Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Mama Observations - The first 15 weeks.

I've been working on this post for a very long time. It's the brutally honest truth, from my eyes, on becoming a first time mama. It might not be for everyone, but it was important for me to document it. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it.


Being a mama is the best thing that has ever happened to me. But it's hard. Really hard. And it has surprised me to realize how much I didn't know going into this whole thing.

When you tell people you are pregnant their reactions are almost always positive. 'It's the best job in the world!' 'You are going to love that baby so much!' And don't get me wrong, that is ALL true! The following are just some things that I have observed over the past couple of months that I thought would be good to share... or for those who are already mamas. I'm sure you will have a laugh over some of them!

1. After you give birth, you will cry. You will cry a lot. And for a while. I remember when we were still in the hospital, I didn't cry. Not once. And I thought that I was totally keeping myself together. Pat on the back for Jenn! And then we got home. And within 5 minutes of getting there, I cried. For no reason! And this continued for about 2 weeks. I think most people classify this as the 'baby blues' and it is totally normal. But those types of things, I don't think anyone likes to talk about. So I'm telling you, get the tissues out. And apologize to your husband now.

2. Some people DO NOT like breastfeeding. And I'm one of them. And I'm not ashamed to admit it. It is completely draining. And painful. And exhausting. And stressful. I HATED feeling like I was the ONLY person who could feed my child. I felt like I couldn't even take a shower, because if my baby got hungry, I had to stop everything I was doing. And I suppose a lot of women like that, but I definitely wasn't one of them. And for that reason, I started pumping and we switched to a bottle VERY early on. And if that what works for you, DO IT! In the back of my mind I felt SO guilty for not liking breastfeeding so much, I felt like as a woman I was SUPPOSED to love it. I finally had to convince myself that if I wasn't happy, my baby wasn't happy. Switching to a bottle was one of the best things we have done as parents, thus far.

3. When you get home from the hospital, you will have NO idea what to do with this new human you are supposed to take care of. The first night, Billy and I set up shop on the couch, holding our new baby girl and had no idea what to do. And because of that, we were up ALL NIGHT because we were holding her the entire time. It's so funny to think back to those first couple of nights... But I promise, you WILL figure it out! I remember a lot of people kept telling me that your 'motherly instincts' would just kick in and I remember thinking said people were NUTS! But they do! It's crazy but you just figure it out! 

4. No matter how much you love your significant other, you will want to strangle them at some point (or lots of points) within the first couple of months of being new parents. Whether it be at 3am when neither of you have slept in 4 days and you're playing rock, paper scissors to see who is going to go take care of the screaming baby or at 3pm and your significant other coughs too loud and wakes the baby up after an hour of rocking her back and forth trying to get her to take a nap. Just remember that even though you are thinking about roundhouse kicking their face into the ground, you still love them. I promise, you do.

5. You will never read or listen to another sad story involving a child on the tv or radio and not think 'what if that was my baby?!' I can't tell you how many times this has happened to me and it breaks my heart.

6. You will probably instantly judge and/or give dirty looks to parents who a. Smoke in front of their children or b. let their child run about in the car (unbuckled) and in whatever seat they chose, no matter the age. I don't know if its because I am more aware now that I have a child or what, but when I see these types of things happening I literally want to go all crazy town on someone's ass! 

7. Mama bear instincts are powerful things. You will have no problem telling a stranger who is trying to give your child a pat on the head to go fly a kite. Exhibit A.

8. The first few weeks are hard. REALLY HARD. Take help from people that are offering it.... Right around the 5 week mark, things started to get easier for B and I. Our baby started to really get a personality and we started to figure out what she needed when she was crying. 

9. The most common peice of advice you will probably get is 'sleep when the baby sleeps'. I got it ALL THE TIME. And I'm here to tell you that is wayyyyy easier said than done. Here's what a typical day looked like for me while on maternity leave: feed baby, baby cries, hold baby until baby falls asleep, put baby down in swing for nap, pump, wash pump parts and bottles, make yourself a sandwich, sit down for 5 seconds, pick up screaming baby who just woke up. Repeat 8 times a day. I'm sorry, WHEN was I supposed to be sleeping?! 

I'm sure there will be a part 2,3 & 4 to this post but for now, this is what I've got. 

Moral of the story here people.. even when you want to strangle your husband for falling asleep quicker than you at night or when you are sitting in the back of a cop car because some space cadet tried to put a voodoo spell on your child and you hulk smashed his face to the ground, remember at the end of the day, you have the most perfect baby as your reward for all of the above. (Okay, 2nd most perfect baby, mine is obviously first ;) )

 

1 comment:

  1. I love your candid post! I too hated breast feeding, it was soooo painful and I'd cringe every time she cried because I knew she may be crying fr food! I quickly started pumping as well so hubby could help feed too and that way I knew how much she was eating, I was always paranoid she wasn't getting enough. Eventually the pain part went away and it was way easier to BF than pump but of course by that time I was back to work so I HAD to primarily pump. At 6 months I switched to formula and never looked back!

    ReplyDelete