My sweet Emiliana has reached 9 weeks and boy has it gone fast! When I look back at pictures from 2 months ago, I can’t believe how much she has grown and how different she looks already. I’m taking this time now to reflect on these past 2 months to write about what I’ve learned in my personal parenthood journey.
Emi is my first child, so I had no idea what to expect during the postpartum period or what I was in for and how much I didn’t know! Maybe it’s because many women always act like they have everything together and don’t like to admit any struggles. Or maybe the women who have gone through this have since blocked it out. But nobody warned me about the crazy hormonal changes you go through post birth. When I got home from the hospital, I felt like I could not regulate my emotions at all. Everything was making me cry, and this went on for a good two weeks and then all of a sudden, I started feeling like myself again. All I can say is that heightened emotions and a lack of sleep can really start to get to you, now I am lucky that this went away after the two weeks. When I looked into it, I found that the “baby blues” is actually quite common, and that when it goes on past 2 weeks this is when it can be postpartum depression. You should always consult with your doctor if you are having these feelings or having heightened anxiety as everyone’s experience after birth is different
Now this might seem silly to most, especially to seasoned parents’, but I had no idea that babies (or at least my baby) don’t just “fall asleep” when they are tired. I can’t even tell you how much we struggled and still struggle with Emiliana’s sleep. She gets tired, and often overtired, and needs rocking and bouncing and butt pats to even start to get her body into a more regulated sleep state. It’s definitely been a process and her sleep patterns have greatly improved from the early days (thank God), but I’m happy to say that when she goes down at night she can usually stay asleep for about 6 hours now. Daytime naps are a whole different story, as she is only able to nap if she is being held by someone. Every day, I try to do at least one nap in her bassinet or her pak and play, she will be completely asleep, and I carefully lay her down only for her to wake up 5 minutes later and for me to have to restart the whole rocking process again. At this time the most I can get to her to stay asleep in these spaces is 45 minutes. This is something I will have to continue to work on because it doesn’t give me much time to get anything done. In fact, I am currently writing this while baby wearing her in my Boppy Comfy Fit Hybrid Carrier.
As a new parent, half the time you feel like you have no idea what you’re doing, and you worry about every little thing. This only becomes more difficult when you are bombarded with conflicting information from various sources. Sabino and I found that when questions would arise, we were given varying answers from different pediatricians, nurses, lactation consultants, family members and friends. For these issues that were not medically based we came to the realization that we were also the experts as parents’ and that we needed to do what worked best for our family. Every baby is different, and what works for one baby may not work for another. A lot of parenting seems to be trial and error and both you and your baby will learn together how to navigate the hard issues. What helped us the most was trying to read her cues and figure out what she was trying to tell us. Every day is different, some harder the others, but at this point I am beginning to feel much more confident with her
As new parents or old parents we all need to cut ourselves some slack and take it day by day. We need to cherish the special moments, as they go by so quickly. In the end, the laundry and dishes can wait a little bit while I get in my extra baby snuggles. There will come a time when she won’t want to or need to take her naps on me, and I know I will have no regrets.
What surprised you about the postpartum period?
Did you have any methods that worked with you to get your baby to sleep?