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Sunday, April 9, 2017

5 Things to Prep for With a Newborn

I’m an avid blog reader and have read about the good, the bad and the gross. But nothing truly prepares you for motherhood. So here is my list of the top 5 things I was unprepared for with a newborn.

Breastfeeding. The children in my family were breastfed and there is no doubt that breastfeeding is the healthiest option for your baby. So naturally I was 100% invested and totally gung-ho about breastfeeding for the entire first year. I bought a new breast pump (EXPENSIVE mistake!) and a bunch of lanolin cream. Some women don’t have problems and find the whole thing to be wonderful. Without going into much detail, I had an awful experience. My husband and I came to the conclusion that everyone would be much happier if mommy wasn’t crying over the sink at 4AM holding warm compresses. I was a shirtless and miserable mess and my son was going hungry. We are all so much happier with formula. There is no right or wrong when it comes to choosing between formula or breast milk. This is a personal choice and don’t let anyone make you feel badly about your decision. Only you know what is best for your baby and your family.

Lack of Sleep. Everyone tells you to rest while you’re pregnant because you won’t get much sleep once the baby comes. Holy crap – I wish I had listened. I knew I’d be waking up in the middle of the night for feedings but I had no idea how difficult it would be. Waking up every couple of hours for diaper changes and 45-minute feasting sessions SUCKS. And everyone tells you to sleep while the baby is sleeping. That would be a great idea if you didn’t have to wash 5 loads of laundry a day, try to keep up with cleaning, making dinners and taking care of whatever pets you have. I honestly don’t know how people handle more than one kid. Also, if you’re anything like me, I can’t seem to force myself to relax. I tend to literally collapse when my body has exerted all its energy. If you can make yourself sleep while the baby is sleeping, more power to you. The good thing is, you do get used to it and it’s not so bad after a couple months.

Grumpy Time. Every evening at about 6 pm we are greeted with crying and screaming and all around grumpy baby time. Yes, it’s a solid few hours of pure face screaming. We have found ways of dealing with it – he loves to be sung to and it turns out I have a pretty cool kid. He likes Mumford and Sons, Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, FUN, Joni Mitchell, James Taylor and Jeff Buckley. My husband’s co-worker also gave us a DVD – The Happiest Baby on the Block, which has been magical and you should just go ahead and buy that. Trust me.

Errands. You can pretty much say good-bye to running out to the store to just grab a few things. A quick trip to the supermarket has been replaced with either trying to find a sitter, dragging someone to come with you to push the cart or stroller around, sticking the car seat into the cart (which only works if you need a couple small items) or walking around with the baby carrier on your chest. Going anywhere has become a challenge and so much planning is involved. We have been lucky though. My mom comes over almost every weekend so my husband and I get some alone time and have a lot of date night opportunities while Grandma gets her time with the baby. But yeah – your life changes so drastically and sometimes I miss my freedom.

The Love. Since I’m not a heartless b*tch, I knew I’d love my baby. But you just can’t explain a mother’s love. There’s just no feeling stronger and there is no feeling better than holding your child in your arms and gazing into his eyes. I’ve never been the kind of woman that goes nuts over cute babies so I was a little worried what kind of mom I would be. All those hormones have made me more emotional and the love I feel for my child is unexplainable. I don’t think anyone could understand it until they experience it for themselves. If I could, I would move mountains for him. There is literally nothing in this world I wouldn’t do for my child.

I could continue because there is a lot we weren’t prepared for. But I’ve realized that it’s just not possible to prepare for everything and sometimes you just must roll with the punches. Everyone wings it the first time around. Last note – anyone and everyone will suddenly consider it their obligation to offer unsolicited advice and it’s important to remember that you call the shots. Ultimately you should listen to your gut. You will know what is best for your child.

photo credit: iVillage 
Originally published Miss Grown Up

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