Amazing! You successfully got through the pregnancy without wetting yourself. Your husband managed to keep his life by learning to perfectly time when to nod and agree with you and you have survived childbirth, despite being incredibly tired, temporarily losing your dignity and getting through the pain.
Pain. Yes, childbirth does hurt. Do not believe anyone who tells you it doesn't; these people in your life are not trustworthy! Anyway, you have got through all of that so now you can get some much needed rest and enjoy your new arrival, right?
Following on from giving you 3 Things ALL expectant mothers should know | Pregnancy and Labour here are three more snippets of information you absolutely need to know about the arrival of your baby!
#1) Sleep Deprivation
Giving birth is a mission and you have worked damn hard for last few hours, so now that baby is here you just need to rest and restore your energy. Only, you CAN'T. Not for the next 10 years at least! I haven't slept properly since 2007 so I'm talking from experience here people!
Sleep deprivation is a killer. You thought you were getting the practise in when you were pregnant. When you were getting up at 5am for a wee, then couldn't get back to sleep because Baby had moved making you really uncomfortable...that was NOTHING my friends.
Now you will be required to feed on demand if you choose to breastfeed - oh and that is a choice of yours by the way, not the midwives or health visitors - or you will need to be semi-awake every four hours, round the clock, to bottle feed.
My advice here is to sleep when baby sleeps. Do not try to conquer the housework, cook a delicious home cooked meal or do the laundry. Nope, you must sleep, not just for your sanity but for your general wellbeing.
(NB - that piece of advice is USELESS because when baby sleeps you will be wide awake with your mind doing over time. You will be looking around thinking about how you should just get the washing up done quickly or you'll challenge yourself to get through the ironing pile before baby wakes - you wont be able to rest. However, it's what I was told and I really think that had I taken this on board I might not have felt like I was losing my mind).
#2) When Your Milk Comes In
You thought you were hormonal already!
Well I'm afraid to say that once again you thought wrong. Around day 3 or 4 of being mummy your milk comes in making your already swollen boobs like rock hard boulders!
With that your hormones hit. the. roof.
You cry tears of... well, you just cry tears. Who knows why you're crying - you certainly don't!
You laugh like you've never laughed before over something ridiculous like dropping a spoon on the floor.
And when you listen to the radio you cry at a song that isn't even a little bit sad. In fact the song probably has no meaning to you whatsoever!
The crux of it is, throughout your pregnancy there has been a lot of hype and excitement about this arrival, your hormones change to help the healthy growth and development of the baby then when the baby is born everything starts falling back into place. It's a rollercoaster of emotions. This is totally normal.
You don't need to doubt yourself as a mum; like I did and you don't need to think you are the only woman in the world to be so irrational; like I did but you do need accept this temporary change and understand that soon enough all will be back to normal; I wish I had! Don't dwell on the negative emotions you feel at this point. Accept them, brush them off, be grateful for your bundle of joy, hold your head high and carry on being the great mum you know are.
#3) Popping out to the shop
This just doesn't happen anymore! Simples!
Once upon a time you were able to grab your keys and purse and nip out to the shop. Now you have to pack up your entire house, or so it seems, just to get a pint of milk!
You need the pushchair; change bag filled with wipes, nappies, baby milk, muslin squares, calpol, teething gel and god only knows what else (because you always need to expect the unexpected with a baby around); your purse (which you are likely to forget once you have collected everything else) and your keys.
Once you have successfully got through this quick trip to the corner shop you realise baby has fallen asleep in the pram...but you didn't want them to because they won't sleep through the night! So now what? Wake them, listen to the screaming and tire yourself out trying to occupy them or enjoy the peace and pay for it later?
That one is down to you I'm afraid.
So that's it for Part 2. Next week is Part 3 - Having more than one child. If any of this rings true or if you are expecting soon I'd love to hear from you x