This might sound stupid but before my daughter was born I barely imagined what having a baby would be like. The first four months of pregnancy were such a horrible rollercoaster of stress and anxiety I never really let myself imagine giving birth, let alone life with a baby. When I finally had my nerves under control I threw myself into learning all I could about birthing (and THAT dream water birth of course) but the world of motherhood still eluded me.
So when the moment finally came and I was handed this perfect little squishy parcel I’ll admit it, I didn’t have a fucking clue what to do. But we learnt quickly. My baby girl turned 11 weeks old yesterday. Our ‘fourth trimester’ is coming to an end (ahhhhh :'()and here are five things I have learnt:
- Breastfeeding is hard. Yes it does hurt and yes you are doing it right, it just takes time. In the early days there were times I dreaded seeing her hungry because I was tired and in pain and really not looking forward to the next feed. (This does go!!) And (in my experience) giving the odd bottle won’t do any harm. It’s your baby, your body and your choice.
- Unless you are super fit, or some kind of professional model, DON’T beat yourself up about diet and exercise. When you have a small creature who relies 100% on you for everything, getting your body ‘back’ (what does that even mean?!) really can do one. So yes, I will try and eat a balanced diet and, yes, I mostly choose to walk rather than take the bus. But ultimately if I want to eat a whole bag of chocolate raisins or shove 2 Wispas into my mouth whilst waiting for the P13 then I will. And, believe, me I have.
- Family and friends are everything. Don’t try to do it all on your own. Especially if they happen to have a washer dryer, because those shitty/wet/sicky clothes will keep on coming…
- It’s ok to break down. One, you are only human and this whole baby thing is a massive, scary change and two, no ones perfect and it’s ok. I had my first melt down because the straps on the pram were too loose, whilst subsequently hysterically crying and loosening the pram straps to a completely unusable length. We didn’t make it out that day.
- Sleep is great. And yes get it when you can, especially when you need it. But also don’t beat yourself up if you can’t. Spending lots of time in bed catching up is a bit of a luxury. I try and rest and relax when I can and omg a lie in is the best thing ever but, for now, my baby needs me so sleeping will sadly come second!
That said, it’s late and omgsheisactuallyasleepbeforemidnight so I better be off too!