The fourth trimester.
Something I had never heard of up until my 2-year-old. I wish someone would have told me about this before. It makes perfect sense, and for some reason having a title makes things much easier.
I just had my youngest son 6 weeks ago. As I sit here typing up this blog he is napping in his bouncer, while my 2-year-old eats crackers and the oldest 3 play in their rooms. I felt compelled to write this blog. Why? Because I am sitting here, 4 infants later, thinking of all of the things that would have made my life way easier if I would have known it 4 children ago.
So, since I know so many people who are expecting. Whether it is your first or your third you will always seek information and find out something new. So, here is my list of ‘what I wish I would have knowns’, because Lord knows I really wish I knew this sooner.
First things first.
TRUST YOUR MOMMA GUT!
You will have doctors, friends, family and even strangers telling you how to raise your child from the moment you find out you are pregnant. Trust me momma, listening to your gut instinct. If you think there is something wrong, don’t stop asking questions. If you want to breast feed your baby, don’t let people tell you not to. If you want to do baby led weaning or not circumcise your little one, you do what you feel is right.
Now I am not saying to not do things safely, but do your research and do what fits you and your lifestyle/morals.
Another thing I wish I would have known?
Colic is freaking HARD. Now I have had 4 colicky babies. Trust me, that is a LOT of screaming.
ASK FOR HELP.
You WILL need it. If you are one of the parents that are graced with one of the 1 in 5 babies who have colic, you will want help. I promise.
It is perfectly fine and acceptable to ask for it!
Oh, and if your perfectly little precious bundle of joy is cleared by the doctor and you are told ‘its colic’, that does NOT make you a bad mom!
Trust me you will have nights you will cry. Nothing you do will make your littlest one stop crying. This does NOT make you a bad mother! Sometimes being there is all you can do. Sometimes you may need to pass the baby to someone else, or put the baby in a safe place and walk out, taking 5 mins or so for yourself. Now, don’t just leave the babe but walk to where the cries are muffled and you can catch your breath.
It is okay to not enjoy the newborn phase! I love my cute squishy faced baby, and it goes awfully fast. However, here is a secret from me to you, the newborn phase is my least favorite phase of childhood. So far I have experienced 0-11.5 years, the newborn phase for me is just not fun. Again, all of my kids have been that 1 in 5, so there is a whole lot of screaming and not a lot of sleeping going on!
All babies are a precious gift from God and we love our children so deeply, not liking a specific phase, that does not make you a bad momma.
Google can be your best friend or your worst enemy. You will likely spend hours googling all the different things about infants. You know, just like you did during your pregnancy. I am not going to say ‘don’t google it’ because HA of course you will! However, don’t take Google’s advice too hard, if Google says its urgent and you are worried, ask your doctor, you may be worried about nothing.
Well, depending on how you choose to sleep, you may not get much of it! The first few months’ babies will eat at least every 2 to 3 hours. Then in growth spurts you may feel like they NEVER are not eating! It is EXHAUSTING. If you breast feed and want to co-sleep, do it safely. Look up the safe seven, even if you DON’T plan on co-sleeping, set your bed up for the safe seven just in case. There are many times many mommas don’t plan on falling asleep and it happens, because well, these infants have you up non-stop, you’re over tired and likely caffeine deprived, I want you to be better safe than sorry just INCASE it happens!
It is going to be just fine! You will have times of overwhelming love and joy, and you will have times you want to rip your hair out. Welcome to parenthood! There is no instruction manual and we all just keep winging it and do the best we can. Take a big deep breath and know that each phase will be over before you know it. You are going to be so happy a phase is over, and so sad your baby is growing so fast all while simultaneously you are mad another annoying phase began. It is the most bizarre rollercoaster ride of emotions you will EVER feel. The amount of love you have for the little human you are caring for will be lightyears deep. So just know you are not alone.
It will be okay.
Lather on your Stress Away and be the best mom you know how to be.