Having five kids is a gift from the Almighty. Why? I’ve been given the ultimate reward of life. Five children in 16 years! Some don’t have the ability to become a mother and I have been given that gift for five times. Others don’t have the capability to take care of their children after they give birth to them. But then again, I have been given that gift as well and I consider myself very blessed.
The essence of being a mother, I have it and if you are pregnant, you have it too – which is why you need to recognize this as a wonderful reward and live your days filling it with love for your child. Like many other young people, I got pregnant early as I was only 19 years old at that time. I didn’t know anything about being a mother and I had to learn all about it by hard experience.
I can’t say I am the perfect mother since no one was built by the Almighty in that way, but I can safely say that I do have practical tips for first-time moms to get rid of all the fears and worries. After all, I have five kids and I think I may know what I am doing.
Tip # 1 – Don’t get stuck on reading baby and parenting books.
You might be letting go of the most important fact – learning about the little things your baby does – if you focus too much on reading these “how to take care of your baby” books. Not everything is written down on a piece of paper. There are some things better left experienced than reading.
“It’s the combination of ‘must, can’t, won’t, should, could’ kinds of thoughts with the high level of emotion that can send moms down into the pit of depression or anxiety. Black and white thinking is a setup for disappointment, despair, lack of satisfaction and meaning, and low self-
worth,” says Erika Krull, MS.
For example, baby books will tell you to turn off the TV or radio so that your baby can sleep sound at night. That’s not entirely true. My firstborn would cry if the TV was off and my only son (my fourth child) would open his eyes if the lights were turned off.
Tip # 2 – There’s no need for you to worry.
The fact that you endured nine months for your child before he or she came out, suffered agony and physical pain for one to two days for labor and birth and then, taking care of your baby after all that – there is no better mom for your baby than you. So, don’t you worry? You have to believe that you are the best mom ever and that you will never fail your child.
“Friends and family can help by bringing some dinners, offering to take over with the baby for an hour or so that the parents can get a nap, or by babysitting siblings to give the parents time to focus on the infant without feeling guilty or pulled in multiple directions,” Marie Hartwell-Walker, Ed.D., recommends.
I had a very challenging time after my third child was born. The baby was premature at 8 months and she was choking inside of me literally – the condition was called “cord coil”. I was so scared because I thought we would both die. My mental health was dwindling that time due to stress and depression and so, I turned to online therapy and my therapist has greatly helped me in dealing with my stress and depression. Postpartum depression is real and if you need mental health wellness assistance, don’t hesitate to find help.
Tip # 3 – Staying active is golden.
I have always been athletic and played soccer since middle school, but a pregnant soccer player CANNOT BE. And so, I diverted my energy to pregnancy yoga. Good thing there was one studio in our city that offered the class and I took it. Why stay active? Believe me when I say that it will help you give birth naturally.
“In contrast to what many people think, exercise is as good for our emotional health as it is for our physical health,” says Raphailia Michael, MA. “It increases serotonin levels, leading to improved mood and energy.”
Tip # 4 – Slow down.
If you are super active, it’s not advisable, as well. A little activity is good, but a lot might jeopardize your baby’s health. That’s what happened to me with my third child. I was so wrapped up on opening a salon business of mine and I’ve been working nonstop that I almost miscarried her at month 4. Even then, I didn’t stop. I was required bed rest for the remaining months but NO, I was relentless.
The result was an emergency C-section at month 8 and my baby was in the incubator for weeks. That’s how I got so stressed and depressed. So, slow down a bit and enjoy the pace. There is no other thing more important than you and your baby’s health.
Tip # 5 – Let it unfold gracefully.
Each mother-child pregnancy and the birth situation is unique. Just let it unfold and savor every little detail. I had to wait 24 hours before my firstborn came out while my sister labored for 2 hours and her eldest child popped. She said she didn’t even feel a thing while I was cringing.
You know, it’s useless to anticipate and be nervous or apprehensive. Just be healthy all throughout your pregnancy by eating nutritious meals and exercise a bit, as well. Your OB will know what to do and keep you safe. The pediatrician is also there to monitor your baby.
Times are modern
now and everything can be viewed through a TV screen. There is nothing for you to be anxious about giving birth. Ask for an Epidural as I have done it for 4 of my 5 kids. It will lessen the cramping. (The Epidural was late on my second-born because she came so fast and I felt EVERYTHING. Was it good or bad? I’d say, it was a whole different experience which I won’t trade for anything.)
Is giving birth painful?
And the million-dollar question – is giving birth painful? I won’t lie. It is painful, but THE PAIN IS TOLERABLE. It’s like you want to take a dump (excuse my French) that won’t come out. So naturally, your stomach will hurt and there will be cramping.
The pain will extend to your lower back and hips which will come and go. When the cramping gets closer together, say every minute, you’re ready to push the baby. But if you have the Epidural, you won’t bear the cramping that much.
It is a beautiful experience – I have no words for it.