The day my baby was born was surreal! There is nothing like holding your baby for the first time. When my daughter was placed in my arms for the first time I couldn’t believe that she was mine and that she was finally in my arms.
While it is amazing to have your first child motherhood also comes with a steep learning curve. I didn’t prepare well for life after baby arrives and go figure I had never had a baby before!
When you are pregnant you get so much advice form moms who have been there before and I wish I would have listened more. I kept thinking “oh my baby won’t be like that” every mom seemed to paint an unpleasant picture that I stop listening after awhile.
The first few weeks life is amazing and very challenging! I have put together the biggest lessons I have learned when my baby was a newborn.
Make sure to read to the bottom of this post you that you don’t miss anything!
What Is Life With A Newborn Really Like?
Your Birth Will Change How Long Your Postpartum Recovery Is.
Of course, the recovery time between a c-section and a vaginal birth is different. I am talking about how exhausted you will be for the first few days even weeks. When you’re pregnant you focus mostly on having a healthy pregnancy and how to deliver your baby. I was so focused on the end of my pregnancy because my baby had to come out somehow. I wasn’t even thinking about what it will be like when we bring our baby home.
With my first, my birth took 36 hours my body was so exhausted that I had very little energy. I went into labor at 11 o’clock at night which means I did not get any sleep and if I did it was about 5 minutes. I went from getting no sleep and in labor for 2 days to have a newborn that would wake up every two hours to eat.
No matter how short or long you are in labor your body will be exhausted. It takes a lot to push those tiny humans out. And if you have a c-section you will be just as tired. Depending on how your labor was will determine your postpartum recovery.
It took me about a month for my body to recover from labor but getting adjusted to life is still in process.
What Is Sleep Deprivation Like?
Let’s just pray that you are blessed with a good sleeper. Because sleep deprivation is real. I would imagine how my baby would be before having her and I imagined this perfect sleeper, amazing eater, she never cried and life was just awesome! She was an amazing baby but my fantasy was SO off.
Some babies are more challenging than others. My newborn never got colic (thank goodness) she would sleep for 2-3 hours before needing to nurse, she never cried to just cry, but nursing was a challenge for us. It’s not that I couldn’t get her to latch it’s because of how quickly she ate that it took 1-2 hours to nurse her. I had to pull her off every 30-60 seconds to burp her because if I didn’t she would throw up all that she just ate.
Expect to be tired after having your baby at least for the first few weeks. Once you and your baby get into a rhythm life get’s a little easier. Plus as they get bigger their tiny tummy’s can hold more food so they will sleep longer at night which means more sleep for you! WooHoo!
What Is Breastfeeding Like?
Breastfeeding is different for everyone. I know women who loved it and others who wanted their baby to have breastmilk but didn’t like nursing so they pumped and gave a bottle of breastmilk.
In the beginning, breastfeeding is challenging. It is something you and your baby have to learn. There is a big learning curve with it comes to breastfeeding. If someone tells you that it shouldn’t hurt they are LYING! Breastfeeding really hurts at first so you do have to allow your body time to adjust.
It typically takes about a month before it stops hurting. So DON’T GIVE UP! I was very determined to breastfeed and I loved breastfeeding my daughter all 14 months. Breastfeeding is a very special bonding moment between you and your newborn.
If you are struggling with breastfeeding or it just doesn’t feel right you can always schedule an appointment with a lactation consultant to help you out.
There were times I would try to get my baby to latch and she would be just crying and moving her head back and forth. Newborns get frustrated when they are so hungry and they are still trying to learn how to latch to help prevent that feed your baby before they get too hungry because when they are too hungry it can become very frustrating for you and your baby.
It always helped my baby to be wrapped in a blanket. It kept her warm, calm and still so that her little arms and legs weren’t going all over the place. If wrapping them in a blanket is not working you can try some of these different positions.
Nursing Positions For A Fussy Baby
1. Football Position
You are going to use your nursing pillow for this one. Swaddle your baby nice a snug, position them on your side so that their feet are towards your back, hold their little head and gently turn their head so their mouth is near your nipple, rub your nipple around their mouth area until they latch on.
It may even help to squeeze some milk out so that your baby will sleep the milk and get a little taste that will help encourage them the latch.
2. Sway or Bounce
This is a good way you can help get a fussy baby to latch. Try to get your baby to settle down a little bit before you try to nurse them. Once they have calmed down a little pull out your boob and get them to latch while you are still swaying our bouncing a little.
I used this method many times. I would also walk the hallways of my house and bounce a little to help calm my baby down. Then once she would calm down enough to latch I would slowly walk back to her room and sit in the rocking chair.
3. Laying On The Bed
This is another great method you can use to clam your fussy baby down enough to feed. Lay your baby down on the bed and you lay next to them. Tuck a pillow under their back a little so that they are on their side slightly. Turn on your side and try to get them to latch while laying down. This way they can feel your body next to theirs with can be very soothing to a fussy baby.
What Is It Like When Your Milk Comes In?
When your milk comes in it is the weirdest and coolest feeling EVER! It can be a little painful when you let down but for me, it felt like my boobs were balloons being quickly filled with water.
When you milk first comes in you will be leaking A LOT! so make sure you have plenty of nursing pads. You won’t always leak I promise you that. Your milk is based on supply and demand so when you first start your body makes more milk since you are nursing for frequently and it’s not sure how much to let down.
I was so fascinated with breastfeeding! At first, your boobs will be constantly full of milk so make sure your baby is getting full feedings to help prevent mastitis. Over time your body learns when your baby is going to eat and how much they eat so your body will let down the perfect amount of milk at the right time!
Every time I was in pain I always kept saying that it is for a good cause because my child is worth more than any pain. That helped me through tough times when my baby was little.
5 Lessons I Learned After Baby Arrived
1. To Lower My Expectations
This a was hard but the big truth I learned. I had so many high expectations before my baby came that I was very frustrated that they were not getting met. I read so many books and blogs about sleep schedules and nursing schedules that I was upset that my baby wasn’t following any of them.
Then my dear sweet husband said something to me that changed everything. He said ” no matter how many books or blogs you are going to read they can help guide you but don’t make them yours. You can not force a baby to sleep is they don’t want to sleep, you can not force a baby to eat when they are not hungry. They are human too and you have to let go of your expectations of a perfect schedule”
Once I let go my expectations and took things as they came everything became so much easier! I stopped getting frustrated at my baby was still up at 11 o’clock at night or that she only took 30-minute naps. Every baby is different use books or things you read online an suggestions or guides but don’t live by them.
2. To Have More Patience
Man oh man I have needed to practice having more patience. Newborns and children in general test your patience. When I was learning how to breastfeed that took a lot of patience and dedication. Being patience is a lesson that you will defiantly learn when you have children.
3. I Became A Detective
Yes, you become the best detective when you become a mom. You know what different cries mean, what different gestures or faces your baby makes mean. There have been many times my husband has turned to me to ask “what does that mean” and I always know right away.
With becoming the best detective takes time. You will start to piece together what different cries mean. Because babies do have different cries for different things, crying is their only way to communicate until they are older. Give yourself time to figure out what your baby is trying to communicate with you.
4. I Have More Energy Then I Thought
I was quite surprised at how much energy I had even while I was sleep deprived. It is like my body kicks it into another gear! I am exhausted at the end of each night and all mothers are we are like doing a million things at once!
You may fill this way too but when you bring your baby home sleep as much as you can when they sleep too. Newborns sleep a lot so you should get some good sleep throughout the day.
5. Postpartum Recovery Is Not Easy Breezy
I was thinking I would be the master mom after bringing my baby home. It was hard being out of commision for a month! After coming home I was still in a not of pain and I could hardly walk or stand up straight.
Depending on how intense or long your labor will be postpartum recovery time will look different for each person. Take it easy for the first few weeks after you bring your baby home. Kick back and relax as much as you can!
Life is going to seem pretty crazy for the first few weeks after baby arrives. Make sure to ask for help, get enough sleep and give yourself and your family time to adjust. I hope you find some bliss and amazing moments even during tough and challenging times.
Always remember that you mean the world to your little human and you always will!
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