June and July have been a whirlwind! This parenting stuff ain’t for sissy’s!
With all the joy and fun it has been, there have been a
million few challenges I have faced and thought it may be beneficial for all the soon to be mommies to have some warning before the inevitable changes! Everyone is different, and your baby may be perfect, sleep through the night, never ever get colic, and never cry! If that is the case, don’t tell us, because you will ensue a riot and possibly receive hate mail.
Here are a few things I wish past me could have told future me!
1. You will cry, you will cry a lot
My baby blues were horrendous. I did not have full post postpartum depression, but I was so weepy that it really robbed the joy out of the first two weeks postpartum. Now, I’m not saying that I had no moments of happiness with my daughter, because I did, (how could I not, do you see that little, sweet face)?! However, the really bad moments were outweighing the happy ones. I also suffered from a huge a punch to the stomach emotionally following Dahlia’s birth. My husband’s friend and co-worker tragically lost her 5 month old daughter one hour after Dahlia was born. My husband and I found out on Facebook while we were sharing our joy. It was absolutely devastating to know that while my baby was coming into the world, someone close to home was loosing theirs. I was inconsolable for the first day after hearing the news. All I could do was hold my daughter tell her how much I loved her. Plus, with all my hormones crashing after the birth, it did not make for a easy first day as a parent. I would weep whenever I thought about their daughter, and even as I write this, I can tell I am very much still saddened and effected by it. For about one week I had serious issues sleeping, I was terrified something was going to happen to my daughter. I was paranoid about SIDS and had nightmares about her dying when I slept. Some nights I would just stare at her while she slept and keep my hand on her chest so I could feel her breathing. It was an awful, paranoid time for me. Through prayer, communication with family and friends, and a much needed doctor visit, I was finally feeling more myself by the end of the second week. It’s really important to ask for help when you’re feeling depressed as a new mom. Soon your hormones will level out (if they don’t and you have thoughts about harming yourself or your baby, talk to a doctor right away), and it will get so much better.
2. You bleed for what seems like FOREVER
I was somewhat prepared for the after birth from the other blogs I read before my delivery day, but honestly I was still shocked by the volume of nasty stuff that comes out after the baby! It’s like the worst period you ever had times a hundred. There is also no controlling it, it just falls out of you! It is a little scary when you see the big blood clots, but rest assured, it’s normal (as long as they are not bigger than a golf ball). The hospital will supply you with these WONDERFUL giant pads and disposable mesh underwear that will last you a few days. I sent my husband to get the extra thick pads (which always remind me of middle school), from Target our first day home. I also recommend getting some granny panties so you don’t soil your nice Victoria’s Secret ones! I bled for about 3 and a half weeks, even though the hospital told me the average is 14 days! I’m just special I guess! The first week is the absolute worst and then it gradually gets lighter and lighter until its barely noticeable.
3. Infant growth spurts are rough
Dahlia went through a ravenous growth spurt between the second and third week. If you’re breastfeeding, just be prepared to do nothing but sit on the sofa with the remote in your hand, a snack in the other, and an infant on your boob. Dahlia nursed every 30-45 minuets all day until her scheduled night time. It is exhausting. Your nipples may be sore and your back will hurt from leaning over to ensure the baby to gets a good latch. I recommend sneaking a pacifier in when you can, sometimes they just need a little somethin’ somethin’ to keep their munchers occupied! The good news is that the week ends, (until the 5th/6th week growth spurt starts, which is where I am now)! Since we are talking about breastfeeding, I will tell you it takes some getting used to! It was very strange having this little human sucking on my nipple the first few times! It gets more normal the more you do it, but if you are freaked out the first few times, it’s okay, it’s gets less weird the more you do it.
4. Colic is no flipping joke
Colic sucks. Dahlia is a very happy baby, but by the fifth week the poor thing had terrible gas and some Infant Reflux, (like acid reflux). Babies will cry like they are being tortured and it’s very, very hard to listen to. After the second day of Dahlia being in pain, I cried myself! I felt like there was nothing I could do for her, and it was heartbreaking.
Its true, you’re not. It’s just your baby having bad day (or week).
I recommend purchasing Little Remedy’s Gas Relief Drops here. Literally, within minuets I had my delightful, sweet daughter back! Success!
5. You will love this child more than you ever thought possible
Granted, this hasn’t been a challenge, but it is something I learned about myself! I was never very maternal with other people’s children, so I was very nervous about what I would be like when I had my own. Let me tell you, there is no need to worry, you will love your child and the maternal instincts will come. Also, you should know that your baby loves you from the start! Nothing beats the feeling you get the first time your child looks at you and smiles that big, silly, toothless smile. Dahlia is a smiley baby, so I am lucky to get those often!
I hope this was helpful to all the new mothers out there! Remember to not be hard on yourself, it’s a huge adjustment, and you’re doing the best you can.