I was looking at some pictures taken during my pregnancy and post-delivery of my son 2 and a bit years ago and thought about how much I had grown in that short amount of time. My thoughts, perspectives, and life goals have certainly changed a whole lot since then and having a baby certainly does sometimes throw a spanner in the works. I thought I would pen something I would have wanted to know in those early motherhood moments and share with women who are yet to go through that phase of life.
It will all be okay– I have worked doing obstetrics for a while and working in large specialist hospitals can really skew what you see about pregnancy. Dealing with medically complex pregnancies or being involved in deliveries where everything goes wrong can really be traumatic or make one lose perspective. When it was now my turn to have my own bundle or joy, I was always scared of what could be around the corner despite having no significant medical history or reason to be concerned. Now, things didn’t really go according to plan, if ever there is one, with the delivery but I have ended up with a smart, loving little boy and I couldn’t be happier. Reflecting on my whole pregnancy and delivery as well as all the patients I have cared for whilst going through the same phase of life, I can honestly say that relax and enjoy the journey. Most times than not, things work out okay. Our bodies are great devices that can have a few hearts, brains and limbs growing at the same time and still manage things relatively okay. So trust the body and what it can do…
Give everything time– You would think having been a medical practitioner in the field would equip me with a lot that other people don’t know but I think motherhood is mainly about allowing nature to take its course and following your instincts. This is true with even learning who this newborn person is, their likes and dislikes as they also learn who you are etc. Living in a fast-paced world, we are always looking for instant gratification and motherhood is, unfortunately, something that you grow into and this takes time. This also applies to getting back into pre-pregnancy clothes, developing some sort of routine and getting some form of sanity back after delivery. The other thing is to acknowledge is the impact having a baby can have on all your relationships but with time, you slowly DO get your groove back.
Enjoy every stage– corny as this sounds, this is very true. I remember during pregnancy, wishing that I had delivered already as I was tired of having to pee every few hours and when he finally did arrive, wishing he was able to do stuff like eating, walking, talking instead of just being a baby. Being in the moment can be a bit tricky when you are sleep deprived and covered in vomit but looking back, those stages were each treasure-worthy and sadly I must say I now occasionally miss the times when he was less mobile as I could get a lot done around the house without him following me everywhere. I now though, get to enjoy the language development and the cheeky personality that comes with it and I am definitely in love with this stage of his growth.
Take advice with a grain of salt and then do what works for you– when you are finally pregnant or have a newborn, people suddenly give you a lot of unsolicited advice about everything motherhood related from how to have the best birth experience, how to make them sleep all night, when and how to feed them etc. I remember doing the controlled crying technique to try and get little L to self-soothe and get himself to bed as was being recommended on my sleep help books. Not only did this make him even more cranky, it also DIDN’T work so we had to work out our own way for him to learn to self-soothe. So evaluate every advice you are given and do what works for you and your family.
You will love like you never had– I am one of those people who was very disappointed that I didn’t have that movie moment of love at first sight with little L. I was honestly probably stuck with “doctor hat” on instead of “mummy hat” when I got to see him for the first time and it took a while for me to realise that he was my own little man that I got to keep instead of the many babies I had delivered and gave back to their parents. As I grew into being a mother, and gradually became confident in my skills of safely growing a human, I have come to acknowledge how much I really love the little bugger despite the tantrums, snotty noses and having early morning human alarm clock. He has made me want to make the world better for him as well as make me want to be the best human example be could have.
In summary, motherhood has truly been an AMAZING and rewarding life phase and I am looking forward to sharing this experience with my sister sometime in the near future…
Hoping some mothers can comment below and let me know what they have learned so far on their own journey…
*Picture sourced from Google
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