What is something you wish you would have been told before you became a mother?

posted 12 months ago in Beehive
Post # 16
Member
7843 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: October 2010

Thanks for your understanding and kind words. sallyloves90 :  

Post # 17
Member
7750 posts
Bumble Beekeeper

I guess i’ll go against the grain a bit and say that you may not bond deeply with your baby right off the bat or feel so in love when they first hand you your baby. I felt fiercely protective of my baby from the first moment, but I have to admit that the bonding process has been gradual. She is almost 6 weeks old and just started smiling at us, which has been magical, but she is still more or less a lump who just eats sleeps and poops! Sometimes I look at her and think “who the heck is this baby?? is this really my baby?” it’s a weird feeling. 

When they say “the early weeks are about survival,” they mean survival of the parents. We are truly in the trenches. The sleep deprivation, the hormone crash (esp in the first two weeks)…nothing can prepare you for all of that. I tend to be a happy person, no mental health issues or history of depression, but I really wondered if I had PPD around the two week mark because I was a weepy mess 24-7 and didn’t recognize myself. In retrospect it was baby blues not PPD but still scary!

My husband and I have a great relationship, but caring for a newborn has tested it in ways I didn’t really anticipate. I know this is temporary, but literally everything is about the baby right now; our relationship is on the backburner, and that can feel weird, stressful, isolating and sad sometimes. Just make sure your relationship and communication with your spouse is rock solid before you have a baby! 

On the brighter side, in some ways motherhood is easier than I imagined, or maybe it’s more accurate to say I’m coping with all of it better than I expected. As relentless as the sleep deprivation and endless cycle of feeding and diaper changes are, Ive found that I just sort of go into autopilot and do it naturally. 

 

Post # 18
Member
2401 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: October 2016

Stretch marks. Deflated balloon belly. Yeah. That didn’t go away.

Post # 19
Member
211 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: December 2014

Labor was excruciating for me and I still have anxiety surrounding child birth two years later. My epidural failed and before my daughter, I had no idea that was even a thing.

I didn’t bond with my baby right away like some people told me I would. My daughter is very… “spirited” personality wise and there were times I couldn’t even go through the drive-thru for food because she just screamed and cried constantly. I missed my “old life” and struggled to acclimate.

… that being said, I also wish someone would have told me that it gets easier! Life is so much better now!! 

I am really excited to start trying for our second baby. I feel like I am confident, and will enjoy the experience more now that I know what to expect.

 

 

Post # 20
Member
805 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: January 2016

I struggle with answering these because so much of what other people say just isn’t true for me. Pretty much everything I was warned about didn’t come to pass.

I wish I was told that you will still be you, just you with a baby. If you think that sounds overwhelming…it probably will be. If you think it sounds not that bad…it may not in fact be that bad. If you think you can control what happens…man are you going to struggle. Different people are taxed by different things.

Surprised in a good way – you will talk about babies a lot and it won’t feel all that boring.

Surprised in a bad way – babies and young toddlers are, on the whole, boring! People that use daycare have it made (aside from all the sickness you pick up). Social media, movies, etc. are just not all that accurate when portraying what to expect. Everything is just magnified hugely in these portrayals, but it really isn’t in daily life. I just saw a facebook post about “enjoying every single moment of our first holiday season with baby xyz”. Really? Exactly how are you enjoying every single moment with a two month old. Most of the time it is diaper changes, feeding, sleeping, and crying. You may find your own child absolutely enchanting to look at, but I really believe the only people who enjoy every single moment are either very statistically unusual or only see the child for a very small amount of time. It’s not like it’s horrible, it just isn’t galavanting through a field of flowers (which, honestly, doesn’t sound all that great for any prolonged period of time either).

Post # 21
Member
805 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: January 2016

loden :  my epidural didn’t work either. I was expecting a magical end to pain and…nope! I ended up with a c-section and thankfully the spinal was magical. I was quite nervous it wouldn’t be.

Post # 22
Member
3441 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: June 2016

eeniebeans :  You might really enjoy the book Far From The Tree by Andrew Solomon. 

Post # 23
Member
7843 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: October 2010

Thank you! I am going to order it! lovelyruby :  

Post # 24
Member
1229 posts
Bumble bee

 

Whatever you go through, your experience is not unique. I remember sending a message to some mum friends in the middle of the night expecting I’d get a response the following morning and 3 out of 4 friends responded immediately – we were all awake feeding/soothing babies.  I remember describing some random problem to a second-time mum friend and she was like “oh yeah, I went through that with both my daughters”.  Knowing that other people share your experience can be comforting when you are feeling overwhelmed and isolated.  Its why I am such a fan of the birth month groups from the WB Pregnancy board – talking to people going through the same things you are going through at the same time you are going through them is so helpful.

The good and bad surprises are 2 sides of the same coin: so many people told me that in the first few months, its really all about the mother and the father is really sidelined until the baby is older and more interactive.  This was the exact opposite of my experience: I felt like my husband bonded WAY more with our baby than I did in the first few weeks.  He soothed her, “played” with her (as much as you can play with a newborn), changed her, dressed her, put her to sleep…. Pretty much all I was responsible for was feeding.  So the good surprise is just how naturally and instinctively this came to my husband; the bad surprise was now NOT instinctive and natural it was for me. 13 months later my daughter is a total mama’s girl and I’m having SO much fun with her but those first few weeks were jarring.

Post # 25
Member
7750 posts
Bumble Beekeeper

livster :  So true about the birth month groups on WB. When you’re up at 4am losing your mind with a newborn who refuses to sleep, and feeling utterly alone in the world, it’s such a comfort to message your group and immediately get 3 or 4 responses from girls going through the exact same thing at the exact same time. I feel like I’ve bonded more with the girls in my group in the six weeks since I had my baby than I did through the entire 9 months of pregnancy!

I also like Babycenter for the same reason. We’ve dealt with a seemingly neverending slough of (thankfully not very serious) health issues with our baby, including jaundice, a cow dairy allergy, a mild cold, and now the beginnings of flat head. Each thing feels so daunting when you’re going through the diagnosis and treatment, but all you have to do is post a message in your birth group on babycenter and find others going through  the same exact thing or who went through it before and can offer reassurance that it’s not a big deal or the end of the world as it often feels in the moment!

Post # 26
Member
3860 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: October 2013

Great thread! I have a 15 month old IVF baby. 

1. You will change your mind and opinion about almost everything. Before I had my babe I swore I would never cosleep. She’s currently sleeping next to me in bed, where she had been since she was 6 months old. We are in survival mode and everyone is happy and healthy.

2. Your baby might be a horrible sleeper. It’s not your fault. Don’t let moms with good sleepers fool you. They probably just got lucky, even if they don’t know it. (Many will later get a bad sleeper and eat their words!)

3. Discussions about baby sleep with be the #1 conversation topic among other parents for a while. 

4. Baby blues. Didn’t expect it. Didn’t know what was going on. Also had scary “intrusive thoughts.” I wish I had known about that before!

5. The worry and anxiety. Never have I worried so much about my own mortality. I have a new fear of getting sick and something happening to me so I can’t watch my baby grow up. So much worry, all the time!

6. I would have spent less time researching labor and more time researching what it’s actually like having a newborn. My friend and I talk about this a lot. That baby will come out one way or another and you won’t be doing it alone. When you get home with a tiny new one who is screaming their head off you are kind of alone!

7. I didn’t realize how attached I would be. Of course I knew I would be attached to my baby but even leaving her for a short while in the beginning was gut wrenching. Even now I’m not ready to leave her overnight. I thought I would be more laid back about leaving her 

 

Post # 27
Member
3225 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2015

sallyloves90 :  I wish I’d read this: https://www.coffeeandcrumbs.net/blog/2014/7/25/when-love-feels-heavy

it sums it up better than I ever could. I wasn’t prepared for how hard it was to have a newborn. I thought I’d ruined my life, I thought I was going to die. I thought I’d never sleep again. It’s the hardest thing I’ve ever done, but I’d also want to know that it ends. It WILL send and you will survive. And you’ll be crazy enough to want to do it again. 

Also, find a mom tribe. I did at 3 months and it saved my sanity. 

Post # 28
Member
37 posts
Newbee
  • Wedding: January 2014

hollyberry4 :  same for #7! I had no idea I would be so attached. She’ll be two next month and I also haven’t left her overnight. 

Post # 29
Member
81 posts
Worker bee

People say it all the time but I didnt realize how fast they really do grow up. It is truly like once baby arrives life is on fast forward mode. One minute they are learning to call you mama and a nanosecond later they are starting Kindergarten. Every milestone is so precious and fleeting. I mean I think about things I did with my oldest when he was a baby 6 years ago and it feels like last week!

Also your hair will start to fall out after a few months post partum and very well may grow back gray. Ugh…

Post # 30
Member
7064 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: September 2012

1.) I think my #1 piece of advice is : it’s OK to be different and do things the way you want to. Just because your friends do it one way doesn’t mean you have to.

I think with social media there is so.much.pressure. to do what everyone else is doing. It’s ok to have a bad experiene. It’s ok to have a good experience. It’s ok to swear you’ll do things a certain way and then eat your words. Likewise, it’s ok to set your mind to it and stick with it. At the end of the day, it’s all OK!

I have so many co-sleeping friends and I knew it was not the right choice for us (mainly because every.single.one. of them regrets ever starting it). Everyone always like to play the “you’ll eat your words” card because at the end of the day there will most definitely be things you “cave” on and do differently – but that doesn’t mean you will for everything. I’m 8 month in and still to this day have not coslept, even when I was at my worst with middle of the night feedings. 

2.) Ask questions!! Especially in the hospital. I ended up with a c-section and was so out of it and exhausted I just sort of went with the flow. Each time the lactation consultant came to my room the baby was sleeping or away getting checked (or I was getting checked) and I just never got any good one on one time with her. Breastfeeding was HARD for me and I really really regret not getting more help at the hospital. It worked itself out but not without a lot of tears those first few weeks and a few months of stress.

3.) Communicate. Remember that it’s a stressful time for everyone and allow yourself a little grace. Some people have an ease with parenting, and all too often people warn of the bad things but there is a lot of good. Not everyone has a bad experience. I always knew my husband would be a good dad but I definitely didn’t see him being as hands on as he is. He surprised me in ways I never knew he could. We did not experience the demise of our relationship like people often warn. If anything I think the birth of our child made is stronger. 

4.) It is so cliche but, you will never know a bigger love than that of your child. 

Leave a comment


Find Amazing Vendors