Monday, 7 April 2014

Motherhood... the early days

Who would have thought that a new born baby would take up so much of my time?? 8 weeks into motherhood and thus far, I have only found time to write one blog post!! 

First things first, to all new mums out there... well done. This mothering lark is not as easy as it looks... don't get my wrong, it's wonderful, fulfilling, magical and so on but it ain't easy! Every second of my day is consumed with watching, worrying, thinking, timing, planning, playing, loving and generally being there for my little boy.

Being two months in, so clearly a pro (as if!!) I can now reflect on the chaos, panic and sheer amazement that is caring for a newborn baby. 

I read all the books in advance, purchased all the necessaries, spoke to a million people but it is true what they say... nothing can prepare you for motherhood, it is utterly unexplainable and the greatest thing that has ever happened to me.

*quick stop for a nappy change*

Below are a few home truths, the things that would have been useful to know in advance that I've picked up along the way... there will of course be more of this as time goes on and I learn more and more but for now, here are my top 4 learnings...

1. Midwifes.

 No offence to any midwifes out there, you are wonderful BUT talk about mixed advice! I didn't know if I was coming or going after each home visit. One would say one thing, one would say another and I ended up feeling utterly overwhelmed and a little lost. The greatest advice I received was from the hubs who basically told me that they are sharing their "advice"... "advice" not facts. Everyone has an opinion about how to raise babies, the truth of matter is, every baby is different and mothering instinct is worth a million pieces of advice. I have shocked myself at how well I know my little boy, and how strongly I believe that I know what's best for him. Advice is fab, as long as you remember it is advice not fact and it is your choice whether to take on or not. 

*quick stop for a cuddle*

2. Breastfeeding.

First things first. No one mentioned that the day "my milk came in" I'd be an insane emotional wreck. I mean, I was uncontrollable, crying (well weeping) and pretty much inconsolable. This lasted for about two days, and was the last thing I (or the hubs) needed with a 3 day old baby!!! Onto the big breastfeeding debate. I don't care what anyone says, breastfeeding isn't for everyone. My experience was hard, very hard. Harry and me struggled massively. We tried everything, lactation consultants, special chairs, pillows, nipple shields, the full shebang, I was desperate to do it, but it just wasn't working. He wasn't tongue tied, but he was early so purpose this was the reason why he just could not pick up the knack. This was hard, it was disappointing and it was frustrating. Thankfully I had milk, so against all the professionals advice (who said to keep trying) I decided to express and feed my son that way. Yes I had to top up with formula but my boy was finally happy, content, and gaining weight so for me it was the right thing. My belief is, do what is right for you...

Happy mummy = happy baby.

3. Sleep.

What can I say? It's bloody hard functioning on zero sleep. This is a fact. The positive spin is that I've found that we actually don't need THAT much sleep. A couple hours of unbroken sleep did and does me fine. Now, I am not the type who can nap during the day despite trying many many times. Just try not to let it get to you and try not to be like me... utterly neurotic. When Harry did finally get to sleep in the early days I'd stand obsessively over his Moses basket to ensure that he was breathing!!! These days things are much better, Harry is getting bigger so sleeping for longer meaning that now we only have to get up once in the night to feed him.

4. Visitors.

I can't say I wasn't warned about this in advance, because I was. But it's only when you're "in it" that you realise how exhausting & stressful it is having a house full of visitors. Perhaps my C Section meant that I found this particularly taxing? I don't know but it led to periods of tears and exhaustion on my part. I guess the trick is, keep it to one set of visitors per day and in the early days limit who comes round... it is easier said than done though. Of course immediate family takes precedence, but then you have close friends on both sides, cousins, uncles, "good friends" and so on. The one thing we did do which I found helpful was putting the task of negotiating visitors and timings totally on the hubs... he knew who was coming round when which at least took one thing off me. Just remember it's all about the baby and if you're running on zero sleep, trying desperately to breastfeeding whilst negotiating a room full of visitors you're bound to get a little stressed out, so just take it easy!!!

Time for a feed, but plenty more to come in the coming weeks on my 'experience of motherhood, the early days' so please stay tuned!

No comments:

Post a Comment