Tuesday, March 3, 2015

What I Wish Someone Would Have Told Me

The moment we announced our pregnancy, the warnings and unwanted advice came from everyone:

Sleep now, once that baby comes you'll never sleep again. 
You'll be doing laundry everyday. 
Forget working out, you won't have time with a baby!
The moment you see your baby you'll fall in love. 
The time goes by so fast. 
Don't worry, everything will naturally come to you. 

There are easily 473 more things people told me about, but those are probably the ones I heard the most. Uff da! Honestly, everyone had me slightly fearing parenthood and that I was going to spend my days covered in puke with a crying baby trying to find the time to wash my underwear all after only getting maybe two hours of sleep. Thanks.For.Nothing. The truth is, everything everyone told me was pure crap. Not one warning or piece of advice that was shoved down my throat have I once thought 'Whew, glad I knew about this ahead of time!' Um. No. So here is a little list of real advice I wish someone had told me: 

You might not love your baby the moment you see her, and that's OK! Society has it crammed down our throats that motherhood is amazing. The best experience you can ever go through! The most fulfilling thing you can do with your life. There is so much pressure on women to feel and embrace motherhood with nothing but pure joy and the occasional sleepless night. But this is not the truth. The truth is labor takes a toll on you and you are going to feel like you got hit by a car for awhile. It is going to hurt to sit, sneeze, and God forbid you laugh too hard...ugh. And after you put your body through all that you are expected to be head over heels in love with the tiny person that did that to you. If you're one of those women lucky enough to fall in love the moment you lay eyes on your beloved newborn, count your blessings. But if you don't, it's OK. It comes with time and soon you'll spend hours staring at your baby and crying because you are so in love with her. 

Stock up on formula (if you're planning on formula feeding. If you're breastfeeding, please skip to the next point). I knew babies went through tons of diapers and wipes (and really not that many wipes), but I was not prepared for how much formula they drank! I was literally running to the store 1-2 times a week for the biggest cannister I could find. Had I known that, I would have been buying these suckers while I was pregnant when they went on sale). Also, I had no idea how much babies were suppose to eat. In the hospital, P would eat 10ml and we would be so proud of her, only come to find out she should have been drinking 30-35ml those first few days of life, which quickly turned into 60, then 90, then 120...

You are going to look at your husband differently. This is a good thing. I have never felt more connected to a person before until Hubs and I brought P into the world. He was my best friend before, but now he was so much more than that. In a matter of minutes he turned into my rock, my support, my everything. The mere thought of ever having to go a day without him in my life scared the shit out of me and I became overwhelmed with this new feeling to do everything I could to be the best wife and life partner to him. I had this new devotion to my husband who had gone through just as much of a life change as I had. The first month of P's life when I struggled to get off the couch most days only reinforced these feelings and my love for him continues to grow everyday. 

No one cares about you anymore. Everyone was so excited for us while I was pregnant, what with their unwarranted advice and their happiness for our growing family. When she was born, people came to the hospital to visit P and hold her, and those visits continued at home with people showering her with cute little outfits and us with compliments on how cute she was. But after a few days the excitement wore down and people didn't seem to care anymore. No one asked how I was doing or if we needed anything or offered to come over so I could do a load of laundry (I probably wouldn't have been able to do it anyways because of my crippling depression, but still). Call me selfish, but I really thought we would have more support. I was unfortunately under the impression that everyone flocked to babies and wanted to hold them whenever they could. It took me a long to accept that people have their own lives and that they might not necessarily revolve around me or my baby, but in the beginning it was a very difficult thing to accept. 

Swaddle. Swaddle. Swaddle. Those people that say their baby hated swaddling so they didn't do it? Load of crap. Babies, not just mine, love to be swaddled. In those first few weeks at home, P cried all night, most of the times with me crying right along with her. I just got to my wits end and decided to read a baby book. I always thought they were filled with a bunch of malarkey, but I was desperate. I chose to read The Happiest Baby on the Block and it seriously saved our lives. Swaddling was the best thing we could have done for our baby. If you're going to read any book, read that one. You won't be sorry, and you won't have a crying baby (you're welcome).

Oh gosh, there are tons more pieces of useful advice I wish I could share with you, but these stick with me as the most important. Although all the advice and warnings from friends and family were appreciated, they haven't quite come in handy yet. It's the raw, honest, crap-you-don't-want-to-hear advice that people really need to start sharing. 

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