Categorized | Baby Care, Birth, In the News

New parents tips of the month! Having a baby, fears, challanges and enjoyment

Posted on 15 March 2017 by Kristrun

Your newborn baby

What did you find most enjoyable about having a baby so far? Katrina: It was an enormous relief to finally meet our baby Gabriel, to see that he’s well and ready for the world.
Do you remember how you felt when you knew  you were expecting? Katrina: I was absolutely, unreservedly terrified.
What has been hardest during the pregnancy? Katrina: The hardest thing for me was the need to face up to my fears, big and small. For nine (and a half…) months, there were endless questions and worries circling around and around in my head, but there was no way to work through them until Gabriel arrived.

How about the birth? Katrina: I think it’s very hard not knowing when things will kick off or how long labour will last – how do you pace yourself through a massive physical endeavour that might begin at any given point on, before, or after your due date, and that could go on for hours or days? I thought of stories about the long labours of friends and relatives, and couldn’t help but think, “if this labour lasts XXX hours, I’ve still got about XX hours to go…”. In fact my labour went so fast that the real problem was convincing doctors to move me to the labour ward in time for birth. We made it with less than half an hour to go before Gabriel’s big entrance.
….and after the baby is born, what are the biggest challenges? Katrina: I’ve had to learn to be patient, which does not come naturally to me. And trying not to fall asleep at a critical moment (such as Gabriel’s third dinner at 4.35am) can take some will power.
How about most enjoyable for this period? Katrina: I’m having a great time learning to understand Gabriel. It’s like a whole new language. At the same time, he is learning the ways of the world at a much faster pace, and changing every day, so he’s never dull. And it’s been really fun figuring all this stuff out together with my husband Bjorn.
Any recommendations or advice for new parents-to-be? Katrina: This is a request as much as a recommendation: Be honest. No pregnancy and no person is perfect (this includes mums, dads, babies, doctors, relatives, bosses and the rest). Don’t feel bad if your experience is not always as warm and fuzzy as the diaper ads or Hollywood would have you believe. It was such an enormous help to me when other parents-to-be and parents were honest about their pregnancies and parenthood – the good and the bad. And when I was honest in turn, I found that my honesty solicited the most practical advice, and the most heartfelt sympathy. If I’d kept quiet, everything would have been much, much harder, and much less fun.
Any specific dad-to-dad advice? Bjorn: There’s all sorts of things the dads can do to support mum and baby in hospital. You can be there to provide support and encouragement, and you can also play a critical role as an advocate when the mother is tired or concentrating on the birth. But do your homework first so that you know what kind of challenges you might come up against in your chosen hospital. If possible, speak to other parents who have had their children there in the recent past so they can help you to figure out what sort of problems you might face. And if your wife is British, remember to bring her many, many cups of tea to speed recovery…

Anything else? Katrina: I’m so glad I kept exercising all the way through pregnancy. Being relatively fit and healthy have helped with both the birth and recovery, and during pregnancy I relished the feeling that I could still work with my body despite the insane and often uncomfortable physical changes. I know parents and parents-to-be are hardly short of advice or anecdotes, and I promised myself I wouldn’t add to the cacophony… but if I were allowed to preach just one thing to pregnant mums, that’d be it.
Thank you for contributing Katrina, Gabriel and Bjorn!

The Annerley team



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