I wasn't ever going to do this post. I felt my pregnancy and bringing our babe into this world was for me, an intensely private thing. I'm so grateful that our little one arrived safely, happily and healthily that I feel safe to share a little of my experiences of new motherhood. These photos were taken the day before Piper was born.
Less than 24 hours before she was born
I was lucky enough to have had a very easy pregnancy. I felt a little bit queasy early on and light headed but otherwise felt better and more energised than I did normally. By the end, I didn't get over it either; the fear of birth made carrying her around in my belly quite comfortable. In the last few weeks after I had stopped work to wait full-time for spontaneous labour to hit, I would pace around the house unable to sleep, wondering when I would be struck and how would it feel. It turns out it wasn't spontaneous at all and I had to be induced.
33 weeks pregnant
Pregnancy - Little things I wish I worked out earlier
Start using stretch mark cream from the beginning. Even before you're showing. Morning and night. I changed between bio oil and a lavender mama cream because I got sick of the smell of bio oil on me day and night.
Avoid the part of the supermarket where the seafood section meets the deli and the meat section. Actually avoid the whole seafood side of the supermarket. Blurgh.
Get a little wedge pillow for your belly. I spent $70 on a super long maternity pillow which completely cut me off from Mr in bed and didn't help at all. The wedge I found in a baby shop for $10 (of course I found it after I had the baby).
Advice is annoying
If people wanted to give me advice (I was so over hearing horror stories among the usual, "your life will never be the same again", "get ready for sleepless nights", blah, blah), so I would ask people if they could tell me only one thing what would it be. A few good ones were:
"In the first few weeks, you can't spoil your baby by snuggling or feeding it too much." This was in a booklet from antenatal classes. This made me never feel guilty for holding my bubs when people would tell me she needs to put herself to sleep.
"Don't even bother with a routine until after 3 months, and then try one if you feel you need it". From my sis who has 3 kids and knows how to support a new mum better than anyone.
"As long as you don't intentionally harm you baby, everything you are doing is right." The clinic nurse told us this and I felt that everything I was doing was just fine.
My top two are:
"Its' common sense." It really is. Before you have the baby you don't know what it will be like or what they'll need from you, but once it arrives, your instincts kick in and you 'feel' what they need and it all starts to make sense. Just try different things and you'll work out for yourself what works for the both of you.
"Buy a 12 pack of cloth nappies." I followed this and it was awesome. They are so great to have on hand to mop up spills, and there are lots of types of overflows when you have a newborn, trust me. But even just to use as a towel to lay them on to change a nappy in the car or a public place when you don't want to use your beautiful blankets.
Piper - 1 hour new
The gift of an easy babyI know. It almost sounds like an oxymoron, but she is such a placid, cruisey, content kid. As a first timer, I was guided entirely by her - she knew what she wanted and she would make it clear. She gave me signs starting from the day she was born. 'How can a baby give signs? She would use all her might to push herself back to keep feeding and try and lift her head and sit herself up when she needed a break and a burp. She would try and climb up my shoulder when I was sitting which meant stand up and walk me around to help me get to sleep. I did as I was told and she fed and slept like an angel.
In saying that, my baby was very placid, happy and healthy. We were blessed a million times over. She loved her milk and her sleep, so my challengers were few.
I guess you develop your own language of understanding with your little one from being with them all day and night. Mr has been at home with her now for 2 weeks and he understands new signs which he translates into words for me.
On becoming a mum:
Loving Piper and being a mum is the highlight of my life. She has been such a delight and a pleasure to meet and get to know and love and kiss and snuggle and nourish. I tell her I'm proud of her everyday. She has been a breeze, a beautiful sunny breeze.