Wednesday, July 31, 2013

The HONEST TRUTH About the First Month With A New Baby.

By now, I'm sure that most (or all) of you recognize Aliya from Double the Fun Blog. She is one of my real life besties, and Momma to real life Irish twins! We have been through so much together, and I just knew that her 'honest truths' about life with a new baby would be hysterical, and perfect for both myself and my readers. Enjoy!

Hello, Our Love Nest readers! For those of you who don't know me, my name is Aliya and Pam and I have been good friends for years and years. (In fact... funny story. Not sure if she's ever shared this one - sorry Pammie! LOL. Her and I met because our college boyfriends were (and still are) best friends. After Pam and her bf broke up, we just loved each other so much we stayed in touch and the rest is history!) We roomed together after college, were in each other's weddings and she has been there for me through the births of both my babies. I cannot WAIT to love all over Gavin the way she's been an Auntie to my kiddies!

Anyway, I digress. I am here today because I blog over at Double The Fun where I ramble on about raising two little munchkins who are exactly one year apart. Yep, you read that correctly and it is not a typo! My kiddies are 2 and 1 and they have the exact same birthday.

Now some might call that amazing, crazy and a downright coincidence. I, however, call it completely insane and wouldn't necessarily recommend having two babies that close in age if you can avoid it. (Let's just say the little one was a happy surprise.)

With that said, this is the first summer in 3 years that I haven't had a newborn attached to my boob so suffice to say, I learned a lot about them pretty quickly. I mean, even people with twins or triplets (which is obviously harder than Irish Twins.. but not by much, if I had to guess), only go through the newborn phase for 3 months, right? I went through it twice in one year. So thats 6 months of almost back-to-back newbornness. That is a LOT of crying, late-night feedings and mustard-colored poo, if you know what I mean. In fact, I'm exhausted just thinking about it. But the GOOD news is that I learned a thing or two (hopefully) about bringing home baby from the hospital. And thats what I'm going to share with you lucky folks today.

I apologize in advance if this is too brutally honest or TMI and I hope not to scare off any preggos or first timers, so stop reading if you're squeamish... but either way, too late for you now! Bwahahah ;)

The Top 10 Things No One Tells You About Your First Month (or so) With Baby

1. You will bleed. A lot. 
I am starting with this one because generally, it happens first. I'm just going to say it.. having a baby basically destroys your lady parts. I mean, just say goodbye to your vagina because it will never, ever be the same. Whether you give birth naturally or via C-Section, you will basically have your period for a month. Stock up on pads, granny panties, and for the love of god do not wear white jeans even if it is Memorial Day Weekend. (Yep, rookie mistake right here, folks).

2. Breastfeeding is not for the faint of heart. 
I didn't know what to expect with breastfeeding. I never even took a class. In my young, naive, first time mom mind, I was all, "Whatever, the cave women did it. So can I." (which, by the way... was the first person who discovered breastfeeding a total weirdo or what?). Anyway, if I can give you any advice it would be TAKE A CLASS. I know its "natural" but it is not as innate as you might think. Almost everyone I have talked to always had SOME kind of issue - engorgement (guilty), under producing, over producing, latching problems, inverted nipples, sour milk, etc... Take a class and talk to a lactation consultant. And, it's exhausting in the beginning. You burn 1,000 calories a day for a reason.. your body is constantly working to produce and until you get used to it, its incredibly draining. I can't tell you how many times I straight up passed out and woke up with breastmilk squirting in baby's eye. Also, it hurts like a bitch the first few weeks. You've been warned.

3. Your Boobs. 
If you thought your changing vagina was depressing, just wait for the magic that happens with your breasts. I mean, when you are breastfeeding they will look AMAZING, but they will also have hard spots and your nipples will bleed and then when you're done breastfeeding you can basically throw them over your shoulder like a continental soldier. I am still mourning the loss of my once perky boobs, but hey, my husband doesn't seem to mind and he's all that matters, right?

4. Hormones = Blood, sweat and tears. Literally. 
We mentioned the blood above, but I also was a total mix of hot and cold all. the. time. The first month or so, I would wake up at 3AM in a pool of my own sweat, no matter how many fans I had on me. After being an incubator for 9 months, there is definitely an adjustment period to get your body back to "normal." And, every little thing made me cry. EVERYTHING. Running out of K-Cups, commercials for pet adoption, spilling a cup of water, misplacing my keys. Everything. Hot mess. 

5. Sleep. Or, lack thereof. 
You knew I was going to say it, right? "Sleep when the baby sleeps!" Yea, it's a great idea in theory and I was all about it, too. But when the baby sleeps? There is laundry. And cleaning. And cooking. And, you know, taking a poop without a newborn staring at you. So I won't tell you to sleep when they sleep if you are as OCD as I am. But I will say... definitely rest. Watch some TV and put your feet up. Because while you eventually get used to the few hours of sleep you're getting at night, you're going to be miserable unless you cut yourself a break.

6. You can't break the baby. I promise. 
I have held probably twenty-two gazillion babies in my lifetime, and thats not an exaggeration. But when you bring your own baby home from the hospital, it's true - you freak about e v e r y t h i n g. Is he eating enough? Sleeping enough? Did I leave a blankie in his crib?! Does that poop seem off-color? When was the last time he peed? Is it cold in here? IS HE COLD?!?! I'll give you a free pass on this because it's basically a new mom rite of passage and totally normal. But I assure you... your baby is fine. Because, TRUST... s/he will let you know when he's not. 

7. Everyone is all of a sudden a baby expert. And by "everyone," I mean my mother.
Your neighbor, your post man, your cousin-in-law, your boss' wife. YOUR MOTHER. The person who wrote this blog post. Everyone will tell you what THEY know and what worked for them. I will never forget how when we were in the hospital with Baby #1, he got the hiccups and my mom asked the nurse for a bottle of water. The nurse looked horrified and told my mother we don't give babies water until they are 6 months old. My mom didn't understand because, you know, "We gave babies water all the time! What is she talking about?!" Guess what mom? Times a changin'. I realized she might need a baby update for the 21st century when she suggested putting the car seat in the front seat. I know, crazy right? There were several times my mom gave me the, "You know, I raised two kids and they turned out FINE" speech and by the end I was just so annoyed I bought her this book. It helped us both out wonders with little questions and random information for the most up-to-date answers on having a baby today.

8. Let's talk about sex (baby)
I have three things to say about sex after baby, so listen close. 
A: It hurts like a MOTHER. (Now you know where that expression comes from). You'll feel like you are losing your virginity all over again. Do yourself and your hubby a favor and invest in some KY Jelly. You can send thank you letters to aliya{dot}rinaldi{at}gmail{dot}com
B: It won't feel GREAT. Not the first time, not the second time, not even the fourth time. Aside from the pain, you will probably be self-conscious about your "new" body, your breast-feeding boobs will be sensitive/annoying and maybe even leak in his face. (That didn't happen to me, I'm JUST giving a hypothetical...) and your body/areas will be a little off kilter at first. Ease into it. He'll understand. 
C: THIS IS THE MOST IMPORTANT ONE. Are you ready? You still ovulate, and therefore, can still get pregnant while you're breastfeeding. Did you know that?!?! Yea. I didn't. Use a condom unless you want to become the next contributor for my Irish Twins blog.

9. It's OK to feel however it is you want to feel. Except guilty. 
If you're tired, rest. If all you want to do is sit on the couch and hold your baby, then do it. If all you want to do is put your baby in the swing so you can take a shower, then do that. Don't feel like making dinner? Order pizza. Want to sleep more than 4 hours at a time? Pump and ask your Hubs to take a night feeding. The first month is all about survival. It's going to take that long to get used to your new normal and that is OKAY. Do NOT feel guilty because you haven't cooked in two weeks, taken a shower in four days, or can't remember the last time you have brushed your teeth. If you're alive and your baby is healthy and happy, you're doing your best and that's all that matters.

10. It will be the best, most amazing, draining, emotionally high, exciting, scary month of your life. 
And it is totally worth it. And just like everyone says? You'd do it all again. In a second.


Amanda said...

I have a friend with irish triplets! I don't know how she does it because I'm scared to death to have just one baby.

This post was amazing by the way and I was laughing the entire time!

Anonymous said...

This post was perfect and so true. I love #9 the most!

Sarah said...

best. post. ever!

Jessica Bauer said...

LOVE. THIS. POST. Awesome writing, Aliya!! Also, all of the above is my life right now. Thank you for validating my crazy! I'm struggling the most with #9 even on my third babe. Reading that was made me okay with the fact that my boys and I are watching cartoons, eating cereal out of the box, and holding a sleeping baby while the house is a disaster zone. Thank you! ;)

Lauren said...

GREAT guest post! Found a new blog to read! :)

Lynette said...

Such a great and honest post! I definitely wish I could have read this before I became a Momma! At least I know now that when baby is about 3 months old, you may not forget all the pain and craziness, but it will move to a little corner of your brain and only surface when people ask what it was like to give birth. :)

Lizzie @ This Happy Life said...

Ahhh hahaha LOVE this post!! I related to every single topic you discussed :)

Morgan said...

Great honest post!!! I don't think you put enough emphasis on breast feeding is no joke. You have to be 100% dedicated or it will suck. My little guy has slept 6 hrs+ at night since we brought him home. That doesn't mean I get to sleep, gotta pump. And you literally plan your life around feeding/ pumping...but it truly is amazing.

Unknown said...

your the best writer! I love reading your blog everyday. amazing:)

Sarah said...

love. this. girl! This is what we all need! People to tell us how it really is!

Jessica Hrouda said...

Most awesomest post ever! Happy Birthday to Gavin, and thank you Aliya for keeping it real. Love the "hurts like a mother" :)

[darci @ the good life] said...

Oh my gosh ---- all so very, very true!! I couldn't help but laugh at several of them... it's funny what you kind of block out of your memory until you read / hear about it again!

Thank God that babes are so very worth it because the work to get them here and in a routine is no joke! :)

And congrats on precious little Gavin..... I'm certain you are enjoying these days!! Sleep deprived and all! It only gets EASIER from here! Unless you get knocked up in a month or two that is. ;) ;) ;)

Sneakers & Stilletos said...

So true and SO funny!!! #9 is my fave!

Unknown said...

this post is awesome. hysterical and SO true!! Love it. And Aliya, if you ever want to see the difference between Irish twins and twins, I have 2 we could make that happen! ;) Great post!

Ileana @ Illy Who said...

This is hilarious and so true!!! I honestly laughed out loud more than a few times. I found another blog to follow.