Things I wish I knew before I gave birth to my child

There are some things I wish I knew before I gave birth to my (first) child. I hope you’ll find it useful.

 

  • Whatever you’ll do with your baby, people will find something to comment about. My suggestions are to read a lot, google a lot, ask a lot and learn a lot. Then, just be firm with your decision. Mother knows what’s best for her children.

 

  • During the pregnancy, your belly will expand to accommodate the growth of the baby and you will feel itch all over it. I’ve been warned not to scratch it but no one can really feel how bad it was than myself. Indonesia is a tropical country, Jakarta is a hot metropolitan area, and the air conditioner in my office was broken. Because of those reasons above, I was sweating all over and feeling itches all over my body. I couldn’t bear and stand it so I scratched it again and again. Since I didn’t have full-body mirror and had not been able to look under my belly for months, I was quite shocked to find out that it was already full of purple, red and brown stripes or stretch marks. Four months after giving birth, they’re still there, unchanged, getting even more prominent. It is a badge of motherhood but if I can have it disappeared, I would be happier since it makes me lose some confidence of my body.

 

  • Moms who decide to breastfeed her baby probably won’t be in such a hurry to get a breast-pump after giving birth. But, consider having it sooner than later. Working moms should build their milk-stash early while work-at-home moms should also prepare a certain amount of it, just in case they need to leave the baby for a while.

 

  • First time moms should opt for manual breast pump in the beginning then shift to electric type after getting a steady amount of milk. I chose the electric type from the start for efficiency reason then realised that I did not get the satisfying amount of milk. I tried the manual pump and turned out getting better result.

 

  • You will end up having a lot of everything, especially if it is your first child. Just buy an adequate amount of each items ’cause there’s a big chance that you will get more as gifts from family and friends. For me, I ended up having a lot of baby blanket and bath towels, some of them are still in its packaging. And as I was saying before, because I used electric breast pump in the beginning, I also ended up stacking some bottles suitable for that pump but later neglected them after shifting to manual breast pump because they had different neck size. I also have different types of bottle-nipples which I don’t use anymore since: 1) the hole is too small for my baby and she got angry because it was quite difficult to suck the milk in, 2) The frequency of direct-breastfeeding is increased and she refuse to drink breastmilk from bottle.

 

  • Open your baby-gifts immediately. I delayed it cause I assumed that I will get the same stuffs over and over again while I needed something else. I bought what I need and found out that the unopened gift was exactly the stuff that I needed and had just bought earlier. What a bummer! I also got a lot of baby clothes specific for certain months and put it somewhere to be opened when my baby has reached that months. But babies grow fast and suddenly you ran out of clothes. Out of curiosity, I opened some clothes for 6 months-baby and found out that they were even already too small for my 3 months old baby! What a waste.

 

  • Rent rather than buy, think twice before rent. You don’t have to always buy everything, Nowadays, there’s an option to rent some stuffs to test out whether they are suitable for you or for your baby before finally buying it. But, even before rent, think again. Do you really need that item? Take me as an example. I was feeling the urge to buy baby car seat but I would only use it for a short moment. So I decided to get a baby car seat rent for 2 months since I wanted to get around everywhere with my baby without having to wait someone else to accompany me. Suddenly after renting, I didn’t feel like driving by myself cause my baby was always want to direct-breastfeed, the traffic was always terrible and it was much easier to get around everywhere with Uber. So, the baby car seat is still there, untouched and unused, until the rent time is up.

 

Well, that’s it for now. I will update more when I find out more later.

 

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Being a Mom

Words are not enough to describe all emotions I feel during my 38 weeks pregnancy and the time after I have my baby. 

Selama hamil, walaupun tiap bulan di-USG dan sedikit demi sedikit merasakan tendangan yang semakin kuat, rasanya masih susah dipercaya kalau ada makhluk kecil yang tumbuh di dalam perut saya. Bahkan sampai ketika si bayi diletakkan di atas tubuh saya sesaat setelah lahir, rasanya saya masih susah percaya. It feels unreal until it gets real. 

Jangan ditanya rasa sakitnya saat hamil dan melahirkan. Semua terasa, mulai dari sakit pinggang, kram kaki tengah malam, sesak karena heartburn, dan rasa mulas yang luar biasa. Saya sudah pernah ‘diperingatkan’ oleh suster-suster dan ibu-ibu yang sudah pernah melahirkan soal rasa mulas ini dalam berbagai sesi senam hamil tapi I guess nothing can really prepare you for it than the experience itself. Rasanya penjelasan kalau mulas sebelum melahirkan itu seperti mau buang air besar adalah pernyataan yang terlalu sederhana dan underrated. Memang rasanya seperti itu tapi jauh, jauh, jauh lebih hebat. Belum lagi saat dijahit setelah melahirkan dan konstipasi yang menyusul sampai 2 bulan setelahnya.

Hebatnya, Allah menciptakan wanita dengan kemampuan menahan semua rasa sakit itu. Makhluk kecil yang keluar dari perut kita tumbuh semakin menakjubkan dan membuat kita lupa semua rasa sakit yang pernah terasa selama hamil dan melahirkan dia ke dunia.

It’s indescribable. Suddenly our world changes. I am no longer who I am before. Rasanya saya sanggup berkorban apa saja untuk memastikan makhluk kecil ini tumbuh sehat. Our child becomes our source of happiness and sorrow. Saat dia tidur dengan tenang rasanya hati ini damai dan bahagia. Saat dia menangis terisak karena harus diimunisasi, diambil darah untuk tes lab, atau ditindik, rasanya hati saya perih sekali. Tapi saya percaya semua Ibu berusaha mengambil keputusan terbaik untuk anaknya, diimunisasi atau tidak, asi atau sufor, ditindik atau tidak, dsb. Tentu saja harus rajin mencari informasi, lewat internet atau bertanya pengalaman orang-orang, lalu dipilah-pilah lagi sesuai yang kita yakini cocok untuk anak kita.

Setelah menjadi Ibu baru saya tahu rasanya di-judge dan dikomentari orang-orang soal keputusan kita untuk anak yang membuat kita mempertanyakan kembali apakah memang saya mengambil keputusan yang benar, apa saya Ibu yang kejam dengan keputusan yang saya ambil ini, apa anak saya tersiksa dengan keputusan saya. Pantas saja ada istilah ’emak-emak baper’ karena memang begitulah rasanya.

Itulah kenapa saat bertemu dengan ibu-ibu muda lain saya berusaha keras menjaga perkataan, membesarkan hati dan menenangkan mereka dengan pengalaman saya, karena saya tahu rasanya tidak enak di-judge. Bulan-bulan pertama setelah melahirkan rasanya sangat stressful karena bayi selalu terbangun, ibu capek kurang tidur dan tidak bisa beraktivitas lain. Tidak perlulah kita menambah keruwetan dengan komentar-komentar yang kurang sedap. Lebih baik cari cara yang baik untuk menyampaikan masukan.

Jadi, untuk para Ibu lama dan Ibu baru, keep smile ya. It’s all worth it 🙂