4 things I wish I knew before I had Aria…

Motherhood has been an amazing journey thus far. You laugh, you cry, you worry, you stress, and go through about a thousand other emotions every day. Yes, EVERY DAY.
I’m sure I’ll learn quite a bit more as the years move on but I’m here to just share a few things I wish I had known before I had Aria. I hope it brings you some comfort if you’re having a little one, or just had a baby.

There is a massive middle ground to feeling normal and PPD.
Numerous women had warned me about all the scary thoughts that may occur once you deliver due to all your hormone imbalances. I didn’t have any scary thoughts, but I had a lot of anxiety. I mean A LOT. I couldn’t let anyone else hold Aria aside from my husband because I was so worried all the time. To me, she was my fragile, delicate daughter. What if people held her wrong? What if she got hurt? These thoughts would race through my mind, and it would make me so anxious. I even sat in the bathroom one time and cried when a relative had come over to hold her. I felt crazy. I felt like I was going to be like this forever. Either way, I wish someone was around to tell me that it was normal. It was ok to feel super protective over your sweet baby. I eventually freaked out and called my doctor and talked to her and she reassured me that it was absolutely fine for me to feel this way. It went away very slowly. There are days that I feel super protective and I tell myself that it is ok since she is my daughter. What mother doesn’t feel protective? Either way, if you feel a bit off, it’s alright. Don’t immediately assume that you have full blown PPD. It could be a teeny dose. After all, think about all the hormones running through us and all our bodies have been through. Talk to your doctor. Make sure you answer truthfully when you take that test at the 6 week postpartum checkup. Those questions are there to make sure you are doing good…lying only hurts you. And you wanna be the best you while being a brand new momma!

Nursing does get easier. 
All my friends had hinted that breastfeeding is truly tough after the baby arrives. And they aren’t lying. Once you have the baby, all of a sudden everything revolves around how often and how much they are eating. I got lucky it seems, and got the 3 hour schedule which basically means she eats every 3 hours. Now that doesn’t mean, a whole three hours pass by in the middle. If you feed at 8 AM, and it takes 45 minutes to feed, and then another 5-10 minutes to burp, you’re still going to do your next feed at 11 AM and not at noon. There were days where I thought this cycle was never going to end. But here’s the thing. Their stomachs grow, and with it comes a little wiggle room. I’ve been nursing for almost 7 months, and now I find it to be completely second nature. Also, as time goes on, the feeds become a lot shorter! Now it takes me a total of 10 minutes to breastfeed Aria. Took 4ish months to get there but it’s here now and it’s super easy!
Same thing goes for being able to do it outside of your home. I’m not super comfortable nursing in public…if you are, kudos! I’m just not there yet, but I’ve learned that I can feed her in my car if need be since it’s so fast nowadays! Plus I always fumble around if I have to do it in public. Personally, I just have a hard time, but I’m sure I’ll get better at it! Especially when I have baby #2 in the future.
Just know that there is a light at the end of the tunnel…Took me a while to feel that way but I know that once I’m done with the breastfeeding journey with Aria, it will forever be over. And it’s a very special bond to me that I share with my baby…so cherish it. And believe that it will get better!

Communicate. Especially with your spouse.
It’s amazing how much you need to communicate. Whether it be with your spouse, mother, friend, or whoever, make sure to communicate. If you need help, ask. Babies are a lot to handle, and it can be overwhelming. If you don’t like how something is being done, talk about it. Don’t stew on anything. It’s just not worth it. You need all that energy and patience for your little one instead. Trust me.
I’ve had so many moments where I assumed my husband was going to do a simple task like the dishes. Now the key word here is assumed. AND, you do know what they say about people who assume? If you don’t, look it up. HA. Anyway, he’s had just as rough of a day at work and wants to chill. I’ve had fights about this folks, where I’m yelling about how I assumed he was going to do the dishes. This word is horrible because you’re setting yourself up for disappointment if it doesn’t go down the way you want it to. However, I’ve now learned (after many conversations with the hubs) that it’s easier if I just ASK. Now if I need the dishes done, and haven’t had time, I simply ask.  No assumptions = no disappointments. That way he knows what I need. I think we sometimes forget that men can be easy if you just ask them what you need help with. My husband is a fan of not having to guess what’s on my mind, and likes to know how he can help, because let’s face it, men aren’t really mind readers even though we want them to be.
Having a baby is tough on a marriage because all of a sudden all the extra time you had to spend with each another is now focused on a baby. You’re tired, exhausted, frustrated, and sleep-deprived. It’s HARD. Communication is one thing that can help bring you two closer and be able to be there for one another. I need my husband’s support as much as he needs mine. If we work together, especially by communicating, it is just easier. Plain and simple.

Though the first few months are tough, they are the easiest to get out and about! Use it!
I heard this quite a bit ,and honestly wish I had taken the advice. Granted, I had Aria in November and was really freaked out about heading out in the cold, but I still should’ve used that time more wisely. She slept more often, wasn’t on solids, and didn’t have a routine. I’m a pretty go with the flow mom, but I’ve noticed that babies are a fan of routine. So I don’t like to rock her world everyday, but if I have to switch it up, I’m perfectly fine with it.
Head to restaurants…go get a cup of coffee at Starbucks…grab lunch. Just get out…even if it is for 30 minutes. You’ll feel like a brand new person. I remember freaking out about my first trip to the mall. But all was fine and now when I take her to the mall, I think about those easy days when she was so tiny and would just fall asleep! Now, things are a lot tougher and I imagine it will only get more tough as she gets older and wants to go to the toy department in every store. SIGH.

I hope this helps a few of you new mommas or mommas-to-be out there. It’s a tough gig we take on. Raising a human is no cake walk. I’m no expert, but these are the few things I’ve learned over the last few months, and if it helps even one mom, that itself will make me happy and this post will be a success!

My little Aria and the center of my universe, who has taught me so many things in just the last 7 months. 

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The Comments

  • Jessica Lynn
    June 6, 2014

    Fantastic list; I agree with everything on there! I know a few moms who said they didn't go anywhere with their babies (besides the doctor) until they were several months old. I was baffled at that since we started taking our baby out when she was a week old! To each their own, but I think that helped us get back to normal a little bit. Way to go on still breastfeeding your daughter, by the way! I still feed mine in the car—can't beat the air conditioner and music!

    • Alfa Sengupta
      → Jessica Lynn
      June 6, 2014

      Thanks! And yes to the breastfeeding the car! Comfortable, stress-free, and there isn't any fumbling around! HA.

  • Pearls and Prosecco
    June 12, 2014

    I love this post! I can agree with so much of what you said! I always tell my friends that breastfeeding gets SO much easier with time, and to just hang in there! The first 2 weeks can be especially rough. I also breastfeeding my son in the car, neither of us do so great in public. I also didn't realize how much more difficult outings would become. I totally took for granted the time when my little guy would just pass out every time we went somewhere!