The best thing I have done while pregnant was to attend the antenatal classes ran by a wonderful woman who had four kids and is a midwife for over 25 years now. She helped me understand more the process of being pregnant, the labour and birth. What is my body going through and how to think of this journey as the final steps towards meeting my little baby, my miracle. I think every mother to be should find her way to these classes.
I was mentally prepared for birth and I ended up at the birth centre when I was already 4cm dilated. I used only gas and air to cope with the pain and about ten to twelve hours later I finally held my little princess. Thing is it is all such an amazing experience and the adrenaline rush doesn’t let you rest for few days. You just stare at that bundle of joy thinking: I made this!
What happens after though? What about when you get home, you settle in and sleepless nights, feeding problems and panic take over you? Nobody tells you about that before having the baby. It’s like this big secret all mums keep away from you until after birth. I wish I knew so many things when I was struggling with depression, when I was blaming myself for my baby not sleeping through the night like others, for my baby needing a dummy so she can settle and for me not being able to breastfeed for more than two months. I wish someone would have told me that this is all so normal and I am actually not doing anything wrong. I am just letting my baby grow in her own time without interfering with what is natural for millions of years now.
I wish someone would have told me that my baby is coming to this world as a highly evolved creature able to breath and already knowing the suckle mechanism helping her feed and live.
Just after my baby turned one (as it always happens I discover things a bit late) I stumbled upon a book written by a very experienced midwife. It is called “Your baby skin to skin – learn to trust your baby’s instincts in the first year”.
The importance of skin to skin in the first hour of our baby’s life is vital I would say. The importance of skin to skin in the first months is as well. Everyone tells us not to pick up our little ones too much as they turn to be spoiled and they will manipulate us the way they want. Such a stupid thing to say. This book helped me understand why having my baby in my arms felt so natural to me and still does, why in the first four months after becoming a mother I preferred holding my baby to sleep in my arms at night instead of dropping her in her Moses basket and later in her cot so she can wake up minutes later crying.
The first year of your baby’s life is explained so natural and simple by the author that you will be able to understand and eliminate all frustrations that come with tiredness and lack of experience in motherhood. She tells you the story of the Stone Age mum and this shows you that whatever your great grandmother and your grandmother did works even today and you don’t need to try and change it.
“Modern life can look so very different from that of the earliest of humans, but some things bind us together in our experience…. you and your baby are the highly evolved survivors carrying, silently and without realising it, the knowledge and ability to do just fine”
If I were to use all quotes I highlighted I would just copy the book onto my blog so I will try and be as short and entertaining as I can. From the first minute of motherhood up to the moment your baby turns into a toddler you get to live so many beautiful, proud moments but you get the tears and frustration as well. If I would have found “Your baby skin to skin” when I became a mom I would have known that what I do is go with the flow, let my baby teach me what being a baby is. I learned her cries and I learned her content moments by studying her, spending 24h with her and still I had moments when I felt like I have no clue what I am doing. You know why? Because I had no idea that babies are just babies and they don’t know Day from night, they don’t want anyone else but their mommy because mummy’s skin helps them calm and settle into the outside world. I cried so many times thinking why she doesn’t want to stay with anyone else but me? Why is she not doing what others do ( sleep through the night, play on her own without being clingy).
I couldn’t explain it to the other mums who were bragging about how they sleep soundly every night and I couldn’t explain it to myself. I just felt guilty.
Now, watching my baby settle, self sooth and sleeping through the night, eating all she gets and being such a good little toddler I understand that letting my baby be a baby was the best thing I could do. I woke up every hour every night for almost a year, I cuddled and rocked her without thinking what I am doing. I was doing what every mother did from the beginning of time. I was being led into motherhood by my own instinct and my own baby. Now my little girl is a princess and she knows to listen to mommy, she knows that she gets all she wants without tantrums and frustrating moments.
Having skin to skin contact with my little one got us so close together. The bond I have with her is unbreakable and the fact that I held her in my arms every single moment in her first four month didn’t make her a bad baby in any way but on the contrary. It made her a very calm, happy and smart little princess.
“Your baby skin to skin – learn to trust your baby’s instincts in the first year” is your guide to motherhood
Post natal depression, your newborn baby, their eyes, arms, legs, their skin, poo and pee, the way they develop – every single detail you encounter in your first year can be found thoroughly explained in this book.
It all makes sense
I read it after Ruby turned one but I did discovered the answers to all my questions regarding her and my emotions, eureka moments and frustrating impossible to solve tasks. I realised that I should have taken things easier and literally look for my baby’s reactions and instincts and just follow that. Nothing is more important than knowing your baby.
This is not a book only for mums. Rachel Fitz-Desorgher, the midwife and author of this guide helps dads as well. She teaches us how to cope as a new family, how your partner can help you and your newborn. She helps your partner understand all you and your baby are going through and also how to bond with the little one without any frustrations.
I cannot recommend this book more than I do now. It is literally the ultimate guide to parenthood. You don’t have to read it chapter by chapter. You can easily look for that thing you want to find out about and read that but in the same time I tell you, you will go further and read it all because it’s so easy and gives you so much peace of mind regarding your role as a mother and assuring you that you are doing a good job. Let’s face it.
All of us had that crazy desire of hearing someone else telling us what a brilliant job we are doing.
“You are on a journey together, with a pretty blurry map and a destination that is, as yet, uncertain. It is difficult and scary, so be kind to one another”
And if you go through those emotional moments thinking how embarrassed you are because your baby throws a tantrum think of this:
“we all have emotional blowouts at times. We get overwhelmed and can’t see the wood from the trees; we get so tired and stressed that we can’t think straight; we can’t make ourselves understood and the frustration builds up and overflows.
The difference between our toddler and us is that we have some coping strategies”
– keep calm and think of this before losing it in the middle of the road because your little one has a tantrum.
Breath, think that you are the mature one and act like it. Eliminate these frustrating moments from your life and be the good mum that you are.
Read “your baby skin to skin” and see how simple all is
PS: I did want to host a giveaway and actually sent this book to a new mother or a soon to be one but my little girl decided to practice her writing skills on the cover and some of the pages. If you are not bothered by her scribbling, please comment below or contact me and I will make sure the book will get to you.