I wish someone told me the reality of what actually happens after giving birth. Everyone always shows the ‘joyous’ side of having a newborn. So in my mind, I was prepared for a little one in the sense that I couldn’t wait to hold her, feed her and play with her. But I wasn’t ready for the reality that I had no idea of.
I was in labor for 36 hours. I went into labor Friday night, and she didn’t come out till Sunday afternoon. It was very exhausting. But once she was out, that feeling of seeing my baby and hearing her cry just melted my heart. I was in tears, and I didn’t feel pain anymore. They placed her on my chest, and there she lay quietly, sleeping away.
I thought newborns sleep for hours, so I was like, okay, it is going to be pretty darn easy to look after one. My dumb self read an online article back in school that said, “newborns sleep more than 16 hours a day.” Now they never specified that those 16 hours are broken into increments of 2 hours. I found out the hard way when I brought her back home ( she was in NICU, so I didn’t get to sleep with her through the night in the hospital).
I remember the first night my eyes were heavy with sleep, and it had only been 45 minutes, and she was up screaming. So I changed her, fed her, and put her back to sleep. She woke up not even an hour later and, I thought she was probably feeling hot or just uncomfortable. The whole night went that way and, the next morning, my husband and I took her to the pediatrician because we thought she wasn’t feeling well. That’s when the doctor broke out the news to me that they will wake up every hour to two hours to feed. I was confused, so I asked, “don’t they sleep for 16 hours?” The doctor wanted to crack up, but he was like, “yes, a TOTAL of 16 hours in 24 hours.” And that’s when it clicked in my dumb head.
I had to accept the fact that I wasn’t going to get enough sleep anymore. And, because of my hormones being messed up, I was feeling the baby blues, and the sleeplessness was making it worse. At times I felt like I was such a bad mom and didn’t deserve to be one. I would cry and cry for no reason sometimes but, then one day, my cousin, who gave birth four months before me, texted to check on me. After opening up about how I was feeling, she explained that she went through the same thing, and what I was experiencing was all normal. I have never felt so much at ease because it was such a relief to know that I wasn’t the only one going through the baby blues. And, she even told me it gets better once the hormones settle down in about 4-6 weeks after birth. Guess what? She was right. I have never enjoyed anything as much as I enjoy motherhood. I know many of you can relate.
Ever since then, I have always been reaching out to new moms and trying to talk to them. Just by saying, “Hey, I went through exactly what you’re going through and trust me, it gets so much better”- will completely change their perspective of motherhood. So if you’re a new mom, feel free to leave a comment or shoot me an email! I’m here for you!
One thought on “What I wish I knew before giving birth?”
I agree. It feels so much better, just to know that others have been where you are–and to know that it gets better.
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