This month was amazing! We welcomed our FIFTH unique and unrepeatable little baby into the world.
Our baby girl made her appearance on September 24th and is loving all the attention she is getting from her 3 big brothers and big sister.
As with all my other babies, newborn bliss is in the air and it’s been surreal.
I am getting practically no sleep and I’m so sore from nursing the baby on demand and it’s definitely not easy, but the joy far outweighs the difficulty.
Our house is so full of love and it feels as though we are living outside of time.
The kids are so excited to come home from school and spend time with thier new baby sister. There are so many built in lessons about life and love that come with having a new baby in the home and it’s so beautiful to see those lessons unfold with each of our children’s unique little ways of showing thier affection and thier new found greater sense of responsibility.
I know these newborn days will come to an end soon so I am trying to take it all in and enjoy these precious fleeting moments:
I’m loving our quiet and clean home. (This is ONLY because my older 2 are in school and hubby is off from work and keeping the younger 2 busy outside the home ) I’m using my essential oils and diffusing lavender and frankincense which is adding to the calm so perfectly :)
The look of helplessness baby J gives us and those occasional looks of confusion are priceless! There’s the classic “I don’t care what my face looks like, I just gotta poop”, look. Or the look of total confusion, “who are you people??” It’s so hilarious and super cute 😍
Her tiny feet and hands, (We love when she reflexively grips our fingers so tight) , her newborn scent, her soft silky hair and that distinct newborn cry are all so precious.
I know this all sounds great, but as we all know, postpartum is not the same for everyone, and many times it is NOT the most pleasant experience. A lot of it has to do with hormones and our natural tendencies and temperaments.
To help make newborn bliss a more likely reality, here are a few tips I have learned along the way that I hope can be of some help!
1. Prepare your mind to be on night duty. I have not yet heard of a newborn that does not wake up in middle of the night to be fed. The fact of the matter is that there is a good chance you will need to be up all night calming a fussy baby, or feeding a very hungry baby or changing the diaper of a very uncomfortable baby. So the faster you come to accept the fact that you will be up all night and any sleep you get is “bonus”, the better off you will be. That simple change of mindset does wonders. You will find yourself happy to care for your baby at night since that’s exactly what you are expecting to do and you will find yourself so grateful for any sleep your baby does end up allowing you to have. Those little bouts of sleep you are able to have at night become pleasant surprises that make you super happy :-) it’s all about the mind. Mind over matter!
2. Don’t read parenting books.
Read parenting books during pregnancy. Read them after the newborn phase. Don’t read them during postpartum. Your little newborn is as unique as can be and nobody knows what he or she needs better than YOU do. You need to use those motherly instincts of yours to the max and sometimes parenting books can get in the way of that. Trust your instincts. God gave them to you for a reason. It is your super power. If you want to hold your baby all day then go for it. If your baby is hungry every hour instead of 2 or 3 that’s fine. Feed her. The baby mamma connection during the first few months of life are at an all time high so it’s best to really hone in on those instincts right away.
As you know, God is the source of all peace. Pray your heart out during this newborn bonding period. You are so thankful for your baby. You look at your baby and can’t even fathom the miracle of how she came to existence. Use these natural stirrings as an impetus to prayer. Maybe you can pray a rosary by praying a decade at a time while nursing.
Maybe you can focus more on mental prayer when you are awake in the middle of the night and everyone else is sleeping.
Maybe you can sing hymns of praise and thanksgiving. Your newborn loves to hear you sing, so why not make your song a prayer? Our current favorite is “Immaculate Mary”
Whatever you decide, prayer will surely keep you in grateful and joyful spirits.
This is easier said than done but I find that when you relinquish control there is room for God to fill in the gaps. There’s no need to ensure everything is perfect. There will always be laundry to do and dishes to be put away. Don’t worry about it! Think about our Blessed Mother who gave birth to our Lord in a barn. Not the ideal situation but yet there was so much joy! Focus on and do what is best for the present moment and let God take care of all the peripherals. Allow Him to demonstrate how he can take our lack and bring abundance. Trust that He will give you and your family what you need, exactly when you need it. Often times, God works through others and the acts of mercy offered are even more beneficial to the giver than the receiver, so never hesitate to ask for help. Just try to let go of your type a-ness and take it easy and enjoy your precious newborn :-)
I hope these tips are helpful and you are able to enjoy your special time with your little one!
If things are not going as great as you would like, understand that it is NOT your fault. Baby blues are a real struggle for the best of us. Your hormones have gone wild and sometimes there is nothing you can do but give it some time.
Hang in there! Regardless of whether your experience is good or seemingly not so good, God is holding you in His arms and caring for you in a special way throughout this whole process.
Trust that “In all things God works for the good of those who love him” (Roman 8:28)
Are there any other tips you would add to this list? Is there anything in particular that helped make your postpartum experience a positive one? Please let us know!
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