New Mom: The First 6 Weeks: 10 Things I learned
|Photo taken by Luvnish Karnani|
I had a sneaky feeling that my posts would take a turn for the Mama themed (as I foreshadowed in my last New Mom Post). Of course they would! I am currently on maternity leave and mother of a 6 week old, all I do basically revolves around this tiny new boss lady I gave birth to.
It has been a journey let me tell you, and, along this winding uphill climb I have learned a few things that I would like to share with anyone else who currently finds themselves on this path or soon will...or is considering starting a family. Grenada Soul Adventurer got you! (Can you tell I no longer consider interrupted sleep as sleep deprivation?!)
Here are 10 things I have learned
1. The first few weeks are simply a matter of survival.
Everything is new. You get no breaks to collect yourself. Everything is urgent. There are no do overs...the moment is now...and you are probably not used to functioning with such little sleep. Worry not, you will make it past these challenging times and you will be more resilient for it. I remember being up in the dead of night singing to Baby N while bouncing around trying to get her to fall asleep all while picturing myself dramatically falling to the floor from sheer mental, emotional and physical exhaustion.
2. All the moments are special.
The first time your baby smiles at you will feel like magic. Do not underestimate your capacity for unconditional love, for all the challenges that seem unending on some days there will be magic to make it all good again. Even getting up in the dead of night to nurse your baby and then watching her fall asleep at the boob will eventually feel special. Watching her sleep and move around a little as she tries to get comfortable will have you cooing and making cute noises (very softly...don't want to wake her now!). The precious moments are not just the first word or those first steps but every stinking moment in between too because before we know it they are gone. That moment your baby is screaming into your ear and nothing you do will sooth them..and then finally the singing and bouncing works and those tiny arms pull you closer because you have made their world alright again...that is pure joy!
3. Go with that Baby Flow
I have felt the most misery when I resisted Baby N's rhythm because I wanted to do laundry or take a shower or practice some yoga. I would be counting down the minutes until her "usual nap time" only to realise that today she will not nap at alll or at least not long enough for me to get something done. I have found the most peace when I surrendered to her flow and took the day as it came and cherished it all the same. It did take a bit of a mental turn around but once you get on board with baby even waking up at night to feed won't feel like a chore.
4.Take all the photos!
Those moments will never come back. There will only be one first dip in the ocean and it would be nice to someday go through your photo album with your child and recount those precious moments. It may seems silly to take that picture of your baby having a bath or just looking cute napping in her car sear but before you know it that phase will pass and those pictures will be so valuable to you.
5. A lot of time is spent feeding your baby!
I had no idea that babies ate so frequently. You hear about babies eating every 2 to 3 hours but the truth is that if you are feeding on demand, and not forcing a routine, your baby may want to eat every hour or half an hour or 15 minutes. You may think she was full but after that burp moved the air out the belly she suddenly realises there is more space! My advice here is to get comfortable, gather your snacks, fill your water bottle and put on a movie because nursing is pretty boring!
6. Your bond to your baby will grow...and grow...and grow.
When you first give birth, or even while you are pregnant you will feel a bond with your baby! While I was in the thick of it in those first few weeks after Baby Nwas born and everything was new and unfamiliar and I felt like I was floundering was our bond kept me going. However what I felt then is nothing compared to the bond I feel now and I am certain it will never stop growing stronger.
7. The first time is always the hardest.
This is true for almost everything in life but it is more intense when your baby is involved. I remember my first car ride alone with Baby N. I put up my "Baby on Board" sign (of which I am sooooo very proud) and drove like I had just gotten my license...EXTREMELY SLOW. It was as if I was sitting in the back seat and the drivers seat. I wondered how every bump would affect her, whether her head was bobbing around...whether she was alive!? I have pulled over before to check on her! Once you get over those firsts life will soon feel like it is returning to normal (well except now you have a precious baby to take along on your shenanigans...and by normal I mean not sitting on your couch nursing and perpetually smelling of breast milk). As it turns out Baby N loves car rides!
8. Wear the Baby!
Trust me on this one. You don't have to be a hippie or subscribe to the attachment parenting philosophy to baby wear. I remember feeling absolutely liberated when I first wore Baby N and we were able to go for a longer walk together. I was able to do all those things I thought she had to be napping for me to do (well except showering) because my hands were free. There are so many benefits for the baby when you wear them and the added bonus is that baby will most likely fall asleep while you are moving around because they love motion.
9. A little knowledge from good old Dr. Google can go a long way.
This was a hard one for me to learn. I am a lawyer by profession and so I want some authority! Who is writing these posts? What are their credentials? What gives them authority on my precious little bundle? I want a specialist and I will pay to hear them tell me what to do! While sometimes a doctors advice is what you need, not every issue warrants a doctors visit. Sometimes what is making your baby miserable is some gas and that can be addressed with some dietary changes for you (if she is breast feeding). I am not saying to put all your faith in google but it can help with the little issues (which will always seem huge in the drama of the moment). The first time Baby N had hiccups I was frantically worried and trying to find a solution to make her stop because she looked distressed..well guess what!?...there is no cure for hiccups and they are not a problem! I saved $80.00 by switching to google on that one!
10. Friends will turn into Family
I grew up as an only child. That means Baby N has no biological Aunties but man does she have a whole lot of Aunties! It is one of the most heart warming things to watch your friends shower your child with love. And it is not that...oh your baby is so cute bla bla bla it is a genuine and pure love. You may find that if you are one of the first in your group of friends to have a baby that soon you won't have as much in common as you once did, but, the true troopers will be there and will enrich your new journey and continue with you on your new adventures, albeit they include diaper bags, breast feeding breaks and being cramped up next to a car seat in that two door jeep you refused to sell because you were optimistic it could fit the car seat and other passengers (lets just say when I ride with Baby N no one rides shot gun).
Things will never be the same dear Soul Adventurers and there will be times that you will miss your "old life". Back in the day (about six weeks ago) I could decide to go somewhere and just shower and go on a moments notice. Now it takes more planning and probably a lot of false starts. You will think you are ready to go...but then a certain someone needs a diaper change! But for that you have cuddles in bed in the morning and watching a tiny you sleep peacefully at the end of a long day and that my dear Soul Adventurers is some of the most magical ish I have ever experienced!
Are any of you moms?
What did you learn in your first 6 or so weeks?
I would love to hear about your experiences, leave me a comment down below. I read them all and love having a good old chat with you.
Peace and Bliss,
Grenada Soul Adventurer