Sorry...there is no rulebook
Updated: Oct 16, 2021
So nine weeks ago, our lives changed. Little bubs arrived on the scene through a natural birth with a whole lot of gas inhalation. Mum told me it would be the biggest poo that I would push out in my life. Tell you what - she was right. If it doesn't feel like you're going to crap your pants - you're just not pushing into your bum in the right way.
I said in my previous blog, I don't think anything can prepare you for this much responsibliity, but nothing can be read or said that will prepare you for being a parent.
Initially it's difficult because you've just got this tiny wee guy fully dependent on you, looking to you for warmth, food, comfort and nappy changes. Despite being potentially pooed or peed on, despite the many times you forget to point him downwards to avoid washing all his blankets, you've got to soldier on and love him to pieces. All the while you are questioning every single decision you make. Schedule? Routine? Swaddle? Feed on demand? Controlled crying?
As well as being a woman, it's difficult to not let the indecisiveness and doubt take over, you're also mega sleep deprived, not to mention the crying - yes ladies, as I was pre-warned, there is a lot of crying. You just can't help being so darn emotional and it's perfectly normal.
Some days you haven't even gotten out of your pyjamas and forgotten when was the last time you brushed your teeth or washed your hair. Or even the fact that you haven't clipped up your nursing top, (not that you exposed yourself to the whole world thank God), but perhaps a breast pad which explains the awkward look on the sales person's face. But hey at this rate, you don't quite care who sees your boob, you're just trying to get through the day.
And when they cry, initially I had the thoughts going through my head, "you're a bad mum", but I've had to learn, crying is not a bad thing, he's just trying to communicate the only way he knows how. Roll with the bad times and celebrate the good, or just laugh when you dodge your baby's pee, only to realise he's peed in his own face. (Then clean him up obviously.)
It's not a bad thing also to ask family and friends to help. We have called so many of our friends who are already parents (WE LOVE YOU GUYS!!!) to get through our trying times and leaps.
Plunket is also available on speed dial on 0800 933 922, not to mention their amazing family centre service (ask your Plunket nurse about getting extra advice and assistance, or a toasted sandwich.) There's also there's quite a few sleep consultancy firms around, I'd checked out Dorothy Waide at an OhBaby coffee session and really liked her style. Another good friend also had really good success with Baby Sleep Consultant.
Also cranial osteopaths with experience with babies are highly recommended by baby/sleep consultants. Osteopaths can do wonders for complicated births, wind, colic and reflux, especially after babys get unsettled after vaccinations.
My son is nine weeks now. And he's smiling more and more which makes everything worth the while. I'm just taking one day at a time, one feed at a time and one cuddle at at a time. But I know, even though being a first time mummy is super hard, it's also so worth it to see your little wee one develop, and engage more with you. Even if you are eating all the snacks in the pantry, because you're way MORE hungry breastfeeding than you were pregnant.
The best advice my cousin gave me was:
"Keeping a baby alive is not easy. Both physically and mentally especially the no rule book thing. The crying is tough. But know it's normal. He also will just want mumma (or dad). I always had to remind myself that Braddy was in his perfect world where he was fed slept etc inside my belly and being born literally turned his world upside down. And I had to help him with the transition to this world.
And that it was part of my role to help him, help understand each other and love him no matter what."
Another good friend said also about the difficulty in being a mummy, it was so hard that her aim was just to keep baby alive. That made me laugh.
Thank you for all the gifts. My son is super spoiled. XX