Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Advice for new mommies

I know so many women who are pregnant right now and I want to squeal with delight every time I see their beautiful bellies!  I am so thrilled that they get to experience all of the joys of a new baby. There are so many amazing "firsts" and I have to admit I'm just the tiniest bit jealous!

I know that every new mom gets about a million pieces of advice about every aspect of having a new baby, but here are some things I found most valuable.

Trust you instincts:

You are a mother now. No matter what anyone says, you know your baby best so don't let anyone talk down to you. You may need to fight for your baby at some point, don't be afraid to do so. The night before we were supposed to leave the hospital, Grace would not not stop screaming. The screams were mixed with coughs that we had not heard before. Mike and I could sense that something just wasn't right. After only 3 days we knew her cries enough to recognize that something was wrong. Mike took her temperature at about 3 AM, and sure enough she had a fever of 102 degrees. I paged the nurse and he quickly unswaddled her and rocked her to try and calm her down. The nurse took her sweet time getting to our room and started to lecture us about unswaddling her. She said she probably had a small fever because we had her in just a diaper and a light onesie and that was a mistake many new parents made. We were of course freaking out that our newborn had such a high temp and kept telling her that something was wrong. She kept dismissing our concerns, but said that she would take her to the nursery to get her checked out. Sure enough, she spent 2 days in the NICU on IV antibiotics due to a chest infection. We knew something was wrong and we were right. Trust your instincts and don't be afraid to fight for your child.

This was taken the night she was admitted to the NICU. The poor baby could not stop crying.

Ask for help:

This was the hardest one for me. When we first got pregnant, I didn't even want anyone to come stay with us the first few days because I wanted to do everything ourselves! I wanted Grace to room in with us at the hospital. I wasn't going to be one of those moms who just sent their baby to be cared for by the nurses. I would be super mom! As I got closer to delivery, I rethought my decision about having my parents come stay with us. They stayed for a week and a half. They cleaned, cooked and helped Mike take care of me and Grace following the c-section. While we were in the hospital, there were several nights when I called the nurses to take Grace for a few hours so that we could get some rest. We were exhausted. She was fine and the few extra hours of sleep kept us sane in those early days!

Then with all of my health problems throughout the year, I had to humble myself and ask people to come stay with us for extended periods of time. For 2 weeks, I couldn't even lift Grace and so many people gladly came to help.  I hope that none of you have to deal with the extreme situations that we did this year, but even in normal circumstances, there is nothing wrong with asking someone to watch your baby while you have a few hours to yourself. You will be a better mother for it.



And finally, be flexible:

"The best-laid plans of mice and men often go awry" ~Robert Burns

I had such great plans for the first year of Grace's life. We would have an easy, fast birth and return home quickly. I would stay home and keep my house clean. I would learn to cook and would be able to get so much done while she napped. Mike would be able to take days off so that we could spend time together as a family and we would have an easy, fun year.

I'm such an idealist...

Instead I had a c-section, my appendix and my gallbladder removed, and a heart attack. Mike had to take all of his time off to take care of me and Grace. She was colicky and is an extremely clingy child. I have a hard time finding time to eat or shower much less keep my house clean and cook.


This year did not go as planned. But you know what? It was an amazing year. We are all happy and Grace won't remember that I don't make the most amazing organic meals for her or that out house might be a little dustier than I would like. It's great to make plans. But don't freak out when they don't go perfectly. Accept it, move on and enjoy the ride. Because it goes very very fast. Before long you will have a toddler on your hands and you will be the woman looking at the pregnant mommies feeling that pang of jealousy!

I'm linking up to Growing Up Geeky's Toddle Along Tuesday today!





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2 comments:

  1. Such wonderful advice! You have been through so much this year, wow. I had a misdiagnosed heart attack right after the birth of my first son. The docs called it a heart attack (post partum cardiomyopathy) but after a second opinion turned out it was fluid overload that caused my heart to give out. Needless to say both are not fun. Stay strong mamma! Love the title of your blog.

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  2. I love that so much of all of our advice is the same! Must mean we're all right ;)

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