Ever since I was little, I’ve heard my mom say…”You just wait. You’re going to have one of you one day, and then you’ll understand!” Usually this statement followed an event where I was being “difficult”, aka back talking. Or just asking too many questions, in general. I was always the leader, the “bossy” one. 

RELATED READING :: Hard-Earned Wisdom: From a Mother to Her Daughters

Twenty-ish years later, I do have one of me. Her name is Georgia and she’s four months old. She is a loud, sensitive little thing with big, big feelings. She’s exhausting and demanding and so funny. And even though being her mama is now something I can’t picture my life without, my entrance into Motherhood was not what I expected it to be.

Newborn Alex (left) and Newborn Georgia (right)

This is almost embarrassing for me to admit, but I’m going to tell you anyway. Even though I’m a doctor who’s patient base is 40% pediatrics, I genuinely didn’t realize happy, healthy babies cried. And when I say “cried”, what I mean is they didn’t scream and wail for no reason. So if they are happy and feeling good, they must just kind of whimper, right? To let you know they’re hungry or something? 

[Insert laughter and an “oh, bless her heart”.]

To have the knowledge through a textbook and to have the knowledge through visceral experience are mutually exclusive events. To be fair, I didn’t realize I had this belief until I was listening to my happy, healthy baby cry. But hey, some things you can only really understand once you go through them. Motherhood is one of those things. 

While I still believe every behavior, including crying, is a window into brain and body function, I definitely know that happy, healthy babies cry. They cry A LOT. Crying is their only form of communication, and what a learning lesson that was for me to experience. To know and to KNOW

Those first few weeks postpartum felt like I got slapped in the face every hour with a 2×4 titled “Expectations versus Reality”.

Georgia is impatient and LOUD and has been since she came out of me. Her cry was something I had to get used to, as its intensity sent my nervous system into panic and Fight/Flight every time I heard it. And I heard it often. She is what you’d call “high needs” or a “barnacle baby”. Everything about her feels a little dramatic.

She made me a mom. Smiling Baby Georgia at 2, 3, and 4 months

She has one of the biggest, most contagious smiles you’ll ever see on a baby, but then in a second she can start wailing as if in pain to let you know she’s tired of being held that way. Or maybe I just looked at her a little too long. Or no, I cannot put her down to go pee right now. Whatever the case, she’s a very direct communicator. Once I get it right, her crying stops immediately and she’s back to smiling. I have a love/hate relationship with how direct she is.

My mom gets nostalgic and does her best to keep her laughter in while watching Georgia and me because “she’s just like you”. Of course.

Never have I ever leaned on my mom more than in those first few weeks of Motherhood.

Not only because she raised a baby like Georgia, but she’s just an amazing mom. Warmth and sunshine radiate from her. She has a way with babies and children that is incredibly inspiring to watch. Observing how she cares for her second grandchild, my first child, helps me be a better mom.

My mom, Joy, with newborn Georgia

My doctor brain goes straight to the textbooks whenever I’m not sure what to do. But if you’re a mother, you already know your intuition is where the answers are.

I remember watching my mom rock two-week-old Georgia to sleep in a few minutes after I had “failed” to do so for what felt like over an hour. My mom was just smiling at her with these googly eyes and my screaming baby was so peaceful in her arms. 

I was also crying and remarked, “How do you do that? I don’t feel connected to her. I don’t know how to bond with her.”

My mom told me, “This. What I’m doing right now. This is how you bond.”
I still didn’t understand. I started telling her about what one of my books said.
She cut me off and stated in a gentle, but firm tone, “Stop reading books. Read your baby.” 

That piece of advice was the best advice she has ever given me, and it serves me and Georgia to this day. This Mother’s Day I have never been more thankful for my own mom. 

I need her. Still.

Alex believes that celebrating is a lifestyle and stands for a world where growth and health are the highest currency. Originally from the Dallas area, she happily moved back to Texas in December 2019 with her husband, Clay, after a four year stint in northern California. Since then, they've birthed three businesses and a baby, Georgia (3 months). As an upper cervical chiropractor, Alex owns and practices at The Specific Chiropractic Centers of Austin. Along with her husband, she is also part owner in a local CBD shop and digital media company. She is a personality test junky, loves keepin' it real and co-hosting her health podcast "You Crack Me Up". Her favorite ways to de-stress are having a quick dance party, watching cookie decorating videos on Instagram, or anything on HGTV. The way to her heart is through deep conversation over bottomless coffee.

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