In Life, Parenting

What parenting books don’t tell you as mothers

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Breastmilk production

It isn’t magical. I mean in that there’s a lot of work involved.

I had ideas of my son latching on, while we watched squirrels frolic on branches and birds would come and do my hair…. but he NEVER LATCHED.

He was wilful and stubborn and never once did he latch on except to bite me so hard he drew blood.

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He never wanted to put in work to do it — we tried to see if he was tongue-tied, whatever. I went to many experts, and finally I just gave up.

I pumped every 1.5 – 3 hours even waking myself up to do it in the closet, to try and pump out milk for him to drink from a bottle instead of from the breast directly.

In other breastmilk stories, even if your baby can latch, it may not be enough for them and you’ll have to supplement.

Long story short – YOU DO WHAT IS BEST FOR YOU and your baby.

As long as they are eating and growing, everything’s good.

Epidurals

Don’t be a heroine. Take the drugs. The pain is unbelievable. I can’t remember it now, but I remember thinking it was eleventy-billion on a scale of one to ten.


There will come a point where it will be impossible to drug you for birth, so you will have to scream through a natural birth and curse yourself for causing such pain.

They be cute after they out, though

I had a C-section and it was almost too late for them to do the drug even though I wanted it 100% from the start, because my labour was too fast for them. Baby Bun had his foot almost coming out of me and they desperately told me to stay still so they could inject it into my spine otherwise they would just cut me open with no drugs.

THAT, made me stay still even though the contractions were coming hard, strong and fast, and they got the needle in and I was relieved.

The aftermath of this epidural however, is not pretty.

I shook like crazy on the table, uncontrollably as the drugs wore off, like I was shivering, and I wasn’t able to feel my legs for a day or so.

I was also unable to go to the bathroom normally. It was like my body forgot and I had to re-teach it.

They told me if I couldn’t go to the bathroom they’d have to put the catheter back in or else my bladder would burst and cause more trouble.

I was listening to water run, thinking of rivers, fountains and then my body finally remembered how to pee, and it was a huge relief.

What to bring to the hospital, for real

Extra diapers for the baby (newborns are tiny, take the smallest possible), and diapers for you.

Yes, for you. Adult, post-birth diapers to catch everything coming out from you because the baby’s home is flushing out of your body after you give birth.

And I mean it. I mean, everything is coming out, the kitchen, the couch, the little TV they had in the corner with their rendition of Monet on the wall.

You are going to need plenty of those diapers, and will constantly need to change them as not to feel icky for the next oh, 2 weeks?

I had a C-section, so not only was I diapered with a mesh panty to hold up said diaper, I was also dealing with trying not to get my scar infected as it was healing (showers were awful), not to mention trying to sit and lie down without whimpering from the pain of having been sliced open.

A U-Pillow

This is recommended by a mother who said it made breastfeeding easier, and it also helped with sleeping while pregnant.

Your own pump

Bring your own pump to the hospital and the minute you have given birth, start trying the pump to get milk production up.

You only have a short time frame for your body to establish how much milk it thinks your baby needs, and the more you pump, the more your body thinks your baby is crying out for more milk, and it will produce more and more.

That’s why I pumped every 1.5 – 3 hours, to mimic my baby feeding, even though he was just sleeping and waiting for the bottle of mixed breastmilk and goat milk to come to him.

A schedule to fill in for the nurses

Create a little schedule noting down when you changed the baby, how many times, how much they peed/pooed, what colour it was, and what time.

If you don’t do this, they will wake you to ask you. Do it, so they don’t have to ask you and you can just tell them to refer to the chart and let you get some sleep.

After the babies come out though, they can do really wild things like you know, dig into their diapers, take out the poo and smear it on walls and books or on their faces to give themselves poo facials.

Mine never did this but I heard plenty of others who did…

Any other tips from mothers?

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Sherry of Save. Spend. Splurge.

Millionaire at 36 after getting out of $60K of student debt in 18 months, a little over a decade earlier, using TheBudgetingTool.com. Since then, I have paid my $600K home in cash (my half was $300K), my $180K casr in cash, worked 50% of my career (taking 1-2 year breaks), and quadrupled my income within 2 years of graduating, going from $65K to $260K with an average lifetime savings rate of 50%. I could retire today if I wanted, but love my work-life balance as a freelancing consultant in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math). I am all about balance - between time and money, and also enjoying my money. I also post daily on Instagram @saverspender.

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4 Comments

  1. Mia

    (And US insurance plans cover a pump purchase per baby, plus hospitals have hospital grade ones they prefer you use. Plus our hospital gave you the book to write down what baby did.)

    Reply
    1. Sherry of Save. Spend. Splurge.

      We did not have this at all…

      Reply
  2. Mia

    Depends on where you give birth. If you have private insurance in the US, you’ll be in a hospital that provides everything you and the baby possibly need. We had to bring extra bags to take home all the free stuff they gave us, not just diapers other baby products. They even gave us toothbrushes, Crabtree and Evelyn shampoo and soap, etc for us and provided meals for my husband.

    Reply
    1. Sherry of Save. Spend. Splurge.

      That sounds ideal. We have universal care in Canada, so none of this was covered

      Reply

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