This is Day 7 of my 30 day writing challenge. It amazes me how this challenge is opening up my mind. In today’s post, I gather my thoughts and write some of the things I would tell me in January of 2012 when my little man made his debut. 🙂
Hi New Mom,
I write this letter to you, not as an expert, but as someone who has taken that path already, as someone who has walked that road. What I am about to share with you is, perhaps, what I wish someone would have told me before my bundle of joy cam along. I am not talking about Mr. Google, the know-it-all guy next door who will tell (and show you) what labor is all about. Worse still, the guy who makes googling baby’s symptoms sound like a death sentence… No, just real talk. From one mommy to another.
First things first, that baby is a blessing, however they came about. As you hold them, look into their eyes and marvel at the miracle of life, remember what they are: a blessing. Blessings do not always show up like we anticipate, so the journey to birth may be fraught with challenges of its own, but you soared through them, and that’s what matters.
One of the things that I wish I knew before I was a mum was that bonding with baby is not an automatic experience for all of us. The ‘oh-baby-is-so-adorable’ is not automated, whether due to the trauma of labour, or the sudden jolt of reality that parenthood is a lifelong school, or postpartum depression… whatever the case, it is not automatic for all of us, and that is okay. It is a journey of acceptance I’d say, slowly, surely, you will find your footing with newborn, and you will know it when you do.
Secondly, I knew sleep was going to be gone, loooong gone, I just didn’t know how intense it would be. My son would sleep in intervals of 15 minutes. 15 freaking minutes. What can you do with 15 minutes of sleep about three times in a night? Not one night, about three weeks. I don’t know what can be done with such sleeping patterns, but I do know that is one of the most subtle ways to go crazy. Not. Easy. So yes, sleeping may be a foreign word those first few weeks, and it is okay to feel like a walking zombie because guess what, it does not last forever (although it seems that way). And yes, get as much help as you can from family and friends. Golden rule: when baby sleeps, sleep!! New moms are fond of aaawww-ing at baby in their blissful sleep, instead of sleeping. Aaaww a little, then sleep. Thank me later.
Third thing I wish I knew pre-partum, I’d walk like a duck-billed platypus (always wanted to use that word, don’t question its relevance :D) for a month. Okay, not a platypus, I don’t even know how that animal looks like: a duck. Natural delivery has a way of transforming your lady parts overnight, and not in a rose-scented kind of way. I am talking tears, stitches and stinging salt baths. I found hilarity in how all of a sudden, my pose and walking style had changed. Forget the hip swinging, but oh the joys of motherhood.
Last thing, the crying. Oh God, the crying. Who knew a little tiny human being who weighs just about 7lbs could expend so much energy with incessant crying? Crying that would, often, get me on the same torrential teary road? Here’s why, sometimes baby is dry, burped, changed, bathed, not a hair out of place and they will still freaking cry. For no reason. And here is the deal, it is okay to actually put the little human being in their cot, and walk out to catch the sanity that flew out of the window along with your sleep. Then come back and get your biceps working to rock them. It’s just how it is.
On days, for some like me, many days, you will feel like you are a bad mom, inadequate, insufficient, unable to get stuff straight. And that’s where grace will meet you. In your inadequacy and imperfections. Grace in many forms: a supportive partner who babysits just so you can have that nest on your head attended to, and your toenails which you couldn’t reach for a few months; parents who will watch over baby so you can enjoy date night; friends who listen to your incessant raves and rants and, with sobriety, remind you of the blessing in your hands; and oh-God, mom blogs you can relate to. Help is available, and hope is present. Grace is sufficient for new moms who feel overwhelmed. And for the journey of motherhood, all the way, every day.
From one mummy to another.
Featured Image Photo Credits : Her Mommyness