The birth of your kid is a wonderful thing, but when you get home and reality settles in, there are a few things that may suprise you. And so, here is my list of the top 10 things I wish I had known about the first week with a newborn.
- You’re going to cry. You’re going to cry a lot. And you’re not going to have any idea why you are crying. I remember bursting into tears every single time that Dan did the dishes, and then I would cry even more because I didn’t know why I was crying. I reckon the water works appeared about three times a day for that first week. Generally the reason behind this is the fact that your hormones are in an absolute jumble, they don’t know what they’re doing and they are just going crazy. Your emotions will start to normalise soon, but if they don’t, it’s a good idea to pop into your GP and have a chat.
- You may not feel that instant, overpowering, deep love for your child. Every woman that I spoke to before I gave birth told me that the first time that they saw their child, this incredible bond was formed and they felt a deep love that they had never experienced before. You can only imagine my confusion when I didn’t feel any of that when Aria was born. I spoke about it a bit more in detail here. Things got better with time though; our love just took a little bit longer to grow, and even to this day, the more I get to know her and learn about her, the more I love her.
- In the same vein, you might also long for your previous life. Let’s face it, life pre-newborn was a lot easier than life post-newborn. I know that in my first few days I felt very chained to the house and so on day 4 I told Dan that we had to go out. I didnt care where, but I needed to get out of the house and do something that pre-baby Sarah would do. And so we went for coffee (with Aria in tow). Small things like that made adjusting to my new life a lot easier. But sometimes even now, I long for the days of a smaller bag and no dirty nappies.
- If you thought that your boobs couldn’t get any bigger, you’re wrong. On the third day post partum, my girls were so huge, I was one up on any Baywatch actress. This went hand in hand with them being rock hard, sore and hot, hot, hot! There are a few solutions to this very uncomfortable problem. The first one is to feed or pump regularly (like every 3 hours). This really worked for me. If I got to the Baywatch stage, taking a hot shower and letting the water run over my chest also helped. Lots of women also swear by cabbage leaves, I haven’t tried this myself but sometimes you get to a point where you are willing to try anything!
- Breastfeeding does crazy things to your body. I was hungry all of the time. The amount of food that I ate was absurd. But when you look at the amount of kilojoules you burn per feed, it makes total sense that your body would need all of this extra energy. Friends of mine have also said that they were incredibly thirsty during the first few weeks of breastfeeding. My feeling is that at this point, you should be giving whatever it is that your body needs, it’s feeding your baby after all!
- Still on the breastfeeding/feeding train, I didn’t realise how incredibly boring it would be. I was lucky enough that Aria was an “express feeder”, otherwise known as a greedy guts and only fed for about 20 minutes every 3-4 hours. But those 20 minutes (especially the night feeds) were so boring. Social media doesn’t change that much betwen the hours of 00:00 and 03:00 and I didn’t want to turn on the TV becuase I didn’t want Aria to wake up too much. My advice, install a few games on your phone.
- Cutting your childs nails is absolutely terrifying. Aria came out with talons for nails and so we had to cut her nails the day she was born, the girl looked like Wolverine! I couldn’t do it, I was (and still am) petrified that I was going to cut her finger and so Dan had to step in and do it (and still does it). If you don’t cut their nails, they scratch themselves and end up looking like they ran into Edward Scissorhands. We learnt this the hard way, see picture below.
- You will find yourself standing next to your child’s cot, just staring at them, watching them sleep in utter amazement. You may actually doze off at this point from sheer exhaustion. In fact, you may even master catching a snooze with your eyes open.
- Your kid is going to poop in the bath. It’s gross but it’s almost a right of passage. If you can conquer the floater in the bath, you can do pretty much anything.
- You’re going to take one hundred million and twenty five photos and videos, in the space of one week. Most of these photo’s will be of your baba sleeping, doesn’t matter, you’re still going to do it so clear that phone storage!
What were the things that suprised you in the first week with with your baby?