Let me start by saying I am no expert at being a new mom seeing as I have only been a mom for a mere 26 days. However, there are a few things I have already learned on this journey of motherhood. Here are the first lessons I've learned, some the hard way!
- Limit the visitors at first- As a first time mom I had no idea how important this would be and it is one of my biggest regrets. It is so easy to get caught up in the excitement of a new baby and everyone wants to support you and meet your little bundle of joy but trust me, that little bundle will be just as cute and cuddly in a week or two. At first it's so important to give your body a chance to recover and to get to know your little one without constant visitors! We didn't have a day with no visitors until Anna Claire was 11 days old and by that point I was so exhausted. Family and friends will respect your wishes!
- Wait to try on your pre pregnancy clothes- You may feel much smaller compared to that watermelon belly you had but trust me, don't try on your old clothes just yet! You are still way too emotional in the first two weeks after birth and it's not fair to do that to yourself! Your body just went through the most amazing experience and brought LIFE into this world. Give yourself grace and continue to rock leggings for as long as you need.
- Take the nap but also go on the walk- I was super confused when my doctor strongly encouraged me to rest and take it easy and then in the next breath just as strongly encouraged, or rather ordered me to be up and walking around. He actually told me to start going on 20-30 minute walks as soon as 4 days postpartum (with a c-section..) which is the day I left the hospital! Now that I'm on the upswing of recovery I totally see the importance of both of these things. Yes, your body NEEDS the rest.. take naps whenever you can.. it is extremely important. I think my lack of naps in the beginning because of all the visitors caused me to loose part of my appetite and brought on some severe headaches/migraines. However, after the nap when you are feeling up for it get up and moving! You will feel so much better afterward! Our first walk was super slow because of my stitches but each day got easier. After giving birth you are super gassy and probably haven't really used the bathroom in several days. Getting up and walking is the best thing you can do to fix that problem. Trust me, just do it!
- Listen to your gut- There is so much advice out there moms. I'm a researcher so I've read it all and asked all the questions. I've been given excellent advice, all from trusted sources, and googled every question known to man kind. But you know what? A lot of the advice can be contradicting. For example, start baby on a Moms on Call sleep schedule... no, newborns can't sleep train. All of the advice comes from a well meaning place but at the end of the day save your sanity and trust your instincts. Every baby is different and this baby is YOURS! Lucky you!!! (:
- Give yourself grace- There are perfect moments and there are not so perfect moments. It's okay. In those not so perfect moments take a step back, breathe .. and then remember that you have been given the biggest blessing on earth. God has entrusted YOU to be this little bundle of joy's mom and it's all going to be OKAY. Even when they are screaming in the backseat making a noise you didn't know was possible, it's okay. That too shall pass and one day you will be in a quiet car missing when your baby was little. It's okay.
I am so thankful to be on this journey of motherhood. It is the most humbling experience. I know I will learn 945,073+ more things before it's all said and done. Tell me your biggest lessons as a new mom!