Motherhood and What I Wish I Had Known

Baby boy is two months old today! Everyone told me time would fly by and it really is so true, I can’t believe how fast he is growing up! How is he 2 months old already!? I remember the day I bought this onesie - I remember thinking how tiny it was and being in awe that I was going to be a mother to such a tiny little human. The crazy thing is it just now fits my sweet mills and is still a tad too big! It never occurred to me that my baby boy could be even smaller than the tiny newborn onesies I was so lovingly collecting. Being a first time mama is full of surprises - here are a few of the things I've learned over the past 2 months that I wish I had known :

You can go into early labor and have a preemie for no reason. Throughout my pregnancy, doctors told me that I would probably deliver late since it was my first pregnancy and many of my friends were late with their first pregnancies and so that’s what I prepared for. Sure I knew that wasn't a guarantee but it never occurred to me that I could go into early labor for no reason - not stress, not drugs or alcohol, not an illness or genetics. No matter how healthy you are, how easy your pregnancy or how great your checkups it can happen to you and it's not your fault. The good news is that if it does you will be a part of a special group of preemie parents who share a unique bond from experiencing something so raw and emotional and they will offer incredible support and understanding. 

Postpartum dressing is a bitch - prepare yourself. I survived my jeans no longer fitting, my breasts getting huge, my feet outgrowing all my shoes and all of the awkward wardrobe changes of pregnancy. What I was not prepared for was how tricky and frustrating postpartum dressing would be. If you’re breastfeeding everything must have easy access to the tatas - this means dresses are out unless you want to nurse in the nude with your dress pulled up to your neck (which I’ve definitely done...). Tops are fine but nothing strapless because lord knows the boobs can’t handle a strapless bra and watch out for buttons or fabric that will be rough against babies face. And what about bottoms, what bottoms do you wear with these tops when you’re no longer your pregnancy weight but nowhere near your pre-pregnancy weight - nothing tight or restricting that's for sure! Even pajamas are tricky now that you have to sleep in a bra- gotta have something to hold your breast pads in place so you don’t leak all over your sheets. Suddenly the stretchy jersey dresses I swore by in pregnancy are a nightmare and nothing pre-pregnancy seems to fit quite right. Whatever you do do not try on your pre-pregnancy jeans - just don’t do it! I’ve spent a small fortune on nursing bras, sleep bras, soft lounge wear that is comfy for being at home but normal enough if I need to get out of the house. It’s never ending so start early with pieces you can enjoy during and after pregnancy.

You’ll have a love hate relationship with your postpartum body. On one hand this incredible body created, birthed and is now providing all of the nutrients to sustain this tiny human! You know when it’s time to feed baby based on the sensation in your breasts alone and have the power to calm and soothe your baby just by your presence. On the other hand you’re constantly leaking milk and squishy all over, you’re sore and different and you’ll hate the way you look in pictures. Try to be gentle with yourself and know that you will feel like yourself again eventually (at least that’s what they tell me...). Try to focus on all that this amazing female body is doing for baby and be proud!

The mom guilt starts immediately and never stops. For me it started during pregnancy - am I exercising enough, am I eating healthy enough, am I doing enough kegels, reading the right books? When I went into preterm labor my first thought was what did I do to cause this? Now that he’s here I wonder am I present enough? Did something I eat cause his gas? Am I holding him too much? Should I have more of a schedule? Is he gaining enough weight? Is it bad if I have a glass of wine? On and on and on. I was warned about mom guilt but I didn’t realize how much uncertainty would go along with it. Thankfully I have an incredible, supportive husband and amazing girlfriends who have new babies that share the honest truth about the ups and downs of motherhood. We’re constantly asking each other advice and sharing our mom fails and hacks and it’s so nice to know you’re not alone in this. Find your Mom tribe and be honest with them always.

Motherhood so far is such a wonderful, exhausting, beautiful experience. Mills is showing me a new kind of love that I've never known before. Our 8 lb 7 oz boy makes eye contact with us now, grabs onto us with his strong little arms and fists, raises his little head and looks around during tummy time and even rolled over front to back a couple of times!! He loves to stretch out in his crib and watch his mobile and I love seeing him learn and grow every single day. Happy 2 months baby Mills! Thank you for teaching me how to be a mama!

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