Things I Wish I Knew

Operations Manager

After I found out I was pregnant, it didn't take long before I began reading, researching, and preparing myself emotionally, physically, and intellectually to become the best parent for my baby. However, it wasn't until I became a mother to my beautiful daughter that I realized just how much is left out of those books: about being pregnant and the intense highs and lows that accompany welcoming a beautiful miracle into the world.

Would I have believed it (or even wanted to hear it) if someone else told me I would be a puddle of tears at 6 pm on the dot every night for the first few weeks? Probably not. But becoming a parent is full of surprises and every parent’s journey looks different. Some achieve parenting through assistance of surrogacy, some have an early birth, some have babies with medical issues, some have struggles conceiving, etc. With that being said, I want to be sensitive to what each individual parent goes through. No matter how your journey looks, you are a rockstar and should be proud.

Based on my journey into parenthood, here are the important things I would tell myself if I could go back in time.

Your baby will come when they’re ready and it will be the perfect timing. 
You may feel like you will be pregnant forever, your stomach couldn’t possibly stretch any further and that the sweet baby you’ve been growing for nine months plus will never get here but they will. From someone who tried just about every old wive’s tale in the book and delivered a week and a half past my due date, just relax and savor this time. 

Giving birth is not as scary as you think.
Yes, labor pains and contractions can feel pretty unbearable and in that moment you feel like you cannot do it, but believe me, you can. Your body was designed to do this and you can endure more than you think. It will all be worth it when your baby is laid on your chest.

Postpartum depression and postpartum anxiety are real, but there is help available and you can get through it. 
It seems irrational how often you think your baby has stopped breathing or the thoughts of the worst case scenario happening to your baby. Seek help, whether that be through a trusted resource or your OBGYN, it’s out there and you are not meant to endure this alone. You will get through this. Not sure where to go for help or feel like you are not getting the support you need? Here is a well-respected resource:  Postpartum Support International.  Are you a few months or even years out and still don't feel quite right?  This resource may be able to help: Postpartum University.

You will sleep again.
In those first couple of weeks between feedings and recovery, you might feel like you will never sleep again, but trust me, you will and it will make a world of difference. When the time comes, you may or may not want to look into a training resource such as Sleep Solutions: Birth to Six Months or hiring a Newborn Care Specialist to lay a healthy sleep foundation for your newborn.

Self-care is important.
They say that a shower is considered essential and not “self-care”; however a few minutes in a hot shower with the door shut is life-giving in those first few weeks. Science even tells us that exposure to water in particular is a major factor in our emotional well-being and that a shower or bath with the door shut can support just that. Whatever self care looks like for you, try to find some time each day to do something for you. The saying, “You cannot fill from an empty tank” is so true.

Leaving your baby for the first time will be challenging.
It will be harder than you think. After being together for nearly ten months, it seems unnatural to be separated. However, it is perfectly healthy to get out of the house, whether that be to meet up with friends, go on a date night with your partner or simply make a trip to the grocery store alone.  

Give yourself some grace.
You did just bring a human being into the world after all. Give your body the proper time and support to heal and recover; it just did an incredible thing and you worked so hard. 

In the end, every parent’s journey navigating the ins and outs of parenthood looks different and experiences can be vastly different. What’s important to remember is that you are not alone, there are amazing resources to help and you are the best parent for your baby. 

Julie Morgan currently serves as the Operations Manager of Newborn Care Solutions®. As the Operations Manager, she is involved in multiple areas of Newborn Care Solutions®, assuring productivity, efficiency, and care for all. Julie earned her Bachelor of Arts Degree in Communication Studies with a concentration in Public Relations from North Carolina State University in 2015. After graduating, she spent three years in sales and recruiting before transitioning to the Nanny/NCS industry, where she has another three years of experience working with agencies to assist with branding, supporting students and agencies at Newborn Care Solutions®, and served as an integral part of the office team at the International Nanny Association. She has a great passion for helping others reach their goals and it is one of her greatest joys working with individuals daily to meet their specific needs to help them thrive.  When Julie is not busy supporting students and agencies and overseeing office operations, she enjoys soaking in all the baby snuggles with her newborn daughter, spending time with her friends and family, running, hiking, and relaxing on the beach.

Photo Credit: Photography by Shannon Marie

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