A couple of months ago, I wrote an article called, “Three Things I Wish I Had Done Differently While Pregnant.” The post really took off on Pinterest. At least, for me, it really took off. So I thought I would write another post, this time about things I wish I had done differently right after my daughter, J, was born. The truth of the matter is, though, that there are a lot more than just three things I wish I had done differently. For instance, I wish I had recorded everything better. Sure, I took a lot of photos and videos, but now it doesn’t seem like enough. I wish I had done it more.
I have an older friend who has four children. All of them have graduated from college. When J was first born, I remember her telling that me she couldn’t remember what any of her four kids were like as babies. I just smiled and nodded, but part of me, as a first-time mom, felt a little horrified. What do you mean you can’t remember??? But here’s the thing, just fifteen months later, I don’t remember as much as I would like. It’s very sad and disappointing but true.
So yes, there’s more than three things I wish I had done differently, but I decided to narrow it down to three, very simple and doable things. Things you can take clear action on. After all, I can’t just yell at you, “Remember more!” Although, yes, please try to remember all the precious moments you have with your little one!
Thought through my freezer meals
When I was pregnant, I had it suggested to me many, many times that I should prepare freezer meals. Everyone said that I would be too tired to cook and that freezer meals would make our lives easier. And they were absolutely right about that. I just wish that I had thought through my freezer meals a little bit more. My daughter was born in November, and since it was winter, I made and froze multiple containers of soup. I thought it would be warm and comforting. Plus, most soups freeze very well. There was only one problem with this plan, and I did not discover until after my daughter was born: it is very difficult to eat soup while holding a baby! At least it was for me. I tried wearing her in a Moby wrap while eating, but that didn’t help either. No matter what I tried, it was downright near impossible to lean over soup bowl with a baby. Plus, I always had this horrible fear that I would dribble soup over her head.
If I could do it over, I would freeze things that could be eaten with one hand, like burritos. Lots and lots of burritos.
Asked for more hospital supplies
The nurse at the hospital told me several times that I was free to take all of the supplies from my hospital room home with me… pads, net underwear, and plastic perineal irrigation bottles. And I did, but I only had a few pads and net underwear in my room. Not nearly enough to last me as long as actually needed. I was afraid to speak up and ask my nurse for more because I didn’t want to be perceived as a greedy-grub, and I really regretted it. You’ll find out why in a second… But don’t be like me. Ask for as many supplies as you think you will need. Who cares if the nurse thinks your greedy; you’ll probably never see her again.
Allowed myself to rest
I had a decent amount of time for a maternity leave. And I decided before J was born that I was going to take it easy and spend the first couple of days doing nothing but being curled up in bed with her. But that’s not how it played out. Yes, I spent all my time with her, but I didn’t rest. She was born on the 15th of November, and I found myself taken over by the irresistible urge to have Christmas be as special as it possibly could be for her. After all, it was going to be her very first one! So I spent my days cleaning, baking, making Christmas ornaments, etc. But it wasn’t just that I put pressure on myself to do and accomplish a lot. I also allowed myself to be pressured by others. Just six days after J was born, I went to a local craft fair, and a lot of the merchants began oohing and ahhing over how cute and little she was. A lot of people asked when she was born, and I remember one lady’s response when I told her. She exclaimed, “You go, girl! Don’t let them keep you in bed!” like I was fighting a battle for women’s liberation.
And so I didn’t rest because I somehow let myself care what other people thought and because I convinced myself that I was making a statement of some sort. But the only thing I was really doing was keeping myself from healing a lot quicker. I had a vaginal birth with second-degree tearing, and it took me at least a month to completely heal. Not because there was anything wrong with me, just because I was so active. So you see what I mean now? Definitely not enough supplies from the hospital!
And so there you have it! Three clear, easy things that I wish I had done differently once my baby was born. And now I want to hear from you! Are there things you wish you had done differently? Why or why not?
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