Thursday, August 30, 2012

5 lessons learned post baby

Being a NEW mother to a newborn is one of the most incredible and validating feelings I've ever had. On the flip side it's really difficult at the same time. Not only do you get to marvel at the beauty of your child but you get to reflect on the past ten months of what life USED to be like and how different and amazing it's changed since then. You get to relish in the way your baby looks, sleeps, cries and even poops - e-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g they do at this stage is adorable, fun and it completely mesmerizes you. The role of  being someones mother is so fulfilling and definitely feels like it gives your life purpose and meaning - I LOVE being a mommy to Miles. Also as a NEW mom you get to 'recover' from childbirth or as my brother-in-law would say....."heal from your battle wounds". Ha! I couldn't have said it better myself. 

There are quite a few things that I've learned already since giving birth that I never read about in a book or saw in an online article or heard from my friends that I wanted to document for myself for 'next time'.  

1. The relationship with your husband
I thought that Gregg was a supportive husband during my pregnancy but witnessing day in and day out how much of a true 'partner' he's been these last few weeks (and will be forever) has been unbelievable to say the least. I knew that Gregg would be THAT type of father the minute I met him in college over 11 years ago. He has this way about him that is so giving and caring. Not only does he make you feel safe and protected, he uses such endearing words and makes you feel so loved and cherished. One of my biggest concerns while pregnant was that a baby was going to change 'us' to the point where we wouldn't be 'us' anymore. Given it's only been a mere 3 weeks since Miles made his grand entrance we still have quite a while to go in this marriage and relationship, but already he has given me a small glimpse into what our future is going to be like with this little boy running around and I couldn't be more excited. We spend so much time talking about what our future holds and admire all of his little accomplishments together. Yes even going poop is an accomplishment these days. We support one another, rely on the sanity of one another and more than anything we feel so in love with each other that we created such a beautiful little person together. We still find time to talk about things OTHER than Miles like work or what our friends or doing or upcoming plans. As Miles gets older things will change, probably daily, but for now it seems like there is such a good balance between us and I couldn't be more relieved.

2. Recovery from battle wounds
Yes yes yes, I know. Labor and delivery is hard work - for reals it is. My labor was somewhat difficult in the fact that it was hard and went really fast BUT for some reason I didn't take into account the actual recovery and what it would be like immediately after. There is a lot going on "down there" and a lot to take care of, in addition to learning how to breastfeed and a million other things. If anything I'd like to remind myself for our next child that there is an actual RECOVERY process. You can't just jump immediately into this new way of life without taking care of yourself too. (hence #1 and why having a partner during this is so important). Childbirth is something not to be taken lightly that's for sure. I distinctly remember that as we were walking out of the hospital that I started to walk at a normal pace and had to slow down because I was out of breath and could barely walk straight. That was a huge indication that I had just gone through something a bit bigger than a hard work out.

3. Laundry Paundry
Wow. It is unreal how much laundry Miles has created, since day one! I can only imagine as he gets older how much more we will have to do haha. I never knew that babies got dirty so often. From spit up, to accidental fountains of pee, to blowouts we are definitely putting our new LG washer and dryers to GOOD USE! Getting a nice big bottle of Dreft was one of the best baby purchases we made.

4. Breastfeeding is hard
So this may be a little TMI but it's my blog so oh well. I heard from multiple people that this was going to be an uphill battle. And they weren't joking. When you're in the hospital the LC's really do help a lot and for some reason the babies tend to latch just perfectly. Then it's as if it were magic and the minute the babies get home they forget everything they've learned. More than breastfeeding the hardest aspect to deal with (for me personally) was the pain of breastfeeding. Most of my friends said that it would disappear after two weeks and I did notice a slight change but it was still hard and hurting. I found that using a nipple shield saved me, slightly and although it's a hassle to use, it has allowed me to continue to nurse happily. I was originally concerned that Miles wasn't going to gain enough weight or that my pediatrician would advise against it, but during his last appointment she told me that if it continues to help you nurse then 'go for it', yay music to my ears! Hooray for nipple shields!

5. Venturing outside = anxiety!
I have never been one to have a lot of anxiety, however I have had a bit of a hard time 'wanting' to venture outside, run errands, meet friends for the simple fact that I was still a little bit unsure about my BFeeding skills and if Miles would go ballistic while we're out in public. No one wants to be the one with the crying baby in target (at least in the beginning). Part of me realizes that we are all learning this new way of life. Miles is literally LEARNING how he's suppose to eat, I'm learning how to FEED him the way he needs....together this is an adventure that is going to take a few trial and errors. Thankfully we're already on week 3 and things are looking up much more than they were before. Plus, how can you not want to show off this little face!!!???

love him!!!


The Marshalls said...

Awe, I couldn't have said it better myself, Kate! I felt like I was reliving it all over again - and I'd do it again & again...Great post!

Karolyn Rodriguez said...

Love reading your blog Kate! The pictures of your new little man are absolutely adorable. I love hearing your experiences, and how you're coping with all these new challenges! I can't wait to have a baby, and reading your blog makes me so excited and anxious lol. Can't wait to meet this little bundle of joy next Friday, and hang out with you and Gregg at the wedding Saturday. I am so glad that Gregg is being so helpful and supportive, I can only imagine how awesome it must feel to know that you two created a life together! Love you all :)
p.s. How's Harley taking the new addition? Is he jealous of Miles?