Since I’ve had two babies now and with both of them past the 1-year mark (aahh that feels good to say), I feel like I’m finally *just* entering that phase of life where I can maybe pass a bit of advice along to a new expecting mother and feel like it’s legit. Don’t get me wrong, just because I have done this mommy gig for a few years now doesn’t mean I know what I am doing in the slightest, although it’s fun from time to time to pretend I do. ha!
I remember what it’s like to have a wriggly tiny life in your arms. Everything seems chaotic and hazy and wonderful and exhausting. Here is my two cents on the topic that is forever the closest to my heart.
The first meeting: No amount of book reading and blog searching can prepare you for that first moment when you lay your eyes on that tiny, squirmy bundle you just delivered. Its pure magic. Hell, its better than that. Its ecstasy. SAVOUR IT! Savour it with your touch, with your eyes, with your sense of smell, with every cell of your body and with all your being. Just let it be you and him/her and block everything out for a little while and just marvel at what you created. Let the waterworks run their course now cause words and smiles are just not enough to express what you just felt. 🙂 If I am ever given the chance to go back in time, I would always go back to those two moments when I first met my baby boys. Baby Azaan Baby Hamza
Call your mom. Definitely call your mom. I am not saying you cant do it without her, you can. But you will be so frantic, emotional, and exhausted in those early days that having your mom around would be the biggest blessing and the best luxury. Also you wouldn’t wanna miss sharing that special time with her 🙂 You will be taking care of a newborn for the first time, you will need some mothering yourself. Let her take the baby for a couple of hours at night for you to catch up on sleep. Let her make you some healthy, nutritious meals that are a must for your body postpartum recovery and breastfeeding. Let her watch the baby for a few minutes while you go take a shower. And then make her a cup of tea and just go through all the photos and videos you guys made of the baby that day and revel in those moments together.
Get postpartum body massage to help your body regain its strength. Gosh, its so important. I lagged doing it the first time and paid the price after a few weeks. The second time, I made sure to get it a few times as I could not afford to let my body to lag behind with a newborn and a toddler at hand. It was such a breather! I would HIGHLY recommend it.
Don’t be scared to feel overwhelmed. Its natural. Ask for help from those around you, you deserve it. Start from the hospital nursing staff. I was lucky to have really awesome and the most sweetest people at the hospital who would listen and entertain my every little query and need. A new baby brings with it unsurmountable joy and complete and utter overwhelm. Those first few weeks are emotionally charged and once the bliss wears off (give it a few days) the reality really starts to hit home. Everyone is in a state of limbo as they attempt to adjust and meltdowns are the norm. Give it time to establish a “new normal” for your family.
Take lots of photos of those early days!! Yes you will be feeling utter exhaustion that you have never felt before in your life, you will feel bloated and extremely unattractive, your eyes will look like they are gonna fall out of their sockets lined with the craziest dark circles you have ever seen, you are wearing 3-day old pajamas that are sporting more than a few spit-ups, your hair have not seen a comb since the baby arrived (HA!), BUTTTT you wouldn’t wanna miss capturing that time, those moments in their complete raw form. You will CRAVE (for the lack of a better word) later to go through those memories. And those photos will give you the biggest smiles and leave you teary-eyed in the years to come.
You ll be an emotional, hormonal wreck. You ll be so so proud of yourself for having created the most gorgeous person on earth. You wont believe your luck for having given the chance to be his mother. You ll be thanking your stars with your every breathe. And crying, and laughing and then crying some more. And the next moment, you ll be so overwhelmed that you’ll feel you cant do it and you would just want to run for your life and never look back, haha. Its crazy. But its normal.
Breastfeeding is a gem. if possible, always go that way. I wont go into detailing its many benefits, cause there is plenty of facts and researches out there for you to check out. Nor am I against formula in any way. But if you choose the breastfeeding journey, the following pointers will prepare you for it :
- Breastfeeding burns a whopping 500 calories per day! Yowza! I Even if you sit perfectly still all day, you burn as many calories as if you’d run five miles. Needless to say, you get hungry like a wolf. In those early weeks, I was surprised to find myself even hungrier than I was during my pregnancy. But I shouldn’t have been surprised as my baby was feeding off me roughly 23.75 hours of the 24 hours in a day 😛 (i never want to stop breastfeeding my 1 year old cause it keeps my weight in check and gives mea pass to eat recklessly once in a while, haha.)
- Not just hungry, you ll be super thirsty all the time specially after feeding sessions.
- You can literally feel drained afterward. Breastfeeding can be exhausting. It truly sucks the energy out of you. I mean, you’re fattening up a baby. And everytime you go for your baby’s checkup, you cant help but feel incredibly proud of yourself for that shift in the scale is all because of you 🙂
- Babies are completely over-the-moon about milk. It’s so so adorable how much babies love milk. Its like when they sense that its gonna happen, their eyes basically role back in their head with relief and excitement and they get this drunken look, which is to die for, as soon as they start. Haha.
Good for her. Not for me. I remember once reading somewhere Amy Poehler’s Motherhood Mantra: “Good for her! Not for me.”, which stuck with me all this time. Its a bloody brilliant mantra in my book! There are countless ways to be a good mother (and person), and we should trust our guts and go with our instincts. Deep down we all know that. Still, at certain moments, it can be hard not to sometimes compare yourself to others, and then doubt yourself and think that you are a wierd person or a lesser Mama for choosing a different path. For those self-critical moments, always recall “Good for her! Not for me.” Brilliant.
“Letting go of the mother you think you are supposed to be and embracing the one you already are.”
And now all these photos are making me crave a newborn again, I m off to kiss my babies !
Till next time. xx