|Nevaeh Aubrey July 6, 2006|
* Your Body: your tummy will feel like jello for awhile. It is NORMAL (although it doesn't feel normal). Make a batch of jello while your at it. Maybe you can eat it while you nurse? Hey, you need the extra calories right?
On a delicate note, jean shopping within the first month post-baby will bring on unnecessary tears. Not worth it. Give yourself and your body (and your emotions) a break and sport your comfiest stretchy pants and give yourself some credit. Your tummy was JUST the size of a watermelon. And we're not talking about the mini cute watermelons. You are a rockstar mama.
* Leaving the house: because we all know that when you finally manage to get out of the house, the very exact moment you are ready to leave & you buckle that cute little seat belt on your cute little angel who is in their cute little outfit, your little angel is going to, well, poop. Truth: leaving the house is your baby's innate cue to fill their diaper. Trust me on this. So bring extra clothes for the up-the-back times when you are out shopping & an extra top for you (it's easy to keep a spare in the car) because nothing says being a new mom like having throw up on your shoulder and poo on the front of your shirt. You are a rockstar mama.
Side note: You also know you are a new mama when your baby pees on your shirt & you simply throw it in the dryer because you don't have time to wash it before heading out the door. Besides it's not like you have perfect fitting tops! New mama fail.
* Snaps: Yep. They get their own category. Ha ha. Snaps are a mother's worst enemy. Maybe that is a little extreme but I guarentee that when you are half asleep, stumbling (quietly) into the nursery, putting together snaps on a onesie that are placed in the shape of a trapezoid is going to feel like doing the rubik's cube in the dark. So if it is more then 3 cute little nifty snaps, buy the zipper version instead! Best invention ever for quick diaper changes. You are a rockstar mama.
* Sleep: This is the area I was probably the most unprepared for. Ok. This WAS the area I was the most unprepared for. You hear that newborns wake up every few hours to feed ("my baby isn't going to REALLY wake up that often to eat...right?") you envision what that may look like but to actually have such a interrupted sleep pattern is nothing short of nutty. And at times you may feel that way!!!! "Wait did I shave both legs or one? Did I wash the conditioner out of my hair? Did I just put our milk in the pantry instead of the fridge? Where are my keys???" (I say that one all the time without being sleep deprived!). You are a rockstar mama.
* Emotions: your heart may explode with all the crazy love you experience when you see your little alien baby for the very first time. The love and bond you will have is the most beautiful thing on earth. Mind blown. At the same time, after sleepless nights and ups and downs, you may feel like you are on a roller coaster of emotions. Am I doing this right? "No one ever told me....". You can do this. You are a rockstar mama.
* Baby blues: How can you feel bummed when you are holding such a little miracle? For starters you are not a bad mama or a bad person for feeling this way (Studies say 80% of mamas experience it)! You are not alone. I so remember at times not knowing to do anything else but cry right along with my newborn. It happens and it's important to talk it out & have a support system. You are a rockstar mama.
* Boobies: They get huge. When they are not engorged (ouch), enjoy them- your hubby sure will. TMI? But seriously they will go back to a normal size...eventually. Which leads to my next topic....
* Breastfeeding: Moooooo. Sorry couldn't resist. At times it may feel like that, especially if your little one has a strong sucking reflex. And if a nurse tells you that when your baby latches "correctly" then it SHOULDN'T HURT AT ALL, gently call her on her BS and get to know what feels right for you and your munchkin. Whether they are light sucklers, a barracuda, or a Purana, each mama is going to have different levels of sensitivity. (I had to pump exclusively for nearly the first year with my oldest after the first week. Fortunately, my two other little ones were able to breastfeed successfully as newborns as well as bottle feed for medical reasons). You are a rockstar mama.
Also, whether you had planned to bottle feed since day one or breastfeeding didn't work out despite you and your bambino's best attempts, You are a rockstar mama.
* Advice: Yes it's great to hear the latest swaddling technique & how to rock your baby to sleep in 10 easy steps or to "sleep when the baby does", but it's important to take what works and gently leave behind what doesn't. That's the hard part. It's way too easy to look at the other mama who's baby doesn't have colic and who sleeps through the night at 4 months and wonder what you are doing wrong.
Likewise, it's also way too easy to cast judgement on other mamas "well at least my baby doesn't ______fill in the blank)" so you can pat yourself on the back because you have this new mama thing down right? As women we have the ability to build each other up or tear each other down. Your baby may not be doing a, b, or c now but maybe when they are two years old, they are the ones crushing cheerios into the carpet and jumping off furniture and you are going to wish you had that mommy friend's support on those off-days or crazy phases. So lets TRY, attempt, to be real with one another about how awesome, rewarding, mind blowing, comical, and at times batty this thing called mothering is. Hopefully this is a start =)
Because you truly are a rockstar mama.