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What you wish you were told before baby #1


66 replies to this topic

#51 Theboys&me

Posted 22 January 2014 - 08:05 PM

One other thing, please, please, please speak up if you don't "feel right" Mentally. Please don't be embarrassed and ashamed as you think you should be feeling 100% elated because you have a wonderful new baby.

I was so embarrassed to say something was wrong and i speculated I had pnd which prolonged treatment which really prolonged recovery. I knew something wasn't right on day 2 in hospital but was embarrassed to talk to anyone.

Just remember drs have seen and heard it all before so *please* talk to someone if you think you need help.

#52 Kaps_99

Posted 22 January 2014 - 08:12 PM

Oh gosh, where to start! Sorry, I suspect this will be long winded ;-)

IN PREGNANCY

* There are so many random pregnancy symptoms. First time around I stressed about every niggle and pain, but learnt that just about *everything* is considered a normal pregnancy symptom! Trying to stress less this time :-)

* If you are working now, consider allowing yourself a decent amount of time off before baby arrives. I had 4 weeks...then baby arrived a fortnight early! Your life is about to change drastically. Get your feet up, watch movies, sleep, spend some time with friends, go to the cinema, have a few low-key date nights with your partner... these are things that you won't have much chance to do for quite a while!

* Have a birth plan, but be prepared for it going out the window during your labour. My labour was nothing like what I'd planned and hoped for, and I spent some time resenting how it had worked out. Now, with longer hindsight, I realise that it could have been SO much worse. But I also think it's okay to 'grieve' for the experience you wish you'd have; I found that I really wanted to talk about my labour a lot as it was really cathartic.

* Do your pelvic floor exercises! And do them properly, so that you actually feel quite knackered after them (like doing any kind of set of exercise at the gym). And if you are offered an opportunity to see a physio at the hospital after the birth, go along. If your pelvic floor is weakened / damaged, you can really get excellent help through physio. I had 6 mo of physio, and now feel my p.f. is pretty good, and I know how to exercise it effectively when it gets weakened again.

WHEN BABY ARRIVES

* The mid-wives on my maternity ward offered to take my baby to the nursery for a couple of hours so I could sleep. I declined, but regretted it for days! Get sleep whenever you can and accept help when it's offered.

* When my milk came in I spent two days feeling totally out of it and spacey. I had no idea what was going on, but when the MCHN visited she told me it's a normal reaction to milk coming in. Was so glad she said that, as I felt stoned and so weird! Found getting into fresh air helped.

* You may not feel like having sex for a while. QUITE a while! Everyone is different, but if you have tearing or an episiotomy, sex could be painful or uncomfortable for many months. This was my experience, and I felt horrible about it, but wish I hadn't put pressure on myself. Things do go back to normal eventually (perhaps a 'new' normal, but still good!). Again - physio can help with this too.

* Enjoy the long hours of sitting on the couch feeding your newborn. When you have a busy, busy toddler who won't sit still long enough for a cuddle you will look back on those snuggly, cuddly days and smile :0)

* Keep a record of baby's milestones, first words, smiles, sleeping patterns, funny habits, first food etc. I didn't keep a diary as such, but jotted down things as they happened. It's amazing how quickly you can forget what seems so monumental at the time!

* As others have said. "This too shall pass" should be your mantra on those long days when you feel desperate. Things really do get easier and easier, and you will sleep again. Oh, and you'll probably go back for another one, so that's saying something ;-)

* If you're breastfeeding, encourage baby to take a bottle of ebm from early on, and *keep* offering it regularly (once or twice a week, say). It allows you to take a couple of hours off if someone can feed the baby. DS took a bottle at first and then we stopped offering, and he began to refuse! Ended up going straight to a sippy cup.

Good luck! Glad to be sharing this journey with you all

#53 ~JASB~

Posted 22 January 2014 - 09:46 PM

View Postperpectual_sound, on 21 January 2014 - 09:27 PM, said:

Thanks for all your imput so far ladies!

Just as a disclaimer RE the Maxi-rider car seat - my baby ended up taking after me in the growth department (I'm 4'11") and stayed a pipsqueak - we ended up hiring the capsule until he was 10 months and 9kg which was when we put him in the Maxi-rider.
That's cool, but just remember now it's all about height, not weight.  Still much safer to rear face beyond 12 months, until their shoulders reach the height markers.  A maxirider is a huge seat for small babies.  Great seat for toddlers though :)

#54 M!ssy

Posted 22 January 2014 - 11:40 PM

Great thread perpectual_sound.

Most of my lessons have been covered, but for me worthy of a mention is how painful breastfeeding was for me in those first weeks. It really took me by surprise. We were doing everything right, but omg it hurt. A week or so later the pain disappeared and it was fine.

#55 Perpetual Sound

Posted 23 January 2014 - 02:32 PM

I agree with everyone who has said to not spend so much time fixated on what the birth is going to be like. By the time you hit the 37 week mark you will be SO ready to have your baby that you will be relieved when labour starts. Labour is only a few hours to maybe 2 days in your whole life.... learn more about the first 6 weeks of your baby's life when you and DP are functioning in survival mode.

Even if you are told "you'll probably deliver early" DO NOT listen to this - it makes time go terribly slowly until your baby does arrive! The OB told me at 28 weeks to pack my bags because "the baby will come at any minute" and I ended up going to 40 weeks + 10 days!!! I only went into labour when I finally gave up and had resolved myself to the fact that I was going to be pregnant forever.

If you watch shows like One Born Every Minute, it might be an idea to stop watching them... ESPECIALLY the American version where they have spotlights on the women's vajajay and pull the babies out!! Yes its lovely watching it for that moment of complete bliss when the baby arrives, but mostly the footage of women in labour don't do much to help stem any fears you might have. That goes for reading birth stories too - unless they explicitly say that they're a wonderful and positive experience that you can gain confidence from, don't bother...  NO two experiences are going to be the same and you have very little control in labour... the one thing you can take ownership of and control is your fear.

#56 Ellie bean

Posted 23 January 2014 - 02:38 PM

Great thread OP. since you mentioned acid reflux, I just wanted to say that even if you hit the jackpot and get a recliner the second time too, it is easier to cope with second time round in my experience :)

Great thread OP. since you mentioned acid reflux, I just wanted to say that even if you hit the jackpot and get a recliner the second time too, it is easier to cope with second time round in my experience :)

#57 WTFJerk

Posted 23 January 2014 - 02:57 PM

Haven't read any of the pps, I'd have a document, signed by myself and DH with the following questions (and there would be more but these were the two major probs we had)

Who is getting up to the baby during the night to be shared?  
Does this change while DH is at work?
Weekends?
Holidays?

What action will you take when it is time for dw to return to work and baby/toddler is still not sleeping at night and dw is a zombie?


#58 WTFJerk

Posted 23 January 2014 - 03:46 PM

And generally I'd put more emphasis on the mental health side of things:

Isolation
Career envy
Not earning & "contributing" to household finances
What is PND, recognising it and treating it.

#59 Fizgig

Posted 23 January 2014 - 04:14 PM

Some-one mentioned visitors once you are home. I made biscuits and muffins and froze them for when people visited. It was great because I didn't have to think about anything like that with a squalling infant.

My big tip is: make sure your partner (if you have one) gets experience in putting bub to sleep - however you choose to do that (except breastfeeding of course!). My DH would take longer to put our DD to sleep than me and after about 10 mins of her crying, when I knew I would be able to do it with less crying, I would take over. Then I just did it all the time because it was easier for all of us. Now she struggles to go to sleep for him and refuses to have him resettle her during the night. I will not be doing this next time!

#60 Kathtan

Posted 23 January 2014 - 04:25 PM

This is not to do with the conception of number 2 but I wish I had known beforehand.

If you are breastfeeding you can still fall pregnant (we all know this but sometimes it doesn't click).  When you do your milk can drastically drop off. My milk just suddenly dropped off for which I could see no reason. I was in tears and we just decided to put our DS on formula. If I had known I was pregnant I would have gone to see a lactation consultant to increase my milk again. It's been 3-4 weeks now and my milk has completely gone which I regret.

#61 crazilysane

Posted 27 January 2014 - 08:21 AM

Twoinaboat - I did the first year of waking then once weaned, dh did any waking after that.
Find a network of SAHMS before you have bub to connect with once you have bub.  I was the first to have a baby in my friendship group and did feel isolated at first but then I found other parenting friends and I was fine.
Sleeplessness is just something you'll have to live with. Your life will slow down to accommodate this.  Be easy on each other if they get snappy because they're tired.


To everyone, my best bit of advice is if you have stitches post birth, a light blow 'down there' with the hair dryer after showers will help heal quicker.  Also nice on your nipples if they are getting too moist.



#62 José

Posted 27 January 2014 - 11:52 AM

I think the best thing that can come from a thread like this is the knowledge that there is a wide range of normal experiences.

IMO there is no comprehensive list that is tailored for an individual.  For example,  the op said fainting is normal.  For me fainting indicated significantly low iron,  so not normal.
Also some things I have read as what to expect I didn't experience,  so didn't need to spend time worrying about it or wondering if I was normal because I did not experience the things on the list.

So,  just know there is a wide range of normal and ask your health professionals if you have any questions.

#63 DecafJane

Posted 27 January 2014 - 02:20 PM

If you can afford it, and you are going to use an electric pump, buy that double pump and half your pumping time. (I had a SCN baby so I pumped from the start. Knowing what to do in advance would have been very helpful, I hadn't even LOOKED at electric pumps and the other mums in the SCN gave me so much good advice. The other lady who had her second bub on the same night as I had DD went and hired a double pump because this was her second and she knew what she was in for after pumping with her first. Ah, hindsight.
)
Oh, and expect the cat to smell fresh milk, run into the room and then act traumatised at the source of that milky smell.

And be forgiving of yourself about the things you thought you would do before having a baby, and the things you actually do. Don't spend too much money until you actually know you are about to need something.

And yes, it gets better. The first couple of months are incredibly hard. But it gets better really, really quickly.

#64 Ellie bean

Posted 27 January 2014 - 02:23 PM

On the pump issue, I'd say don't buy a pump till you need it- I ended up FF from 9 weeks so it was a waste of money :)

#65 Perpetual Sound

Posted 27 January 2014 - 03:49 PM

View PostDecafJane, on 27 January 2014 - 02:20 PM, said:


Oh, and expect the cat to smell fresh milk, run into the room and then act traumatised at the source of that milky smell.
.

LOL!!! :thumbs:

#66 Perpetual Sound

Posted 17 February 2014 - 04:59 PM

Thought of another one!

If you intend on using cloth nappies at all - buy a "Little Squirt". This priceless bit of equipment will save a lot of time as well as your hands from having to touch poo. They retail for $90ish but I got mine off ebay for $30.

#67 starraffy

Posted 19 February 2014 - 12:57 AM

I wish someone told me to enjoy my baby to the fullest while she's still small cause time is so fast and your baby grows so fast :(



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