It's so much more difficult than you imagine. I literally thought you were supposed to pop the baby on the boob and let him drink away. Not so. There are different types of holds and the baby has to latch on correctly and you have to come to a mutal agreement with your child about when and where to breastfeed. And they BARELY eat the first few days. Which is why they actually lose a bit of weight that first week, but trust me, it is fine. Scary, but fine.
Honestly, it hurts like hell. It's like purple nurples every time they eat for a few weeks. Then the nips toughen up and nursing becomes a habit (if you decide to pursue it). When your milk comes in, you may or not feel as if you magically received breast implants. I was so swollen, that I had to make a 10 o'clock run to Babies R Us to buy a pump, then proceeded to pump all the way home.
Also, your baby will scratch your chest up with their tiny little claws and you will look like your breasts got into a bar fight with a rosebush. I was too scared to cut G's nails forever, so I wore high necked tops for months. Now that he is teething, I have bite marks and bruises. Fun.
come and go, but never more so than during major life changes like getting married or having babies. There are people who just can't handle the fact that you aren't going out/drinking like you used to, or they're jealous of your happiness, or they are just plain in a different phase of their lives.
Your schedule changes dramatically for awhile, and kids can be so unpredictable that you need understanding family and friends if you have to cancel or rearrange plans. I'm lucky to have people like this in my life!
The good news is that, as a new parent, you can meet so many new friends that know exactly what you're going through. Great meeting places include: the park, the gym, the library (story hour!), the grocery, through friends and family, church, birthday parties, etc. The hardest part is getting up the courage to strike up a conversation and then follow through by making plans. It's a lot like dating: you really have to see if everyone is compatible! I am still in the "working up the courage" phase, but I'm lucky to have several mommy friends already.
Oh, yes I did. Surprisingly, you recover from (natural) delivery fairly quickly. That doesn't mean that you wanna jump right back in the sack as soon as you feel pain free. Because, yes, it hurts the first time you have sex. It reminds me of Jessica from HBO's True Blood who was turned into a vampire as a virgin. Which means that every time she gets down is literally like the first time. And it feels like that for awhile.
My advice? Lots of lube. And patience. And HUMOR. It goes a long way. Just remember there are a lot of other things you can do with your hubby, including non-sexual activities that are still intimate like showering together, massages, cuddling, breakfast in bed, etc. Like many other things after having a baby, this is temporary and while it may be more difficult to find time with your man, it can (and must!) be done. You just have to become a bit more creative!
I am not a competitive person by nature, but when I'm out and about I cannot help comparing myself to other parents and my little man to other babies. What is that baby doing that my son isn't? What do I do way better than that parent? I would never do that. My son will never act like that in public... It goes on and on. Why do we do this? Human nature, I suppose. But I really try to keep it to a minimum because every single child goes at their own pace. And nothing is wrong with that by any means. Who am I to judge and compare? My son and I are happy and healthy and that is all I can ask for. (It still creeps in sometimes. Hey, I can't help it!)
Your turn, mamas! What are some things that shocked you as a new mama? What would advice would you give to a new parent that you would have liked to receive?
The Hot Mama