Our little miracle, Mabel, was born exactly on her due date. I’m glad someone’s in control here… and I do appreciate her punctuality, a good quality I hope she will keep 😊. She’s definitely calling the shots here now by taking over our lives and the whole responsibility still scares me and I feel I’m being challenged on a whole new level.Nothing prepares you for motherhood and all you can do is trust any instincts you may have and just go with the flow. There is no point forcing a routine or rules on a newborn, she’s the boss for now and I simply have to accept it. Maybe that’s why I’m finding it all quite difficult – I’m an organised person, no control freak, but I like when things happen how they’re supposed to, according to plan. Well… that plan just went out of the window.
She’s now seven weeks old, which doesn’t sound like a long time, but because I’ve learnt to take it one day at a time and try not to worry too much about what might happen next week or month, it feels like the longest month + ever. The first few weeks I must have cried as much as she did (luckily she doesn’t cry that much!) and I really was quite a hormonal mess. Funnily enough they weren’t all desperate tears, quite often I would have cried because I just felt I had so much love to give, to her, to my husband and to our cat. And then I worried about everything, I kind of still do. Is she getting enough milk, why isn’t she sleeping, why is she crying now? The list of concerns goes on and on and on. My Google search history reveals all possible scenarios that newborns might be going through.
If I read something that our newborn doesn’t quite do yet (settle herself to sleep for example) then I just accept that each baby is unique and has their own rhythm and own developmental path. As much as I’d like her to just fall asleep as soon as I put her down in her cot, it’s simply not going to happen yet. So we’re rocking her and shushing her and walking her in the pram as 9 times out of 10 she sleeps there!
Sleep… That’s always the main thing that we want our babies to master! I mean, sleeping through the night, that is. Well, they feed every few hours so she’s definitely not giving us a full night’s sleep yet. The longest stretch has so far been eight hours and we were amazed by that. We had to check a few times she was still breathing :). That’s just been a one-off right now. I get annoyed though if the first thing people ask whether she’s sleeping through the night yet. Mostly they’ve been people without kids themselves so I don’t feel the need to explain why she doesn’t do that yet. I can function quite well with broken sleep that adds up to 5-7 hours per night as it’s better than a completely sleepless night and we haven’t had those yet.
Earlier I cuddled Mabel because she was so fussy and cranky and wouldn’t fall asleep. Then I left her on our bed to go to the bathroom thinking that surely she’ll just continue crying. Came back after two minutes to find her asleep! Maybe she can randomly self-soothe?! Then I cried because I was mad at her for not sleeping :(. Then I cried that our cat is jealous when I constantly hold Mabel and rock her and he feels he doesn’t get enough love and attention anymore. Oh, I’m still such a mess!
I apparently do all those ‘wrong’ things they say that you shouldn’t carry on doing – like nursing and rocking her to sleep. Well… these are one of the few things that really work and for my sanity I’m doing it. I say I a lot… at times I feel like a single parent because my husband travels a lot so yes… I do a lot on my own, which is why I’m more overwhelmed and worried and at times quite stressed as I feel I don’t get anything done daytime when she doesn’t nap well, she’s a catnapper. But at least she gives me sleep at nighttime, which is probably more important.
So, one day at a time. Take each day and night as it comes and don’t worry too much. I’m saying this more to myself still but if that’s an advice to any new mum then it’s true. It’s best not to over analyse, over Google 🙂 and just go with the flow. It’s hard, it’s so bloody hard but we can do it!!! I’m almost in tears when writing that…