Motherhood has changed me. I now have two little people who rely on me for everything, I’m more patient (although still a little yelly at times) and I have different priorities.
When I was pregnant for the first time. I was naive, thinking it would be a textbook experience, everything would go as planned and my baby would just fit into my life. Boy oh boy was I wrong! Hudson was born 6 weeks early, spent weeks in the special care nursery, had silent reflux and never slept.
It was a big learning curve. I learnt to listen to my body, my baby and my instincts. Second time around I didn’t push myself, counted kicks, enjoyed the pregnancy more, felt for movement and monitored the amount of Braxton Hicks I was having. I wanted to make sure Scarlett stayed in as long as possible. She was born full term and it was a completely different experience. There is no such thing as a normal pregnancy or birth. Everyone is different, plans change. I had 2 c sections and they were both good experiences. Don’t listen to horror stories about birth, a healthy baby and mother is all that matters.
The other thing I discovered when I was pregnant was the overload of information about what I ‘needed’ to buy for me and my baby. I often felt overwhelmed. In reality new babies need very little. The things I would recommend to buy are:
- Support shorts or stomach wrap – I had a c section so I found the stomach wrap gave me extra support and helped everything go back into place.
- Wipes – they really are the Swiss army knife of parenting. I use them for everything. If you’re stocking up before bub is born probably best to go unscented uncase you have a baby with sensitive skin.
- Cloth nappies – not the funky bamboo type, buy a multi pack of the white towel ones. They are great as burp cloths. Both of my kids spat up a lot after feeding. I carried these with me everywhere for the first 6 months.
- Bottle sterilizer – for expressed milk or formula. Much easier than waiting around for a pot of water to boil.
- Breast pump – good to have handy. You won’t know when you need it but it’s good to be prepared so you’re not sending hubby off on a late night chemist run.
- Sleeping bags – so much easier than wraps, better for your babies hips and they can’t escape.
- Nasal aspirator and Thermometer – a dreaded virus can strike at any time and it’s best to have these items around. Babies breathe through their nose so if it’s blocked they won’t sleep. The idea of sucking boogies out of another person’s nose seems gross. Once you’re a mum it’s completely normal. As for the thermometer, get a good digital one. It’s worth the investment.
Of course I got over excited like any new mum and ended up purchasing a lot of things that I didn’t really use.
- Shoes – newborn shoes are super cute. However, not necessary. I spent a lot of money on teeny tiny shoes that my children never wore. If you can’t resist go for moccs or soft little booties. There is no point in buying $70 hard sole Nikes for a newborn, save your cash and get them when they’re a little older.
- Muslin wraps – I purchased a lot of these and they really just ended up being expensive burp cloths. Sleeping bags are easier and I found that a lot of wraps are too small, making it hard to swaddle your baby anyway.
- Clothing – newborn babies live in onesies and singlets. Shirts and fiddly little dresses are cute but will probably get dirty within an hour, are extra work and will bub will grow out of them really quick. Buy onesies, singlets, leggings and maybe a nice outfit for a special occasion. I recommend you buy special clothes in bigger sizes as they will get more wear out of them.
The main thing I learnt when becoming a mother is that I must take care of myself so I can take care of my babies. Following the birth of your baby there are hormones, overwhelming emotions and sleep deprivation. Even the most put together, organised mother has bad days (if anyone tells you otherwise they are probably fibbing). If you feel like you’re not coping or you’re overly anxious, don’t be ashamed. Speak to someone; tell them how you’re feeling. Ask for help. Speaking up is the first step to feeling better and being a better mother for your baby.
The Mummy Code