Bringing Home Baby – What I Wish I Had Known

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Now that my son has hit the 3-month mark, I look back on those first few weeks home with him with a little more understanding of what we were going through. In short – I didn’t love the early days, and still don’t love some days {ok, mostly nights}. Some days I’m happy, others I really don’t enjoy. But that doesn’t make me a bad mom, just human. Here are a few things I learned early on, that your friends might be too nice to tell you.

JoshuaNewborn_LoRes-80

Don’t Write that Birth Plan in Stone –

Your labor and delivery are out of your hands. But get used to it, because you no longer have control of anything that has to do with your ‘almost born’. Nobody can predict the super-fast, no time for drugs delivery or your baby’s heart rate suddenly dropping. Your baby will be in your arms eventually, and it won’t matter what sort of plan, essential oils, jacuzzi tubs or exercise balls it took for them to get there.

Some Problems Don’t Have a Solution –

It takes time to learn what works for you and your baby. No matter what the books tell you, or how your friend got her baby sleep to through the night at 6 weeks, nothing is going to work perfect for you. I obsessed over blogs, websites and books in the 8 weeks after my son was born trying to find solutions and reasons for all of his problems. Guess what the answer turned out to be? He is a NEWBORN. There are no answers. It takes time to get out of the 4th trimester, and you just have to accept that, drink a glass of wine, get some fresh air, and take a vacation (alone) to Target

Find Your Village –

Your spouse, your parents, your fellow mom friends…but what happens if you don’t have some or all of those? Go find them! I found a big village in a breastfeeding support group. Join a local moms group on Facebook {Denver Metro Moms Blog!} or Meetup.com. For me, I was the first of my local friends that had a baby, so besides my husband and parents, I didn’t have a lot of support. If you make the effort, your village will grow fast. You will quickly realize that you are not alone, your baby is not the first baby that has done that, and YOU ARE a super-mom.

Sleep, Oh Sweet Sweet Sleep –

I knew about sleep deprivation but you truly do not know the reality of sleep deprivation until you bring your bundle of joy home. The adrenaline you’ve been running on wears off and you crash…and never catch up. I hated when people told me to ‘sleep when the baby sleeps,’ because that never worked for me. If you cannot sleep, at least lie on your couch, catch up on the Us Weekly from 6 weeks ago and relax.

You Might Cry – A Lot –

I thought I was tough, that I could handle this, and that newborns are made of glitter – forget it. I had the Baby Blues. And like the websites say, mine did not go away after 1-2 weeks. My baby had a lot of bad days, and so did I. My best advice, besides keeping tissues in your pockets at all times? Talk about it. Thanks to my village, I was able to talk about my feelings and fears. And sure enough, once my baby started sleeping (a little) better, my sadness started to disappear.

The moral of my newborn story is you have to believe that it will all get better, because it will. For me, that hasn’t quite happened, but I know it will. Because fussy babies grow up to be brilliant, patient and amazing kids, right?! What seems so overwhelming in the beginning will get better and easier. As you can probably guess, my son has yet to sleep through the night, but the smiles, giggles, baby snuggles and almost edible little baby feet truly do make everything better.

What do you wish you had known before bringing baby home? Where did you turn for support and community?

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Jackie M. is mom to an adorable little boy, wife to David and dog-mom to the cutest German Shepherd around. She is an allergy mom, learning to navigate the various trials and tribulations ‘mom status’ brings to life. The good, the bad, and of course, the sometimes slightly ugly. In Jackie’s other life, she is the Marketing and Communications Director for a local Country Club. Jackie is ‘Miss DIY’ and has an Etsy shop {Fancy Flamingo} where she makes custom banners for life’s special occasions. Born and raised in the Midwest, Jackie is originally from Kansas City. She has called Colorado home since 2008, and loves experiencing all that this amazing state has to offer! A few or Jackie's favorite things include caramel lattes, clothes from Loft, M&Ms, a well organized craft room, taking too many pictures, exploring Colorado and the great outdoors, her husband’s cooking, and of course, the occasional time that she can spend on the couch.

9 COMMENTS

  1. I wish I’d known the strain a new baby can put on a marriage or relationship! The sleep deprivation messes with everything and men and women handle it differently.

    I am so thankful to have a group of women that hash out all these things in a biweekly meeting! It’s been such a great encouragement.

  2. I would add that I wish I would have been told that motherhood may not exactly come naturally. Meaning nursing may be the hardest thing in the world, being able to calm your baby may just not happen, finding a groove may not happen til the baby is 14 (years, not months!), or that leaving the house with your newborn may become your new Mt. Everest. Also, hemroids. (Am I right, or am I right??) I remember feeling so alone, until I realized one day that I wasn’t. I was far from it. Chaos and discomfort and struggle and worry is the new black. And until I realized that all of that was normal and I wasn’t the worst person in the world, I was able to allow myself to see that along with all of that comes the euphoria, the amazement, the beauty, the true love of motherhood. It’s a package deal, and that’s okay. 🙂

  3. Oh boy, can I relate! I thought I knew babies pretty well, but bringing home my own was a completely new experience. Suddenly, it was up to me to figure out what he needed, why he was crying, what to feed him– it was very overwhelming. Ours was an extreme case. He had feeding issues and he didn’t sleep through the night until he was two. Sleep deprivation was my life. However, as it has been with every challenge, things did change. Everything is a stage–some longer than you might expect, and some shorter, but it all develops into something new eventually. As you advise, give yourself some breaks. Enjoy the little things, and don’t let the hardships steal away the beautiful moments when they come. A baby’s laugh, first rollover, fascination with silly things–it’s all something to treasure even if you’re exhausted.

    • Thanks for the encouragement, Audra! It’s always good to be reminded to not let the hardships get in the way.

  4. Hi Jackie-
    This is your neighbor:) great post- I feel exactly the same! I am lucky that William sleeps at night but that didn’t start till 4 months. I still have rough days and he is so needy at times. Being a mom is the hardest job!

  5. Love this. 🙂 I had an especially hard time right around 3 months, because everyone told me that 12 weeks was some magic point where it would all get so much easier. And that didn’t happen for us. It DID happen, eventually (around 16 weeks, I think), but the fact that I was clinging to “12 weeks” as a magic turning point – that then didn’t come – made it kinda tough. You’re doing a great job!!

  6. I loved this Jackie. I think this will be helpful for all new moms out there. It will get better! You’re doing great girl! You got this!

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