This part of Coffee Break is special to me because Ágnes is a very busy person who, even as a mother, kept to this habit and didn’t sink into a slow and tranquil home life, but came and went, exercised, cooked, washed dishes, danced, shopped and did yoga – all this with a newborn around. I can only encourage everybody to live a life like that! In part 7, Ágnes tells about the first six weeks with her baby daughter.
Awesome! Six weeks at home, in peace and quiet. It was indeed awesome, but hard as well. The first two weeks were really good, getting to know the baby and the new life. At that time, even my husband was at home because he took two weeks off. We rested, read, delighted in watching our daughter, and we were happy for each other.
Since I’ve always been a busy person, spending my days lying around was never an option. Of course, after coming home from the hospital, it was great lying down and doing nothing, but that only lasted about a day. The next day we already cooked together and I did the dishes after lunch just like before. This was four days after giving birth. An acquaintance of mine told me that she was still in bed four weeks after giving birth and her family took care of her. To me that’s weird, I couldn’t have endured it. The second week I already made pancakes because that’s what we happened to fancy.
I’m sure there are some who can’t get up for real, I’m not denying that. However, since nothing apart from my hemorrhoids and perineal wound hurt, I was rather on the go and did my daily routine. The days passed quickly, as half of daytime was about breastfeeding (see previous article), and at night we could rest, so I “recovered” even faster.
The nights… “You’re lucky!”, “Just wait for the second child…!”, everyone told us. I don’t think it’s a matter of luck. Even before the birth of our daughter (since the 24th week) we went to bed with my husband reading a bedtime story to her. By 10 p.m. at the latest, we were already in bed and slept through the night. Even during the pregnancy, I woke up during the night to go to the bathroom at most once. After coming home from the hospital, we continued this routine. Evening story, then going to bed. Of course, in the first days I woke up at night to feed her, but that didn’t last long. Since she didn’t require three-hourly feeding at night, we didn’t force it. From the first weeks she’s been waking up at night at most once, and many nights we can sleep all the way through. But I think it’s not just luck, but conscious education. I’m ready for counter-arguments, of course.
After my husband went back to work, harder days came. Unfortunately, our baby girl became colicky. This meant that, often from 7 a.m. till 7 p.m., I could only comfort her by nursing or having her in my lap. Nursing, of course, wasn’t always helpful either, because if she had too much, the tummy ache returned. It was a vicious cycle… What saved us was the wrap carrier and dancing. Yes, dancing. After breakfast, I wrapped her up, turned on the radio, and danced. This way she could even sleep. As soon as I stopped, she woke up. I couldn’t put her down at all. This period lasted about a month, that is, until the end of the six-week period of bed rest. Bed rest, sure… I danced several hours a day. Since these were the hottest days of summer, I tried doing all this in a shadowy place. This is how it worked in reality: I turned on the radio in our shed and danced in the yard in front of it all morning, to the great delight of our neighbors. At noon the place became sunlit, so, switching to the radio in our summer kitchen, the dancing continued in the backyard. In 30-38°C, „tied together” with someone else, it was quite vigorous exercise! I’m sure it helped me recover so quickly, not counting a few unpleasant days. During the postpartum checkup, the doc said everything was back to how it was before delivery. Of course my stomach didn’t get flat again, but that will also change eventually!
I had my first outing alone three weeks after giving birth. I went to the department store… I hate shopping, but even this felt good then. I was constantly thinking about the baby, of course, wondering if she’s all right, so I didn’t do a shopping spree lasting half a day, but it still energized me a bit.
The first visitors came in the sixth week. It was great that me and my husband didn’t need to carry the baby around all day and that we could share the task with relatives and friends. Since I had previously made a Facebook post asking everyone not to bring unnecessary presents, we really did get useful things (mostly different vouchers) besides not having to dance for a few hours. Regardless, I’ve often noticed that even though my baby girl was carried by a relative, I was still shaking it as if I were carrying her. I was used to it after all.
From the sixth week, we’ve started socializing not only with our relatives, but also in other ways. We started going to mom and baby gymnastics and yoga classes where we met other babies and moms. Since we were moving there too, she bore it quite well from the very beginning. Of course, when only the moms were moving and the babies were lying still, she usually expressed her disapproval quite vocally. Luckily, the other moms and the trainer were really tolerant, so we fully integrated into the team in a few weeks.
I don’t know how moms who’re alone with their babies all day endure it. I love my daughter, but I also need company, and I find that the constant coming and going is good for her, too. She’s a happy, balanced baby, just like I’m a happy, balanced mom. I know I need company and some action not to go crazy, and indeed, a baby will end up just like its mother.
Source of featured image: unsplash.com
Translation by Ádám Hittaller