[dropcap]I[/dropcap]t’s a weird thing having a baby; One day you wake up and a few months have gone by. During that time, some days seem to go on for weeks, and some weeks seem to go on for months. All the same, I want time to slow down – it doesn’t make any sense, and I suppose that is baby brain for you! Everly is now 3 months old, and we’ve had our trials and tribulations so I thought I proper update was due. There’s no glossing over the rough and tough in this post – I’m keeping it real about what the first few months of motherhood can be like.
“…offering to ‘come visit’ or ‘bring dinner’ will probably send her into a state of panic. She’s most likely not showered, and her house hasn’t had a clean in weeks.”
At 3 months now, Everly is much happier than her earlier colicky days. We still have meltdowns for no apparent reason, and some days there’s more crying than not, but there’s also smiles. Oh and giggles… my god the giggles! It’s like mommy crack (not that I know what crack is like… but you catch my drift!). She’s growing her little personality, her voice and discovering her hands and I am living for every moment of it. Make sure you follow my Instagram stories so you can see little clips of her chatting away, and all the sweetness that comes with having a babe.
“I felt like I’d skipped the middle of a book and had no idea where the story began or how it would end.”
The baby blues are very, very real my friends. I’m not necessarily talking about postpartum depression, which is a very serious and often neglected topic. Rather, I’m talking about those hormones-surged, I’m-so-overwhelmed-how-do-I-‘mom’, type feelings that hit you like a train in the middle of the night. Dealing with a colicky baby who wouldn’t nurse to soothe, had me doubting my mom-skills left, right and centre. As a first time new mummy, it was hard to hear other new mums around me bask in their newfound roles as ‘Mum’ and how fulfilled it made them. I felt like I’d skipped the middle of a book and had no idea where the story began or how it would end.
Postpartum anxiety is also a very real thing, that manifests itself in different ways. For me, because Everly was colicky, I was terrified to take her anywhere in those first few weeks. What if she started wailing in the grocery store and I couldn’t console her? People would stare and judge me, right? For the most part, people understand the stress of a crying baby and a new mom, but there will always be those ever-so-helpful (eye roll) folks that suggest, “Sounds like you need to feed that baby”. Which brings me to the next topic…
“If you’re a new mama reading this, just know that ultimately YOU know what is best for your baby and you.”
Right from the time I was visibly pregnant I was bombarded with personal questions and one of them was usually, “You’re planning on breastfeeding, right?”. I had a good feeling it would be a struggle for me, but I had definitely planned on trying. Fast forward to 24hours post c-section delivery and a babe who couldn’t latch and lost 11oz in the hospital; I ended up begging the nurse on duty at 3am for formula so that I could feed her; I just wanted a fed baby! That was my first experience with the ‘Breastfeeding Brigade’. I hadn’t given up by any stretch, but they sure treated me like I was – heck they didn’t even bring me a breast pump until my 3rd day there. Thankfully I had done my own research before and knew that if Everly and I weren’t going to get the nursing relationship, she could still get some breastmilk from me exclusively pumping.
People still continuously think it’s ok to ask me if I am breastfeeding (which I am, just not the traditional way!) and love to suggest I just need to keep trying to nurse and see a lactation consultant (thanks, I’ve seen several…). If you’re a new mama reading this, just know that ultimately YOU know what is best for your baby and you. The pressure to breastfeed is everywhere these days, and I feel it’s a big factor in postpartum anxiety and depression. If it doesn’t work for you and baby, that is OK. There are other options.
“When you’ve got a cranky hungry baby on your hands, every second counts!”
I had a breast pump ready to go at home and set myself up on a schedule, and have supplemented with formula when needed. After some testing, I’ve found the Spectra S1 pump is not only portable but super quiet and incredibly gentle. It’s affordable considering it is hospital grade and much kinder to the lady bits than the Medela I was using! It also works with the NUK Freemie cups, which I’ve reviewed here.
If you do end up formula feeding or supplementing, I can’t recommend the Baby Brezza Formula Pro enough! This thing is a GAME CHANGER. It makes a bottle at the perfect temperature in 2,4,6,8, or 10oz sizes in about 18 seconds (yes you read that correctly!). When you’ve got a cranky hungry baby on your hands, every second counts!
Three Months in…
When people told me in the beginning that it gets easier, I wanted to hurl the closest object that wasn’t nailed down at them. I mean, great thanks but say something that helps me now, ya know? It really does take a village. I found myself feeling quite isolated as a new mum, in the middle of winter with a hubby that was gone for work 11 hours of the day. You’ll get advice from people, saying “take help when offered” – but what happens when no help is offered? It’s hard being a mum, really hard. I have a hell of a lot more respect for my own now. Does it get easier to manage? yes. Do I still have tough days? You bet. Do I cherish every single moment? You bet your sweet behind I do!
If you’re a new mummy yourself and going through any of this: I hear you.
If you’re the friend, family, coworker etc of a new parent: Don’t offer help, just GIVE help. Don’t wait for a sleep deprived, baby blues riddled mama to ask for help. Even more so, offering to ‘come visit’ or ‘bring dinner’ will probably send her into a state of panic. She’s most likely not showered, and her house hasn’t had a clean in weeks. Instead just order some takeout and have it sent to her. Order a few basic groceries and have them delivered. Make up a gift basket of her favourite coffee or tea, with some yummy one-handed snacks and leave it at her door. THIS is amazing help that I would have loved!
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