^^ not feeling and looking so glamorous about 7 hours after Max was born! ^^
Dear First Time Mom,
First and foremost, Congratulations on your new little miracle!
Remember the first night at the hospital after Max was born, he didn't cry at all! He just slept and slept, and was so sleepy that I had to wake him to spoon feed him my colostrum. Remember relishing at the idea that hey, i had an easy pregnancy...maybe i also have an easy baby! Wishful thinking. Life as you know it will change, and you know what? The changes to come have all been experienced, your experiences are normal, you will survive, you can do this!
The first couple of nights at home on your own will be your biggest adjustment period. You will not sleep because you don't have a see through bassinette and you want to see what is going on with your baby. Why is he not making any noises? shouldnt he be crying? shouldn't i be feeding him on a regular schedule? IS HE ALIVE? yes, my dear he is and this is just the calm before the storm.
Please swaddle Max. He needs to sleep and his startle reflex keeps waking him up or preventing him from sleeping in the first place. He will cry when he's hungry, don't wake a sleeping beast. Get some rest when he is resting, don't feel the need to do some chores, cook some food, or watch some TV. You need all the rest you can get- i didn't say SLEEP (cuz we all know you're so paranoid that you won't be doing any of that) - rest, file all that information into your brain and reset before you blow up on your husband and shut him out completely. Vicious cycle.
Don't over pump. Pump until those breastROCKS go away but not until you feel totally comfortable. This is just telling your brain to make more milk. You will be engorged for a little while, but not as long as if you keep sending your brain the wrong messages! Breastfeed but also offer the bottle (breastmilk) so dad can bond with Max....but more importantly, so it's not solely up to you, and YOU alone.
Max will cry and he won't stop crying until his needs are met, it's his main way of communication! Take it from me, always offer the breast. At first he will cry all.the.time, and you know why? he's hungry! Then he'll develop some reserves, and it'll be every hour or so, then a couple of hours, and then you'll eventually see a pattern and develop some sort of predictable schedule. If he's fussy, give the boob. You just fed him 30 minutes ago? Give the boob! And speaking of boobs, protect those nipples and use Lanolin before it's too late! Dry, cracked, nipples + suckling baby = OUCH.
Treat your husband well. He doesn't know what to do but he is trying to help. Max won't like him for the next 2-3 months or so because dad really can't offer him any food (read, provide a bottle option), but it makes things worse when you start fights with him and make him feel inconsequential. Max needs a dad and you need your husband.
Don't buy stuff unless you need it and read the reviews prior. You live in an apartment and you're on maternity leave, create a budget and stick with it! No you don't need to renovate, no you don't need to buy THAT, take it easy and enjoy the family moments. Furthermore, take some time for yourself to be alone and check in on yourself. It'll be great for dad to learn to cope with Max, and you to learn to cope without baby, and baby to learn to cope with other people other than mamma!
You will be sleep deprived. Your body will adjust.
There are families just like yours all around the world, with mom's experiencing the same things or have already experienced the same issues. Focus on your strengths, embrace challenges, and refine as a parent. You are not alone. You can do it. It will get better.
^^ Max's 1 week birthday. I wore this pink robe every.single.day lol ^^
**thanks Carolyn for this great post idea! Read her first time mom letter HERE