Starting out as a new mom is no easy feat. In fact, I’d venture to say itz the most difficult life stage I’ve been through yet. Itz also the most rewarding which make the triumphs all the sweeter and the struggles a bit easier to manage. The first two weeks especially were the hardest, in my opinion. If it weren’t for my mom and my sister Stephanie I’m not quite sure what I would have done with my little bundle.
What was the hardest thing about being a new mom? Knowing what to do… all the time. The hospital was kind of surreal in the sense that the nurses pretty much did everything. I think I changed two diapers during my forty-eight hour stay. Every time I tried to nurse in the hospital, there was a nurse or lactation consultant there to help me with my latch. When I got home… none of that. It was me, Jonny, and the baby. Sure, I knew how to change diapers just fine. It was the breastfeeding that I definitely struggled with. That caused me great worry as I was concerned if William was getting enough nutrition. After all, he was born at just five pounds 2 ounces and we left the hospital at four pounds ten ounces. That’s a small baby.
Since breastfeeding was my largest hurdle at the beginning, I utilized the resources that were available: my pediatrician and the hospital’s lactation consultants. My ped helped by confirming that William’s weight gain was phenomenal after coming home from the hospital. I was pumping and feeding William my breastmilk through bottles, after each nursing session (which was mostly unsuccessful at the beginning). The lactation consultants helped by meeting with me both days that I was in the hospital. They were the ones who encouraged me to start pumping if I didn’t want to go the formula route (which I didn’t). I feel like my early, frequent pumping contributed to the large supply I have now. They also helped by answering my phone calls through their help line after leaving the hospital. Both them and my pediatrician reassured me that in a few weeks, when William reached his actual due date, he would have a much better chance of nursing due to his sucking reflex being stronger.
The crying was also really hard. I knew babies cried, but when it was my baby and I didn’t know how to instantly make him stop, my heart broke. Was he tired, hungry, gassy, peed, pooped, uncomfortable, or what? Or was he just crying because he was baby? Not to mention his cry was just the saddest. His little lip began to quiver and he made just the saddest sounds. But no tears – newborns don’t have tears, did you know that? I didn’t.
So how did my mom and Stephanie help? They were there for me. Starting before William was conceived, my mom came to every doctor’s appointment with me. When I got pregnant, same thing. She was right by my side the whole step of the way, quite literally, as she was in the delivery room when William arrived. My mom slept over the first night and stayed awake the entire night while I tried to get some sleep. She did all the diaper changes, cleaned my pump, helped me try to nurse, and soothed William. At one point my mom laid down on our hardwood floor while she put William in his crib.
Stephanie, too, has been there since the beginning. She documented my entire pregnancy, William’s birth, and was a supportive cheerleader the whole way through. Stephanie slept over the second night and did the same as my mom in terms of diaper changes, cleaning the pump, helping me nurse, and comforting William. But instead of listening to him cry when she tried to put him down to sleep, she just didn’t put him down. She literally held him the entire night. And of course took some “funny face” pictures of him because she just couldn’t resist.
Ok, it was really funny… even at 3 a.m.
My mom and Stephanie definitely helped me get to a better state as a new mom. They have been there from the moment I began my journey in becoming a momma. They’ve been there through the hard times and the happy times. They’ve been there through everything teaching me how to become the very best mother I can be.
They’re the very best.
Who has helped you get to a better state?
Like a good neighbor State Farm is there.
Disclosure: Compensation was provided by State Farm via Mode Media. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of State Farm.