My post-partum journey is one that I’ll always be proud of. I even reminisce about those times — when Kai would lay still most of the time. I’ve read stories about new moms who find it hard to keep their sh*t together once the baby arrived home. They say when you have a baby it’s all about sleepless nights and zombie moments. I’m glad that I didn’t have a difficult time the first few weeks and months that Kai’s with us.
But every story is different; some new moms can handle it with a breeze, while others might struggle at first. In the end, all moms eventually find a way and learn how to deal because that’s how moms are – we are awesome. I know people who will become first-time parents soon and I might as well share some of my experiences when we welcomed a child into this world.
#1. The baby weight
It’s going to be there no matter what – you can’t get rid of that belly flab fast. I started losing mine in less than six months (can’t remember exactly when) and I strongly believe it’s because of breastfeeding (more on that later). My gorgeous pediatrician is a breastfeeding advocate and she told me to just keep breastfeeding and that tummy will shrink. And yes it did, along with my chubby cheeks and my flabby arms. Yes, I lost weight because of breastfeeding and I was even skinnier compared to when I wasn’t pregnant. But it’s a different story today, okay?
#2. You’ll continue to bleed
Whether you gave birth vaginally or via C-section, you’ll continue to bleed after delivery. It could last for a few weeks or for as long as a month. I bled for a month and because it was so heavy, I kept adult diapers around. I thought it was kinda fun wearing adult diapers.
#3. Breastfeeding can be frustrating
This is important for all new moms to know — breastfeeding is not easy for most moms. You’ll get frustrated and you’ll feel that you want to give up. And of course, you’ll think that you don’t have enough milk. I’ve been there, too. I thought my milk supply can’t meet Kai’s demand because nothing comes out if I express by hand the first few weeks.
Kai would just latch and it gets painful that I remember crying. I didn’t cry in pain when I was in labor (mostly I was just murmuring so many “Fs”) but I cried due to the pain on my nipples. But with continued latching, the milk eventually came out and I became abundant. I resorted to bottle feeding (for a day) because of the pain, but I told myself I NEED TO BREASTFEED MY CHILD. I thought bottle-feeding should not be an option. And so I had to endure the pain and guess what? It’s all worth it!
Moms who want to commit to breastfeeding but don’t know how to go about it should join the Breastfeeding Pinays group on Facebook for support. You can find a lot of information there coming from experienced moms and even experts.
#4. Scared of the fragile baby
Yes, I was so scared of handling Kai because newborns are very fragile. I wasn’t even the one who gave Kai’s first bath. It was my mom because I feared he might slip from my hands. If I had to clean up Kai, I would simply use a washcloth and not really put him in the baby basin. Eventually, you’ll get over that fear. Your mother instinct will kick in and you’ll be fine.
#5. You’ll appreciate dresses
I’m not really a fan of dresses but I wore them all the time after I’ve given birth. You need to have lots and lots of dresses. It’s easy to put on and take off, especially when you need to go pee (considering you’ll probably be wearing adult diapers). Since I didn’t have a lot of dresses at that time, I ended up using my mom’s and my sister’s. Ivan also asked some from his sister and mom for me to use.
#6. Relatives always have something to say
This annoys me big time. You’ll have relatives (or even people who are not close to you) telling you what to do and what not to do with your baby. And what annoys me the most is if I’m told about superstitions, which this household does not believe in. I never listened to any of them and I’m glad I have a partner who doesn’t either. Believe in what you have to believe as long as you know that it will not harm your baby. More importantly, YOU know what’s best for baby.
#7. Erratic schedule
Expect that it might take a while for you to establish a routine with your newborn. Your baby might be sleeping soundly at night the first few nights but the next, you’ll be dealing with a night owl. Your baby could also wake you up in the wee hours of the morning. I never had a problem with the schedule because of the nature of my job.
#8. The ravenous appetite
You’ll probably have a monstrous appetite and so you need to eat. I stayed with my mom’s for a week because she insisted I stay with her so she can help care for Kai. That’s also to make sure I can eat three meals a day. I am used to skipping meals but she said it’s a big no-no for someone who just gave birth. So, lucky me I have an awesome mom who cooked my favorite tinolang manok with malunggay every time I asked for it.
#9. Libido killer
Let’s face it, this happens. Need I say more? Men, it’s real and it’s normal so you will be feeling lonely for months. Nuff said.
#10. You won’t care about looking good
I don’t know about you, but I didn’t give a damn about how I looked after I gave birth but I’m pretty sure I looked messed up. Wouldn’t brush my hair, I didn’t care if I smelled or what because what mattered was feeding my baby and looking after him. You’ll probably be too tired to care about those trivial things. My bff and her sister visited me and I just didn’t bother to fix myself. Of course, she understood because she’s also a mom.
#11. You’ll be overwhelmed with emotions.
Post-partum depression is real. I know I had it but it wasn’t that severe. Some moms get it bad. So men, understand your wife if she’s feeling so emotional after birth. It’s not easy and moms should get all the support they need.
#12. You’ll learn to appreciate your mom even more.
Especially if you have a good relationship with her. I felt emotional that time that I had to tell mom I’m so thankful to have her. She always made sure that I get all the help I needed. She even wanted for me to just lay there and do nothing, except feed Kai. But of course, I had to move around because I get headaches if I keep lying on the bed.
#13. You can’t help but stare
This was me 98% most of the time the first few months after Kai was born. I just couldn’t stop staring at him, whether he was sleeping or awake. You will look at the little one and wonder “How in the world did I get to make such an awesome human?” Then your head will be filled with thoughts of “I will never leave you,” or “I promise you I will love you with all of my being.” Sometimes, it’s “Damn, you look so much like your Dad.”
#14. You might be obsessed with baby shopping.
You’ll most likely be tempted to buy this and that for your baby. Onesies, dresses, bibs, and of course – cloth diapers, if you’re into it. I got crazy with cloth diapers because of the attractive designs and their bright colors. I think I went for cloth diapers mostly because they just have adorable designs (lol).
Motherhood is a journey filled with adventure. Expect for tears — whether it’s caused by joy or sadness. Nothing can prepare you for what’s to come. Every mom story is different and there’s no perfect parent.
At times, you may feel like you’re not doing a good job, but the truth is, you’re doing more than enough. Know that you are not alone in this. You are a good mom and you will be a great mom. You can do this.
Got more tips for new moms you want to share? Hit the comments section below!