Updated: Jul 19, 2022
We have just celebrated 1 month! How exciting! The first month has been nothing but full of pleasure, wonder but also very exhausting. Our little bundle of joy, Sophie, has been wonderful. Really. She only cries, when she needs something or when something is bothering her. The tough part though is that not always do we know what is it that she wants. Is she hungry? But she ate an hour ago. Is she tired? Well, how can I help you to fall asleep?
Let me briefly summarize for you the last month:
The first two weeks were the hardest. Sophie would be waking up every hour or two and even though my husband was at home with us during this time (in Israel men only get 5 days paternity leave - unless their company extends it out of their own will), it was still me who needed to wake up most of the times as I was breastfeeding. Also there is something called the mother's instinct and trust me its a real thing. It's enough that Sophie makes the smallest noise and I am awake (and so is her food source) After those two weeks, I somehow got used to being tired and getting approx 4-6 hours of interrupted sleep a night. When it gets hard I just pretend that I am a member of those 5 am clubs together with Mark Wahlberg or Eddie Redmayne. I mean even Elon Musk sleeps only 6 hours a day and look at the things he manages to do. Taking care of a newborn seems to be like a fun task compering to building spaceships and planning and expedition to Mars. Perspective!
Perspective: Perspective is getting its own paragraph cause I do think that this is one of the things that has been helping me throughout the labor and during the postpartum period as well. I did not dream about how my labor will look like, did not have any childbirth plan to follow, nothing. In my opinion, living in a country with a great healthcare system and sterilized environment, all was gonna be okay. I did have some complications after the labor and currently am dealing with a retained placenta but it could have been much worse. When Sophie cries and I am feeling really exhausted, a perspective is what helps me get through. No matter if she has been up in the middle of the night for hours, I know that eventually she will fall asleep and so will I.
There are so many books, YT videos, blogs and all about what to do and how to do but nothing can prepare you for the overwhelming love and feelings that you experience, once you have your baby. I certainly did not expect that I am going to feel this kind of love. It's stronger than anything I have ever felt (sorry babe) and being a mom is the most wonderful feeling on earth (and I am not a very emotional kind of a person). Motherhood brings out in your fear, anxiety and worries that you have never known as well. Is what I do enough for her? Should I do something better? Can I do something better? There is so much to worry about but again perspectives.
Exercise and physical body changes:
I have expressed before about how the physical changes on my body throughout my pregnancy impacted my mental state. Going up from 48 kilos before pregnancy to 70 kg is a big jump and would probably cause some worries in every person. When I arrived back from the hospital I was already 11 kilos less. Wohooo, I was celebrating and thought that in this speed, I am going to be back at my original weight in no time. Five weeks have passed and I haven't lost even half more kilos and I do breastfeed. So your body will change and it will continue to change even after birth.
I have started to practice yoga sometime in between the week 2 - 3 after birth and chaturhangas never seemed more difficult. I mean lifting up 11 kilos more than my hands were used to is a big change. The point is that if you are feeling good, do the type of exercises that your body will allow you to do.
I have decided to breastfeed my daughter. Breastfeeding is always a sensitive topic with people pressuring women to breastfeed, while others supporting the benefits of a formula feeding. I love breastfeeding! Seeing Sophie's face, when she latches on is the most wonderful thing on earth but it hasn't been easy. From talking to other moms, I keep realizing that it's not easy almost for anyone and every other women is dealing with low supply, sore nipples and more. The best tip I can provide for moms, who are just starting to breastfeed and their milk has not been coming around - power pump! The day I started to power pump (pump multiple times a day for short periods of times, even if no milk comes out), my milk supply started.
The bottom line is that no matter the best practices, the books, advises from people around you - do what is best for you and for your little one. We are all different and what works for one, will not work for another.