This Saturday is actually my original due date & I have bittersweet feelings about it.
I’m sad because the babies should have been in the womb a little longer, but I’ll always be so grateful for how long they did last (34 weeks and 5 days).
It was a long and trying pregnancy, but they made it not just OK. They are grrrreat!
Our boys. Our sweet, sweet boys. Can’t get enough of them!
Survival as a first time mom
“Do what we can to survive” it is the motto of our lives right now. After reading all the books, taking all of the classes, and learning from all of our friends/family/nurses/doctors, it’s all about survival!!!
Of course there are the “musts” such as:
- babies must sleep on their backs (to decrease the risk of SIDS)
- they must eat every 2-4 hours
- I need to pump every 3-4 hours to keep my supply up…
But when it comes down to it, you do what you’ve gotta do to make it.
If it means sticking that pacifier in just to keep the peace for 5 more minutes, even though we were warned to limit the use of pacifiers if you want your babies to breastfeed, SO BE IT!
There are a ton of rules out there, do’s and don’ts, but in the end, using our common sense, we have to just figure out how to get through each step of the day!
The light at the end of the tunnel
And I can actually say that it’s true: Things DO get easier with time. You figure out what works and what doesn’t, what’s a “real” cry and what’s just a moan, grunt, or groan, and what to do in each sticky situation.
What sucks is that time doesn’t help you necessarily gain more sleep or energy. Oh, no. But you do get used to things. I couldn’t grasp my head around the fact that we really were experiencing those sleepless nights parents warned us about. Between the hubs and I, we decided to split up the night so that we each could get a decent stretch of sleep. Hubs takes the 10-2 shift while I take the 2-6 shift. We help each other out during each other’s shifts if needed, but luckily that has only happened a few times. Otherwise, we (miraculously) have managed on our own during our respective shifts.
Oh does it hurt.
It hurts my head, it hurts my body, it hurts my eyes…
Before baby, before pregnancy, I could sleep for 7-10 hours if you let me. No joke! I would knock out the minute my head hit the pillow and would relish in those beautiful REM cycles and wake up refreshed and ready to tackle the day.
Fast forward to the present and I am barely managing and keeping up. I squeeze in naps here and there (which are VERY helpful and necessary, by the way), but it is not like the z’s add up to those 7-10 hours I used to have. I’m getting used to it because I have no choice. What has helped is to mentally prepare myself for each night and remind myself that I will get through it.
This is my view from my family room where I stay during my “shift.”
Those two little rectangles on top are windows giving me a bare hint of light and hope.
That bright screen is my TV. I was relieved to see that SOMEONE was awake with me in the wee hours of the morning – our local news show, Good Day.
Here’s what the view looks like a few hours later when the sun finally decides to wake up:
Ahh… the SUN will come out tomorrow!!!
As I’ve mentioned before, the days are long, but the years are short.
We are already noticing the boys growing! They are WAY more alert, following us with their eyes and really focusing on the things around them. They are eating more!!! Oh my goodness, they used to survive off of 2-ounce feedings, but we’ve bumped it up to 3-ounces because these boys are hungry! Just when I thought I was pumping more than enough milk (I have even begun a freezer stash – yay!), they are actually slowly starting to surpass me 😦
I have a whole lot to write on breastfeeding/pumping in my experience, but I’ll save that for another post. I’ll just say for now that WOW it’s a commitment, YES I will continue and try my best, but WOW it’s a commitment.
Sometimes I feel tempted to give up and just resort to formula. It’s really harder than I thought it’d be. But like everything else, it is getting easier and I’m getting used to it, so I know I can push through and fulfill this goal I always had of mine.
Support groups and reaching out to other moms
I do want to talk about something that has been SUPER helpful these past few days. I’m a part of the First Time Mommy Group on Facebook and I love it so much!
If you’re a first time mom, send me an email and I will add you to the First Time Mommy Group right away!
I am practically addicted to reading all of the posts, comments, and all other content on the group page. It’s a wonderful support group at the tip of your fingers. It’s meant to provide first time mommies with an avenue to ask questions, seek advice, share their experiences, and even vent! Such an amazing group of gals (over
3000+ 14,000+ moms in the group!) and I feel so honored and happy to be a part of them. Nothing can prepare you completely for parenthood, but it’s reassuring to know there are others in your same shoes, going through the same experiences, trials, and errors, and also enjoying the true joy that is being a new parent!
Juggling parenting and the working outside of the house
While being a parent is a 24/7 job, it is unfathomable to imagine how life returning to work is as a parent. I am looking VERY much forward to talk with other moms who work outside of the house and see how they balance work and home life.
Surviving as a first time mom is like nothing I’ve ever experienced. It is definitely magical, but equally (if not more) exhausting!!!
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