The things I learnt from my 40 days after birth

– Accepting that my child came to this world to learn something (even though I don’t know what it is) and that he has his own karma (which is partly also my karma). All that happens during birth and the first fourty days after birth (eg unexpected changes in plans, complications) is part of that higher plan in which we all fit in, although we don’t always see it.

– The only thing that never changes is that everything changes. Although it may seem that the sleepless nights will never end, they actually will end, sooner or later.

– It is unbelievable how flexible the human body, mind and heart can be. Allow yourself the flexibility to become a mother. I never would have imagined before that I could sleep in such strange and seemingly uncomfortable positions such as the ones I sleep in when Theo wants to sleep on top of me. And I did manage to sleep in such positions. Get someone to do a massage to recover from such events.

– Accept help from loved ones. I would not have managed to come out happily and easily out from the exhaustion of birth and postpartum without the great help from my parents. If it is cooking you a nice meal, rocking the baby while you take a nap, or even changing a diaper, bringing some food from the shop. From my mother I got great emotional and spiritual help and support with all kinds of new-mother’s questions.

– Trust your intuition. At first I thought that intuition would just be there or come instantly on the first cry of the baby, but I realised that it is something that builds up, that you learn together with your baby. It comes with listening to his needs, to your heart and to experiences. With each day I learnt something new and listening to what my baby wanted in an ethereal way. Trust that intuition, if you feel that this is what your baby is telling you he needs, then go for it. All others might say other things but YOU are the mother and your link with your child is infinite, beyond this world, indescribable. You don’t need to explain why and how you feel this is what your baby needs, just trust that feeling.

– Give yourself a moment each day, to be with yourself and meditate, stretch, breathe or at least enjoy a warm shower (for this you need the support of your husband or a loved one who takes care of the baby)

– Patience, patience, patience. And more patience. In the learning of anything new, you need to be attentive and listen, and have patience with your baby, with your partner, with yourself. Having a baby is a whole new yoga – union – and as any new yogas, you start from scratch and you need to build up on experience. Keep in mind always that union and that connection with the infinite which is beyond this world. In those long sleepless nights of the beginning, when there was no more hope to get sleep and patience was scarce, I thought  to myself (and to my baby) something like this “patience is nothing that I can run out of, since I have no patience, patience has me and it is endless”. For this, a great support was the affirmation by Yogi Bhajan “patience pays”. (words and affirmation here)

– See the big picture. This is a hard one. As a new mother, your baby draws you into a very small picture, which is only the space between you and him (usually, and ideally, only a few centimeters or not even that if you are often skin-to-skin). When it gets hard, like when your child is crying inconsolably at night because of colic, and you feel you cannot do anything (you have probably already tried everything), just open your heart, thank your child for crying and communicating (and thank god for giving your child lungs and the strength to cry), and open the space to uphold your child and his cry within your heart. It will soon be over (and if its not then there might be something more than just colic so check that) and your child will be off stress and sleeping soundly. Sometimes crying is needed (although every time Theo cries my heart shrinks to the size of a raisin). Seeing the big picture also implies understanding with the mind that these times will pass, so you might as well enjoy it. And it also means that there is a reason for everything – even your not understanding why he is crying or why he is not sleeping or eating as usual. Your baby is a human like you and me – somedays you are more hungry than others, some days in a bad mood. Just keep an open heart to accepting everything and not expecting anything in advance. Your child knows what he needs – trust that beyond anything others might say.

– Enjoy every moment. Everyone has heard stories of mothers who stay staring at their babies all the time, and accordingly melt to that vision. Allow yourself to fall in love with your child again and again. It is nature’s way of making sure everything is taken care of for our little ones, and to remind us that there are greater things in this world than we can ever think of with our functional brain.

– Allow yourself to shut down from the outside world. Even reading an email in the first days after birth was hard. No brain, no thinking was easy. Let someone else take care of the rational things, give yourself the time to be only with your baby and mind only baby business. 40 days in your life without having to worry about other things is such a short time after all.

– Learn from each other. Your child communicates with you every moment. Allow him the opportunity to communicate with you, and listen attentively. Listen to his changing needs, every day you can discover something new, in this amazingly quickly growing moment of his life. This is the time when he will change the most, grow the most and he needs the most support from you. Be with him, carry him as much as possible, protect and provide all he needs. Give him the security and strength you want him to have all his life, if you do this now he will have it forever. He will be self-confident, and I see that already after the 40 days, my baby who before wanted to be in my arms all the time, now he needs and demands his space and solitude for some times of the day. He can rest from his mother for a while, and he needs that space, already now.

– Relax. Every new mother wants to do everything perfectly. You are the perfect mother already, you don’t need to become it. I got into a lot of stress trying to do everything “right”, and after some hard lessons I realised that everything I do will be right for my child when I do it consciously. I cannot protect him from everything in this life, I can only do my best, and let God do the rest. If there are flaws in your partner, in your home, in yourself and in your day, it is fine. Just trust the infinite and relax. If a mother is stressed, the whole family and home is in stress. If you are happy, relaxed and centered in yourself, the home will be like that. Treat yourself and others kindly.

– Don’t think too much. It can damage your relationship with your partner, put you under lots of stress. Better just focus on your intuition and shut down your brain. In its due time, your brain can be re-awakened. Just focus on loving and providing all for your child, and love all, be compassionate to all (including yourself).

 

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