Pregnancy Hormones

I dont even need to give this one a clever worded title, it is what it is, and most of you will understand. If you are one of those “Pregnancy does not affect my mood” people, then I am happy for you, but move along, this post is not for you haha.

I have suffered from intense mood swings with both my pregnancies (currently about 10 weeks pregnant), and it has sucked. Not feeling like yourself emotionally or mentally is worse than not feeling yourself physically (well to me anyway).

Having no control over what you feel makes you feel like you lost all control over everything in your life, you overreact to everything and you know it, and cant stop it . Haha sounds crazy right ? Well it feels crazy !

On the other hand, I must admit that my second pregnancy so far seems to be a little bit better, I feel like I can control my moods a little bit more, whether it is that my body has been through this before, or because I am more mature, I will never know. Maybe it is also because I know what is ahead and am trying to pace myself or prepare myself for what is ahead haha.

We as women go through such an intense time becoming mothers, we loose control over our entire bodies for well more than nine months (including breastfeeding), we go through an intense transformation where we forget completely about ourselves and focus all our attention and affections on this tiny little human that is apart of us. Its overwhelming, its terrifying and it is the most important thing I have ever done with my life, and will ever do.

What we go through is something that no one else will understand until they go through it themselves, and even then; everyone feels different and handles situations differently, learning to respect each other for our differences is what is important.

So lets build women up, because we are rockstars and endure so much for out families.

👌🏻👌🏻👌🏻👌🏻

Advertisements

As my baby takes her first steps

My baby turns one in exactly one week !! And I find myself so emotional and nostalgic about the past year, having your first baby is so so intense on both parents. It changes every single aspect of your life – for the better !!

The first year is full of uncertainty and doubt around every corner, especially if it is your first like with us. The sleepless nights (well that is still there), the constant worrying (okay this is also still ongoing), the doubting (ha okay I will stop now), although I experience all these still on a daily basis, what has improved is my baby blues, my stress is a little less, and most importantly, I have had the privilege to see this little baby turn into a little girl, and that in itself, is reward enough for this roller coaster of a first year of parenting.

My sister once told me that for the first two years you just have to keep them alive, and well, entering toddlerhood, I wish she would have told me that it is not all that easy, they fall, they stumble and they just seem to have a death wish with the things that they attempt to do!

Thinking back, when we first brought her home I couldn’t sleep, mostly because I googled everything before I gave birth, and that made me so so paranoid knowing everything that could go wrong (wow was that exhausting).

It all just made me realize how fleeting motherhood is, I mean, a while year has gone by and sometimes it feels like I haven’t done anything this past year, but then I look at that face and I know I have done sooo much and I am so proud of myself!

So have that party, yes your baby wont remember her first birthday, but its important, for the whole family; to celebrate that first year, because lets face it, we survived !

How becoming a mom has made me apprehensive

I don’t know if it is only me, but since I have become a mother I find myself in these moments where it feels like I cant catch my breath, it is like my mind is constantly racing and I cant relax. Motherhood right !? Lol

My husband seems to think that telling me to relax will do the trick, ha right? Granted, my baby did just get burnt so I am a little on the edge and worried about her like any mom would be, but I do feel like I need to learn how to shut off when the time is right.

There are countless factors that contribute to this “mom anxiety”; the one that I don’t really have anything that occupies my mind or distracts me, I don’t have any family or friends nearby, combine all of this with someone that overthinks EVERYTHING and then give that person a baby = CHAOS!

I am constantly doubting myself, whether she is getting sick, if I am giving her enough stimulation at home, exposing her to enough of the “outside world”, and well, if I am a good mother. I feel like I cant have a few drinks at night because she might wake up crying at any minute and then I am not my best self, which is what she deserves.

After thinking about this for so long and talking it over with other moms, I have finally realized that I am human, which means that I simply cannot be perfect all the time, I cant make the right decisions every single time and I cant be the best mother I can be when I am constantly in my head and overthinking everything, because in the end, that just takes away from the present and all the amazing moments with my family.

Taking a few deep breaths every time I feel overwhelmed or my heartbeat picking up, has really helped me keep things in perspective, and I strongly believe that the mind is a powerful thing, change your mindset and the rest will follow, practice makes perfect.

Constantly living in fear of failing is not living! So here’s to more deep breaths and a different outlook on life. 👌🏻💪🏻

Lets talk marriage

Okay so only moms will know what I am talking about; there is nothing that puts pressure on a marriage like having children !

Especially your first haha, looking back now it is crazy to think how much we fought, and by fought I mean taking everything out on each other, the lack of sleep, the stress from breastfeeding and just being a mom, the very big change in priorities and countless other issues that seemed to have overwhelmed us as new parents.

it changed literally every aspect of our marriage, you see each other differently, that man is the father of my child, and I am the mother of his child, it changes the way you love each other, you share this amazing bond now, and no matter what the future holds for the two of you, you are now always linked by your child, you will always be apart of each others lives.

And to be honest, having a baby takes the romance and mystery out of it all a tiny bit (okay a lot, between the post baby crying and huge pads), and some days you really need to dig deep to find time to be intimate or romantic because you are just so so tired.

But at the end of the day your relationship is stronger for it, we have only been married two years and our baby girl is now turning one, and it feels like we have known each other our whole lives because we have been through so much together in such a short time.

So yes , starting a family puts pressure on a marriage, but you know what they say “diamonds are formed under pressure”.

Don’t give up, you will get date nights again and romantic get aways before you know it!

How having a child has made us both more mature

My husband said something to me today “I think I am way more mature since Paige was born” – This really made me think, and wow its so true its scary.

About three months ago we joined an online fitness group and did a 12 week transformation, it was so intense but the results are amazing, and he said that he would have given up a long time ago before he was born.

We always think that becoming a parent only changes the mother, but it doesn’t, it changed my husband too, he doesn’t just go out at night anymore because he wants to be home to spend time with his family, he is much more disciplined than before and this is because of our routine with Paige. It teaches you to do things even though you don’t feel like it, because well you just have to.

Having a baby kind of teaches you how to “adult” properly haha. I have never really felt grown up until I had a child, you sort of step into a whole new community that you never really understood before, and yet we still are who we were, in a sense, personalities intact, just with different priorities.

I honestly believe that we all go through stages in life , I saw my sister go through them, we all are those people that cant go out drinking or clubbing until early morning because we have babies that still don’t sleep through , fast forward a few years and those same people are the ones that don’t want to leave the party because their children are finally sleeping through and can go to the toilet by themselves )(I myself am looking forward to those days lol).

Thats why it is so important to surround yourself with people that get it, that understand these stages and respect them, that can go through them with you , to laugh with and vent with (and drink with).

Having children changes every aspect of tour life, and in every way possible, and soon you find yourself wondering how you were ever content before your house was in such a mess ❤️

Moming

Being a first-time mom is INSANE! No, I am not being dramatic, it really is; I read every book you can think of, felt so prepared for this new little bundle, I was a little bit older (27) and I though I am a little more stable in my life and more mature, so therefore; I can handle this and pass with flying colours.

The reality looked like this;

Breastfeeding

What!?

Living on a farm in South Africa, I had no access to pre-natal classes and mom friends, all the farmers in the area told me that “it comes natural” just relax and don’t stress because your milk will go away (I don’t know about you, but being told not to stress because something bad will happen, in fact, makes me stress).

The day my baby girl was born was exciting and overwhelming, I was a mom, and it was the best feeling in the world, latching didn’t happen the first time, but I was told to just keep at it, and it will get easier.

It did not.

I ended up pumping every two hours; slept for an hour, and then fed her, then pumped again, I was beyond exhausted (I also had a c-section), I was adamant that I will only give my baby breast milk because I was told that this is the ONLY way to do it. I pumped for 7 weeks, while trying to get my baby girl to latch every other day. Then I watched a YouTube video on latching, and wham! She latched, and I felt like the best mom in the world, till this day, this was my proudest moment. All went well for about 3 weeks.

Chaos

Because I pumped form the start, my supply was not as much as I would have hoped for, we managed, but I could see that my supply was dwindling, I went to my doctor and she gave me a pill that makes your milk supply increase, this worked so well for us.

Then the unfortunate happened; the area we live in is prone to political unrest, and protesting in our area started, we would go to town, and could not get back home due to people burning tires in the road, this was so scary while having a 3-week-old in the car. This happened a few times, and as a new mom, hormones flying high, this stressed me out so much, I felt like I am supposed to protect my baby and give her the best life possible and I couldn’t, it felt like everything was out of my control.

As luck would have it (even on those pills) 3 days later my milk supply dried up, just like that, over night.

The guilt that followed was unexpected, I felt like I failed my baby and as a mother, this is the most important thing for a mother; being able to feed her baby, so not being able to do that, brought on so many issues and regrets, the reason for my supply drying up is debatable; whether it was the stress, the pumping, or just a combination of all the above, I will never know.

We ended up giving formula, and I was amazed at how much more relaxed I was, and how content my baby girl was.

 

Hormones

I want to write this part with so much respect, because postpartum depression is so serious and so hard, every mom should take this seriously and seek help in any shape or form you see fit, but talk, don’t be ashamed of it, because I can promise you it happens more often than you think, all women just don’t feel confident enough to speak out about their experiences.

Although I never had postpartum depression; I definitely had a case of the baby blues – it took me roughly 2 months to feel like a person again. I did not feel like myself, I was emotional, irrational, paranoid, sad, lonely and misunderstood. The worst part about it is; I live around people that don’t think this is a thing, that don’t really believe in psychology and what it has to offer.

The good thing is, there are people to help, talk to a psychologist and work through this, for you and for your family, don’t suffer in silence with the hope that it will pass.

Sleeping

Okay so by now sleep deprivation is a term you are well familiar with, and you have even googled it a few times, but that is not the sleep I am talking about; I am talking about your baby’s sleep.

The first few weeks are not that bad (sleep wise) newborns tend so sleep when they should (well some babies anyway), but as the weeks go by; your baby now has difficulty falling asleep. For me, this was the biggest challenge, my baby girl only napped for 30 minutes at a time, and woke frequently at night, we even got a sleeping consultant to help.

The problem with sleeping is that your baby can’t do without it, they need it to grow, to recharge and to be able to interact with the world out there, the moment they don’t get this much needed sleep, they become overtired and overstimulated and this is something every single mom out there knows well – hell.

I have tried everything under the sun, baby wearing, rocking, singing, pacifier, swaddling, co-sleeping, own room, sleep training, block out curtains, white noise, no toys in the cot, sleep routine, routine in general, played with awake times, you get the picture, we tried everything you can think of. Some days we though we won, and then at night everything would just start all over again.

The moment you think you got the handle on this, then they are going through a growth spurt of a leap or teething or well, just a bad day.

Now

Figuring everything out and getting to know your baby takes time, and this is not something you want to hear because you need your life to get easier and to go back to normal or just to feel normal as soon as possible. The reality is, it does take time. My baby girl is 6 months old this week, and I am honestly only getting the hang of this now, I am apart of countless mom-groups, have family that help me, am constantly researching, and it still takes time.

But I can honestly say that it does get easier, I feel more like myself now, our baby girl is easier, and I even think that it might be because I am more relaxed, my hands don’t start sweating the moment I hear her cry, I don’t start panicking if she does something new, I don’t freak out over spit up anymore, and I don’t stress as much to take her somewhere.

In short, I think my hormones have finally balanced out.

Don’t laugh – its real! hormones after giving birth is crazy, I cried so much for no real reason, overreacted about everything (my poor husband), and I was just so stressed out everyday all day. This has since improved a lot, I can now take a breath because I know my baby is okay.

This phase in our lives makes me look forward to the next one, because I know what to expect, I know the ugly side of a lot of things now, and know that everyday is not always amazing and sunshine and roses all over the place like a lot of moms would have you think, but in the end, it is more than worth it; the rewards of being a mom are amazing, it takes over every little part of you and gives back so much more.

To all the newbie moms out there – you hang in there! Don’t let people “mom shame” you for doing anything, and it does get easier!

 

Danger ! Entering Toddler Phase

I honestly thought that my baby was a lot of work before, until recently 🤣

My baby girl is approaching 11 months now , and boy is she busy ! And I mean a good busy , she is learning and taking so much in now , she wants to explore everything and plays with everything BUT her toys 🤣 (and by this I mean the dog food, the plugs, the chargers, my cupboards, the remotes, medicine bottles, you name it) it has taken baby proofing to a whole new level !

Today motherhood just got the better of me , I feel exhausted down to my toes, and everything I need to do after she goes to sleep just feels like too much effort.

I just read online “there is no epidural for motherhood” – how true is that ? No matter how hard the day or situation is, you show up, and you give your child the best you can even when its hard. You wake up the next day and somehow just have the energy to do it all again.

But seriously, having a busy baby/toddler is no joke, I spent most my time closing my bathroom doors and hiding something new she found today, but I would not have it any other way and am so grateful that my baby girl is healthy and happy 🙏🏻