been happier. Motherhood is hard, but I have a lot of support. No matter who you are, there will always be support from multiple programs available here in Stockton. Whether it be WIC, Planned Parenthood, crisis hotlines, friends, or family, there is always help for mothers of all ages.