No one can prepare you for how hard being a first time mother is. No one said it was going to be easy of course, but there are no words to describe how hard it is until you live it, so I can’t blame anyone for not describing the difficulty level.
Take this post for example, it was originally the first three months, but I had to extend it and extend it until he turned four months, as there is NO SPARE TIME to do much else.
Before I go into detail and end up sounding like a raging ungrateful bitch, I am not! I love my son more than anything and I feel so lucky to have him. But it seems we live in a world were it is hard to openly talk about how hard being a mother is. But we, as mother bloggers, are starting to speak the truth. It is hard to admit that it is tough without thinking, am I a bad mother for saying this?
I also have to say I was incredibly lucky that my husband, despite being in a new job just for a few months, managed to get the first five weeks of his life off, which helped a lot!
So I think it is best to start with the biggie, the expected one; sleep! At some point in history they probably used no sleep as torture! The first few weeks, when your body is not used to it at all, it’s ridiculously tough. I was the definition of a zombie, forcing myself to wake to feed the little guy, unsuccessfully having naps during the day and telling myself it will get better. Four months later we still haven’t had a full night sleep, in fact it was just two nights ago we had the worst night sleep ever. He wanted feeding about, four times an hour! And those are the moments you feel useless, thinking, why is my milk not enough?and why is it not filling him? This four-month leap is a monster!
We have been lucky (see I am always finding the silver linings) that he has never been much of a proper crier during the nights, we’ve had our moments, but instead he has this grunt-y moan to let us know he is awake. But he also kicks the living daylights out of the air, in his sleep, sometimes his head is the opposite end of where he started!
Okay, so I think I have got the point of being tired across quiet well. But something else no one can really tell you is how needy babies actually are. Looking after him is my full-time job, and that is fine with me. Making him smile is my daily objective, as well as keeping him alive and well! But we all deserve to go to the toilet right? The second he naps I run for my life to pee, put laundry in, do dishes and eat! Maybe grab some Hobnobs and a cuppa! It is sometimes hard to even turn my back, as he thinks I’ve left the room! Bless him!
Before I fell pregnant I think I chose to breastfeed pretty much right away, and was excited to have this experience with my little boy. But that was also a tricky one. You hear, breast is best, breast is best, and yeah, it is. But it is also hard! We had a few latching on problems, then it was all okay, constant but okay. He latched on well after a few days. But along came the cracked nipples, ow! But with fantastic support from our breastfeeding nurse we got through that too. Then once my milk really came in I had huge heavy leaky boobs, I was waking up in a puddle of my own milk! I was already having major night sweats so that didn’t help! But we solved that problem with breastpads and night-time bras! (seriously, ladies get stocked up). Then there were the growth spurts. These made him very fussy at the boob, crying and wriggling, even pulling! Lately, he has been stopping to look up at me half way through, giving him a milk facial! Okay, that is pretty funny! But the hardest part of all was feeling angry at myself that my milk was making him poorly; I’ve controlled his allergy by eating no dairy or soya at all, but it took almost three months to get this stage at it has been hard. Milk is in everything; gravy granules, wine and even some chorizo!
Speaking to other mothers and reading other experiences on the internet, a high percentage of them hinted at, or said, that things get easier at three months. Not here, it became harder. His eczema became worse, his reflux went into full force and he developed a bacterial infection followed by a urine infection, he was in and out the hospital and has probably seen more doctors than I have seen in my life! He was on three types of antibiotics in total, many many different creams and ointments. alongside his dairy and soya allergy we were managing at the time, it was all a bit manic. He wasn’t happy, it was very hard to see him like that. I, myself, had a few breakdowns, crying through his tears, wishing things would get better, that I had someone to help, that my husband wasn’t working the late shift. I felt alone and like I couldn’t cope; and I felt awful for even thinking that.
But we got through it, and that is the main thing. Other than his eczema and allergies things are much better, and it is this fourth month were things have started to get better. A lot more giggles and smiles, he is progressing fast and has started to put loads of weight on. Sleep is still a problem, but we are working on that.
They may not warn you how hard it is, but they also can’t express how much love you feel for your child, it is immense; and all worth it. I can’t wait for the future!
Here’s a photo for a cute touch!
How did you find your first few months as a parent? Let me know!