In my last blog post about our journey on the 4th trimester I described going from that jump from 9-5 worklife to Motherhood and how I struggled with the transition.
If you are pregnant you may have already been given so much advice. Don’t do this, do this, you can’t do that anymore, and why don’t you try this.
Either way, you can become quite consumed with it all. But one thing that really stuck with me, because i think every mama i knew or spoke to, told me that the first months are tough, but ‘It’ gets easier after 3 months.
It is tough. It’s been the toughest thing I’ve ever gone through so far in my life and to be honest it’s hard to explain. I realise that’s a lame thing to say here, especially if you are pregnant as you may want more description right about now! But bear with me.
What will happen is this…your partner will return to work, the cards stop coming, visitors will stop and you switch to survival mode. Lack of sleep, no proper meals, washing yourself at the speed of light and little adult conversation. Days, hours, minutes merge into one.
When you are in this situation, it kinda feels like this is it. It will always be like this. You think having an army wash (fanny and armpits in the sink, whilst in stealth mode) is how you’ll always wash now. You can’t see beyond these days; feeding, shit, sick, burping, nursing, repeat.
Not quite knowing what your baby’s cries mean yet, makes it hard to judge the situation. You’ve feed them, changed them, burped them but they still want something else? You have little idea and question if you are doing anything right.
This constant cycle then on top of that you have the ‘baby blues’ to contend with.
You long for the minute your partner returns.
There will be things you do that you swore you wouldn’t before your baby arrives. We were adamant we wouldn’t use a dummy for example. Also known as a soother which is a much more adapt name as it does exactly that. Soothes your unsettled baby. Well for us it did. Needless to say 3 weeks in and Beau was getting dummy’s pushed in to his sweet little mouth.
My point being, try not do that to yourself. Newborns are so unpredictable. Every one is different and some love and get soothed by a dummy, some don’t. I personally think you might make it harder on yourself if you go in with a list of rules you won’t do, or will do, because they maybe the things that work for your baby or don’t. No day is the same. Just go on the newborn baby ride without any pre-conceptions. And especially no expectations.
No matter how hard we tried we didn’t get a routine. (A ridiculous thing to do at this age and stage) but you may see someone else has managed it and so you try everything they did. The first time Beau slept from 10pm – 5am the following day/night I tried to recreate the exact same thing as the day/night before. Impossible really and was just a recipe for an over obsessed mama.
The thing is, the more you can just go with the flow the better and more calm your baby will be and your day won’t be a bundle of stress and frustration.
After the 2 month mark we noticed a difference. Most people will say to you ‘It gets better’. Itwas reassuring but I had no idea what the ‘IT’ was.
For me, it turns out it was this:
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying I have this mama hood thing nailed. I am perfectly aware that this is the very beginning and more challenges await us. I just wanted to share that it’s okay to be a mess in the first 3 months, and actually not fully enjoy it. Its a new and life changing. You are keeping another human being alive, its tough. But in the end of the 4th trimester, things do settle down and the smiley chatty baby you have in front of you is heaven on earth.
I set myself too many expectations. I thought I could do it all, but really i had no idea. It hit me hard. Looking back I feel I struggled the whole way through and couldn’t enjoy it. I won’t get those new born baby days back. But it is what it is and that’s okay. I’ve come out the other end, and we are both happy and healthy. Everybody is different, every baby is different, listen to your instincts and try not to get caught up in the amount of ‘advice’ you’ll be told during pregnancy and those early days. Everyone has their own way of doing things, and you will find your stride.