Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Things no one tells you about having a baby

When you are pregnant, people give you lots of advice but they don't tell you things you actually need to know.

Here is my list of things I wish people told me:

1. Once you have your baby at the hospital there will be lots of people coming in and out of your room. They will poke your baby's foot to take blood. They will want to do hearing tests on your baby. They will want you to write down when your baby eats and has a dirty diaper. I was not prepared for absolutely no privacy and no alone time with my baby.

2. We said we were going to breastfeed on our birth plan with the hospital. What that meant for us was once baby was born, they watched you attempt to feed him every few hours even though your milk didn't come in yet. There is a chance your baby won't latch. Maybe you will try a nipple shield to get him to. Baby isn't getting much food yet and is hungry. What ended up happening for us was our baby lost too much weight. He also had slight jaundice. So this means he is hungry, losing weight, and his jaundice isn't getting better because of that. This turns into going to the pediatrician 2 days in a row when baby is just a few days old and needing to get your baby's weight back up.

3. You know you will bleed. But do you know for how long? 4 weeks later and it is still happening. It may stop but don't let that fool you, it will start back up a few times before it really stops for good.

4. Did you get a c-section? You will be in lots of pain. You will have an incision that takes time to heal. When you bend over or move too fast, it will sting. Even weeks later when it looks like it's healing well, you may find a white string on the end and think what is that!? Oh it's the dissolving stitches that didn't dissolve but instead poked out.

5. Baby may wake up every 2-2.5 hours at night. It will take about 30-45 minutes to feed, change, and sooth baby. This means you will get 1-1.5 hours of sleep at a time.

6. Napping during the day when baby naps? Sounds great in theory. But maybe you just spent 2 hours feeding, changing, soothing, playing with baby. Finally they fall asleep. You have an hour, maybe 2 hours of free time. Oh you didn't eat lunch yet. So let's eat. Then strap the pump to you to get some milk for later. Drink tea to help with milk production. Let the dog outside. Brush your teeth and wash your face. Oh no, time's up! Baby is ready for food and to be changed again. Sorry, no nap!

7. You plan on breastfeeding? That's great. But maybe baby won't latch. You both get frustrated. Let's pump! Oh you don't produce enough so you need to supplement with formula. It's okay! It's okay for baby to drink from a bottle. It's okay for baby to get some breast milk and formula.

8. The days go fast. Taking care of your baby takes up your whole day. And your day flies by because you are on call 24/7. You will probably forget what day it even is.

People tell you it will be amazing and the best thing you ever do. They are right. Having this baby boy with my wonderful husband will be the greatest accomplishment I will do in my lifetime.

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