Most of us want it right? To be Parents. We dream about it. We ache for it. We're so looking forward to seeing those 10 little fingers and 10 little toes. To watch our babies' faces as they gaze up at us for the first time.
Who will they look like? What will be their first word? The new baby smells. Oh my god, the new baby smell! You can barely wait. They tell you about sleep deprivation. You think you know what to expect. You’ve heard it all.
It’s is all so exciting and then the day comes and before you know it your whole world has been turned upside down. You do not know left from right, you have this constant knot in your belly as you look over the bassinet at least every 5 minutes to see if your baby is breathing. Your whole body hurts, the cries are terrifying. Are they dying? Nope, just yawning. What do I do now? The poop…does that look right?
It was all so exciting but right now all you feel is fear and anxiety. This little life is relying on you for survival. Why didn’t anybody tell you that? Let me tell you 5 more things they just do not think to bring up.
You are too busy worrying to feel that ‘heart-shattering, now complete, in love feeling.’ If this is your introduction into motherhood let me now to tell you that it's perfectly okay to not be in love with your baby right away. You have just given birth. That was an experience, am I right? Your partner is exhausted. The pediatrician comes in for a look over, you are watching them intently as they inspect your baby. They send off for the prick test and give you your booklets as your baby lays asleep waiting to wake for their first feed. The frown on your face does not soften until you know all is well and even then, the next thought will pop into your head. Breastfeeding, swaddling, your babies' first poop, YOUR first poop. Who has time to feel in love when all you can feel is terrified! It will come, Mumma, the fear fades and you will find yourself sitting in your rocking chair looking down at your little babe and it will hit you. It may be weeks or months from now, but you will have that moment and you will never forget it. What they say is true, it is a love like no other but give yourself time to adjust before you expect to feel this way.
This is not fun! The first few months are grueling, sleep-depriving, long-ass days that feel like a blur. Who am I? What is my body doing and why is my husband so damn annoying? Let me tell you, it's not like when you were 5 and you looked after your cabbage patch baby. This baby is real. It's demanding, it screams, and you have no idea what you are doing. The fun part comes later. This is the adjustment phase. Take the pressure off yourself and just go with it. Not every Mum can do brunch dates with the girls just yet, most of us are at home, milk on our bras, tears in our eyes, and a couch with a bum indent in it. Plenty of time for sensory classes and brunch dates.
You will not know who you are anymore. Everything you thought you knew about who you were and the person you have become since having your babe will change greatly. Chances are you will grieve your old self. Miss your old life and kind of want to stuff your baby back in your birth canal! It's normal. Your whole life has changed and it's not just about you anymore. You do not get a second to just be carefree. You do not get to just drive to the beach and take a minute. Those moments come but let me tell you, it's hard to adjust to. I cried every day because I thought ‘what have I done to my life.' I felt guilty for that. Caring for another little life is no easy job and it's completely consuming.
You may think the above is a negative perspective and after all, life is all about perspective. However, I feel it is a more realistic point of view, and if I am being honest even if people did warn me of the above, I probably would have shrugged them off anyway. It’s something you must experience for yourself. The fog does lift, soon all those beautiful positive feelings roll in. Until then it's like a gentle ebb and flow of love and fear crashing into this new world of diapers and sweet cries. It is an amazing journey and one you learn to have a giggle about as you hold your sweet cub. You are theirs and they are yours. Nothing in the whole world beats that feeling. So, in the first few months, I suggest being so incredibly gentle with yourself as you adjust to your new world. This is, after all, your baby’s first-time earthside and I can almost guarantee you, they are much more frightened than you are. We are their shields and comfort. Hold them tight, Mumma. All will be well. I promise.
If you feel your experiencing feelings that won't shift and you may be concerned for your mental wellbeing please reach out to your family physician or GP.
Article supplied by The Little Oak Company