Friday, June 24, 2011

Babies and Anxiety Go Together Like...

...newborn poop and diaper rash cream?

I guess that was kind of gross. Have a baby. Then it won't be.

Today, my "faux-brother", Rob Naylor, and his wife Kathy, had their first baby. In Provo, UT, six hours from us. Their baby went into distress and had to be delivered by c-section around 6 pm tonight. That's the same time I had my c-section almost 8 months ago! I am really feeling for them right now!

I have, in fact, never met Rob's wife, but the Naylors have been very close to my family since before I was born. Rob was my favorite babysitter, and he made us laugh so hard playing "Little People" with us that I swore I would always play with the kids I babysat. I can't think of one (out of hundreds of thousands) of babysitting jobs where I didn't play with the kids. I feel like I know Kathy. When Nathan outgrew clothes, they were passed on to Rob and Kathy.

For some reason, I have been intensely stressed out and thinking about them all day. I don't know why. It isn't my place to worry, and it isn't my place to offer help when they have a lot of willing family nearby. It makes me sick that I am "stuck" in Rexburg and can't help.

I just think about how having Nathan was the hardest thing Mitch and I have ever done. I tend to think/imagine that having your first is harder than having any subsequent babies because, after the first, you've done it before. Your body has done it before. Your body has recovered before. The first time, it's all new. It is also amazing how much love you feel that day; love like you've never imagined is possible! I assume with subsequent babies you know what that feeling is like because you've felt it before for new little children born into your family. But the first time, I think the surprise and surreal-ness of it all is another thing that wears you out.

I have a lot of friends in Rexburg who are expecting babies soon. One is 37 weeks along and doesn't have ANY help lined up. I asked if her mom is coming into town. "No, she and I agreed it probably won't be a big deal. My husband and I have been around babies a lot. We won't need help."

HELLO!? I was queen of caring for other people's children. I would still take a houseful every day, just to have fun and play with, if it meant I didn't have a school and two work schedules to keep! Mitch and I were both the oldest. We took classes. We read books. We babysat our neighbor's baby all the time. We thought we were ready.

Turns out, it's nearly impossible to do it all yourself, especially that first week. Both our sets of parents were so willing to drop whatever and come out on a moment's notice. I will never be able to thank them enough for everything they did! If my mom wouldn't have been washing dishes and taking nights with newborn Nathan, I would have died, I think. There were so many times where I just burst out crying (oh, hormones!!) and she'd scoop up Nathan and help me up to take a shower or nap. My Dooley mom traveled 8 hours just to come to a shower that only 4 people showed up for; just to support us and help us and spend time. Moms are the best.

So, here's my promise to myself and anyone I know:

I want to be able to help new moms. I even considered a job as a doula or home maternity/postpartum nurse or something. That's right, almost completely changed my major with only 2 semesters (and an internship) to go! I want this so bad! But, it isn't practical at this point, so here's what i'm doing instead:

If you're having a baby in Rexburg, and I can help in any way, PLEASE ask. PLEASE don't hesitate. I will bring you a casserole or scrub poop out of onesies or do dirty dishes or take out trash or sweep floors or whatever. I just want to support my dear friends who are experiencing that amazing, wonderful, tiring-yet-SOOOOOOO rewarding new addition to their families. The last thing you (or your husband) want to do when there is a new member of your family is housework!

I would also love to experience newborn photography. My biggest regret was not being able to move around well enough to get good pictures of sweet Nathan. Before I knew it, he wasn't a newborn anymore and I couldn't fold him up and take pictures! Let me know, Rexburg moms-to-be!

...Whew. That made me feel better. I just need to pass forward the amazing care we received.

I've only had one kid, yet he was a fussy kid (still is) who came through difficult means (my insides are STILL recovering). If I can give advice to anyone, I will if they ask questions. But, I'm not going to make an "advice post" and act like I know it all. I think the only women who are qualified for that are the women who have had all their kids--at least more than one!

I will never forget this face, brand, spankin' new from heaven:
I will never forget holding him for the first time, after waiting for hours to meet him.
I will never forget the first four days spent in the hospital.
I will also never forget the guilty feeling I felt that somehow, having to have a c-section was my fault; that I had failed (trying to push him out ON the operating room table, while at a 9 1/2 and failing doesn't help). Finally, after almost 8 months, I am past the guilt that I never should've felt. Nathan wasn't getting oxygen. The few more minutes I wanted to wait, to try and get him here normally, could've caused brain damage or worse. The right decision was made, and I wouldn't change it for the world after all the lessons I've learned from that experience!

Sorry I'm always dwelling on my one baby boy. I know those of you with several are probably rolling your eyes. Oh well...this is a journal for me if not anything else, and I want to record this...roll away!

After years of caring for others' children I was so instantly proud to have my own. It is something that I have wanted more than anything else since I was about 10-11 years old. Since we are planners, we are planning the second one, but not for awhile. Don't get excited. We are just enjoying this little face for the time being. He keeps us plenty busy!
Thanks for reading about my ranting! I figure Nathan is more entertaining than anything else, so I write about him. Our classes are kicking our butts but we're managing. Our work at church is going well. Mitch is in charge, with our neighbor (and one of his best friends) of the 11 year-old boy scouts and I am in charge of teaching our little ones (ages 3-11) music at church. We are loving life!


  1. Oh Alaina, you're so wonderful. :) I feel the same way whenever I hear of a mom having her baby early and experiencing the wonders and difficulties of the NICU. You are so lucky that your moms came and helped. We lived in the same town as both sets of parents when Logan was born, and I was still on my own. My mom came over a few times for a few hours, but I was mostly on my own from 7:30 in the morning until 5:30 or 10:30 at night. Talk about learning while doing! :) I feel the same way about people asking for help, too. I tell all my friends that I will hold their screaming child any time so they can have a break. Seriously. Any time. A few have taken me up on the offer, and I wish more would.

  2. Awww you're so sweet! Wish you would've been here when I had Blake! ;-) Actually, I got lots of help so it was really great. It was after everyone left (4 weeks later) that I was hoping for more help. What a great offer to the new and expecting moms. It's definitely needed! I don't know how anyone could have a baby and not have help. Especially dinner. I never wanted to cook. And what a cute picture of Nathan in the tub!! I can't wait til Blake can sit up on his own. He's really close, but not yet. Are you guys headed back East, to the midwest, anytime soon?

  3. Alaina you are so amazing! You're more than welcome to come down to Provo and help us in November haha but you'll have your own thanksgiving and finals etc. Nathan is such a beautiful little boy (we liked your boy movie girl movie idea haha).

  4. Okay, well you and Mitch just need to move to the next place Thane and I move to so you can help me take care of my new baby. Deal? Since Thane and I will be having no planned Rexburg in children we won't be able to take you up on your offer. :) But, I would so totally take you up on it once we move out of Rexburg!


I'd love to hear from you! :o)