The last 4 and a half months have been the best of my life. It is still hard for me to believe that a human even grew inside of me. Ah-mazing. It really is a miracle. Although testing at times, would never change it for any amount of money ever. I just want to be with him 24 hours a day and I’m sure he is thinking “I wish she would stop kissing me!!!”.
There are a trillion things people will tell you about motherhood. Take it all with a grain of salt, or absorb it all up -its up to you. Here are a few things i have found so far;
- The first 6 weeks really are the hardest. SO HARD. There was no routine to begin with. Everything is on babies time. Hunter would want to be fed every 2 hours, even at night. SLEEP DEPRIVATION IS REAL AND IT SUCKS!! My husband and his useless nipples had great sleep in the spare room with the dogs (LOL hes still in there haaha) while mummy fed and never slept more than 1 hour at a time. (worth it) I was a little worried that i would suffer from post natal depression, given my history but so far so good. I felt most comfortable being a mum from around about 11 weeks. I don’t think this is a coincidence as this is when he started sleeping through the night!! (very lucky mum and dad right now)
- BREASTFEEDING – i have already written a post about breastfeeding which you can read here. No one told me how hard breastfeeding could be. Perhaps this didn’t work for us because Hunter went to the NICU without me, he was given a dummy to settle him, and he had a week being bottle fed. I couldn’t be there every feed as i was recovering and he was down the hall. It could have been my boobs, although i made enough milk, or perhaps we were both stressed out – him about not getting enough cause he would fall asleep and me because i couldn’t sleep as i would need to feed, pump and then sleep for an hour before i had to do it all over again. We made it 5 weeks. As i was being checked for possible breast cancer (if you didn’t read the link), it was advised that i stop to get a clear MRI. (cleared of any lumps yay) I was relieved when i was given an out of breastfeeding, but that never stopped the guilt. What i know now is, get over that guilt because your baby is being fed and no one knows and or cares if you have been fed my the breast or formula fed when you are older. Don’t feel guilty if it takes a while to do. Some ladies can do it straight away, some can’t even try, some have made choices not to breastfeed. Not your body/baby, not your problem.
- Clothing – my advice for this would be to not buy to many clothes before your baby shower!! So many beautiful clothes have gone unworn (unless they are onesies) and is now in the box for baby number 2. What i did was wear most of the things that were gifted to us, as they were so much cuter than anything i bought. (fashun, what) Anything with a hood is just plain annoying for when you rub their backs. Buy all the onesies with fold-able hand parts, if you have a baby like mine that will find any way to scratch his face with even non existent nails!!!
- Advice – listen to it, take it on board and then don’t do it LOL (unless you want to) – there will be a million pieces of advice thrown at you and people really just want to think that they are helping you. If you think that it may help, give it a go. If you think its silly, then ignore it. Personally i am listening to the nurses and maternal health ladies that i deal with. “Back in my day” types of advice get pushed to the back of my brain LOL. Not all babies are the same and things change. Being a first time parent is a learning experience. We need to figure this out for ourselves, unless its medical of course! I have made myself remember that if i ever give someone advice it would start with “This worked for us” rather than “DO THIS!!”. I am a woman who doesn’t ask for help and i like to do things myself. The exemption to this rule is my mother.
- Maternity leave – i am grateful that we have this available in Australia. I am happy to have my tax money helping mums or dads while they raise their babies. I can not imagine doing this and having to go back to work straight away. While sometimes i a bored out of my brains for a conversation, i am still excited i don’t have to go back until January haha (even though i love my job!), need to spend as much time with Hunter as i can.
- It’s ok to read books but like advice, take it loosely. I love to read up on everything because i am such a person who loves to be prepared. So many books say to put your baby down for the night at 7:30 pm. Hunter currently sleeps 10 hours, he would wake around 5-6 am. i like to put him to bed at 9-9:30 pm when i go to bed so he will wake at 7-7:30. Its working so far, but if he sleeps longer or wakes earlier, it changes his feed times and then bedtime.
- Try not to compare your babies – I am doing my best to ignore back handed comments like “Well YOUR baby only sleeps well because hes not breastfed like MY baby”. Yes, formula is thicker than breast milk. There is a reason i stopped breastfeeding and it was hard. Just because your baby isn’t sleeping doesn’t mean u have to rub it in that you can still breastfeed. Possibly that’s me looking into things so much mixed with a little residual guilt but i am still emotional LOL.
- THE MOST IMPORTANT THING:
ENJOY YOUR BABY!!! Don’t feel bad that you don’t get out of your pajamas all day or that the dishes from 4 days ago are sitting on the bench. When you die, your tombstone is not going to say “Kept a tidy house”, it might say, “was a loving mother/father”. Lets get those cuddles and snuggly days in while we can, they grow up so quickly!