HELLO! MY NAME is Ashley and I am an Interior Designer living in Toronto with my husband, Ryan, and our sweet little boy, Jonah.
I thought my experience would be hard and painful and I'd laugh and complain about it all with my girlfriends, but oddly enough I am one of the lucky ones.. and yes ladies, there are lucky ones (it could be you)! My whole pregnancy was a breeze, and the labour went so smoothly I didn't think it was real. In fact, my doctor urged me not to tell my experience to a soul as all women may hate me for it (please don't hate me for it!) I will say, the epidural played a big role... This is me, right after my epidural shot..
I have a beautiful baby boy Jonah, he was born 5 days late (typical for first time moms) and was 7 pounds 2 ounces of perfection. My husband and I always used to wonder what he was going to look like... Well nothing can prepare you for the moment you see your baby, how perfect they are and more beautiful than you could ever imagine. Tiny, warm, helpless, confused little angels so fragile to hold. My life was totally transformed. The one thing that amazed me the most was how in only 9 short months I had created, life.
Depending on what type of person you are, I found that playing music throughout the labour kept my nerves down and helped me relax. This is the album that kept me sane. I was also recommended to drink raspberry leaf tea (different from raspberry tea) in the weeks leading up to the due date, as it helps the labour process and strengthens your uterus for delivery... and boy DOES IT EVER! So much so that my little baby came right out in a matter of a few short minutes.
The first week of parenthood is complete bliss, you won't sleep a wink but you'll be so buzzed off joy you couldn't care less. Jonah isn't a baby who cries all that much, when he did try to cry it came out like a whimper with the same intensity as cat's meow. Needless to say, we were in heaven.
To new mommies, the first 3 days of breastfeeding hurts. Your milk hasn't come in yet and so your baby is trying to eat from a basically empty vessel, use creams!
For most women your milk will come in on the third day, but this doesn't always happen - sometimes it's a week or two. Be considerate of your own body and situation - if the milk doesn't come in, use formula! Don't torture yourself, you've got to work with yourself and your body in order to make the best and easiest outcome for yourself and your baby. This is a time of healing, so whatever makes it easier on you, go for it.
In the first week, moms, stay in bed 24/7! Laying down flat helps you heal faster. Make sure you get enough private time with baby. Trust me, those first few precious days go by way too quickly, they grow ridiculously fast and it's important to cherish those newborn moments as you've just accomplished one of the most amazing things in life!
Jonah is now 6 months old and finally knows how to sleep through the night. The little guy is not a good sleeper, end of story. One day I decided to try the White Noise app on my phone that played amazonian rain forest sounds. That same night I had done something I never typically did... I prayed with him. Me and my little guy said our prayers before bed. And he slept, and slept, and slept. That just totally reiterated the truth that even though they're babies... they understand, they are smart, they can sense things and need the same comforts you and I rely on.
No one baby is the same, they each have their own personality. We can't communicate with our babies so it's easy to assume they're just crying for the sake of crying. The best advice I heard was from a lady named Priscilla Dunstan. She claims that babies have certain cries that dictate what they want.. and she's right! Even if you can't understand it, there is always a reason for your baby being upset (gas, hunger, tiredness, burpy, cold). They are always trying to communicate with you. Take a look, I hope this video brings you the same insight it brought me!
It has been a really eye opening and amazing experience living for another instead of for myself. I didn't realize that I would like that switch until it happened, you will be surprised. You have a love for your baby that is inexplicable and so powerful. After all, we are fundamentally made to be in communities and have families (biological or not); to love and to be loved. I am so grateful for the start of my own little unit. When times get tough, reminding myself of those fundamental aspects in life that bring me joy and fulfillment is enough to get my head in a state of appreciation.. And to never forget in all its imperfections, how truly perfect life is.
Sending lots of love to you, praying for God's blessing on your life ahead!
For this spring season Ashley is offering 25% OFF her Interior Design and Decor services! If you or someone you know is looking to design their space, email firstname.lastname@example.org or message her Facebook page to set up a consultation!
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