Friday, April 1, 2016

What I Wish I'd Known About The First Two Weeks After Delivery

This is the last post I thought I'd ever write as a blogger, but I think this is important info that would be helpful to other first-time Moms.  I'll make updates to this as I think of new things, so pin it, bookmark it, etc.  If you haven't had the baby yet, this won't mean much of a whit to you, but come back.

  1. You have never, and will never experience any moment like the first look at your first baby.  It's absolutely surreal, confusing, beautiful and disorienting (for you both).  You'll feel your heart breaking open in order to accommodate all of the love you're about to feel, forever.
  2. Someone suggested that you make a birth plan.  That's nice.
  3. Be ready to not sleep when you are at the most tired you've ever been in your entire life.  This will not change.  
  4. You will cry a lot, nobody cares that you're crying.
  5. You will fall in love like you've never fallen before. You'll run toward any noise that others might run away from. And you won't care.
  6. Take lots of photos and videos during the first two weeks. You will be more tired and disoriented than you have ever been, but don't skip this. If you as the mother cannot do this (understandable) ask your husband.  The first two weeks are a magical time when so much change will happen and you won't be able to absorb it, and you will want the photos and videos to look back on.
  7. Pray frequently and ask for big things - ask for Mary to look after your baby while you sleep and give her your complete trust.  Ask God, Mary, and/or Jesus to give you ever grace, energy, humor, patience and wisdom you'll need, and never stop asking.
  8. Make the decision now to never approach your baby in an exasperated state.  They know nothing of this world and it doesn't make any sense to them. You are their anchor - be that source of stability for them. 
  9. Someone offered to help? Great!  You need meals made, cleaning done, laundry warshed, bottles warshed, and the baby watched so that you can take a real shower without rushing through your finishing routine. You also will need a nap and they will be more than happy to spend time with a gorgeous newborn.
  10. Speaking of Newborn, the newborn size is the size of clothing that your baby will outgrow the fastest. 
  11. Get your baby baptized within three weeks of birth, Two if you can.  Get those graces and protections into them right away. 
  12. Breastfeeding.  Everyone is different.  I only produced on one side and had to get used to that reality.  Pump when the baby starts sleeping so that you'll produce more milk.  Eat Hobnobs, Belvita crackers, and oatmeal every day/throughout the day.  You'll produce more milk that way. 
  13. Learn about laid-back breastfeeding (google Nancy Mohrbacher).  I wish I had known about this approach, because it would have been healthier for me and for the baby. 
  14. Don't stop taking your prenatals.  You can become anemic faster than you realize even though you aren't menstruating.  The milk will be more fortified and you will have more energy and mental clarity  
  15. If you have had a c-section, accept the fact that you have to take it easy.  Accept help, don't try to be a hero.
  16. If you have had a c-section, do your absolute best to clear your bowels frequently, even if it means a double dose of milk of magnesia. Do ANYTHING you can to keep going to the bathroom. 
  17. It's normal to dream that the baby is in the bed with you.  Get this into your head now because you'll remember it when you're half-asleep and feeling all over the bed.
  18. It's normal to be worried that the baby isn't breathing.  Barring any real issues like premature delivery other other conditions founded in reality, the baby is indeed breathing.  Check anyway... it's your (new) job.
  19. Sleep is unpredictable at best. You will get 1.5-2 hours at a time and it isn't going to stop.  One suggestion I have is for you to go to bed at 6:30 or 7:00 and ask your spouse to put the baby to bed for you.  There's a chance you could get a solid 3-5 hours before the baby wakes up for the first time.  The first night we did this, I felt like a new woman when I woke up at 11:00 p.m.
  20. Enjoy every moment that you have with your newborn. Slow down, allow yourself to be quiet, allow yourself to have your hands tied up and unable to check your phone.  Be quiet with your baby and just enjoy them sleeping in your arms.  There is nothing more important that you can be doing right now, and realize that for the rest of your life, you're going to wish you could have just one more day at this time in your baby's life. 
  21. Commit to taking at least one photo each day and post it somewhere like Flickr.  I can't tell you how happy I am that we did this!  All of those subtle changes that happen so quickly are captured and organized. 

To be continued!

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