I've noticed that there is not really a parenting instruction book that comes with the baby when you leave the hospital or birth center. And of course no newborn is the same, but here are my takes from my experience so far.
Your Body was Made for this!
I can not personally take credit for this saying, but I was told this by my midwives and my doula. That is that your body is amazing and is made for labor. Now I do understand that health plays a huge factor in your birthing experience and I am speaking from my personal.
So after being in labor for 11 hours, having an unmediated natural birth of my son on my, I mean our birthday, I was different yet still myself. After pushing out a 6 pound 1 ounce person, I was making jokes and toasting with sparkling mimosas. With an ice pack and pad on my lower half. I did it! I had a baby and despite the stabbing pain, the hours in labor, and the hormones raging making me sweat and shiver, I did it.
Experience Number #2
Long Showers are a Luxury!
I personally have always loved my bath and shower times. As a teenager this was a bit of a problem, the whole 20-25 minute shower. I think there is just something great about washing away dirt in a hot stream of water and the aromma of tropical scents in the air. Like a mini spa trip, I don't know maybe it is just me. But I learned quickly that having a newborn baby cuts your shower time in half or completely. And this is not because you won't be able to find the time between feedings, diaper changes, and naps, it is because you can't be away from them for long. The baby that you carried for 9 months, that you pushed out of your body, that is new to this world, is out of your sight for more than 5 minutes. I would describe this as an overwhelming feeling. I personally need to have my eyes on my baby at all times and shower time can prevent that. So any shower time longer than 7 minutes I would have anxiety, even if he was sleeping or if someone was watching him. Not all moms may feel this way, either way I do not think this is abnormal.
Be Patient with your body's healing process!
When I speak of healing I am not talking about your bodies ability to snap back to the pre pregnancy size. I am speaking purely on the fact that you either pushed out or had your baby surgically cut from you that you have carried for several months. Your body has to recover and you need to be patient about that. Your child did not grow inside you overnight so do not expect your body to do so. These first few weeks make sure to take it easy and do not over exert yourself, take things a day at a time.
Everyday and or week is different with your baby. To piggy back on number #3, be patient with learning your baby. They are learning about you just as much as you are learning about them. So times it will seem like you can guess what baby needs and wants before they fully know, whether it is a bottle or diaper change or maybe a nap. Other times you might try everything and nothing consoles your baby. That is okay, because every day is different and baby grows daily and growth spurts can affect how their moods. Trying is the ultimate show of affection to your little one.
In closing, remember to focus on your healing because you just brought a human into this world, and to be patient in learning your baby and them learning you.
You got this mom!