I remember counting down the days until my baby boy arrived into the world. I was elated, nervous, emotional, hesitant…literally every emotion a person could feel, I felt. Preparing myself for a tiny human is a feeling I cannot even put into words, as nothing I had ever done in my life required so much brain power. I am a self-proclaimed planner! I like to have things in order. I like to have loose ends tied up. If I don’t have an answer to a question, I stop at nothing to find out…that all changed when June 17, 2015 was upon me, Benjamin was born and I felt completely misplaced!
A million questions surfaced. What if he doesn’t latch on to my nipple to breastfeed? What happens when he cries and I can’t soothe him? What will I do if my son doesn’t fit into the newborn clothes I bought? Will he even like me? When will the umbilical cord stump fall out? Should I save it? Where should I store it? I was like a child answering questions with additional questions. It was maddening!
The doctor handed me my perfect little baby boy and all the chatter in my brain instantly ceased and peace surrounded us both. I still had questions, but the answers did not matter at that moment in time…everything was still as our hearts became one.
When becoming a mom for the first time, there will be so many feelings and so many questions. While not all can be answered, I would like to lovingly pass along a few pieces of advice that helped me:
1) Less Is More: It is good to be prepared, but try not to overdo it! My nesting period consisted of purchasing at least 10 different blankets, onesies, socks, mittens, teething rings, mobiles, song machines, white noise machines, ocean waves machines…you get the idea. It was mid-June when I brought my baby home and all he required was a short-sleeved onesie. Don’t get me wrong, I used most of the items I purchased eventually, but for months (and for certain items, years) my house was packed full of unused gadgets…and I was going out once a week to purchase items that he needed immediately.
2) Don’t Weigh In: You created a human inside of your body! A human! A brain, a heart, lungs, fingers, toes…you created all of that…a creation that carries with it some weight (both physically and mentally.) You only get to experience this stage with your newborn once, so enjoy it! Be consumed with this time together, not consumed with losing weight immediately upon delivery.
3) Most Importantly…Be You: While comparing notes with other mommy’s and their experiences can be helpful and cathartic, the notes shouldn’t be used to gauge how you are as a mom. We are all individual and unique, therefore your situation will never align with someone else’s. Every mommy is doing it right!
Whether this is your first time at being a mommy or you are a seasoned mommy of multiples, the most important thing you need to provide to your baby is love. Love is a huge concept which knows no bounds and requires no planning…it simply comes effortlessly when you hold your child for the first time and forever. Enjoy it!