Things I did and did not know going into motherhood

July 12, 2011 at 1:29 am Leave a comment

Things I did know:

1. newborns can’t see. newborns can hear ya. newborns eat every 2-3 hours nonstop (meaning you don’t get sleep).

2. meconium. colostrum. these are words i learned among others.

3. your contractions can be abnormal going into labor. mine were 6 minutes apart. then 2. then 3. then 5. then 2. then 6. then 3. then 2. i thought ha! this is false labor. little did i know, these were signaling the real thing. how, you ask? they were getting stronger and stronger. in the 2nd hour i had a feeling this is probably it. by the 3rd-4th hour it was pretty darn clear.

4. use your early contraction hours to figure out how to alleviate the pain and cope. have your birth partner assist you. you will not be able to do it alone when you get to active labor.

5. i wanted a natural medication-free childbirth. i saw the business of being born by ricki lake, i read ina may’s guide to childbirth, and mayo clinic’s healthy guide to pregnancy. i wanted to avoid drugs and western medicine techniques at all levels. then i talked to my doctor who said it’s not terrible if you cave into the drugs. so i kept my options open. this is probably the most important thing to know going into labor: have a plan, but every birth is different so keep your options open!

6. how many diapers a newborn typically goes thru (about 12)

Things I learned after the fact:

1. have a birth plan and ask someone else to help enforce it such as a close friend or relative. your birth partner will not be able to do this and handle you in labor at the same time.

2. all newborns have these little whiteheads all over their face. no they did not get a rash coming out of you or anything. i was horrified and worried to see my baby’s lil nose covered in these things. these things are called ‘milia’ and they are supposed to be there! they typically go away with time.

3. newborns always look drunk/loopy. not just after drinking milk. altho drinking milk exacerbates it. it’s cute but kinda weird. i just laughed at how funny it was. what else can you do?

4. when your baby cries terrifically hard after you’ve fed, burped, changed, napped him/her, try feeding him/her again. remember that supplementing is important so you don’t starve your baby accidentally. more often than not, your milk will come in eventually if you keep at it – so don’t sweat it.

5. reasons newborns cry: a. feeding b. burping c. changing d. sleep – sometimes a newborn will cry if (s)he is uncomfortable – ours cried here and there because she didn’t like how her hat fit. you will just have to guess if you don’t have a book where they offer you suggestions/thoughts on this.

6. mommying is the hardest on the job training i’ve had, but that little one is so worth it! it’s nothing like i expected (i expected my fun life to end and meet loads of responsibility) – and it’s more amazing than i imagined. i had no idea what to expect, but i guessed. my guesses didn’t come close. nope not one.

7. breastfeeding is easier for you and for the baby in the lying down position. both you and the baby get to doze off together. it promotes healthy sleep for the both of you set off conveniently by all those hormones that are released when the baby sucks on you! it also allows your neck/shoulders/back to rest instead of strain over the baby or concentrate too hard on your posture.


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Maternity leave ends. Maternity life still beginning… valerie’s personality tidbits

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