I can honestly say that I had dreamt about having my own children from the age of 14. As I got older, it got harder and harder and more heartbreaking to watch friends get engaged or married or have a baby and I was still pootling along, having great experiences, but in my opinion just treading water. Despite the surprise of the news, I was completely over the moon when I found out that I was expecting by now entering toddlerdom little girl. Apart from the first few weeks of pregnancy and the horrendous morning sickness, I thoroughly enjoyed pregnancy and felt very content knowing that I was about to take on the title of “Mummy!” After our brief stay in SCBU when my little bundle arrived early, I was eager to take her home and begin life with my newborn. However, I was in for a lesson in the reality of a newborn…
I had had experience of babies and felt very comfortable with them but obviously it is never the same as having your own – there is no giving them back, not that I’d want to obviously!! I think with social media pressures, mum’s for the most part want to paint a rosy picture of what having a new baby is like. The overwhelming rush of love is true, it is amazing how instantaneously you can fall in love with your baby and the mama lioness instincts kick right in too! The snuggles as they fall asleep on your chest, the moment that they first grip your finger, the gurgles, the feeling when they first latch on (to boob or bottle) and that first special photograph are all amazing. However, as much as I am totally in love with my daughter she was by no means an “easy” baby if there is such a thing! Allow me to enlighten you…
Sleeping – Even now at 14 months old she doesn’t sleep through the night. She has probably slept through the night about 10 times in her entire life. I have no idea why and I have tried different things but I just have to accept the fact that for now my daughter gets me up in the night and my body has adjusted accordingly to the sleep pattern. To be honest I am actually grateful that she goes down at all because for the first 6-7 months she would only sleep on me or only go to sleep in her cocoon mattress if I went to bed with her. I’m not going to lie – it was hard!! The first six weeks, she got a virus and then had her jabs and just wanted to be ON me so I slept sitting up for the first 6 weeks with her on my chest and me just dozing on and off but jumping awake at the slightest twitch! It was the cocoon mattress that saved me in this case, otherwise we might still be sleeping the same way!
Colic – This was truly horrendous for my little bubba. She suffered terribly with colic from a very young age and it was horrible to have to witness. I tried tummy massage that was suggested to me but this didn’t help very much. I was fortunate to have a very good health visitor who I felt I was able to call on at any time and she suggested that for Colic in Babies I try using Infacol which I did and that greatly helped to relieve some of her discomfort and I found it work best after a few doses and had built up the level of it in her system. I was really pleased that there was something available that I could give her so young as it’s very different to give anything other than milk to such young babies.
Reflux – I think this has to be the scariest of all the newborn realities. Don’t get me wrong, Alyssa didn’t suffer with it nearly as badly as some babies I know but it was bad enough for it to cause us some big problems. After feeding, obviously I’d burp her and keep her upright for at least 20 minutes post feed before putting her down to sleep. However, she would still suffer with reflux and I would need to keep a close eye on her. It all came to a head when she was about 4 months old and she nearly died because of the reflux – you can read about that experience in “The Day She Almost Died!” Luckily, my little girl was okay and by 8 months the reflux had calmed down without any medical help, but I know some children still suffering now at age 2! Despite the fact she still gets the hiccups and can get sick very easily if she coughs or cries too much we’re okay, but this was definitely not something I’d like to have to repeat if I’m lucky enough to have any more children!
There you have it…. my realities of a newborn. It was so hard – sooooo much harder than I thought it would be. I never imagined I’d have one of those babies that didn’t sleep, but then in my wildest dreams I never imagined I’d be doing it alone either. However, we have gotten through it, with the help of some amazing family and friends and we are now entering the world of toddlerdom. Wish me luck as this past week the most popular phrase I have heard from my one year old going on 15 year old is… “Mummy, No!”
What were your harsh realities of having a newborn?
This was a collaborative post – all thoughts and opinions are my own