Postpartum Interviews: Ashley and Adam
Ashley and Adam welcomed baby Arlo on October 6, 2017. Here is their postpartum experience:
How did your actual experience differ from your expectation of what it would be like?
I have held and taken care of many babies in my life. I read books and countless articles. I asked our pediatrician hundreds of questions. I really thought motherhood would come naturally to me. False!! I was scared shitless. It was like I had never held a baby or changed a diaper before. I was so nervous about every little thing. It took a few weeks for me to settle into my new position and feel comfortable. It took months for me to really have confidence as a mother.
What was the hardest part for you?
The sleepless nights!! I listened to all the articles and advise people gave me in regard to how your baby should sleep. “Never let your baby sleep on you, never co-sleep, always swaddle, if he doesn’t sleep alone he will never be a good sleeper” and so on! It wasn’t until I stopped listening to this, started co-sleeping and snuggled Arlo to sleep every night that we both started sleeping MUCH better.
What seemed to be the hardest for your partner?
His inability to help at night. It wasn’t that he didn’t want to. Since day one Arlo has wanted nothing to do with anyone else but Mama in the middle of the night. Although he couldn’t feed Arlo and get him back to sleep, he always got up to make sure I had everything I needed.
If you could have prepared differently, what would you have done?
I would have stayed off the internet (besides the mama facebook groups I am in). You can really drive yourself crazy reading through all the different opinions and stories on the internet. I gave up googling things and it has taken a huge amount of anxiety off my shoulders.
Most and least helpful things your partner did?
By far the most helpful thing Adam did was clean bottles and pump parts. It is my least favorite part of breastfeeding and I am SO GLAD he started taking care of that for me. Adam also took on a lot of the house work. Even the smallest things like vacuuming helped me out so much. I can’t think of the least helpful thing! He has catered to Arlo and I since the moment I got pregnant!
How did your actual experience differ from your expectation of what it would be like? We thought it would be much more hectic and stressful but we were able to pull our weight and do as we needed to keep him safe and comfortable all while keeping our sanity. Lol
What was the hardest part for you? The lack of sleep. You never know the value of sleep until you don’t have it. It eventually became routine but was extremely difficult in the beginning.
What seemed to be the hardest for your partner? Being a new mom and not knowing if she was doing things “the right way”. You can read a million books and watch a thousand videos but the truth is you’ll never be fully prepared.
If you could have prepared differently, what would you have done? Again, more research. Home life with a newborn is much different than all hands on deck in the hospital. What you should or should not do is a constant torture as you don’t really know if your choosing the right way to do things even though everyone’s experience is different.
Most and least helpful things your partner did? She stayed true to learning how to be a nurturing mother. Least helpful doesn’t really pertain to our situation as we both tried to do as much as we could.