Finding out that you’re expecting, no matter if you planned it or not, is one of the most emotional things you will ever go through in your life. There’s couple of reasons for that:
- You’re pregnant = you’re extremely hormonal.
- There’s a new life growing inside of you (kind of freaky if you’ve seen any of those human body invasive alien movies).
- You’ve just become a worrier number one. OMG, what do I do now? Will everything go well with pregnancy? Will my baby be alright? How about the labor? What do I do with a new baby anyway? Etc.
- You’re also shocked, surprised, happy, sad, proud, disappointed, curious, tearful, joyful, all depends on your life plans, situation, partner and family relationship, work and all other circumstances in your life.
Somehow you will deal with all those emotions and with help of God you will get to the point when your brand new baby will be here, safely in your arms, with lovely newborn smell and soft skin, cute little hands, feet, nose… Soon you realize that your life has turned 180 degrees.
A lot of first time mums will be very surprised to find out how hard it is to take care of newborn. Often they might feel desperate and clueless when baby is crying and they don’t know how to help him. And they hear from everyone around that it gets easier with time or that having a first baby is a disaster, second one is just fine. WHAT??? How can it be fine with the second baby? You still have the first one, right? So you had one, it was a disaster, now you have two and you’re telling me it’s fine?
Yes, all of the above is right. So what’s the difference between first and second child?
Why is it so difficult first time around?
I’ve been thinking of this for a long time. I thought that it’s due to lack of experience for the first time. Or knowledge. You need to google everything or ask someone for an advice. But is it really that? It’s not so hard to get to the right information now, besides, many mums have had previous experience with babysitting their nieces and nephews. Every baby is different so even if you learn what to do with the first one, it might not work for the other one at all. And yet, it really is true that having a second child is fine comparing to the first one. Why?
Baby is here 24/7!
It’s simple and obvious. It’s also the biggest reason and very logical explanation to the feeling you have with the first, second, third etc. baby. Even if you did babysit your friend’s baby often, you never had her 24/7, 365 days a year. Baby, all the house work, your job and everything else in your life, all of it together to deal with at the same time. It takes a while to adapt to this new challenge and once you do, you won’t be surprised any more when the second one is born. You’re already on 24h shift every day, there’s just one more baby to get up to. You’re just being more effective.
So how to handle this big life change?
Most women say that the day their baby was born was the best day of their life. Holding your precious little bundle of joy in your arms for the first time is a unique experience you will remember for the rest of your life. Some babies sleep a lot in their first weeks, some other not so much. However there’s one thing all mums will agree on: life with newborn can be very exhausting. But remember, it’s certainly a happy time and you deserve to enjoy it.
Most women say that the day their baby was born was the best day of their life.
Here are the best points I learned along the way:
- Babies cry. Your body is designed to react to your baby’s cry with panic attack, ready to beat up anybody trying to hurt him. This is good and natural. It will give you the energy to get up 25 times during the night, hold, carry around and do whatever it takes to help him go back to sleep. If you’re overwhelmed, you might think that all your baby does is crying. Try to stay above things and remember that babies cry. All babies do cry. It is your job to try to help them, but you will never prevent them from crying again. Sometimes very soon. The most important thing is to let your baby know that you are there for him. Mummy’s here and everything will be alright. And even if he’s still crying, he can feel your presence and it makes a huge difference to him.
- Postnatal depression exists. It does. It might not have anything to do with your life situation or personal strength. Everybody deals with the hormonal flood in their own way. Pick a leaflet about postnatal depression at your maternity hospital and let your partner read through it. And if you feel that you’re not enjoying your new baby as much as you thought you would, mention it to your doctor at your next checkup. You deserve to enjoy this precious time and if you feel good, your baby will feel even better.
- Breastfeeding is not easy but it’s not impossible either. It’s your personal choice how to feed your baby from the start. I am a breastfeeding mum and I know how it feels to decide to breastfeed your baby and then to be disappointed if it’s not working out the way you’ve expected. By becoming a mum, you’ve officially become a heroic superwoman. So you’re a supermum now and you can do it! Ask yourself: What is the most important thing for you? For me, it is to make my baby happy.
- Do you have friends and family who want to see your newborn? Ask them to bring meal for you with them to the first visit. Honestly, this was the best thing I learnt on my prenatal classes when I expected my first baby. It was told like a joke. But the one with a point. I made sure I told it to everyone I met after this class. Outcome was, that when my friends rang the doorbell after my daughter was born, we had a warm soup or pasta for dinner that day. It was super delicious and I’ll be grateful for it forever.
- Try to be prepared in advance. Do as much preparation as you can in advance. Don’t forget to look for mummy and baby group in your area, contact info for breastfeeding support group and local LLL specialist.
- Mummy knows the best. One thing that is very difficult for the first time mums to realize. You are a mum, you know your baby and you know the best. Your family mean well when giving you advice. You can google as much as you want. My blog can be full of great advice on what to do and what not to do. But I never had your child so I don’t know. Doctors can have their degree and years of experience with hundreds of children but none of them was yours. Even your own mum NEVER had YOUR child. So she might not know. Trust your instincts and listen to your heart. You are a mum, you know the best.
Trust your instincts and listen to your heart. You are a mum, you know the best.