Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Motherhood: What I Wish I Knew Then, Part 2


Today I'm continuing the second part of my "What I Wish I Knew Then" series, talking about what I've learned during my first year of motherhood and what I didn't expect before I gave birth. To read Part 1 you can click here.

3.  All new moms NEED support. If a friend offers to bring over dinner while you're trying to calm your colicky newborn at home, take them up on that offer! If your mom offers to clean your house, gladly accept! With a smile : ). And don't be afraid to ask for help. Luckily we had (and still have) a great support system. Both my family and Dustin's family live in Edmonton. We know we are very lucky, not everyone has relatives close by to lean on for help. That's why I suggest joining a 'New Moms Group' and connecting with other women who are going through the same things as you are after giving birth, if it's offered in your area. I signed up for a 6-week course through Alberta Health Services which covered everything from car seat safety to post-natal depression. Funny story: On the first day of our meet-up, Miles and I showed up early and as soon as we got there he had a major poo explosion in his onesie. Usually I carry around a change of clothes in my diaper bag but the day before I had had to use them while visiting my parents so I forgot to replace them. The poo sopped through his pants so we went to the washroom to clean him up and as the class was about to start I returned to the room with Miles wearing half the onesie rolled up into a sort of crop top and no pants, and not knowing what the heck to do, (wrap his legs in toilet paper??) feeling so embarrassed and thinking how all these other moms were going to judge me. I was planning on leaving and taking my pants-less, pretty much naked baby home but luckily one of the other moms (God bless her) asked if I wanted to borrow her daughter's onesie, It was grey with pink polka dots on it and bunny rabbits but I didn't care! I was just happy Miles didn't have to go home in his poo-stained crop top.

Pink polka dots and bunnies but who cares?! ; )

I'm still friends with the moms in my group. we still get together occasionally and we are all a part of a private Facebook group/page and recently one of them mentioned how Miles' cross-dressing escapade was a great bonding moment for all of us. So if you can, join a Mommy's group or even a Mommy Facebook page in your city or town. You can ask other mothers questions about things like teething, introducing solids, immunizations, etc. You can share stories/experiences with each other and give and take advice. Honestly I'm so thankful to have had (and still have) those ladies and their support in my life.

4. There's a fourth trimester. Did you know that? Yup, the first 3 months of a baby's life is commonly referred to as the Fourth Trimester. This is known as the time that a newborn, who was warm and comfortable in a mommy's belly has to learn how to adjust to their new world outside the womb. During the first three months of life babies go through great change and development and it's hard for them! Sometimes they'll even go through the Period of PURPLE Crying, the period in a newborn's life when they cry more than any other time, like Miles did. Thank God for the internet and Google and being able to be reassured this was just a phase and that other parents and babies go through it, too. What helped us was the 5 S's and accepting that the first 3 months will be the most difficult. Man were they tough! But we got through it and after the Fourth Trimester things got much easier.

5. You will need to learn how to go with the flow. Sometimes, if you're lucky, your baby can actually get into a good routine of, let's say, having two solid naps a day and only getting up once through the night. You think, "Yes!! Ahhh, finally, he's sleeping" and you feel like you're walking on Cloud 9 because you're getting rest, too! But then your baby gets sick and/or has a tooth coming through and that routine is thrown out the window and he's up every 2 hours crying. Just when you think things are going well, something changes. At first this gave me anxiety but after a year I have finally learned to GO WITH THE FLOW. It wasn't easy for me! I have a Type A personality, I am very organized, I like to be in control and for things to be done in a certain way. (Yes, my husband is one lucky dude.) Well when I became a mom I didn't have control over a lot of things and my world was turned upside down. So I had to accept that motherhood, like life, has its ups and downs and it is best to just ride the wave!

6. The last thing I wish I knew before I gave birth was that labour isn't bad at all if you get an epidural. When I was pregnant I was so scared I was going to be in excruciating pain and yes, when the contractions came on strong and all at once (I was induced slowly but nothing happened until I received the highest dosage of pitocin ) it WAS painful but once I got that lovely needle in my spine it was MAGIC. I highly recommend it!

Miles at his first birthday party. He loved his cupcake!

So there you have it - six things I wish I knew before I gave birth. I hope this series has been helpful. Miles just turned one last week and not only did we celebrate this huge milestone we also celebrated the fact that my husband and I got through the hardest, most challenging yet rewarding year of our lives! We did it, guys!

xo

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