Being a first time mom is scary AF. It’s only the most monumental thing that will ever happen to you and somehow until that baby gets here you really don’t know how monumental it is. Looking back, there are a few things I wish I knew, and a few I would do differently. Below are the ten things I wish I knew.
- WHEN IT COMES TO THE EPIDURAL YOU HAVE A CHOICE
If you are going to chose an epidural, know you can request a low dose to start and have it increased as needed. I didn’t know this and when the anesthesiologist came to administer mine, he saw how much pain I was in and gave me a full dose right away. Of course it was amazing, I couldn’t feel a thing, LITERALLY. When it came time to push, I wasn’t able to feel where I was focusing my efforts and ended up pushing for 14 hours. YES 14 hours. Looking back, I would of only wanted enough epidural to take the edge off, but still have some feeling
2. YOU WILL SLEEP AGAIN (BUT NOT AT THE BEGINNING)
Educate yourself about newborn sleep. I did zero research on this topic, but I wish I had.The fact is, a newborns will sleep a lot, but that doesn’t mean you can’t help them build healthy habits from day one. I assumed that Easton would eventually sleep through the night on his own, but most babies need a little bit of help to achieve a full night’s sleep. I really wish I would of taken this class before Easton was born because I really feel that he would of started sleeping through the night way earlier than he did.
3. YOU MIGHT FEEL SAD OR ISOLATED
Even though you will have a ton of visitors and well wishers, the first few weeks may seem a bit isolating and you will most likely feel sad. THAT’S NORMAL! When you’re pregnant you’ll read a lot of about the dangers of post postpartum depression and baby blues, but no ones talks about the fact that you will just feel sad at times. No matter how much you prepare for your baby, you will not be prepared for the monumental change that will happen from the moment he or she is born. Everything will be different, life as you know it know will have to be rearranged, including you. And like any big change in life, it takes a little adjusting, but I promise when you settle in your new life, it is amazing.
4. BREASTFEEDING WILL MOST LIKLEY BE A CHALLENGE
I shared a bit of my experience here and in stories when I was going through it; man was this THE BIGGEST challenge.I didn’t know this at first, but after reading a few articles, I learned breastfeeding challenges are a high cause of postpartum depression and I absolutely believe it. I remember feeling so defeated, like I was doing something wrong. I met with two lactation consultants and they verified I was doing everything right, but Easton and I still couldn’t get the hang of it. Easton would get frustrated and I would get a lot anxiety when it came close to feeding time. I finally just stopped torturing myself and switched to pumping and feeding. It wasn’t ideal because I felt like I was always pumping or feeding, but it took the anxiety away. I continued to nurse off and on until we got our groove, but it took about 3 months. So if you want to breastfeed, stick with it, I promise it gets better
5. POSTPARTUM RECOVERY IS A MF
Yes, labor will be hard (or may not be), but if you choose to, you can get the epidural which will make labor manageable. What no one told me was how hard the recovery will be. Once that epidural wears off, the reminder that your body just gave birth to a human will kick in hard. There is a reason why they say you cant have sex for six weeks. It takes that long to heal.
6. YOUR FRIENDSHIP DYNAMICS WILL CHANGE
Of course you are prepared for the relationship with your partner to change, but I didn’t realize how having a baby would affect my other relationships. Especially with friends without kids. It takes a bit of adjusting. They assume you’re busy, which you will be and you’ll soon realize you can’t join them for every outing. At first, I really felt like I was missing out and I would try and meet up with them for happy hours and parties, but then I started to realize that leaving my baby for casual social gatherings was just not worth it. That doesn’t mean I don’t appreciate those relationships, we’re just on two different paths at the moment and our paths will def connect again. But the friends you who somehow accommodate your new schedule, you will cherish immensely.
7. YOU DON’T NEED EVERYTHING UNDER THE SUN
I know It’s hard to not buy everything in order to feel prepared, but trust me when I tell you that you don’t need everything you see featured on your favorite bloggers feed. After ending up with a few expensive items that Easton didn’t take too, or items that I felt were not worth it, we decided to purchase things as we need them. Just keep in mind that everything you get your new baby accustomed to, you’re gonna have to get them unaccustomed to it.
8. YOUR TIME WILL BECOME VERY VALUABLE
Time will simultaneously feel like it is moving slow and at the speed of light. Your free time will become your most precious commodity (2nd to breast milk) and you will become very selective with how you spend it. Prior to being a mom, my social schedule was all that mattered; weekend plans began to form on Monday and happy hours were spontaneous. Now, my schedule is carefully curated around Easton’s needs and Pete’s schedule. Those who understand will become your tribe those who don’t will slowly make it on the calendar less and less.
9. FIND A GOOD MEAL PREP PROGRAM/COMPANY FOR THE FIRST FEW WEEKS (OR PREPARE MEALS AHEAD OF TIME)
I can not stress this enough. I was not prepared at all. I assumed that I would be okay and would be able to cook when I needed, but the reality is, until you settle on your new life/routine and regain your energy finding time to grocery shop and cook is really challenging. Not to mention that you’ll have very little time to cook an entire meal. During those first two weeks, I would find myself eating a whole bag of chips and salsa in one day just to get something in my stomach. I finally found a meal prep service (foodie fit) and found myself eating healthy again.
10. BABIES LOVE SCHEDULES, PREDICABILITY & ROUTINES
Of course, you can’t really predict a newborn or put them on a schedule per say but once they are about 6 to 8 weeks, babies love a schedule! I tried to be one of those day by day moms, but I found myself with an unpredictable baby. It was not fun! Once I started to incorporate a (flexible) schedule, Easton’s mood began to shift and now he is the EASIEST baby in the world. A schedule will allow you to be ahead of his needs and also help him/she build trust, which will make your life so much easier. Prior to putting Easton on a simple schedule, he would have breakdowns regularly. But after about four days of his new schedule, and simple daytime routines his breakdowns began to subside because he started to recognize when he would be fed, put down for a nap, etc. He no longer to cry to let me know he needed something. We went on a weekend getaway with two other couple friends when Easton was about 5 months old. My girlfriend has a baby who is two months younger than Easton, and one day she asked me if Easton ever woke up upset or crying. No, he doesn’t. I strongly believe it’s because he knows his routine and learned to trust that his needs will be met.
Overall, you baby will be a product of you. In these seven months with Easton I have learned that babies are extremley adaptable. So whatever your lifestyle is, your baby will adapt to that. One final thing I will share, as hard as it is, try to relax and enjoy those first few weeks. Looking back I really regret not basking in his newness because from the moment they are born, time speeds up quickly.