I can say without doubt that becoming a mum has been the most amazing, empowering experience of my life. The love Rob and I share for this little girl is indescribable and we can't imagine life now without Emilia. The pain of childbirth, sleepless nights, crying and poop is all totally worth it. We are so lucky that Emilia is such a happy, content baby and so far motherhood is far better than I could have ever imagined.
When I was pregnant I read so much about labor, delivery and taking care of baby but there were some things I wanted to share that I really didn't expect after giving birth.
HormonesFor some reason I thought the the roller coaster of crazy hormones would be over once I gave birth but I was totally wrong. The hormones I experienced through pregnancy were absolutely nothing compared to the first few weeks after Emilia was born. I was so unbelievably happy but at the same time I felt like I could burst out crying at the drop of a hat. I felt totally overwhelmed by the intense love I felt for our little girl and the thought of anything happening to her was just too much to bear. My crazy hormones peaked about three days after giving birth which was around the time my milk came in which may have had something to do with it. Thankfully by the end of the 2nd week my hormones started to feel much more balanced and I could fully enjoy this amazing time in my life without being an emotional wreck.
I always imagined breastfeeding would be the most natural thing in the world and wasn't aware that it can actually be very difficult to master. I was so happy that Emilia latched on my breast about half an hour after I gave birth and I presumed everything was fine, but by the next morning my nipples were raw, cracked and so incredibly painful. I soon realised that I was in so much pain because Emilia wasn't latched on correctly. One of the nurses in the hospital spent some time with us and corrected her latch, but by this point the damage to my nipples had already been done. I was in absolute agony every time I was breastfeeding her, which was so upsetting because I always imagined breastfeeding would be such an amazing thing, but I was in way too much pain to enjoy it. I was so determine to master breastfeeding as I knew that it was the best thing for my baby and the only way for things to get better was to just power on and keep feeding her despite the pain. After about three days of agony my nipples started to heal which was such a relief. She was latched on correctly and my milk came in which meant she didn't have to suck so hard and was no longer cluster feeding as I had enough milk to satisfy her. It took over a week for my nipples to totally heal and now I can say that I absolutely love breastfeeding, it really does feel like the most natural thing in the world.
I totally didn't expect that we would need at least the first week to ourselves. I usually love being around friends and family but after giving birth the thought of visitors was just so overwhelming! I think it was the mix of crazy hormones, vagina pain, and the overwhelming urge I felt to bond with our baby and not pass her around all day that made me feel this way. All I wanted was to spend the first week alone with my husband and our baby girl. By the second week I was feeling totally different and really excited about everyone meeting Emilia. At the time I felt really guilty about not wanting people around but now that I am out of the crazy hormonal phase I realise that my instincts were correct and we needed intimate family time and there was nothing wrong with that.