Things I learned in the first five months of being a mama…

Note: I wrote this and saved it in drafts three months ago, at the 5-month Kiernan mark. I know I wanted to add to it, but time got away from me and I can’t remember what, so I’m posting it as is!

I have a LOT of catching up to do, and I hope to do it soon so I don’t forget all of the details of the last few months since baby K arrived! (They’ve seriously been the most amazing and challenging and SPECIAL months of my life.) But until then, here are some things I wish I’d known (or listened to) ahead of time:

  • Swaddling is the best thing in the world. Miracle blankets and truewombs saved my sanity. 
  • Swings are the best things in the world, too.
  • Same with rock n plays.
  • Also? All of those things suck to transition out of. So now I have a love/hate relationship with them. But at the times leading up to right now? I might not have survived without them.
  • Just because something is toted as the BEST thing on the market (cough-mamarooswing-cough) doesn’t mean it will be the BEST thing in your baby’s eyes. 
  • It really does get better. Baby K had colic and there were (many, many, many) moments when, regardless of what I’d read or been told about things getting better, I just couldn’t see it ever happening. I couldn’t help her to feel better because there is no real definitive cause for colic, and it broke my heart and my spirit. I think it almost broke me all together. But K got better. It happened slowly and sometimes in a two-steps-forward-one-step-back pattern, but day by day, things improved. This doesn’t just apply to colic. It’s the same with getting sleep. There were days I thought I’d never get more than two hours at a time again. But now that I’m much better rested, I barely remember the panic that caused.
  • Breastfeeding can suck. But it’s so worth it. For me. After the trials we’ve gone through, I will never ever ever judge another mama for whatever she chooses to do in the great BF vs Formula decision. But for now, we’re 4.5 months in and K is exclusively nursing, for which I am really, really proud of myself. 
  • There truly is no way to explain the human capacity for love until you’ve had a child. What I feel for K takes my breath away on a daily basis. 
  • Husbands are pretty freaking handy to have around. For diaper changes. And building swings. And moving around nursery and playroom furniture. And cooking meals. And just general support when the world seems like a teeny, tiny, no-air-to-breathe-because-you-will-never-get-through-having-a-colicky-baby place. And did I mention diaper changes? For the first few days of K’s life, I was so overwhelmed with the trauma of breastfeeding, N didn’t make me change a diaper even once. I will be forever grateful.
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