As I approached the birth of my son, I bought the clothes and the diapers and wipes and bottles and everything else I thought I could need. I was prepared...or so I thought. I had no idea that those first couple of weeks as a mother would be the toughest, most emotional ones of my life.
I felt an overwhelming amount of love and happiness for the baby, and at the same time I was also freaking out that I’d never heal, never sleep, or never feel like myself again! The first couple of weeks were definitely an emotional roller coaster. However, as many promised I would, I came out the other side.
After the first two weeks, I started to come out of the bubble that is new-motherhood. I became comfortable taking the baby out for a walk, my body started to feel like it was healing and I began to feel like I could once again enjoy life outside of the 4 walls of my living room. It really is true that the first two weeks are the hardest. It is such an adjustment for both your emotional and physical state. I have begun to refer to it as my "crazy two". As I reflect on those first two crazy weeks, here is what I have learned:
YOUR BODY NEEDS TIME TO HEAL: I had a C-section and wasn't fully prepared for the soreness that comes with that. I learned quickly that I needed help, both with the baby and with doing some things for myself, and I had to learn to accept it.
IT IS OK TO TAKE MEDICINE: A happy mommy means a happy baby. There are plenty of pain meds that are safe if you are nursing, so do what you need to in order to take care of yourself and be comfortable.
GO FOR A WALK: Getting out of the house and into the fresh air does so much for your mind and body. Just don't push yourself too much. Listen to your body and rest when you need to.
TRY A BELLY BELT (C-Section momma's): I had to ask for it, but I did get one in the hospital. The belt can keep your tummy tight and ease back pain since your back muscles are working hard to compensate while the stomach muscles are healing.
BREASTFEEDING IS HARD: Those that have an easy time love it, and those that have a difficult time don't. I tried to manage my expectations by telling myself it was ok if it didn't work for me. My little guy latched on quickly and easily, so I decided I would do what I could to make it work. I wasn't prepared for the pain and scary things that happened to my nipples. But, as many promised, I was able to work through the first two weeks of difficulty and we have now found our stride! (PS- two products that really helped me were the BREAST FRIEND pillow & Hydrogel Pads)
ONLINE SHOPPING: You will realize you forgot many things, or that you need to try something completely different than what you bought. Amazon Prime my friends!
MOMMY GROUPS: There are some great groups around town and it has been so helpful to meet other mom's going through the same thing. I have made a little group of friends to do things with during the day and no one gets annoyed when I want to talk about baby poop!
Good luck and congrats to any preggos or new moms!
Corinne Bracuto is a new mom to 10 week old Jake. She has lived in Hoboken for over 10 years, just finishing a big apartment renovation. She is the owner Love Letters Studio, a local business for stationary and custom goods.