I am pleased to announce that my beautiful daughter has arrived! She is now just over two weeks old. I feel incredibly lucky to have her and I can’t believe she is finally here! In just this short period of time, I have experienced so many emotions. So for all the expectant mums out there, here are four things that I have learnt during this time.
1.Be patient, things take time.
Over the last two weeks I have realised that as a new mum, it takes time to learn how to be a Mum, how to understand what your baby wants. Just as any new job, it is a learning process. Part of me thought that I would instantly know and understand what my baby needs and why she is crying, but as with everything you learn these things and get to know your baby. Don’t be hard in yourself, this is completely normal.
It also takes time to heal. Labour is called labour for a reason! I hadn’t anticipated that I would need a recovery period. I had no idea what my body was about to go through. It was unrealistic for me to think that I would be up and about as if nothing had happened the next day. Who knows, maybe for some people this is achievable, but it wasn’t for me. Our bodies need time to heal, especially when running on very little sleep! If I’m completely honest, as a squeamish person, a part of me needs time to mentally recover too.
I also want to remind you to be proud of your body. It may not look the same as it used to just yet but it deserves to be acknowledged and appreciated for all that it has achieved! It has done amazing incredible things and deserves your praise.
2.You can’t always predict how things will go.
This is so true with labour, you may have a plan in mind but you may also end up with something totally different. I thought that I wanted to spend a lot of time in a pool but when it came to it, I didn’t end up staying in the pool at all! You just have to do what you need to do to get the job done.
In some ways this is also true after birth, sometimes things don’t always work out as planned. I passionately wanted to breastfeed and I felt so strongly about it. Unfortunately this hasn’t worked out for me and now I am trying to deal with disappointment and some feelings of guilt. This was something that I had always wanted to do and I am just coming to terms with this. But I have to remember that as long as my baby is loved and getting fed, that’s all that matters.
3.Don’t expect too much from yourself right away
I thought I’d be out and about quite soon but I did not feel up to it at all. I might have a goal for the day and I may or may not achieve this depending on how the day goes. If you manage to shower then that’s great, and if you don’t, then you don’t. Turns out taking care of a tiny human being is a lot of work and you may not have a spare second to even wash! The most important thing is that your baby is being cared for, so don’t worry if your house is a mess. I sleep whenever I get the opportunity! Sleep is so precious to me right now.
4. Accept support but when needed
Support is so important and greatly appreciated. Relatives helping out with chores or simply watching your baby whilst you take a shower, neighbours offering you cooked meals, it’s all life saving, all of those little things. But you will also need your space, time for you and your baby alone as your own little family. Remember you’re the Mum now, advice is appreciated but at the end of the day it’s up to you to decide which advice you want to follow.
Finally to all the expectant mums out there, I wish you all the best with your labour and everything beyond that! I hope everything goes smoothly for you, remember your are a queen and you can do this. Any words of advice from other Mum’s out there is also greatly appreciated!