As pleasant and hospitable as the staff members at the hospital were, while in the hospital, I kept wishing I was home. I was ready to care for my daughter and have some sense of normalcy, after the labor and delivery of Taylor Miriam. Unfortunately, I did not take full advantage of the hospital’s nursery so I was extremely tired when I arrived home.
When people tell you to sleep while the baby is sleeping, they are truly giving you valuable advice. Instead of following that advice, I unpacked, watched television, caught up on e-mails and uploaded pictures to Facebook. All of which were keeping me from getting the rest I needed. Consequently, my first night home with Taylor Miriam was stressful for both baby and me.
Of course my three-day-old baby had not yet developed a sleeping pattern and had not gotten acclimated to her bassinet, which resulted in a night of constant crying. Despite my “Happiest Baby on the Block” tutorial, my mind went blank and I did not recall what to do to soothe a crying baby; so I fed her. For two hours. Did I mention that I’m a breast feeder? In my delusional, drained, and drowsy state, I did something that resulted in days of sore nipples. What was I thinking?
Well I wasn’t thinking, I was tired and desperate. Unfortunately, the two-hour late-night feeding did not result in Taylor falling sound asleep. However, skin-to-skin contact did. I rested Taylor Miriam on my bare chest and she fell fast asleep. Mommy followed suit. We slept for about three hours.
That night taught me that when mommy is rested, baby is well rested. It is difficult to make sound decisions on two to three hours of sleep. Since getting a complete, consecutive six to eight hours of rest is out of the question, sleeping while the baby is sleeping is truly the way to go. Another thing to consider is having a family member or friend help you out during this transitional time.
The following day, after my sleep deprived night, my mother came over with a suitcase, groceries, and donuts in hand. She did not come to spectate and play with the baby, but to help maintain the household, care for Taylor while I rested, and care for me while I recuperated from Taylor’s delivery. With her help, for nine days, I was able to rest and feed Taylor every two to three hours, while she handled the rest. Her assistance and selflessness was such a huge blessing; not only was I able to get a handle on being a first time mother, but I was also able to develop a routine.