The first month into motherhood is like a passage for most parents! After the euphoria of the birth (see my birth story) you come back to reality with a new life unfolding before our eyes. One very challenging month that empty our energy but fill up our love tank.
Week 1: Euphoria and Recovery
The first week after delivery is pretty special and extremely intense. In my case it felt like I was floating. I was still pretty knocked up from the anesthesia and pain killers but managed to be awake most of the time. Looking at baby Marcel, feeding him, nursing him, checking on him… It was a very emotional week for us. We couldn’t believe that we created this little human!
Mr. M started his Papa duties very quick since I couldn’t move that much and was in pain. I felt a sense of accomplishment and a lot of love. At the same time, I started to recover from the operation. My entire body was in pain. I felt like I was 100 years old.
Physically, it was very strange to have this empty belly now! I looked in the mirror and didn’t really like what I saw (sagging skin, large hips, huge breasts…). Looking back the only two things that made me feel better this week was to take long showers and wear my belly bandit! It was my way to take care of myself, relax and relieve some pain.
Starting breastfeeding can also add some challenges. In my case, I had no problem with breastfeeding (I feel pretty lucky about that). Baby was latching well and I produced milk pretty fast! It was a bit painful for a couple of days but still manageable.
The day we came home from the hospital will always be A DAY I remember! I/we felt so emotional as it was the first time we were three at home! We waited for this moment for so long and it finally happened.
The first week was an intense one, living in the present moment and feeling a range of emotions never felt before.
Week 2 & 3: Lack of sleep and Mood Swings
By week two the lack of sleep and 24/7 baby duties really start to affect the mood. You don’t really know what day it is anymore. You just go through the motions as each passing day blends into the next.
You also have to learn to understand the cues of your baby and it can be very challenging sometimes. Baby cries a lot and you barely have some time to take a shower or eat a proper meal. On top of that, you barely sleep. Perfect breeding ground for anxiety, mood swings and sadness to kick in.
I didn’t have time to properly recover from the C-section or from the intensity of the labour. Motherhood would not wait.
I felt lost! Where am I? What am I doing? Is this going to be life now? Then an immense feeling of guilt comes in! How can I feel this way after waiting so long to have a baby? Why don’t I feel love and happiness? Actually, I could feel almost nothing. I was kind of numb to everything.
I cried a lot during week 2 (baby blues) and was doubting my ability as a mum. My baby was crying so much I felt helpless and useless.
What helped me go through that was to talk a lot to Mr. M about my feelings. It’s always good to let out what’s eating us inside. Mr. M also made sure I took my naps and pushed me to go out and take some fresh air every day. We went out for ice cream, which was a nice change (he knows how to make his lady feel better). He was so encouraging, constantly reminding me how well I was doing with taking care of the baby.
Slowly, I gained more strength mentally and physically, which allowed me to embrace motherhood fully.
Week 4: Life at three and postpartum body
Little by little, I started to feel like my old self again. It seems like the three of us are getting into a new routine. Life feels more intense, more fulfilling. We live more deeply in the present and are even more connected as a couple.
After going through a fog phase I feel that I can see the sun again. I’m still tired and challenged as a new mom but I’m accepting it.
I understand my baby more each day and try my best to still have some time to take care of myself on a daily basis. As a couple we also try to get a bit of together time even if it’s not easy.
Physically I don’t have any pain anymore and I’m starting to gain my old silhouette back. I’ve been doing some soft exercises and wore my belly bandit for my waist.
Now I feel like going to the next level by increasing my workouts and cleaning up my diet (I’ve been eating “some” sweets lately).
One of the most intense months of my life
I will definitely never forget September 2016! I never felt as much joy, love, and pain at the same time! What a way to kick start motherhood.
In one month, our whole world has totally changed for the better. I see a lot of challenges in the future trying to be the best mother I can be for baby Marcel, but also much more love and happiness.
All our friends and relatives told us to enjoy these precious moments with our baby since they go so fast. It’s exactly what we plan to do.
How was your first month into motherhood? What did you cherish the most?
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