If you are pregnant you’ve been told a million pieces of advice from family, friends, and even complete strangers at the store. I would say many of things I was told were helpful but nothing really prepares you for having a baby. The things people didn’t tell were the things I really needed to hear though.
People don’t tell you about Mom guilt. I got the flu when I was 36 weeks pregnant and lost 8 lbs. I got the flu shot like I was supposed but still got the flu. I was scared out of my mind. I did everything the doctors told me and they said everything was okay but guilt like you would not believe. I took a pain pill during labor, guilt. The baby’s heart rate was dropping after contractions, guilt. The doctor decides c-section was the safety thing, guilt. Well stress, anxiety, guilt, sobbing like a baby, guilt, anxiety, guilt, guilt, guilt. My daughter had the cord wrapped about her neck twice (once wasn’t enough) so that’s why her heart rate dropped after my contractions. There wasn’t anything I could have done to change that but guilt all the same. I didn’t make her flipping around in my stomach but Mom guilt makes you think you could or should have been able to changes things. Mom guilt makes you forget about all the things you gave up during pregnancy to try to make your baby healthier. The anti-depressants, caffeine, medium-rare steak, over easy eggs, lunch meat, alcohol, sleep, good cold medicine, etc. Mom guilt is something I wish I would have known about.
The hormones! Pregnancy hormones are crazy but postpartum hormones might just be worse. I’ve cried more times since giving birth than I did my whole pregnancy. You’re tired and taking care of newborn baby but you’re a crazy person. I could not control my emotions. My poor husband hates seeing me cry and I tried to explain to him I was really okay. I do understand why he would be worried when he walks in to find me sobbing while I’m using a breast pump. I wouldn’t have believed that crazy lady either. The hormones also make it so you can’t really think complete thoughts or sentences. My husband has on multiple occurs told me to “Use my words!” I didn’t really understand I wasn’t making sense until he made it aware to me. I realized it more fully when my cousin who also just had a baby wasn’t able to communicate clearly either. If someone would have listened in on the conversation we had I don’t think they would have thought English were either of our first languages. Her and I spoke the same half thoughts so we were good. I was an emotional nightmare for at least 2 solid weeks. I had to stop watching tv shows that normally would not have bothered me. Any shows with babies in the story line have pretty much been off limits. I’m 4 weeks postpartum now and I’m starting to feel like a sane person again.
Breastfeeding isn’t the only way to go. The hospital may push things and Mom guilt will tell you otherwise but formula is okay. I learned this the hard way. My daughter didn’t latch and I wasn’t able to pump and produce enough milk for her. I made the tough decision to stop fighting a losing battle and switch to formula. This was a really tough thing for me to accept but I’ve been much happier since doing so. The important thing to remember is that your baby is getting fed and that’s the only thing that matters. If you ask most Moms that are breastfeeding it isn’t the sun shine and rainbows experience that they pictured. It doesn’t work for everyone and if doesn’t work for you it is okay. The Mom guilt on this one still is haunting me but I’m learning to deal. The good news is that they make this crazy thing called a Baby Breeza that is like a Keurig for baby formula. You put the formula in the top and water and it mixes and heats a bottle for you. It makes those 3am feedings so much easier. I can hold the baby in one arm and simply press a button to make a bottle. It’s amazing!
The most important thing they don’t tell you about is the love. When you hear your baby cry for the first time, and hold them for the first time it’s like nothing you’ve ever felt in your life. The love you have for your child is so amazing I’m not going to try to put it into words. The way I feel about my daughter is unreal. I don’t think you really believe your parents when they tell you that they love you not matter what until you have a child of your own. The love and emotions that go along with being a parent are crazy and I appreciate all the crap I’ve put my Mom through over the years even more.