A friend of mine, Kristina, gave birth to her first-born child back in September 2016. She was blessed with a beautiful daughter who has brought so much happiness and love into her families’ life. Kristina got in touch and asked if I would consider hosting a guest post so that she could get a few things off her chest, so to speak, and so I obliged… Over to Kristina…
In September 2016 we were blessed with our beautiful baby girl Charlotte. I, hand-on-heart, can’t express how thankful I am for her. She has been good as gold from day one.
The three questions I get asked the most are…
How does she sleep?
The question I am sure EVERY new parent is asked almost daily.
I am fortunate that from day one I’ve been able to say “fantastic” she literally from the day she was born known night from day and been a great little sleeper. I was advised on our first night in hospital that I needed to feed her every three hours, being a nervous first time mum I did exactly as I was told. For the first month of her life I was setting an alarm on my phone to feed her every three hours through the night. Each night I was having to wake her as she was sound asleep, I felt guilty waking and unsettling her but after being told to do it in hospital I carried on.
At a month old, I mentioned to the health visitor that I was doing this, she advised me to stop and as Charlotte was gaining weight (on the 91st centile) and was healthy she would let me know when she wanted fed. I put her to bed at 8 that night and she slept until 5am, had a feed, then slept until 9am. The only thing in this pattern that has changed is she now goes to bed at 7.
I hope you don’t think I am being smug, far from it, I am and always will be grateful for this and I know just how lucky I am.
However, her being a good sleeper has one rather unexpected drawback. People (family, friends even complete strangers) smugly saying to me “well it won’t last”, “wait until she’s teething then you’ll know about it” or “she’ll be a dreadful toddler”. All of this may be true, she could be the most horrific toddler and I won’t get a wink of sleep, or there is a chance that she will continue as she is. Who really knows? And does it actually matter, I won’t be sending her back if she suddenly decides she hates sleep!
This might sound like a really minor thing, but over the months it’s really started to get me down. I am being made to feel guilty or I’m somehow not a proper mother because I’ve got a good baby. Someone has gone as far of accusing me of making it up because “it’s not possible for a baby to do that” – I assure you I’m not. I wish I knew why she was so good so I could help fellow parents out who struggle. The worst one for me though was when someone asked “are you sure there is nothing wrong with her” this came from someone close to me, I had to leave the room and go for a little cry. I got myself in a right state, maybe there is something wrong, you never hear of babies sleeping this well. Those words have stuck in my head, and still now 17 weeks later, I worry about this daily. Am I failing her by missing some massively obvious health issue?!
How is feeding going?
After a wobbly first week or so we’ve had a very positive Breastfeeding journey. I was discussing this with my MIL and her friend who has called round to visit. The friend proceeded to tell me that Breastfeeding is all well and good but “Formula is as good now, why not just put her on the bottle then everyone can have a go feeding her” – at first I thought she meant that others “having a go” would allow me to have a break, but no, she thought I was depriving my husband, friends and family of their right to feed Charlotte. Really, are you for actual real?!
Feeding for me is a VERY personal issue, I’m sure each new mother thinks long and hard about how they will feed their baby. How someone else chooses to feed their baby in my opinion is none of my business and unless they were doing something I felt could harm their baby I’d never comment anything other than words of encouragement. Why did this lady feel it acceptable to come into my home and judge how I a choosing to feed my baby?
Has she has *insert latest bug here*?
Another thing we have been very lucky with is (touch wood) we have gotten through most of winter and she hasn’t had a bad cold or the vomiting bug that appears to be doing the rounds in the city. My mum thinks this is thanks to breastfeeding building her immunity, I believe it to be a combination of that and sheer good luck!
I was talking to a fellow new mum who stopped me in the local supermarket to ask where I’d got Charlotte’s hat from, we got chatting and she asked if Charlotte had had a cold as her son had been quite poorly with it for a few weeks. I said fortunately not, her reply “You’re maybe not exposing her to enough germs, you should mix her with other children more”
I had NEVER in my life met this woman.
Maybe this is a normal thing for someone to say and it’s me in the wrong for being offended?! For the record she does Baby Sensory, Massage, Swimming and we attend a coffee morning. Add to that socializing with friends children I’d say she’s pretty well mixed.
I suppose what I’m saying is that being a new mum is daunting enough (well for me it was) without people constantly trying to find fault or have their say on you and your baby. I am sure the comments aren’t said with any intention to hurt or offend me, and maybe I am being all hormonal about it but what is it with people and their (albeit well-meaning) observations and comments?
This is my first ever blog post, in fact probably the first time since school that I’ve had to write more than 100 words so please be patient with me and accept my apologies for my sometimes incoherent ramblings. Thank you Steph for giving me a platform to air my views. I’ve actually found it useful just writing them down!