This past Saturday we signed up and took a meal to a couple who just had their first baby. My husband had to take the meal inside because I was in the car feeding the baby. He came back out and said they were asking for tips and advice. My heart went out to them because I remember my first year as a mom all to well.
I sent her an email and I wanted to share the letter that I wrote.
I know how it feels to be a bit lost when it comes to your first born. I used to think that being a wife and a mother would be something I was great at and something that would come naturally. Some of it does come naturally, but for me, most was something I had to learn to do.
I can't tell you how to exactly do things because you have to do what works for you and your baby. What I can do, is tell you what I learned and give you some encouraging words,
First, I learned that babies, especially newborns, are moody little creatures. Only content for a short period of time. Don't take it personal. Your doing the best you can. You are both still learning each other.
Also, at least for the first three few weeks, sleep when he does. It sounds really cliche but you have to remember that you are still recovering. Please do not put yourself at risk for the baby blues, postpartum depression, or severe bleeding. All three happened to me and it was horrible. It's simply not worth it. I took it very easy with my second born and had none of thee above happen.
As far as his sleeping, it could be a number of things. Gas, a touch of colic(our son has colic, but starting to get better) He may want to suck on a passy, walk around some, or simply be hungry. I do not have my son on a feeding schedule. I feed when he is hungry and however much he wants to eat. I had my first one on, every two hours, every three hours, etc... I still check the time to see when his last meal was so I can see if he may be fussing because he's hungry. I know that for my newborns, the first few weeks really was every two hours and that goes by so fast. It's already been two hours!! Haha..
I am no text book mom. I found that when I looked in text books, they would tend to make me feel inadequate as a mom. I'm not saying that they don't have some good tips to try, but at the end of the day, it's about what works for you and your baby and that takes time. The first few months, you can't put them on a schedule. We are on their time. A schedule will soon develop and you guys will set that tone together. Trust me. Some days it will feel like there is no end in sight. It can be frustrating and that's ok also, but know that all to soon, it will be a distant memory:) We live our lives faster than we realize, a baby truly makes you stop and smell the roses.
I am not afraid to tell you, that I cried my eyes out this past week. I was frustrated. I hadn't had a shower in a couple of days, washed my hair in three, my house was a mess. All I wanted was to brush my teeth, wash my face, and put on some deodorant! My husband was gracious enough to watch the baby for most of the day yesterday so I could get some things accomplished.
I know it is ok to have those days and there will be many more to come, but that is all part of being a mom. Always remember that you are never alone in your struggle to get it right. I have to tell you, most times, I don't get it right. When the day has come and gone, I'm all over here like, supper is not cooked, my hair is a mess, I could fall asleep on rocks, but guess what honey!?!? The kids are alive!! Haha..
I have lots more to say on this topic and I wouldn't mind discussing it with you. Maybe I can come over one day or you can send me an email.
I saved the best for last because this is most important. Pray. Asked the Lord to help you, to sustain you. He will send you rest. This is a great time to draw him near to you. I found myself on my knees the other day, begging for him to guide me. He is most faithful and always pulls me through.
I am real, raw, and nothing surprises me, so if you have any questions or need to talk about anything, just let me know. If you need anything at all, just let me know!