mom-mode post #204 – on new babies and such

July 27, 2012 § Leave a comment

A friend of mine just had a baby (you know who you are!). He is just the sweetest, yummiest little thing and I hope I can hold him soon, God willing.
Just like any first time mommy, my friend is struggling to find her own groove and rhythim with this new addition to her little family.
Learning about this and seeing pictures of that sweet bundle of joy, made the memories of my O as newborn come flushing back. I just wanted to take the time and tell my friend the things people told me that made a world of difference to me. As well as the things no one really told me about.
First of all friend, no one can really prepare you for the mix of emotions you go through after you just delivered a baby. You never knew someone could love someone so tiny, so much. You also never knew someone could possibly be this tired. And no, everything doesn’t turn out the way the books tell you they will.
You see, babies are their own little people. Your munchkin is his own unique person. Books may give you a general guideline of how to go about things. Your supermom friend may have had eight kids and know a ton about childrearing. Ultimately though, God chose you and his daddy as the experts. Lean on Him and He will certainly give you the wisdom on how to care for him. Maternal instinct is a real thing, trust this God-given discernment tool! O hated his baths until I decided to bathe him in a bucket. It was unconventional and many questioned my choice. But at the end of the day I knew my baby loved his bucket baths and I loved to see him happy. He chose no one else in the world but you, to be his mommy!
When the baby blues hit, remember to give yourself grace. It’s normal.The hardest thing I’ve ever done was having a baby away from everyone and everything familiar. This things you have embarked on is no easy task. It’s scary not to be able to call your mom or you MIL to come on over and save the day. It’s a scary thing to know you are fully responsible to keep this little tiny human well fed and and well cared for. Heck, you just delivered a baby, for crying outloud (pun intended)! Do cry outloud, it’s ok. Just tell your husband not to freak out, you just need to let out some hormones.
Sweet friend, don’t forget to take care of yourself. Eat well, drink well, rest well. Shower. Get out of the house if you need to. Even if it’s just for thirty minutes to get some fresh air, and remember you weren’t always the woman with constant circles under your eyes and a baby attached to your boobs ( can I say boobs on the internet? Or should I have said breats?). Take a little time to do that thing that makes you feel like a normal person again. To me, was making sure I had a manicure and pedicure. To another friend of mine, was making sure she had a little time to shave her legs. To you it may be to get some exercise ( once the doc gives you the ok). Whatever it is, friend. A happy mama can do wonders for a baby.
Forget about the laundry and dishes for a while. Enjoy the cuddles. Especially the nightime ones. I fully despised getting my night sleep interrupted and I couldn’t wait for O to sleep through the night. But some of my sweetest memories of the newborn phase was that quiet bonding we had in the middle of the night. The whole world would be quiet except his loud hunger cry, I would scoop him up from his crib, sit in the dark and just watch in wonder. Happy to be able to provide my baby the nourishment he needed, kiss him on the cheeks and take in that newborn smell. Before you know, that newborn fragrance will be replaced by nasty, sweaty, plaground toddler boy smell!
Some feedings I did just go through the motions, and couldn’t wait to get back to my beauty sleep. But I just always made a conscious effort to remember what a gift these midnight cuddles can be.
Finally, do know that I am praying for you. These first few weeks are just crazy and amazing all at the same time. You know, there is wisdom in some cultures that believe a new mom and baby shouldn’t leave the house for forty days. Although I’m not one for advocating that (I was traveling all over Istanbul with my 4 week old and I loved it!), I think our western culture sometimes puts too much emphasis on being supermom. Doing too much, too soon: “I did it all with not drugs”, “I ran a marathon six weeks post partum”, “my baby was sleeping through the night the day after we got back from the hospital”, etc. Well, if that’s what you feel inclined to do, go for it. But if your biggest accomplishment of the day was getting out of your pijamas and making sure your baby stayed alive, well, that’s a pretty big deal too.

Last week was not only the day your baby was born, but it was also the day you were born as a mommy. Congrats! You are in for one of the biggest adventures of your life.

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