First of all; Happy Finnish Mother’s Day to my dear mother and all the wonderful Finnish mothers I know!
Thought it would be nice to put down some thoughts about what motherhood has been like up until now – Lana was 3 months old yesterday. It seems like a good time as I’m now finally starting to feel that things have settled down and I feel a bit more in control…I also feel like I’m back to normal both physically and mentally. Plus it’s Mother’s Day of course 🙂
I got this
Birthday Mother’s Day card today. Lana’s getting pretty good at writing 🙂
As expected, the first couple of weeks we’re a bit of a haze and went by in no time, and were mostly spent worrying about Lana not feeding enough as the whole breastfeeding thing didn’t come as naturally as I thought it would. It was, however, worth all the effort and screaming and I can consider myself lucky as Lana was feeding fine by the end of the 3rd week and has continued to do so. So well that she now refuses to take the bottle (with expressed milk) nor a dummy!
After the issues with feeding Lana started showing signs of being uncomfortable and perhaps even in pain and as a result became increasingly unsettled. I started googling and reading up on what it could be, and came to the conclusion that it had to be either wind or reflux – or a mix of both. After seeing a couple of GPs here in Edinburgh we got Lana on a couple of different medicines (which I hated giving to her) that didn’t do much at all. I was constantly worried and hated seeing her cry as I thought she was in loads of pain.
It was only after seeing a children’s doctor in Finland when Lana was 8 weeks that I finally realised (although I had been told so by many before that) that babies tend to cry even when there’s nothing wrong with them. That’s what babies do; they cry. The doctor also said that he strongly recommends taking Lana off the reflux medicine she had been on for 2 weeks – which I was very happy about. We stopped giving it to her immediately, and she actually got better after that! So no more meds for Lana unless it’s absolutely necessary.
Anyway, that was a turning point for me, and after that I’ve been a lot more relaxed and been able to oversee the crying Lana and focus on the smiling Lana 🙂 She’s a perfectly healthy baby, who’s not suffering although she cries every now and then. My advice to other new mums out there is to not put your baby on medication straight away, but just wait it out and see if things will take care of themselves – which they most likely will. Oh, and also, stop googling stuff and ask other mums instead! And finally a third piece of advice: trust your own instinct as a mother. It is difficult especially for first time mums, but I’ve noticed that I’m often right when I just do as I think is best. It’s your baby after all!
However, a couple of weeks ago I made the mistake of starting to read a book about how to turn your baby into a good sleeper, and suddenly realising that Lana has no sleeping schedule although she’s “already” nearly 3 months old. For a few nights we tried to get her to bed a lot earlier than her usual 11pm bedtime – but it did not go well at all and just left all three of us feeling stressed and exhausted. Luckily I consulted my group of friends who are mums who all told me that they’ve never forced their kids into a routine and that it will all come naturally. After that I decided once and for all that this is the end of stressing!
Being a mother has come as a very natural thing to me (which I guess it should), but at the same time I sometimes struggle to think of myself as a mother and feel like nothing has changed. I’m still exactly the same person although I’m a mother. On the other hand, I’ve been a mother for 3 + 9 months already, so maybe the transition has just been so subtle that I haven’t noticed the changes in myself? Did you somehow feel like you’d changed after becoming a mother?
What I do feel is that I should be more responsible and stop doing certain things, such as crossing the street when the light is red or wear really short skirts – or start doing certain things, such as opening a savings account 🙂 The other day we went to Topshop, but had to leave since the music was so loud that I felt like a bad parent for bringing her there…That incident somehow really made me realise how things have changed and that I’m now in charge of a little person.
Lana is a very happy baby who doesn’t mind smiling at strangers – but she will also let us know loud and clear if she’s not happy with something. She can be very stubborn too, just like her mum…She rolled over the other week, she laughed out loud the other day and she’s slowly starting to grab things and put them in her mouth. She’s been self-soothing for a while now by sucking on her hands and she’s talking to us quite a lot. She’s going to bed around 11-12pm, and her sleeping schedule is still very irregular; one night she might sleep for 5 hours straight and the next she’ll wake up every two hours. She doesn’t mind spending time by herself – she’ll happily sit by herself in her bouncer or play on her playmat – and I often find her wide awake talking to herself in her cot after a nap. She’s also getting better at falling asleep on her own, but mostly we still have to hold her in our arms to get her to sleep. The reflux is better and I don’t think she’s got much wind at all. Her favourite thing in the world is getting her nappy changed – if she’s crying that always calms her down. She also loves having a bath, but she’s kicking so much that we’re always soaked after 🙂
Lana is interacting with us more and more, and I can’t wait for her to start crawling, to hear her say her first words and take her first steps. It’s all just so exciting, and it’s amazing how interesting and funny it can be to just watch her. Not holding her for just a couple of hours makes me miss her, and seeing her smile at other people makes me so proud. To me she’s just the cutest little thing in the world, and I can’t (or want to) imagine not having her in my life. Having children truly is another dimension in life – like my mum would put it 🙂
In the end, taking care of a baby isn’t difficult – it really is just about feeding them, changing nappies and making sure they sleep enough and feel loved and cared for. What it is though, is tiring. Tiring and so much fun. But you forget about the tiring part as soon as your baby smiles at you.
x Nina x