When I was expecting our little Fox, I would spend so much time thinking about the type of mom I was going to be and and all of the things that I thought would work for me as a parent. With social media, a plethora of baby apps downloaded and advice and opinions coming at me from every direction, it was easy for me start to building up a pretty intense list of baby do’s/don’ts, even before my son was born. Looking back, It was quite overwhelming and when Edwin was born I would find myself second guessing a lot of the decisions I was making because so and so said it wasn’t “right.”. I remember in the first few weeks of Edwin’s life, I would obsessively Google every.little.thing about babies and it ended up making me very anxious that I wasn’t doing things how they were “supposed” to be done. In the last 5 months I’ve come to realize that every.single.baby and mama are different and what works for one may or may not work for the other. Here are 5 things that I didn’t expect to happen after having our baby that did or didn’t work for us.
Exclusively Breastfeeding: I always liked the idea of breastfeeding, but for my entire pregnancy I assumed that it wouldn’t be something that came easily for me. Friends that I knew who had babies warned me about how hard breastfeeding would be, and my mother never breastfed which made feel that it might not be in the cards for my son and I. I was also already so anxious about having a baby that I figured breastfeeding was going to be one more thing to add to that stress. Fortunately, for Edwin and I, it came extremely naturally. As I mentioned in my birth story, Edwin latched onto my breast seconds after he was born and I think that that is what gave me the confidence from the get-go. While breastfeeding has not been without its difficulties (sore, engorged boobs, painful let down, leaking, extreme exhaustion and the list goes on) I would not give it up for anything (well at least for 12 months, haha!). After I had a good breastfeeding relationship established with Edwin, I mulled over the idea of a pump and sharing feeding duties with Jamie (I have a deep freezer FULL of milk from my Haaka pump alone) but I decided that I am okay with just breastfeeding him. Sometimes, Jamie will take Edwin out for the day and bring milk in a bottle but he hardly drinks what he should be. He seems to dislike the bottle (probably because my let down is strong compared to a bottle and it is easier for him to feed from me) and so that has been another reason why breastfeeding has been exclusive. Breastfeeding, let alone exclusive breastfeeding was something I NEVER thought was going to happen for me but I’m glad and very proud that it did.
Co-Sleeping: When I was pregnant, the one thing that was drilled into my head was DO NOT not co-sleep with your baby. The preferred method of “co-sleep” is to have baby in a bassinet next to your bed. Jamie and I do have the bassinet next to our bed which Edwin sleeps in 80% of the time but admittedly, I have co-slept with him in our bed countless times and I/we love it. I’ve even had Jamie sleep in the guest bedroom a few times so I could sleep with Edwin. When I was pregnant I told myself I would not be the mom who co-slept because I was terrified from everything I read. The first few times I did it I felt so much guilt. However, after doing some research and hearing form so many other mamas who also co-sleep, I’ve come to the conclusion that it is something that naturally occurs with a lot of moms and babies. I am by no means suggesting you co-sleep with your baby as you have to do what is right for you, but for us it has worked out really well…especially when Edwin was cluster feeding or we wanted to get a little extra sleep in the morning.
Having Colourful Baby Gear and Toys Everywhere: I had this idea in my head that when I had a baby everything I purchased was going to be very curated and aesthetically pleasing…not just to a baby but to adults as well. After all, there truly are some gorgeous baby products on the market. However, one thing I realized after Edwin was born was that babies LOVE the colourful classic baby products (they’re made for a reason, right?). So, aside from Edwin’s nursery that is aesthetically pleasing to both him and I, every toy he owns is pretty much in line with baby style and not so much mine. I also never thought I’d have a house covered in baby gear but guess what? When you have a tiny human who consumes 95% of your life, it is bound to happen. On another note, babies grow so quickly and outgrow the toys they use fast as well. The chic baby products are also really expensive and I simply don’t have the budget for that.
Not Wearing My Baby: I’ve shared a couple of photos and videos wearing Edwin so I assume a lot of people think I’m that cool mama who matches her baby carriers to her outfits and looks super cool while doing it (case in point, here). That is how I pictured it while I was pregnant too. However, that is not that case at all! When Edwin was a tiny little bean, it was great to wear him around. He enjoyed it and would sleep most of the time and it was very helpful when I wanted to get some chores completed or cook dinner. I had anticipated that I’d be that mama who was always wearing her baby and thought it was such an easy, effortless way to multitask. In fact, I have so many cute wraps from Solly Baby and WildBird that I was SO excited to match with my outfits. In an idyllic world, I would still be wearing Edwin but Flash forward a few weeks into his life and he couldn’t stand it. I would put him in his baby wrap and minutes later he would be having crying fits in the middle of the grocery store or on our walks. I found it too annoying to always be taking him in and out of the wrap and then do it up all over again and so we sort of gave up on the baby wearing and now I just carry Edwin when he wants to be held (which is still a lot!). I will say though that I am still a fan of the Baby Bjorn carrier as it’s very study and we will definitely still try to use that if we go on any long walk.