I am writing this letter to you just in case you become a new mom again someday in the future. I am writing this as a new mom, six months after having your first baby. I know how you are feeling and I thought I’d give you some encouragement, tips, and updates!
First of all. Take a breath. Seriously. A deep breath. You are doing it. You are a MOM. No matter the situation right now, breathe.
Hold your baby as much and as long as you want. You CAN NOT spoil a baby. Whenever you think you should feed, do it. When you want to cosleep, or rocking, or walking, or on-your-lap-as-you-watch-the-food-network….do it. It’s OK. It won’t be like this for very long. It does get better. That little baby will eventually fall asleep and nap not in your arms. Just give it time.
The birth was hard, but a few hours after you push that little one out of your body, you will feel such relief. The claustrophobia of pregnancy, the swollen feet, lack of meds, constant peeing….all of that will be resolved quickly. And I promise you, you will fit into normal clothes and feel sexy again. Just give a few months.
Even if it’s awful, I want you to breastfeed. Now, six months later, your kiddo is growing awesome JUST from breastfeeding. It’s likely going to hurt. And not a little, a lot. You will want to quit. You will cry with every latch. And that pain may last 3 months. You may need to call a consultant, text friends, or even pump and bottle just for a break. And that is OK! Your job is to feed your baby. However that happens, it doesn’t matter. So give yourself some breaks. However, the rewards of breastfeeding will be so worth the pain at the beginning. It eventually won’t hurt at all. Your baby will have the perfect latch. Your milk will eventually regulate and not spill everywhere. I promise. It does get better.
You are going to feel tired. Expect to have weird sleeping. There is no day or night for a few weeks. Just a 2 hour rotation of eating, diapering, and sleeping. ALWAYS accept an offer to bring a warm meal. And ALWAYS accept an offer to watch the baby while you rest. Even if you don’t sleep, some time alone to rest will do you wonders.
It’s OK if it’s not love at first sight. That didn’t happen the first time, and it may not happen this time. But I promise you. No matter if it is boy or girl, diagnosed with a physical/mental/social/emotional disease, bald or hairy….you are going to fall head-over-heels in love. And it’s OK if it takes some time.
Are you feeling overwhelmed? Call a mom. Anyone who is a mom. They will be your hand-holders, tear-wipers, Advil-and-water-getters, huggers, and encouragers.
Sometime today, walk up to Matt and give him a hug. Not one in passing when you are ready to head off nursing again. Nope. Give him a 1 minute long shoulders and hips touching hug. Because remember, he is doing it too.
Get involved with life as soon as you feel up to it. Go shopping. Go walking. Go to church. Go to small group. Go to playdates. Watch TV. Sing songs. Cook a new recipe. Adjust your schedule as needed, but live every moment!
Can I tell you how awesome each new stage of your kiddo’s life is? Those first two weeks are survival mode and figuring it all out. And those second and fourth week growth spurts are pretty intense with constant feedings. But soon, your baby will find your eyes and look at you. Soon, your baby will kick and move with purpose. Soon, your baby will have a voice. Soon, your baby will be able to sit and play without being held. It goes so fast. Enjoy the moment you are in, and know that more moments of joy are on the horizon.
There is so much more, but you will do just fine. Go with your gut. Pray often. You will use your common sense, rely on family and friends, and work as a team with Matt to get through this new stage of a baby. You are an amazing mom.
ps. i recommend starting a blog with lots of photos and memories, so months later, you can sit and enjoy your memories (even if at the moment, you are too tired to take it all in).
pss. enjoy eating whatever you want….Lots of food and water to keep up milk supply!
(And in case you forget, you did wonderful the first time around)