Being a mother for the first time is not easy. I wish babies came with a manual. I heard nothing but great things, so I thought motherhood shouldn’t be that hard. Well not everyone lays their cards out. I actually found the first few months (which is also known as the 4th trimester) to be pretty hard. So let’s be transparent here and talk about the things I really wish I knew.
1* Breastfeeding shouldn’t stop you from going out: Breastfeeding is hard, as it needs patience and dedication, lots of it. Try not to let breastfeeding act as a burden on your social life; you can breastfeed anywhere anytime. Be flexible. You can even pump. Despite it being hard, it is totally worth it and gets easier. You should basically be available ANYTIME during the day and night to feed your baby. Oh and expect a lot of holding. So yes it is very demanding. But you will soon appreciate and enjoy the special bond between you and your little one. It will be a moment of peace and love. Other problems might come up with breastfeeding, like mood swings, and negative comments from people. Embrace the breastfeeding journey!
2* Night cuddles: You will forget what it is like to have uninterrupted sleep! But it will get easier, when? Each baby has a different sleeping pattern so there is no set time frame. But it’s not just the feeding that wakes you up, there’s diaper change, and there’s burping (may take anywhere between 30 sec and 10 mins). Not to forget to mention the amount of times you wake up with every newborn grunt wondering if your baby is choking. You get to be protective with your first one. But the night cuddles are the best. It’s when everyone is asleep and it’s just you and your baby, skin to skin, holding one another peacefully. Although it is tiring, but just wait few months and his smile will make you forget all the fatigue and exhaustion you were going through. It just takes one smile!
3* Getting sick is actually good: Don’t freak out if your baby was born with a bit of jaundice, or has reflux or runny nose or hiccups. It’s fine! Just contact his pediatrician if you are concerned. Babies will get sick, and getting sick will strengthen their immunity so it’s perfectly normal, don’t worry. So look at it as him getting sick is making him stronger!
4* Your baby makes you stronger: At many times, I felt I wanted to give up. It is very easy to feel overwhelmed and sometimes you find yourself not trusting your judgment, thinking you are doing it wrong. Believe in yourself and trust your instincts. You and your baby are in this together, and he will appreciate everything you are doing for him, regardless! You will soon feel how resilient you’ve become.
5* Becoming a messy OCD mama: You will have so many accidents, like things falling out of a bag, dropping things on the floor, leaving the house with dirty clothes, having poop everywhere, being peed on, you name it! It’s actually fun & funny, especially when everyone knows the OCD side of me. But I’ve changed, he changed me and I thank him for that J
A small tip: make sure you’re up to speed on laundry, and not just the baby’s!
6* Wearing a stranger’s body: Finally, and most importantly, your postpartum body becomes totally new to you. It becomes a foreign thing; nothing works like it did. Hormones are super powerful! They can do a lot. Learn to accept your new body, as it will take quite some time to heal, that’s if it did! And remember, you gave life so it is completely normal. Learn to accept who you’ve become and make the best out of it. Train your mind to make your place a happy, and cheerful environment. It works and it feels great.