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My husband and I decided we were ready to try and get pregnant in the middle of June of 2016, and by August 1, 2016, I was at my OBGYN looking at an ultrasound of my little bean. I never in a million years thought it would happen that fast, after almost 8 years of being on birth control, I knew it would take at least 3 months of trying. I was shocked and scared out of my mind. But when I heard that heartbeat for the first time, I knew that being this little boy’s mom was my destiny.
My experience with mommyhood is a little different than most when I met my husband I was blessed with a plus one. My sweet step daughter was a gift that I will never stop being thankful for, but I missed her baby years. I have never said this out loud to anyone, and definitely did not tell my husband, but I was beyond intimated by the fact that he had done this before and I had no idea what in the heck I was getting myself into. I was never around babies growing up, I had maybe changed 1 baby’s diaper in my life. I was the future mom, I was supposed to be the one who knew about everything and I wasn’t. So I read anything I could get my hands on and asked mom after mom about bathing, and diapering, and feeding. But despite all my new knowledge, I was still not ready for what the future had to hold.
My son was due on March 18, 2017. On February 26 at exactly 37 weeks, my husband and I said our sweet dreams and shortly after we fell asleep, my water broke. I jumped out of bed and screamed to my husband “Babe, either I just peed the bed or my water broke.” I was freaking the freak out, to say the least, I still had three weeks to prepare for this. I wasn’t having any contractions so I was convinced that I had just wet the bed. So much as to so that I asked my husband to smell it… But with another gush of water, I knew that it was time. I was going to be a mom, ready or not here he came.
On February 27, 2017, at 7:56 am, my son was born. 7 pounds 8 ounces, 21 and 1/4 inches long. A full head of hair, and absolutely perfect. Just one look at him and I knew I could do this.
1. You’re gonna get a ton of advice, take it all with a grain of salt. But listen to your Mama. I cannot tell you how many times my mom could have told me I told you so in this whole journey. She may be overbearing, maybe even slightly annoying. But she is your mama, and mama’s know best.
2. Cosleep, Don’t Cosleep. Do what is best for you and your baby. Do not listen to what anyone has to say about which is better. You are the only one who can make that decision.
3. Get a good swing (my baby boy loves this one), it’s like a one-time fee baby sitter for when you need 10 minutes in the shower, or to wash the dishes. Find one that rocks more than one way and vibrates and plays some music. It is worth the investment. Trust me.
4. Breastfeeding is hard and time-consuming. And you’re gonna wanna give in and give that baby a bottle. But stand strong mama. You can do it. My son would cry and cry and cry and I would try everything in my power to get that boy to latch and he wouldn’t and I would give in and give him a bottle. I finally called a lactation specialist and she told me “your baby is not starving, he is stubborn, let him cry he will give in eventually”… So I let him cry. And it sucked, I hated it. I wanted to give in… But she was right he gave up, he latched and he ate. And the battle was over.
5. Gripe water is your friend, this may be frowned upon, but when my son just won’t quit crying I put a little bit on his binky and it puts him right to sleep. I’m not even kidding works every time. You could really do this with anything that tastes a little sweet.
This last one is very important.
6. Stay off of google. If you are truly worried about something, then call the pediatrician.
When my son was around 2 months old, I was loading him up in the car. I have one of those key fobs that have the key on the inside of it. I started the car, put him in, took the key out of the fob to go lock the front door and left the fob in the car. I was sure that the doors would not lock if it was in there. I was wrong, and the doors somehow got locked. I panicked. I just locked my son in the car, I was 5 seconds away from smashing in the window, when I realized that the door had a keyhole… After a year of having this vehicle, I never noticed. I got the doors unlocked and sat in the front seat and cried. I called my mom to tell her about my first terrible experience as a mother and she shared with me how she lost my brother (who was three at the time) at the Kansas City Zoo. We laughed together.
We aren’t perfect, we never will be. We are all going to mess up. A million times. But motherhood is beautiful in its imperfections. And you are what that baby needs more than anything in this world, God chose you for that little one for a reason. Thank him for it. And love that baby as long and as hard as you can.
Best of luck first-time mama.
I would love to hear from y’all. I am still so new at this, please share any tips, tricks, or stories you have for first time moms in the comments!