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A little backstory about my experience when I had my first baby. My beautiful bundle and first born son was due so soon. I was super excited to be a first time mama! Everything was ready to rock for baby boy – I was anxiously awaiting his arrival for weeks! It honestly felt like four years of high school was faster than this pregnancy.
Then, the wait was over. He was here.
Then, the tears came – followed by the sadness upon sadness.
I was holding my baby boy the morning of his second day of life. A nurse walked into my hospital room to check on baby and me. While in the room, she mentioned to me, “you are going to cry, you know? Lots and lots of tears. But it is okay. It happens to all of us.” I was taken aback, but did not think anything of it and simply smiled. That same evening, the shifts changed and a new nurse came in. I was getting used to this routine check and at this point, did not care who saw what! Ha ha. I guess I was now a part of that club – #momlife – here I freaking am. (sorry I got off topic a bit) After checking me, my new nurse said, “it is totally normal to cry. You will cry a lot when you leave here.” I thought to myself, lady… you crazy! I just had a baby – a beautiful experience had been taken place the day prior and I created life.
TWO more nurses during my stay in the hospital told me I was going to cry. For a split second I thought, “maybe they are right?” And then I said to myself, “Naaaaah.”
Day one – I cried.
Day two – I cried.
Day four – I cried.
Day six – I cried.
Day nine – I cried.
Day ten – I cried.
Day fourteen – I cried.
Do you see a pattern here folks? I FREAKING CRIED. But… the only person who saw me cry (only twice) was my husband. He was working so much that summer and I was a new mama feeling all alone. Whenever he would leave for work, I felt abandoned and lonely. I felt unwanted – so I would cry alone. However, he was only going to work!
It was to the point where I cried about everything. The things I used to find exciting, I didn’t want to do. I just wanted to sit in my house and cry. Who was I? I was always the happy girl. I made sure everyone else was happy and cheerful. I never wanted anyone to be sad or feel left out. I loved my baby. He was the cutest little thing in the whole world. I would just sit and stare at him all day long. Whenever he was awake, I would automatically stop crying.
But, I cried. And I cried a lot!
It took me a long while to get out of this funk, but I eventually did. When Gianni was nine months old, I found out I was expecting AGAIN! I was ecstatic – but there was a giant pit in my stomach about my mentally postpartum. I began to worry. I worried a lot. When I was nine months pregnant with Luca (my second baby), I decided to sit down and write down a list of things that made ME happy. I jotted down the things I enjoyed doing before having babies. I was in nesting mode and I finally wanted myself to feel better too.
I wrote down things like:
Fold the towels
Get a pedicure
Do yoga / workout
Read a book
Sit on the deck
Go shopping ALONE
Get off phone
Do hair and makeup
Then I made a list to remind myself it is “okay.”
It is okay to need people
It is okay to ask for help
It is okay to have “me time”
It is to take a “day off” to enjoy baby (but not too much time ha ha)
My lists seemed pretty simple. But, for my mental state – they were a HUGE help. I promise you, your mentality is super important after having a baby. This rush of hormones is no joke, folks.
Do what feels good for you.
If you want to fold the towels, fold the towels! If you want to clean the bathroom, clean the dang bathroom. If you feel like mowing the lawn? …chop down those blades of grass (that is my husband’s job, but at one point – I wanted to do it ha ha). What I am trying to say here is, if you do not feel good doing something, do not do it. Chances are, it will make you stressed. It will drive you crazy. Do what makes you feel happy. And if you try something you believe will make you feel good and it doesn’t. Simply, stop what you are doing and move on. It is okay to try new things and if they do not work at that moment, you can simply try again in a week or so! Sometimes we just are not ready.
Do not forget about YOU.
You are a champion. You just brought a beautiful baby into the world and that ain’t no walk in the park! I know you want what is best for baby and to do everything to ensure baby is happy – but you need to be happy too! Your baby needs you to take care of yourself, please remember that! Do not ever think you are being selfish by helping yourself because a baby can sense a lot more than you think! Baby will be happy when mama bear is happy! No drowning allowed here!
Embrace your new life by slowing down the pace.
There is no race to the finish line – there is no competition, it is just you and your baby! Be patient with your mind and body. Enjoy each moment and you will be back to your “old self” before you know. Embrace everything going on around you and do not worry about anything else! These precious moments fly by so quickly as they may have told you – well, believe them, because it is true! So enjoy that baby, enjoy your early motherhood and embrace every moment you have. Slow down, girlfriend!
It is okay to ask for help!
People WANT to help you! I am such an awful offender. I never wanted any help with my first baby. I wanted to be an independent mama who did everything herself – I thought that was me being “strong.” …well, with my husband going to work all the time, I felt like I was alone – always. Help would have been nice, even if I just had a guest over here and there.
When I had Luca, I was taking meals from my parents and in-laws for three whole weeks! I realized I needed that help! Take the help, I promise you won’t regret it! You may think you are superwoman, but you don’t need to be! Asking for help does not make you less of a mom. You are ultimately helping yourself and baby so you can be the best version of YOU.
If you have a habit of scrolling social media or binge watching The Bachelor… that’s okay when baby is asleep. When baby is awake, put the phone down and turn the television off! These first few months fly by and I know you will want to be present to watch your little one just stare at you …or to hear their first coo. I even love sleep stalking so I enjoy putting my phone down, even while they are sleeping!
I hope this helped a bit. Breathe, you got this.