Today I am going to be sharing what I learnt/experienced in my fourth month as a first time parent. Let me give you the best piece of parenting advice I have ever received. DO WHATEVER WORKS! Every single baby is different. What works for one will certainly not work for the other. You’re going to get a lot of suggestions and input from other parents. Take some, leave the rest. In the end, you know your baby best. If they can only be soothed by rocking, rock the hell out of them (but not literally because Shaken Baby Syndrome is a thing and it’s dangerous!). Once you start listening to your mother’s intuition and meeting your child’s needs, you will find a rhythm that works for both of you.
I always want to be transparent on my blog. After all, it’s like an online diary for the world to read. I realised in month four that I wasn’t coping very well. I had so many expectations of what parenthood would be like before I gave birth (which was my mistake) and when I saw just how tough and challenging it was, I found myself struggling. Plus a lot of other factors. I was diagnosed with postnatal depression by my doctor and am currently undergoing treatment. I’ll explain more about it in a separate post one day. It’s so important to reach out and talk about how you are feeling. Having a child is a HUGE life adjustment. All of a sudden, your life is no longer just your own. You have to be everything for this tiny little human. You can’t just go to sleep when you want to. You can’t call in sick to work like you used to. You have to be there 24/7 whether your eyes are hanging out of your head or not. That’s really hard, let’s not sugarcoat it. I wish someone had prepared me a little more but then again, can you ever really be prepared until you’re going through it? I think not. What helped me was talking it through with my husband, family and friends. I shared the burden with those willing to listen. Admitting my feelings made things more manageable. I don’t want to turn anybody off that wants a child someday. It truly is the most beautiful, rewarding thing in the world and I cannot imagine life without Abigail. Just know, you are going to be tested at times and will miss the ease of your old life from time to time. You’ll get it back, I promise. At least that’s what I keep being told.
My little darling went through sleep regressions, teething, a nasty bout of eczema and a huge growth spurt this month. She also rolled over for the first time! We were so proud! Every morning when she wakes, I find her in a completely different position in her cot. It’s so cute how much she wriggles, moves and thumps both her legs on the mattress in excitement. Babies really start to enjoy moving their bodies at this time. As you can see by the image above, she’s a huge fan of sucking her thumb and shoving her fingers in her mouth. It soothes her. She’s also comforted by our presence. If myself or Francis move away from her playmat, she seeks us out with her eyes, turning her head this way and that. If I’m close by, she smiles, coos and continues playing. Using your voice can really help in this instance. When I’m washing the dishes for example, I call out to her so she knows I’m still there. It means I can get just a little bit more done around the house.
Speaking of, Francis and I have been house hunting this month. We are still living with my mum but as summer draws near, we have been searching for our own family home to buy. We want Abi to grow up in a good neighbourhood with plenty of opportunities available to her. By the time you are reading this, we will have begun making offers. Fingers crossed!
The sleep nurse discharged me this month and whilst we still have a long way to go, Abi is settling for daytime naps in her cot now a lot easier than before. I follow the same routine, sing the same song to her that I made up and place my hand on her chest to calm her when she’s overtired. It’s such a good feeling when her eyes close and I didn’t have to rock or feed her to sleep! It’s even better when she naps for over an hour and looks so happy and rested when she wakes.
My husband and I also celebrated two years of marriage this month and for the first time since she was born, we went out by ourselves for a dinner date. My mum took care of her at home. It was so nice to finally have some time just for us and reconnect. It’s super important to have breaks and take time out for yourself every now and then. Your relationship with your partner will change once a baby enters your world so remember to stay on the same team and value one another whenever you get a chance.
Abi is still feeding well although she finishes a lot faster now and can get fussy when the milk is no longer flowing. I am starting to see her beautiful personality shining through. She’s such a sweet baby. I can just tell she is going to be such a kind, caring girl. But on the same token, she’s very headstrong, screams when she’s unhappy and grumbles in protest. Is this a sign of a tantrum throwing toddler to come? I hope not but let’s wait and see!
Finally, I would like to thank everybody that has checked in on me during this rough patch. I really appreciate all the love and support. Just to clarify, I do not have severe PND. I have never thought of harming my baby and certainly wouldn’t do anything to myself. I am simply awash with hormones and finding some days more difficult than others. I have no doubt I’ll be back to my old self in no time.
I cannot wait to see what Abi does or even potentially says next. See you in December!
Thanks for reading.
Peace & Love xoxo