Saturday, May 27, 2017

Life With A Newborn

Cecilia at 7 days
When I think about having a newborn, I think about sunshine and rainbows. I think about soft clouds and all kinds of cute things. And while babies are all those things, bringing home a newborn really isn’t like a walk in the park.

True, all they do is eat, sleep, poop! Sounds easy and boring right? Well, all throughout my pregnancy, I had been warned by family and friends who had kids one to four before me that I will never sleep again. Boy, were they right!

When our dear Cecilia was born, she was an angel. She barely cried and she was a natural latcher. She was the sweetest thing. We also hired a private nurse* to come in the evenings so that I could sleep when the baby didn’t need a feeding. This, plus she helped me in my quick recovery, made life so much easier. (For moms about to give birth, I highly recommend getting one.) And so I thought caring for her would be a breeze. Plus, she was so cute, how could such a cute face bring me trouble?

Taking her home was a different story. My husband and I didn’t know if we should take turns watching her sleep (we were paranoid that she might stop breathing if we both fall asleep). Then she would wake up crying and it would take almost an hour and half just to get her to stop. I realized that none of the books, classes, and articles could ever prepare a new mom for life with a child. Theoretically, I knew what to do. But with a crying baby in front of you, I felt lost. They say mother’s instinct just kicks in, but I had no idea what they were talking about. That and the fact that I was surviving on two to three hours of sleep. I couldn’t tell if my baby was crying because she was hungry or needed a diaper change. I just assumed she was always hungry.

It was a series of text messages between our pediatrician and myself. It turned out that the milk she was getting from me was not enough, so she recommended that I supplement her feeding with some formula milk, which I really didn’t want to do at first. (More about my journey with breast and formula feeding on another post.) It turns out that I gave birth to a child with a very hearty appetite, even to this day.
Sleeping on my chest

So I was right, she was hungry. One point for mommy! She rarely cried over a wet or poopy diaper. We just managed to guess if her diaper needed changing. And the rest of the time, she just wanted me to cuddle her and let her sleep on my chest.

Don’t get me wrong! I love my baby girl to pieces! But having a child comes with so many responsibilities that I never imagined possible. I learned along the way and am still learning about the joys of motherhood. And yes, I now understand what mother’s instinct means. It really just kicks in when the going gets tough. Somehow, you just know what needs to be done and you shouldn’t let other people dictate otherwise.

*For private nurses, I recommend Nightingale Nursing Services.
Contact number: +63 2 8131401

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