My baby boy, Jai, is 2 months old and since he’s been born it’s been crazy. I’m sure any new mom will be able to sympathise with the rollercoaster of emotions you feel after giving birth and that nothing truly prepares you for what your life turns into after having a baby.
Like most pregnant women, I started reading numerous books, blogs and articles about the practical elements of having a baby, we also attended an NCT course where I was fortunate to meet a group of like-minded couples all in the same boat. We came away from the course slightly nervous about the birth but well equipped with enough knowledge we’d need to look after our newborns, or so we thought.
Here’s my list of the things that people fail or choose not to mention when having a baby.
After giving birth the world seemed hazy, it wasn’t until after this haze that I felt an overwhelming wave of emotion. For me the emotions were made up of feeling incredibly tired, having a ridiculous amount of love for a tiny human being, feeling uncomfortable from the waist down and thinking that I wanted to get my life into some sort of routine as quick as possible. I remember seeing my parents for the first time and just crying and not really knowing why, suddenly your life changes forever and you need to keep yourself together whilst making sure you do everything right for this tiny human you’ve created. The reality is that there is no right or wrong and everything you read may or may not work because each baby is different, as odd as it seems you do have to let your instinct guide you – as a rule of thumb if it feels right then it probably is.
When I was pregnant everyone used to say get as much rest as you can cause once the baby is here you won’t get any. In reality, there is only so much rest you can take without feeling incredibly lethargic and once I entered my third trimester I was finding it uncomfortable to sleep without having to wake up for a piddle everyone couple of hours or panic myself everytime I rolled onto my back. I remember not sleeping at all the first night in the hospital and survived on 3 hours sleep over 5 days when Jai was born, I have never known exhaustion like it. Sleep deprivation did get easier once Jai learnt the difference between day and night so thankfully I didn’t feel like a complete zombie for too long.
From when I found out I was pregnant, I knew I wanted to exclusively breastfeed, what I didn’t know was how difficult it would be. I managed to breastfeed a little after Jai was born but soon began getting incredibly sore as he was not latching properly. After watching endless videos and receiving advice from breastfeeding councillors and charities I eventually got the hang of it and feeding got much more easier. Fortunately I managed to persevere through tears, soreness, sleeplessness and a very hungry baby, but I realise this isn’t the case for everyone and think it’s important to feed your baby the way that works for you. The advice I would give to any new mum who would like to breastfeed is to keep calm and patient, take your time and remember that both you and your newborn need to get used to each other and this may not happen overnight.
Since Jai was born time has passed incredibly quickly, he’s no longer classed as a newborn and everyday he learns something different which is incredible. My love for him grows stronger everyday and his smile melts my heart which makes all the above very easy to forget.