For most women, an overwhelming feeling of love comes over you the moment you see your baby. You love this precious little person who has been growing inside you the past 9 months, with an intense and immense love, and suddenly (or maybe not so suddenly) all the pain of giving birth has been worthwhile! Then you take this beautiful bundle of joy home and realise that … you’re suddenly responsible for another human being.
You will learn a lot of things and think, ‘Why didn’t anyone tell me this?’
The first few days are the hardest. You’re now recovering from the pregnancy and birth, your energy levels are low, your emotions are all over the place, and you’ve now got a baby you may not know what to do with. As you get used to this new life and get to know your baby, you may find it taking you forever to get anything done. I made it out of my pyjamas after a week with my first baby. The second time was easier in this respect.
First-time moms are well known by the doctors. I rushed my son to the doctors, running across the car-park with my baby in his car seat, because he had a twitch. In hindsight it was a normal fall-a-sleep twitch but at that moment it was urgent.
You’ve been attached to this little person for the past 9 months but this is your first time meeting them. As with any other relationship you will have to get to know each other.
I’m sure you’ve heard people say that babies ‘just eat and poop’. They also do this really cool (NOT!) thing called projectile vomiting, where their vomit can literally project from one side of the room to the other. It’s impressive!
Breasts give babies comfort as well as food. When they are close to you they hear your heartbeat, a rhythm they know well and associate with safety, so it’s no wonder that they like to be close to them whether they’re eating or sleeping. It is easy to end up feeling like a cow who’s been tied to a chair and milked constantly!
No, you won’t. But you’ll wish you had! You’ll become an expert at doing things with one hand while baby is asleep (or on the breast) in the other.
It’s quite amazing how your body adjusts and how you can function on a lot less sleep than you’re used to getting. ‘Function’.
Your pelvic floor will never be the same! Many women suffer incontinence after having a baby. You’ll know if you’re one of them, but if you want to be doubly sure; just laugh or jump on a trampoline! Don’t be shy to mention this to your doctor who will most likely refer you for physio.
Unfortunately, since they can’t talk yet, their communication is through crying. There are different cries for different things although they will probably sound the same at first to a tired mother. You’ll soon learn the difference between a ‘change me’ and a ‘feed me!’ cry.
You’d assume they’d just close their eyes and sleep, right? Wrong! They cry when their tired, and the more tired they get the louder they cry.
Baby Brain (forgetfulness, being dipsy) starts in pregnancy and carries on for a very long time! The excuse can officially be used for the first couple of years though it is commonly used until baby’s 18th birthday.
From your mother who will tell you how things should be done as ‘that’s how things were done when you were a baby – and did it kill you?!’ To your friends who have not had babies yet.
I know it doesn’t feel like it when you’re tired and have a demanding baby to look after; as well as all the wretched laundry and housework that never stops; but try to enjoy every moment with your baby because the baby stage goes by way too quickly! Take lots of photos too, even professional ones if you can afford it. I wish I had made more effort to get professional photos done of my new born babies.
My son was mistaken for a girl in his pink romper (it was a present), and my daughter for a boy many times as she wore her brother’s hand-me-downs. (Did you just judge me?!)
There was no special parking when you were 9 months pregnant, waddling like a duck and having to squeeze to get out of the little door space permitted between parked cars, but now you’ve had your baby you can officially use the parent and child parking without getting snared at.
Having a new baby can be overwhelming and sometimes you feel like you’re not coping with it well. You’re a lot better at it than you think! But we all need some encouragement and support, and there are lots of groups out there for mothers. In the UK, there are classes offered by the National Childbirth Trust (NCT) where as well as learning about childbirth, you can make great friends. You can also find local mothers groups on Facebook, or at your local church.
And you won't miss a thing! Receive email updates and resources to help you keep fit and healthy.