The moment I found out I was pregnant, I had many mixed emotions. I won’t lie and tell you all that I was overjoyed because the reality of it was that I was extremely anxious, worried and scared ; more than I thought I’d ever be. At the time I found out I was pregnant I was five weeks, I had recently gotten engaged and in many ways it wasn’t the timing that I had envisioned in my “plan” to become a mom. Now looking back it really couldn’t have happened at a better time in my life.
I think society automatically puts pressure on moms when entering ‘motherhood,’ because you’re suddenly expected by society standards to give up who you were before mom duties kicked in. You’re no longer able to really get a good night sleep and if you do get to sleep-in you suddenly find yourself feeling guilty for not being up with the baby. I quickly learned the first two weeks that that expectations I had for myself as a mom were totally unrealistic and that it was okay if they weren’t fully fulfilled. Constantly remember that it’s a learning process from day one. We weren’t born knowing what to do as moms, it’s a process of testing things out and finding what’s the best for baby and you. You can read as many books as you want, watch as many documentaries as you please but nothing will prepare you for the journey you’re about to take. It’s scary but also refreshing to know that every experience you have with your little one will be your very own.
The first two weeks…
Boy, they’re hard.
The hardest nights I’ve ever had…I got little to no sleep, and the sleep I did manage to get never seemed like enough nor like I’d be able to function properly and even more so with a baby.
I don’t think anyone ever warned me about the first two weeks and the difficulties that came with it. I wish I had knew what to expect and how to tackle on things much better than I did.
The first night I came home from the hospital was by far the worst. I had managed to breastfeed at the hospital, give her plenty of skin-to-skin and really bonded with her in such a calm, quiet way. It was breathtaking how easy it seemed it was going to be. She didn’t fight me on sleep, she really didn’t even cry all that much. It was nice, but it wasn’t going to last very long.
I remember that night we came home, my husband ran out to grab us some take-out to eat for dinner, she was asleep and I was exhausted. I was sore, feeling like I had just been ran over by a bus and I was immensely tired from just bringing a human being into this world. We finished our meal and were ready to call it a night. Fifteen minutes of my head on the pillow and an uproar of yelling and crying came from my seven pounds of joy. That crying lasted…realistically an hour but it seemed like an eternity.
The first two weeks are essential for both you and baby to adapt to one another and have a daily pattern of eating, pooping and sleeping schedule. Schedule. That’s something I wish I would of done since the beginning. If you learn to adapt a schedule for the baby, you’ll achieve to have a better sleeper and it’ll make life much easier. You’ll find yourself actually having an hour or two just for you!
You’ll face many crying sessions with your baby where you won’t even know where to begin. You’ll find yourself constantly asking, “why are you crying baby? I’ve fed you and changed you and sang to you all night.”
After you’ve fed, changed, and done just about everything else to make sure their okay…just hold them in your arms. Remember that your little bundle was within your warmth for months and the best thing you can offer that little baby is your sweet-loving arms.
Reassure yourself you’re doing perfectly okay, give yourself a pat on the shoulder and always remember to treat yo’ self! Being a mom is hard work, it takes time, dedication and large amounts of patience. It’s not a job fit for everyone but feel grateful you’ve landed one of the most important jobs, if not that most important job, you’ll ever have.
I was lucky enough to have my parents live fifteen minutes away from me, to call for advice as well as show up at their door step with tears running down my face asking desperately for help.
But just remember that although those two weeks may seem eternal, it eventually gets better….three months in and I can truly assure you that it really does.
The best advice I could of really used during those two weeks was breathe in and out momma, everything will be alright.