Newborn Memories

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(Me and My Teddy : Love)

My youngest sister Shenandoah had her first baby on October 9th; a boy named Teddy. I have other siblings and 8 nieces and nephews from them, but there was something special about this particular birth, probably because my sister was really my first baby.

She was born when I was 13 and I jumped into the “mommy’s helper” role right away. When I look back at it, I realize how important it was for me to have this early introduction to motherhood. Shenny was also a “needy” baby, so when Arizona was born 10 years ago and cried from dawn until dusk, I felt somewhat prepared.

Looking back on the newborn phase, I have to confess I was a hot mess. I had the baby blues and hemorrhoids and a propensity toward a short fuse. In other words, I hated it.

Here were my Top 3 Challenges :

  • Losing My Autonomy – there was an overwhelming, sinking realization that MY LIFE AS I KNEW it was over. It was a huge transition. I was no longer just responsible for myself; I had a child to take care of around the clock.
  • Sleep Deprivation – I was exhausted, but never slept during the day when Arizona slept. I felt like I had to do a million other things. And for what reason? NO good one. Sleep should always prevail. Operate from a full tank, mamas!
  • Worry & Anxiety – They send you home with this 2 day old baby; I mean, we’re just supposed to be experts? I never felt like I could do anything right. My confidence was shot. It was debilitating.

If I had to do it all over again (something I never had the chance to do), I would offer up this humble advice :

  • SLEEP – whenever you can; don’t worry about entertaining anyone else or doing the laundry. I spent so much time organizing visits from folks, thinking I needed to be around others all the time. Yes, they would bring food and keep me company, but it also made me have a SCHEDULE – taking a shower, getting ready, making sure baby Arizona and I were presentable. My favorite times were the non-scheduled days; just me and Arizona napping together, eating whenever we wanted, wearing sweats all day. It was a much needed break and took so much of the pressure off.
  • TRUST your gut / instinct; put the books down : YOU GOT THIS. You know much more than you think you know. Your body and your baby will guide you to do what’s best for both of you. Trust this.
  • Ask for  HELP : when you need it, ask for help – It’s okay to be vulnerable and needy from time to time. You can request help from neighbors, family, friends, doctors. If you’re feeling overwhelmed and can’t figure out how to get through each minute of the day, reach out to someone. It takes a village. Truly.

What advice would you give new parents? What worked for you and what didn’t?

2 Comments on “Newborn Memories

  1. Having my 3rd “newborn” this year, I can tell you it is MUCH different this time around. With my firstborn I felt all those things you felt. You have a million things to do, and even doing them when the baby naps, you just never seem to get through the never ending “to do” list. I also read so many books that gave me anxiety that I had to ensure he was doing everything he was supposed to do the exact month the book said he should. And sleep deprivation is NO JOKE. Having a newborn makes you realize how they can use sleep deprivation as a form of torture. Nothing or nobody can prepare you for how exhausted you will be. WIth my 3rd (& maybe having her at 40) I felt so much more relaxed. I had the experience to know that you won’t break them or drop them. I SLEPT as often as I could sneak it in, knowing that nothing else was as important (except maybe making it to one of my boys games) 🙂 I trust myself and I ask for help whenever I need it. I am blessed to have an incredible “village” that is always there when I need them. I also took so many more moments to let it sink in. To just snuggle her, and stare at her, and cherish her. Nothing else mattered and I knew just how fast this newborn phase goes by. Yes…I am still exhausted…and still wish I could log more gym time…but I am so much more appreciative and grateful for her everyday. Thanks for sharing your post and offering advice to new mama’s. It is the exact 3 things I would say to any new mom. You’ve got this! And when you feel that you don’t (and you will) ask for a break or for some help and take a minute for yourself 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • I LOVE it —- and, especially that you are living in the moment, embracing each memory … You make it look effortless, mama!! xoxoxo

      Like

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