WHAT I WISH I KNEW SOONER
As every first time mama can attest too, there are so many exciting new things to experience when expecting your first child and equally there are so many questions, sooo many unknowns. This post will focus on things I wish I knew sooner after giving birth to my son.
1. YOU GOT THIS
I am Type A at its worst and finest. I am the one to research 'til you drop. I read countless books and blogs during my pregnancy. I was so excited to meet my baby, but I would question my pending parental abilities. Some of these questions were good to ask, while others were downright ridiculous. Will I be a good mom? What baby products are needed and what's hype? What if I'm awkward holding my newborn baby? What if my baby doesn't like me?! Uh-oh my son cried for five minutes before I could get to him... is he emotionally scarred? Yep, I did cry after that incident. ZERO sleep [not to manage whacked out hormones] wreaks havock on your emotions!
This is the good news: you will figure it out. Call it your inner-mama-guru, your intuition, biology, God, whatever you like.... something kicks in and suddenly you are "Mom." You got this!
2. 24/7 CUDDLE BUG
This is by far the biggest one for me. When my son Dylan was born, he would not sleep in his bassinet or crib. In the hospital the nurse handed me Dylan one night and said, "Honey I think you have one of those babies that just needs to be held." I didn't think too much of it until we took Dylan home. We tried EVERYTHING imaginable to get him to sleep on his own- swaddling, noise machine, sleep expert techniques, his pacifier... nothing worked. The only thing that worked was carrying Dylan around in my sling during the day and him sleeping with me at night. I felt like a failure. What kind of mom was I and what was wrong with my baby?
Now think about it from Dylan's perspective. He just spent nine months snug in my belly and suddenly he is outside exposed to the elements. The fact that he wanted 24/7 contact was only natural to him. [Later on I will post on entry on how I taught him to sleep independently]. In the meantime, if this is what you are experiencing right now, please know you are NOT a failure. During those first few weeks/months, you're in survival mode. Do whatever it takes- just be smart about it. If you have a baby who is like Dylan, remember this too shall pass.
3. THE LOVE FACTOR
1 John 4:18 says, "Perfect love casts out all fear." It's cliché, but one can't prepare for the overwhelming love you will feel for your baby. Love truly does conquer all.