1. Breastfeeding is HARD! I took the class, read the book, and talked to my mom...but nothing prepared me for this. Hello oversupply! I could have feed twins (my freezer contains about 60 bags of extra frozen milk). I think everyone has a different story, but I truly believe breastfeeding is a journey and only the strong survive. If you can make it to 8-12 weeks, it gets SO much easier. I had a lot of issues at first (over supply, clogged ducts, breast infections), but I am so glad I stuck it out! Going to a breastfeeding support group was the best thing I ever did.
2. The baby blues are real. I haven't shared much of my story with this, but I definitely struggled with this. I cried a lot in the beginning and just over all felt depressed. Jude cried A LOT! The first 8 weeks were rough. I had a lot of guilt over feeling this way, but talking with others and reading up on this it is totally normal! Through prayer and time, the baby blues left!
3. Swaddling and White Noise. At first, I didn't think Jude liked being swaddled. He would try to fight it, but we persisted and he ended up loving it. He slept amazing when we swaddled him. White noise machines are amazing! We still use it. Babies love noise.
4. Your baby needs sleep! Babies don't come out of the womb knowing how to sleep. We have to train them! Watch for sleep cues (yawning and fussiness). Believe me, an overly tired baby is nearly impossible to get to sleep.
5. Don't compare your baby to other babies. Every baby is different and every parent does things differently. Be the mama God has called you to be! Do what works best for your family and your baby. We have found that Jude does best when he goes to bed early. I have lots of friends who have their babies staying up later, but hey that is what works for them.
6. Ask for help. This is a hard one for me. I want to be super mom and super wife and have a perfect house. At some point, you just have to relax and let some things go (still working on that one). Don't be afraid to ask your mom or friend to come over to help. Let people bring you meals and enjoy the pampering. You just birthed a child!
7. Don't spend money on newborn clothes. Baby pj's are your best friend for the first three months, especially ones that zip. When you are changing diapers in the middle of the night, the easier the better.
8. Enjoy your baby. The newborn stage goes so fast! Try to enjoy every second with that cuddly little baby. You never get those precious days back. Ok, now I am crying. :) The days may seem long, but the months fly.
Being a mama is the most wonderful gift from the Lord. I feel so overwhelming blessed that he entrusted me with Jude Wes.
So to all you mamas and future mamas out there, you are amazing!
* Photos by my sweet and wonderful friend Wendy (check out her AMAZING blog).