Being a mother is one of the most exciting things that has ever happened to me, motherhood is a process that teaches you skills and things about yourselves. There is no guidebook, nobody tells you how to be a mother, you just learn it along the way. You learn how to endure sleepless nights, wake up in the middle of the night to check on your child, how to cope with anxiety when your child has a fever. You give up your lifestyle that you may or may not go back again and you would definitely not be the same person anymore. It all starts with love. You love the small creature that once was part of you. You give life to someone that grows up into an amazing human being. It is the joys and perils of motherhood…
My motherhood adventure started exactly 3565 days ago, which is just above nine and a half years’ time. I had a normal, regular pregnancy, I had no difficulties until the day I went into labour. It was a natural and easy delivery but I had complications right after I delivered the baby. It was a condition that the placenta grew too deeply into the wall of the uterus. I didn’t know it back then but it was a life-threatening condition as I had too much blood loss after the delivery. The doctor had to remove the placenta surgically and I was lucky to have a careful doctor. I had to have blood transfusion and then I remember having an allergic reaction to the blood. In a nutshell, the early hours of motherhood were pretty traumatic as well as the days that were followed. I remember having upsetting emotions, a lot of sadness, disappointment, anxiety constant tiredness and a lot of crying. I was lucky enough to have all the help that I needed from my partner and family. When I think back now, I just wish there was someone telling me it will all be OK, it will pass like everything else and all the things in life that has a beginning also has an ending. This, then made me to create a list about all the things that I wish someone had told me before giving birth:
- You will suffer, not only at nights but also in everything that you do.
- Motherhood may not come to you naturally but you will learn it in your pace.
- Never compare yourself with anyone else. Everyone has different capabilities.
- Nursing can be difficult for some women, so you should get professional advice if you think you need one.
- You should find a group or an NGO that offers advice and support for new mothers, it does help to listen to the experiences of other mothers.
- Do not worry about your weight, you will have time to lose the weight later on. Yes, there will be people that may ask you if you are pregnant immediately after you give birth, just ignore them.
- Not all babies like to sleep. Some sleep less and that is OK. It doesn’t mean there is something wrong with you or with your baby.
- Babies need a routine, you should have a daily routine day and you should follow the same schedule for every day.
- A baby is totally dependent on you, and needs constant attention 7/24, try to get help if you can. Once you get help, use it wisely! You should rest once your baby is sleeping.
- You should not only take care of your baby but you should also take care of yourself too. A healthy mind necessitates a healthy body. Start mindfulness exercises, walking does help a lot to clear your mind.
- Indulge yourself whenever you can, read a book, watch your favourite film, get your hair done, do something, whatever it takes to take the miserable feeling away.
- Everything will pass, your baby will grow before you know it, so enjoy your baby as much as you can. Take many pictures, make memories, make videos, document your bond with your baby.
- You are not the only woman who suffers after delivering a baby. The majority of women experience at least some symptoms of the baby blues. Many new mothers experience sadness, or crying, anxiety, and a lot of them experience restlessness.
- Learn about the signs of post-partum depression and take them seriously, get help whenever you need to.
- Having a child is like being on a rollercoaster. There are ups and downs until you find your own pace. You should make peace with it, and it all shall be well…
- Motherhood is a process, you create life, you sustain life. Always remember, that is very, very powerful.