Sharing a piece of myself today. No pictures, though, because I couldn’t get myself to take photos.

I’ve locked myself inside my room. I brought my laptop, because I needed something to distract me. Zeeka couldn’t stop whining. First, it was about Monopoly and how she couldn’t get the little paper money inside the little pouch. After whining about that, she whined about not being able to play with the big sack of play dough. I didn’t let her play that because we were having friends over, and I didn’t want to dirty the place. After that episode, I just had it. I didn’t want to do anything that would hurt her, so I ran towards my room, shut the door and locked myself up.

She kept on crying for a good 15 minutes and shouting.

So yeah, this is my life. And ‘this’ happens (behind the scenes of social media) at least a couple of times during the day, mind you. These are the scenes that we don’t show. But, as moms, this is our REALITY.

As I look at young, single and fashionable women on Instagram, I couldn’t help but feel a little jealous. “Look at you having the time of your life,” I scoff. “Enjoy it while you can.”

Now, my life is full of concerns like: “Did she finish her baon today? or did she pee on her underwear or how’s my schedule like next week since they extended club time”.

I want to be concerned just for once about whether my tan lines show or not! Please! Haha!

Then after my “internal” rants about my predicament and after feeling sorry for myself, I hear a knock on the door. This cute little human in pigtails asks me for food, because she’s hungry.

My heart melts. We’re then friends again.

And this cycle continues.

Last January, there were a lot of times when I freaked out when my daughter’s temperature would rise. She is more prone to having convulsions, since she already had one episode last December 2017. This is the reason why I am so hands-on when it comes to her health and nutrition. I  guess being a mom means having a lot of times when you freak out, because you don’t know what the #3!! is happening! I know that I am constantly learning new mommy tips and tricks as my daughter gets older. One thing that I am thankful for are the other mommies who have given me advice during times when I would freak out. So as a sign of gratitude, I am also sharing my tips on How Not to Freak Out When You have a Newborn Baby!

What to expect!

I remember feeling happy and excited to see my baby while waiting in the delivery room. After 9 months, you’re finally seeing your newborn baby — that human being that you grew inside your belly! It sounds unbelievably amazing, right? But, let’s face it! I’m sure your are also feeling a little bit of fear and anxiety on how to handle a baby properly. This is your first time as a mom, and you don’t want to make a mistake. I was like that! I wanted things to be perfect! haha! Many first-time mothers are anxious on how to breastfeed, bathe and calm their newborn babies. Today, I’m sharing an overview of things that I did and some ways on how not to freak out when you have a newborn baby. Knowledge is power!

How to breastfeed?

Place your baby’s body towards your breast. As soon as he opens his mouth, let him suck your nipple. His mouth should also cover the areola area aside from the nipple. Hold your breast for support. Be patient as this would require some practice to successfully nurse him. To be honest with you, my nipples hurt like crazy during the first week. But eventually, she (baby) got it right and we manage to pull through our challenge! You can breastfeed him/her as frequent as possible for more milk to be produced. The more demand there is, the more your body will create supply. So when I had my baby, I would feed as often as possible (since I knew I wasn’t gifted in producing a lot of milk). Target on nursing him for 8-12 times in a day.

How to bathe your newborn?

During the first month, it’s fine to only give sponge baths. The real bath can be given after the umbilical cord falls off. This usually happens on the third week. When giving him a bath, prepare first the things that you need near you. These are baby wash, towel and wash cloth. When you wash his body, focus on one area first. Try to work from head to toe. One hand should be on your baby and the other hand to wash him up. As soon as you’re finished, lift him/her up from his armpits. Place the baby on a towel and then wrap this around him/her.

Zeeka’s Bath Time!

How to calm your baby when crying?
Your newborn might be crying because of hunger or he/she is irritated with his wet diapers, or just feeling bored. He can make you frantic with his non-stop crying. Before rushing him to the hospital, you might want to try to comfort him by patting him on the back, swinging or carrying him on his side. If those don’t work, he might just be asking for some silence to doze off and finally fall asleep. My daughter always slept in the car! Cars are amazing for that moment when you don’t know what to do. Just drive around!

Baby Zeeka not feeling well… on the way to the Pedia

How to carry the Baby?

Guess what? We never used a stroller when our daughter was an infant. She hated all the strollers that we purchased. My tip is, just buy the stroller when the baby is there so they can test it out. We made a mistake by buying (because we were excited!) and being super ready even before the baby was born. A nice and super functional item that we bought (but test our first) are baby carriers. My carrier was like a belt with a seat. I would just carry the baby while she’s sitting. That seat acted like extra pair of hands! It was so cool!

So there! These are just some tips that I’d like to share with you so that you don’t panic. Believe me, everything will be okay! 🙂 I used to think of the worst situations, but then I finally accepted that I beat myself too much when things (uncontrollable) go wrong.  So the best advice that I can give is stay calm and don’t freak out, event if you have no clue on what’s happening. When you’re calm, you have presence of mind, and you’ll be able to think  things through.

Do you have things on your How Not to Freak Out When You have a Newborn Baby list? I’d love to hear more about what you have on your list! Share it with the other parents or expecting parents who are reading this. Comment on the comment section below 🙂

 

 

This is not like me. I have always had things under control. I’m not so much of a control freak, but for everything before, I always had the opportunity to handle things in such a way that I like the outcome or I expect or get to foresee the outcome. And yet now, I am frustrated. I literally find myself crying over… crying over ‘I have no idea’ actually.

It has been 1 week and three days since our little bundle of joy was born. The minute she was born, my husband and I were in cloud 9. It was such a great feeling to have a child of your own to love, to hug, to kiss and cuddle. Since I had a C-section, I was in the hospital for four days.

During those days, we had a difficult time adjusting to the baby’s sleeping and feeding schedule. My personal goal is to the be the best mommy that I can be. Even before Zeeka was born, I vowed to myself that I would exclusively breastfeed and I would stick to that. My goal led me to ask for the baby to be roomed-in right after she was born, so just few hours after my operation in the morning, Zeeka was already with me in my room late that afternoon.

Since I was not that mobile yet, I breastfed her in the hospital doing the side-lying position. Thankfully, Zeeka had a good suck. She latched right away after our second try. We, Ej and I, would get up every so often to feed her and change her diapers and have her burp. We would monitor each and every feeding and diaper change. These were days of sleepless nights.

When we got home, we continued to have sleepless nights. I then had problems since my nipples started to sore and bleed. We tried different breastfeeding positions and for some reason, Zeeka could not latch well. I felt so frustrated. I didn’t know what was suddenly wrong. I kept on thinking that it was my fault. I kept on crying and crying, since I really felt like a loser ‘mom’. Why did so many people seem to direct breastfeed so easily? They seem so calm and relaxed in the pictures that we see on the net and even in real life.

I know I did everything I could. I attended breastfeeding classes. I attended three in fact. I attended birthing classes. Why can’t I get Zeeka to latch well. Of course I know that my sore nipples were due to Zeeka’s incorrect latch. I gave up and started pumping.

When I started pumping, I got to collect around half an ounce of milk from both breasts. This made me frustrated again. It entered my mind that I didn’t have enough milk. I got to hear from friends that they collect as much as 2 ounces of milk and some even more. Again, it felt as if it were my fault. Every time I would hear Zeeka’s shrieks and cries, I would cry, too. I felt so unfulfilled. Everything felt so uncontrollable — my milk let down, the hunger cries of my baby, my sore nipples, etc. I felt so useless.

At this time, I was already thinking of mixed feeding. Although, at the back of my head, I really wanted to exclusively breastfeed and formulas were really a no-no for me. It was a good thing that I stuck to this commitment. I just kept on convincing myself that if I had to pump every hour, I would.

At this time, Ej and I decided to already call on the help of Abbie Yabot, a lactation consultant to help us fix our latch. She came to us yesterday, early morning. It was just the right time, since I was losing it. Before she arrived, I was crying over spilled milk (literally) that I pumped.

She arrived at almost 8:00 am. When she came, we immediately went straight to trying to latch Zeeka, and in just a minute or so, she successfully latched on to me. We learned a lot from Abbie during her visit. We learned a lot of things, both incorrect things that we were doing and tips on how things should be done. The session was really helpful. We are now perfecting and practicing our latch and I am more at ease with all these things going on with Zeeka and with her feeding.

They say that motherhood is one of the best things that could ever happen to a woman. When I look at Zeeka, all bundled and cuddled up, I do believe that this is true. I read this beautiful article that a friend shared with me, Beautiful Catastrophe: The Death and Rebirth of Becoming a Mother, and I couldn’t help but cry. I could relate to the writer in so many levels.

No one or nothing can really prepare you fully for motherhood. Your mother, your grandmother, a lactation expert, etc. can give you all the advice in the world, but you will still have to adjust and learn with your child. Both of you, with your husband, will have to take the journey together. This is what I learned with my experience.

And if you accept the fact that…
1. you are not perfect and are only human
2. that not all things are within your control
3. and that motherhood is a learning process…

everything will be waaaay easier.

To end this, I leave you with this quote:

“Through the blur, I wondered if I was alone or if other parents felt the same way I did – that everything involving our children was painful in some way. The emotions, whether they were joy, sorrow, love or pride, were so deep and sharp that in the end they left you raw, exposed and yes, in pain. The human heart was not designed to beat outside the human body and yet, each child represented just that – a parent’s heart bared, beating forever outside its chest.” ― Debra Ginsberg

Love lots,

Mommy Ginger

Mommy Ginger

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