We recently celebrated our daughter’s “1st Birthday”. It was one of the joyous days of my life. I was very excited and was preparing for a very long time. Just sometime back, I was holding this little baby in my arms for the first time. She was looking at me with her tiny eyes wide open. And now she is all set to walk by herself. I have a bittersweet feeling that she is growing up so fast and is not a baby anymore. But I have this joy, of her getting independent and set to explore this wide world.
As I look back at the days after she was born, I feel all the troubles that I faced bringing up this little baby were kind of lessons that were learned. Being a first-time mom with no experience of handling babies, these lessons were quite crucial ones. Today I am sharing those things that I experienced and learned.
Postpartum Period is Hard
I had heard about ‘postpartum depression’ and its signs during pregnancy. I used to think, it happens usually to women who are already under stress or have a difficult time with pregnancy. I felt I won’t be the victim of it at all, as this baby was the most awaited one. And it would be the happiest time in my life. But I was “Wrong”. With all the happy hormones draining out rapidly after delivery, my emotions went on a roller coaster ride. At times, I used to be happy, and the very next instance I cried. The major emotion that ruled me at that time was Anger. For very silly reasons, I used to get angry on each and everything around me, except my baby. I feel bad now for my parents, as they were here to help me out during this tough time and I was furious at them at times. (I am sorry mom and dad. I didn’t mean to hurt you). Dealing with any situation that time was extremely hard for me. As my hormones settled, I came back to normal, but it took almost five months. Thankfully I didn’t slip into depression.
Yes..!! That’s very true. Things you decided before pregnancy or during pregnancy can change instantly once you have a baby. I was extremely certain that I would nurse my baby for sure. I was all set with pumps, pads, pillows, creams etc before delivery and waited for the day to start using them. Once the baby was here, my body gave up on nursing within a month. I nursed her just for a month of her arrival. At first, I cursed myself on feeding her formula. But later as days past and with a good talk with her pediatrician on formula fed babies, I came to terms with myself on feeding just formula to her. The feeding formula to her was kind of a blessing in disguise. She got all the important nutrients for healthy growth and development, yet she wasn’t dependent on me. At first, I felt she won’t get attached to me, but it proved wrong. She is very much attached to her mom. It’s basically the way you love your child. You love them, they love you back. Nursing has nothing to do with it. Hence, I learned that, though nursing your baby is anytime the best thing to do, but if there are situations where you can’t. Then formula feeding is the second best thing. You just need to be prepared for anything and everything.
Eat before you feed your baby
This advice came from a dear friend of mine and a mom of two lovely boys. During my baby shower, she told me to always eat before you feed your baby. I followed this religiously and it helped. With a full tummy, I had more tolerance to cries and tantrums that my daughter displayed while feeding. Hungry mom and baby are not a good combination at all. It just leads to chaos.
Get detached from a situation
This is one of the best things I have heard and has helped me. It took me some time though to practice, but it worked wonders. I read an article in which they had interviewed JO Frost (Super Nanny) on handling tantrums. There she mentioned that one needs to get detached from a situation. Once you get detached, there are no emotions present and the result is you get practical in your approach. I tried applying this concept and it worked. Now when there is a crying spell or tantrums displayed. I just ask myself these questions: Is she hungry, has she soiled her diaper, does she want a toy, is she annoyed etc. Once I get answers to these questions, I handle a situation more efficiently and be assertive instead of just blindly shouting back.
Trust your mom instincts
Mother’s Instinct is never wrong and never ignore it. If I feel something is not right for my baby, I get to the bottom of that problem till I get the satisfactory answer. We have been through high fevers and surgery for my daughter after her birth. Trusting my instincts have helped to get proper treatment in time.
These were my experiences that have shaped me into a Mom that I am today. I am not perfect, but still, I do my best. Each and every moment spent with my daughter is a memorable experience and I cherish it. What do you Moms out there have learned from your first year of motherhood? Would love to know.
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