I am no longer the waiting white whale, waiting for my new baby. My son was born on Tuesday and he is amazing. I would say that my birth and hospital experience were not great and that would be a completely different article. I ended up having a c-section, which has created new challenges as a new mom but I feel like I have learned a few things about myself and about my husband.
1: Be grateful and take help. My mother in law made plans to stay with us for ten days, and having her around has been an amazing help. I can’t lift anything or bend very well and I am on pain killers. Having a third adult around has allowed me to recover without feeling like my baby is being neglected.
2: Trust your spouse. For me at least, I want to be superwoman and do everything, and be at 100%. A c-section was not in the cards. He took over taking care of me and the baby. I didn’t get to see him for over an hour after he was born, but he knew that I would want to know what was going on with the baby. He also has taken on late night duty and in general, has made me feel more secure.
3: Be friends with your breast pump, and don’t feel guilty about using formula. My son was born with jaundice, and it took 5 days for my milk to come in. He also wasn’t pooping. I had every intention to exclusively breastfeed, but we needed to get calories into his body and get jaundice out (jaundice comes out through his poop) so we gave him some formula so he would poop. When we got home I started pumping, not because my son wouldn’t nurse, because he does very well, but because the pain medication for my c-section makes me so sleepy my husband doesn’t want to wake me up. So rather than the baby drinking formula at night, my husband can get a bottle of breast milk and allow me to sleep and heal. Fed is best, healthy is best, and doing what you need to do for your baby is best.
4: Mom guilt is real, even when your health doesn’t allow you to do everything. Don’t let it win. Take care of yourself and your baby and allow people to help you.