life with lily
I'm not going to apologise for my lack of effort on this blog as I've been busy.. having a baby that is! My husband and I welcomed Lily to the world on August 18th - meaning she's 3 months old today. Of course, those months flew by in a blur so I want to recap and share some of my thoughts around labour & motherhood in general. I hope it will give some insight to those expecting or even future mamas-to-be.
- You'll never be fully prepared. I now look at first-time pregnant women with a little smile of 'you have no idea what's coming'. I don't say this in a patronising or nasty way. It's just the truth. No books, videos, stories (including mine) will prepare you for what's to come. There's beauty in just going with the flow and enjoying every little moment of it (the good, bad and ugly).
- My labour was the complete opposite of the horror stories you hear. And yes, I know that my situation was very rare! From water breaking to baby out - it was just under 4 hours. I've been told this doesn't happen very often for first borns. Pre-pregnancy, I remember thinking that I would want all the drugs in the world but as I started to get educated on the side effects, pro's, cons etc, I wasn't so keen. And also the fact that Lily was coming in such a hurry that there was no time for drugs! With that being said, if I had a 15+ hour labour, I could be telling you a completely different story. So bottom line here - child birth is possible without drugs. I have had girlfriend's ask me, 'was it painful?'. To be honest, I don't really remember the pain level. Yes I remember screaming so it must of hurt in the moment, but as weird as it sounds, once your baby comes out, you forget everything you just went through! Oh and don't even worry about the fear of dropping 'other' bodily fluids/solids during labour (a.k.a. poo) as 1. you're so in the moment dealing with the contractions that you probably won't even notice 2. nurses/midwives/doctors have seen a lot worse and usually will just wipe it away without you even knowing. ;)
- That first night was rough. We pretty much checked out of the hospital in less than 20 hours as 1. there were only shared rooms available and 2. the food was disgusting. So arriving home on the high of what had just happened and then crashing from exhaustion was natural. Because babies can survive a day or so on nothing but their stored up nutrients from the belly, and my milk hadn't come in yet (sometimes it can take a week) it was really strange not to feed or be able to comfort Lily with the boob. All she could do was sleep, snuggle and cry. Finally the next day when my milk came, it felt like I could actually comfort and nurture her, so that was reassuring. I remember a moment on the first night being with my husband thinking.. what do we do now? Everything we were doing was upsetting Lily and she wouldn't sleep. That was our first major lesson in parenting. Getting to know what your baby wants. And boy does she not like to be fussed about! Those first few weeks are all about learning the cues and what each and every cry means. It takes time and patience.
- Make 'Mama time' once or twice a week. This was a great piece of advice given to me. Make sure you have an hour or two on your own watch every week. Whether that be having a bath with a glass of wine in hand or taking up a short course (I'm learning Hebrew one night a week), it makes such a difference to your state of mind. To be truthful, looking after a baby can be a little monotonous.. sleep, change, feed, play and repeat. Having your own time helps break it up and recharge you. It's strange but after only a few hours of being away from Lily, I miss her like crazy and want to come back and be the best Mama I can be.
- Mix it up and experiment a little. This is a golden one. Whatever decision you make regarding bringing up your baby - consider all the options. Of course, do your research - but if things aren't going as a book or the Intenet told you so, screw it.. try something different. Or if something works for your friends baby, doesn't mean it will work for yours. Figuring out your baby is all about experimenting until you get the right mix of doing what they like vs. not doing what they don't like. The tricky thing is, just because something worked for your baby one week, doesn't mean it will be the same the week after.. But that's the fun of it all.
Anyway I hope this was of some value to either mamas-to-be or even future mamas-to-be. All in all, I am loving being a Mum and it is honestly the best experience and decision I've made in my life.