When I was pregnant, I did extensive research on the development of my baby and on the changes that would occur to my body after giving birth. I found lots of useful information, but there were holes in my understanding that didn’t get filled until I actually became a mom. So, here’s what I’ve learned and experienced:
- Craziness: AKA the dreaded “Mommy Brain.” This is the term given to describe the forgetfulness and crazy demeanor of new moms. I experienced it for a few months after the birth of my daughter. I would find myself standing in the middle of the kitchen, holding a sock, and not having any clue as to why! Or I would realize I had fed our dog, Porkchop, way too many times in a day because I couldn’t remember if I had already fed her or not. Porkchop is a small dog and burns calories rather quickly, so she didn’t seem to mind this over-feeding.
- Paranoia: Related to craziness is paranoia. There’s lots of frightening information and statistics about babies dying from SIDS and so I was paranoid the first few weeks of my daughter’s life. I put her on her back for sleep, as is recommended by pretty much everyone, which eased some of my fears. I had read somewhere that breathing in carbon dioxide was a possible cause of SIDS. I actually ran the ceiling fan on the lowest setting at night when Emily was sleeping, even though it was October and the nights were starting to get a little chilly, because I thought it would circulate the air and prevent her from breathing in her own carbon dioxide. Paranoid? Yes. Did it help me to sleep a little more at night, knowing I was doing everything I could to help prevent SIDS? Absolutely!
- Loss of Hair: Not every new mom goes through this, but apparently hair-loss is fairly common. It didn’t happen to me until around 8 months postpartum. I know most people would be alarmed at the amount of hair stuck to the hair-brush or getting washed down the drain, but I was actually grateful for it. My hair became more manageable.
- Baby Talk: We try not to use baby talk with our daughter too often, but we do have some silly words we use with her. One afternoon after talking with the mailman, I said to him, “Night night.”
- Ninja Stealth: If you’re a mom, you’ve figured out how to put your baby down for a nap and exit the nursery with the stealth of a ninja. You know where all of the creaky spots in the floor are, you have a sixth sense that someone is about to ring the doorbell, and you can suppress your sneeze so well that sometimes you wonder if you actually did sneeze. If you’re really good, then you can move your sleeping baby from her car seat, through the house, and into her crib without her stirring. My husband was better at this than I was.
- You Become a Baby Whisperer: It’s true what they say about a mother being able to learn to differentiate her baby’s cries. To be fair, you can pretty much narrow it down to 3 or 4 things: the baby is hungry, tired, needs a diaper change, or is uncomfortable/in pain. This skill isn’t perfect right away, but you get the hang of it as you get to know your baby.
- Silly Jokes or Puns: Perhaps this is something that only I experienced and the rest of you are raising a quizzical brow. Anyhow, one day when nursing my daughter, I asked her, “Ready to switch to the ‘udder’ side? Get it, Emily? ‘Udder side!'” Of course she didn’t understand, but I thought it was hilarious.
- Bermuda Triangle Effect: Your house becomes the Bermuda Triangle of pacifiers, bottles, and baby socks. We’ve gone through about ten pacifiers because they keep disappearing. I’ve looked under the couch, behind her crib, in the bookshelves, everywhere! I cannot figure it out. Now that Emily is mobile, it’s even more of a challenge. Just the other day, I found a bottle in her laundry hamper. She had stashed it there for some reason.
I’m sure that as I continue through this journey of being a 1st time mother, I will see my list evolve and change. If you have any more signs of mommyhood that you’d like to add, please feel free to leave a comment.
- Advice for New Moms – Don’t worry, I was scared of my baby, too (babble.com)
- Can Pacifiers Reduce the Risks of SIDS? (babyzone.com)