So, although not overtly intended to be advice, a lot of my recent posts could easily serve to help new expectant mothers (and especially mothers of multiples) prepare for what is to come. I thought that here and there I would expressly write posts that detail experiences that I imagine can be universal, or unexpected, or issues that can crop up that would have been good to know beforehand.
I just never really gave much thought to how I would feel after the babies arrived in terms of stress or facing the challenges. I DID worry about post-partum depression, but other than that, you just think “It’ll be hard but so wonderful to finally be a Mom!”. But here’s the thing. I bet even the most experienced former babysitters who thought they would be ‘naturals’ at child-rearing have experienced anxiety in the early days.
What do I mean by anxiety? I mean a full-on panicky feeling onset by a lack of sleep, fear of what lies ahead (like a long sleepless night when you are already exhausted, for instance), or feeling overwhelmed and knowing that there will be NO MORE relaxing, long sleeps or freedom from having a baby to worry about. Yes, you are ecstatic to have successfully given birth to a (hopefully) healthy baby, but you have to face the emotions that you will feel when deprived of sleep, overwhelmed at the tasks ahead, and feeling like it won’t end anytime soon.
And, I have to say, that these feelings come in full partnership with guilt for even thinking this way, and cause a LOT of stress that both you and your baby feel…and…it will affect your breast milk production. A vicious circle.
But it gets better. Don’t think about the distant future. Just think about the hour to come and how the babies are happy and healthy and doing fine, and so are you. Try to relax and know you are doing a good job. Try to get help so that you can take a bath, or catch a nap, or go for a walk to get some fresh air.
And if you can’t relax that night, then know that it gets easier, you get more accustomed to being a Mom, and yes, you will actually start to enjoy the demands placed on you and feel more than competent to handle them.