Testimony Tuesday: What I Wish I Knew Before Having a Baby

The highs, the lows, the lessons and the tips …after 9 months of motherhood ๐Ÿ™‚

 

Mr. Peprah Photography

WHAT I’M WEARING:

Earrings: Fully Covered Still FlyDress:Fully Covered Still Fly (size small) ; Slippers: Kate Spade ; Bag: Kayu Chloe’s Dress & Hat: Target

By the grace of God, I can say that I have been a mother for over nine months. I’m not surprised by this fact. I did tell you in the past that I was born to be a wife and a mother. But I will say that I am amazed by God, and His provisions. I think it goes without say that motherhood isn’t easy. And as a relates to your first baby, you really have no clue if what you’re doing is right or wrong… unless of course someone advises you.

I’ve been fortunate to have a tribe  support while raising Chloe. Otherwise, I may have been susceptible to post part depression. My mother who is a NICU nurse stayed with me for three weeks after birthing Chloe, and my retired dad, who is not your ordinary African man (he is very hands on), lives with me and babysits Chloe while I work my corporate gig.

I’m simply sharing in list form some of the lessons I’ve learned /what I wish I knew before giving birth to Chloe:

  1. Get an advocate before giving birth. I think one of the biggest mistakes I made before giving birth was not hiring a doula. While I did extensive research on the OBGYN I would use to aid bring Chloe to this earth, I didn’t realize that OBGYNs are not obligated to support and encourage my “personal birthing preferences” or do anything beyond the scope of their work. Although I was believing and praying for a supernatural birth for Chloe, I was told only one day after my due date that Chloe was positioned posterior, meaning she was facing up instead of down. I discuss more of this in my birth story; but because I did not have a doula to support me, I was not able to get Chloe to turn in the womb and position her better for the birth canal.
  2. What you eat can affect the size of your baby, which can, in turn, affect the way you give birth. In my last trimester, I was eating entire full sized watermelons and egg rolls daily. As a result, Chloe was over 8lbs. Since she was bigger than most babies, and since she was positioned posterior, the widest part of her head was trying to make it down the birth canal. As a result, the doctor advised she was having difficulty coming down and I needed to get a c-section.
  3. Breastfeeding is no joke and some babies do not latch to their mommy’s nipples. As with the case with Chloe, my breastfeeding experience was a terrible one. Not only was Chloe not latching but I literally detested the pumping experiences. As a result, I gave up after one month and my baby went straight on formula. If you want to breastfeed your baby, you have to prepare for the time that may come when the baby doesn’t latch. You must be intentional about having patience and not feeling like a failure of a mother when things don’t go smoothly. Remember whether breastmilk or formula, a fed baby is BEST. Don’t compare yourself to any other mom and don’t let any professional or mother make you feel bad for the decisions you make with your kid. Everyone has an opinion until they’re in your shoes.
  4. Getting sleep as you know it will be gone forever. No amount of mommy warnings about your lack of sleep can prepare you for motherhood. Just when you think your baby has finally mastered sleeping through the night on his/her own, something like sleep regression, sickness, or sudden change of mind occurs- and voila baby is back to waking up every 3-4 hours. Chloe gave us about 2 months of sleeping through the night in her own bed, and in her own room. But shortly after, she got sick and her routine completely changed. Now at 9 months, Chloe refuses to sleep alone or without physically feeling another next to her. Which leads me to the fifth lesson…
  5. Get creative and intentional about intimacy/spending time with your spouse. It’s easy to forget about your husband and wife when the baby enters the scene. Gone might be the days of you cuddling for hours at night and having sexy time whenever you want. Be intentional about keeping the fire burning in your marriage and NEVER replace your spouse with your kiddo, no matter the temptation!

I hope these tips help you as you journey to becoming a parent. Remember there is no one-size fits all solution for parenthood. Do what works for YOU and your FAMILY. And never take advice from someone who doesn’t have kids. I don’t care if they’ve worked in pediatrics for 80 years. All common sense goes down the drain when raising babies. ie. Imagine using breast milk as a baby moisturizer to combat excema?! Doubt they’ll teach that in school.

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6 Comments

  1. Asia Lorea
    July 14, 2020 / 1:46 pm

    Awwww grandparents are the best!!

    Great post. Baby girl is too cute. . I agree a midwife/doula is the way to go ! Where I went for my pre natal care the midwives only deliver at Yale-St. Raphael campus which is an intimate 6-bed maternity ward-low rates of c-section, a doula is on the floor, whirlpool and etc. You really get the nurses undivided attention. For those who deliver at the main campus w/ OBGYNโ€™s Iโ€™ve heard similar stories.

    • Christina Kwarteng
      Author
      July 14, 2020 / 1:47 pm

      Wait! We need to have a chat about this more!

  2. Raynna
    July 14, 2020 / 3:15 pm

    Thank you thank you thank you! Weโ€™ll be welcoming our first child, a girl in October and this just helps so much. Your transparency is appreciated and reminds my husband and I to advocate for me during pregnancy, birth and post partum ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. Ahema Asare
    July 14, 2020 / 8:30 pm

    Great tips for new Moms. Let me add a couple more. Everything you read (feeding, sleeping, etc.) may not be appropriate or work for your baby. Always do what works for your baby and your family situation. i.e I tried the old leave her in the crib till she falls asleep advise. Never worked, child cried for 2 hours and never stopped. Went to putting her on my back till she fell asleep every night or her father would let her fall asleep on his chest before transferring to the crib. She didn’t like being awake in that crib until it became a toddler bed.

    Don’t sweat what your child eats or doesn’t eat as long as they are growing normally. If there is health problem your pediatrician will let you know and you can figure out what to do together. Don’t go crazy making fancy toddler meals. Every time I did that it was a dud. Your food is the best food. Let your child try everything. You never know what s/he will eat. My LO loves kenkey, rice, and the occasional Chik Fil-A fries. We do air fryer fries at home too.

    • Christina Kwarteng
      Author
      July 15, 2020 / 7:38 am

      Hahahah this is so good. Chloe eats every african dish we eat but isnโ€™t a fan of baby food lol

  4. Julienne
    July 15, 2020 / 12:12 am

    Thanks for the heads up / advises

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