So, how did I overcome the breastfeeding trauma, baby blues, and everything that smashed me those days? More than a deliberate effort on my end, here’s what I was led to hold on to…
Knowledge is half the battle, so they say, and that’s why I wrote my previous post where I shared about how I was robbed of joy as a first-time mom a few days after we went home from the hospital. It lasted for a couple of days, maybe even up to a week, with spurts once in a while after. I hope it has helped you be a little bit more prepared than I was.
So, how did I overcome the breastfeeding trauma, baby blues, and everything that smashed me those days? More than a deliberate effort on my end, here’s what I was led to hold on to:
With all that has happened and like there was no time to breathe, I lost time and energy even to pray or remember that I am not alone. At the height of it all, this verse came to my mind:
So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God.
There we will receive his mercy,
and we will find grace to help us when we need it most.
Hebrews 4:16 NLT
I will find grace to help me when I need it most. “Oh, I need grace most today then ever,” I thought. I said a quick prayer with what was left of me. “Lord, if I trusted You with Brei, I’m trusting You with Noah,” I said, and asked God to help me get through that time. The next time I woke up (‘coz as a mom of a newborn you only get increments of sleep), I literally felt recharged and found back my joy! How much I’ve cuddled Noah and lavished him with so much more love since then! I was able to start living in the moment and enjoy every bit of time with my little one. I was no longer a milk dispenser. I was a mom.
I don’t know how I could’ve overcome the baby blues without my husband. It was perfect timing that he has resigned from his current job (we felt that God led him to resign and set up this business… please follow on FB and IG, and share!!!), which meant more time with me and Noah at home. Those days, he took care of pretty much everything except feeding Noah, and even during feeding he would help by being my stress ball (Because the latch was wrong, pain was excruciating that my toes curled and I needed to scratch my toenails against his hand!). A lot of times he even did Noah’s laundry. He also did our errands. Definitely his massages were beyond helpful too!
My mom was also ever ready to help yet never overstepping anything. There’s always food on the table, whatever time I’m ready to eat. She’d go out and bring home diapers and wet wipes without us asking. She’d give Noah his baths until I was ready to do it. She’d spend playtime with Noah so I can take a bath. She’d help out with Noah’s laundry too!
Their love and care for me and Noah shown by them taking on these tasks helped me push forward, and not to mention, sleep, eat, and shower.
Motherhood brings women together.
The encouragement of others has never affected me like this before. Even the simplest, “Good job, Mommy Pam” from other moms really meant a lot. Knowing they went through what I was going through gave them so much power to boost me up!
With friends who are also new moms, we’d exchange notes and encourage one another. It helped a lot that I have a friend who’s also a first-time mom and whose baby is around 3 weeks older than Noah. She helped me with some things to expect like growth spurts, where to buy stuff like lanolin cream, nursing wear, and other mama-baby stuff! With friends who have toddlers, I got to ask a lot of my questions too especially about parent-directed feeding so that I can better decide what will work for Noah and me. An online community of moms also helped me by just reading other mom’s questions and answers.
I finally got a better grasp of myself, and I knew I was recovering because I could already shower, use social media, do selfies! Haha! Here are some things that I learned:
1. I am selfish. But when I became a mom, I needed to be selfless.
Much of the stress I faced was when I was trying to force my way with Noah so that things would be easier for me. Anytime I feel a hint of frustration, I realize quickly that it’s because it’s out of my inconvenience. I needed the grace to put Noah’s needs above mine and I’m grateful that God’s grace never runs out. Don’t get me wrong. I still take care of myself. I just don’t want to force things for the sake of my convenience.
2. If something doesn’t work out now, stop it. You can try it again later on. Don’t do anything that stresses you more than it helps you.
I had to take my time. There was a time when I Googled every bit of thing and what’s on the web was overwhelming. I just stopped Googling because I was getting more stressed. When I was better, I Googled one thing at a time and it was helpful. Also, I was so eager to put Noah on a feeding schedule but his timeline was different from mine. By being too focused on making things easier for myself, I became anxious when it’s not working out the way I thought it should work out. When I started charting his feeding, I realized he has his own timing and he actually has a good rhythm I could work with! I enjoyed discovering Noah’s preferences, personality, even different cries and I was a happier mom, which in turn made Noah a happier baby!
3. Stop comparing.
As much as all mommies are different, all babies are different. I envied those whose babies fed every 3 hours. That’s an additional 30 to 60 minutes rest time for me! So I tried to stretch Noah’s feeding time, but it just became a source of frustration for me. I learned to embrace Noah’s uniqueness and just enjoy my moments with him.
4. There’s no one-size-fits-all instructional.
I was searching for answers, looking for procedures that I can apply step-by-step. I realized there’s not that kind of help because all babies are different. I started taking principles and see how to use those for a happier Noah.
5. One day at a time.
I remember one of the people I look up to said, “Don’t use today’s grace for tomorrow’s problems.” So true to being a mom to a newborn! When I learned to take it one day at a time (and that meant I stopped thinking about how long this will go on or that I’ll have to go through this again with future babies), I was able to enjoy all the more my time with Noah, and time actually flew faster!
I hope this helps! If you have other tips for first-time moms, please do share them in the comments below!
Time indeed fast forwards when you’re having fun! Noah’s 1 month old today! 1 month felt too far when I had those blues!!! For more of our dear Noah, follow him on Instagram @chadricnoah. ?