"I'm feeling better!"
Ah ladies, yes I am still here!! It's been a crazy week with the start of student teaching, Isis' first sickness & then I'm in a wedding next weekend, so there were lots of bachelorette festivities this weekend! But I am definitely getting things worked out & Isis is feeling better! No more fever, but still some congestion. The doctor said that could stick around for a week or so, but it's getting a little better each day! Thank you SO much for all your advice about dealing with congestion! I've definitely implemented several of your tips & it has really helped!!
Speaking of advice, I've been excited about this coming week because I've got 5 beautiful bloggers who are going to be sharing some guest posts with all of you! This will give me another week to get used to my new crazy schedule! I also think they've got such great perspectives & stories to share! I really hope you enjoy their tips! Below are my top 5 new mom tips!
1. Sleep when the baby sleeps
Everyone says this & at first, it was really hard for me to do this, especially when I was home by myself with Isis once Lewis went back to work. I was scared something would happen & I would be asleep. But once I started taking advantage of the excess sleepiness of newborns, I felt a lot better both day & night!
2. Accept help, but also know when to say no
Hopefully you will be lucky enough to have several people who would love to help you in this new hectic time of your life! I had several people who were willing to bring me casseroles or come do my dishes & laundry real quick & even a couple of people who knew I was struggling with baby blues & just came over to watch a movie with me so that I wasn't alone. But at the same time, it can get overwhelming & it's important that you aren't afraid to say that today you just don't need any visitors for a little while. People will understand that those first few weeks are different for everyone.
3. Don't worry about the schedule
Most of you know by now that I am a fan of scheduling. I think Isis has thrived from a consistent, although flexible routine & I know that I have had a much better time knowing what she needs & knowing what to expect by having a routine. You don't have to be crazy with it. We really aren't robots, but the routine helps. But at the same time, those first few weeks at home, just focus on bonding & sleeping when you can & making sure the baby is getting full feedings when they are hungry. I tried not to set up bad habits, but I also just tried to go with it. Days & nights are mixed up for a while & you'd get too stressed out trying to stick to any sort of routine at the beginning.
4. Differentiate day & night
Days & nights are going to be mixed up. I already said that. There's not much you can do about it. The only thing I tried to do in the very beginning was really differentiate day from night. At night, we were quiet, kept things really dark, still cuddled & stuff, but were just really slow & quiet about everything. During the day, I tried to keep it bright & cheerful & I talked with more animation & tried to let her know that this was daytime & playtime (to a certain extent - you can only play so much with a newborn). In my opinion this helped transition her pretty quickly to get days & nights down, but there could be several other strategies for this.
5. Don't be afraid to talk about baby blues
If you are one of the lucky ones who don't get the baby blues, then that is absolutely awesome!!! I truly hope that no mom gets them, but the reality is that 75-80% of new moms will face some form of baby blues & about 20% will struggle with postpartum depression. I definitely faced the baby blues, but it never continued to PPD, but both are fairly common. It doesn't mean you're a bad mother. It doesn't mean you have anything to be embarrassed or ashamed of. Baby blues is just an abundance of hormones that haven't evened out! PPD is hormones mixed with several other factors that I won't even pretend I am fully informed about, but I do know that if you're struggling with either or both, it's okay to talk to someone about it. I started by talking to friends & family about my baby blues. I also mentioned it to my nurse-midwife at my 2 week appointment & then she asked me about it again at my 6 week appointment. So just don't hold it in if you are struggling with that. You are definitely not alone & there is so much support available!
Overall just try to take this time to really bond & enjoy these first weeks with your baby! Things will get easier & harder as it goes on, but I've found it to ultimately be the hardest & most rewarding experience of my life. I'm actually having some major baby fever at just 8 months into motherhood! That may not be normal, but what you'll realize as you become a new mother as well is that normal is relative & what is "normal" for you may not be "normal" for someone else. So definitely listen to advice & tips, but take what works for you & leave the rest. This is ultimately your journey & I think it's a beautiful thing that the journey looks so different to each of us!
Congratulations new moms!!