25.8.11

Letters to a New Mother - Part 6 - What I wish someone had told me





Five nights after my first baby was born I woke up drenched from head to toe from what can only be described as a hot flash combined with a breast milk fountain. I spent the next 6 months sleeping on towels, with towels tucked over me to avoid having to wash sheets all day. I had expected the milk, but the excessive sweating was a total surprise.


"Why didn't anyone tell me about this?" I wondered.

(I moved onto tight sport bras and nursing pads eventually, instead of towels.)

When my hair started falling out in clumps in the shower at around 2-3 months postpartum I had to ask someone else if it was normal. Turns out you aren't going bald when this happens, you just haven't shed any hair for 9 months and now it's going back to normal.

When I sank lower than I ever remember sinking after the Girl was born I had never heard of postpartum depression before, other than the word baby blues. I didn't know there was a way out. (For me it was regular exercise, the endorphins were enough to kick my brain/hormones back into gear.)

The point is, there are a lot of weird things that happen in our bodies, hearts and minds in the process of becoming a mother. Modern life has a way of isolating women who are home taking care of children. We often don't know anyone else who has babies near by. Maybe none of our friends has had a baby yet. Our mothers may live thousands of miles away and maybe we don't want to parent like they did anyway. So who do you ask if this weird thing going on is normal or not, or talk to about your fears and doubts?

Well, the internet of course.

I've shared my top 3, now it's your turn. Tell us what you wish someone had told you before it happened. Tell us if you found a useful solution too. And if you are wanting to ask about something, go ahead and do it here also. Let's together make a little resource for women who haven't done this before and are looking for answers. Because no one should have to mother all alone, don't you think?

5 comments:

  1. Mary Owlhaven10:19 PM

    I eventually learned I could live on less sleep than I thought I needed.  I was amazed by how very much a mother loves her child.  Wow, it is full blown obsession.  And I was so very grateful to have a mom who modeled attachment parenting and breastfeeding for me.  That part felt natural to me because of her good example....
    Mary, mom to 10

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  2. Nathaniel & Jessica Moos5:49 AM

    the feeling of engorgement the first time completely caught me off guard.  the craziest one for me was when i discovered i needed to put my baby somewhere quiet to sleep during the day in order for her to nap... she was 3 months old and not sleeping at all during the day!  after talking to my sister, i worked very hard with her to nap 2 times, then 1 time during the day, until we gave up on naps at 2 yrs old.  i know my mum would've been able to help me a lot through it all, but she living in canada and me living in scotland made it a lot harder! 

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  3. Oh yeah!

    My MIL slept on her belly the night her milk came in. Talk about waking up in pain.

    It took until about 6 months the first time for me to realize, "This baby is way happier if I give him a routine and put him down to sleep at the same time every night. D'oh"

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  4. I'm still not good at coping with sleep deprivation...

    I love that your mother modeled for you. That's such a blessing to have.
    I'm glad that you are on the interwebs encouraging mothers and sharing your story. You are blessings so many moms yourself.

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  5. Nathaniel & Jessica Moos2:42 PM

    :-) yeah, a good routine makes a huge difference! 

    ReplyDelete

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