Noting quite like the postpartum haze of sleep deprivation, cold tea, and mild anxiety…
It’s as if your whole world has been reduced to meeting your new baby’s needs: eat, sleep, change nappies, repeat… did I mention burp? Oh goodness… the JOY a new parent experiences when their little finally gets a wind up…
And the deep despair when they don’t.
These new tasks are something so simple and mundane, something anyone can read about, theorize over, even do for a day or three… but when it is continuous, when there is no other option but to attend to your child’s needs, it can be completely overwhelming and in all honesty a bit scary at times.
Child rearing is something that is so inborn and instinctual to human beings and yet we all struggle through this initial phase.
It doesn’t matter how much you know, or how much you have read, or learnt or researched, nothing can quite prepare you for the reality of poor concentration, lack of brain power and irrational thought that are part of the “no sleep package” that comes with newborning.
Random, slightly ridiculous thoughts I have experienced over the last month, that “pre mom Meg” would scoff at.
Why is J pooing so much?
Why hasn’t she poo’d today?
Why is she crying?
What is that strange grunting sound she keeps making?
What made her tummy so sore?
Did I eat something dodgy? Oh wait, I haven’t eaten at all?
What’s for dinner?
When will I Stop craving peanut butter?
Did I read that peanuts cause colic?
Should I google that again?
What remedy should I give her?
Is it ok if we just don’t bath her today?
Other paranoid experiences include poking my sleeping baby to quadruple check she is breathing and still alive, even though I just stuck my face to her mouth 10 minutes ago.
In and amongst this crazy whirlwind of “newborning” we seemed to have survived, despite thinking we may die.
Below are a few survival techniques that have helped us transition into this new phase:
1.Get organized- only something I started doing a couple days ago.
Have your stuff in place- and teach your people how to use it.
As a homeopath, working from home, my practice is a couple steps away from our room, which makes easy access to all the remedies anyone could ever need.
This however is not helpful, if you are looking for a remedy at 2am, dreary eyed and brain dead.
It is also not helpful to send your husband looking for remedies he doesn’t even know how to pronounce.
Here’s a tip: make a list of all the meds, remedies or survival techniques you use in the day, and then guide your partner on how it all works and where to find it all, so that come 2am, when babe is attached to your boob, you can send hubs to find needed remedy, and save the day, like the hero he is.
This leads me to my next point
2. you don’t have to be the hero. Dont think you have it all under control, you don’t, no-one does, that’s the joy and the wonderment of child rearing.
Instead of trying to do it all, tap into the help of your community, your Family, and your friends. Reach out to those people who offer to help, accept the tea, let them burp your babe, eat their home cooked meals. What ever you do, say YES to the help, and keep your people close. It takes a village, trust me, if I didn’t have someone with me right now, I wouldn’t be writing this blog.
3. On the flip side, don’t schedule in too many visitors in a day, people who don’t have newborns have busy lives, and when they bring their busy energy into your home, it can be exhausting for you, and very over stimulating for your little- and over stimulation leads to irritated nervous systems, windy tummys, and therefore a whole lot less sleep.
4. Invest in some form of a baby carrier, it is life changing. I only really got the hang of it around week 3, and it took a video tutorial with hubby on the first go, and a Couple clumsy attempts with my mom, and sister on the next few rounds, not to mention how I puzzled to do it on my own. Practice makes perfect with a wrap, and my suggestion, start practicing before your bundle arrives.
Last by not least… don’t google everything that comes to mind, Instead find one trusty advisor, and address all your concerns, questions and issues with them.
A solid relationship with an older woman you trust, will eliminate hours of wasted “googling”, double guessing and needless anxiety.
Which leaves me with my last thought..
The basis of all good relationships is based on trust.
First and foremost Trust yourself and your own child rearing instincts.
Trust your child to guide you, if you pay attention to them, if you really connect in to their needs they will tell you exactly what they want.
One thing I have learned over these last few weeks is that our newborns come with an intelligence far beyond our understanding.
They are still so new to this Earth, and still deeply in tune with their pure, abundant spirituality.
What a privilege it is to bear witness to this, and to be changed forever by their guidance, and complete trusting love.
Newborning is exhausting, but everyone knows that…
Newborning is equally wonderful as we develop beautiful relationships built on love and trust.
In 4 short weeks I have experienced growth and change far beyond any other life event or challenge.
Newborning has given me the opportunity to transition from womanhood to motherhood, a sacred journey I am blessed to experience, and I choose to wear my new dark rings, milk stains, and soft postpartum body with pride.