Tuesday, April 5, 2011

What I learn from being 'the First-Time Mom'

Pre Ummi-hood
Nothing could prepare me for the pain of giving birth. 'Labour' - that's why the term is called being in labour because I was practically working hard like a sweaty stinky labour (maybe harder), with every super duper contractions which lasted nearly 10 hours during my first birthing experience (and amazingly, I was not sick of it because I went through another 2 long.. loooooong labours! Bless the forgetfulness and the missing neurons during previous labours!) Nonetheless, I do believe that it's a compensation from Him, since I had no difficulty being pregnant and easy-peasy-lemon-squeezy three trimesters pregnancy, all praises to Allah!

I have to acknowledge the essential tools that I used (extravagantly) during the labours that I have gone through (to this date) -
  1. My darling husband, who massaged, recited du'as and zikr, supported me during the huge waves of contractions, whispered love and encouragement and ultimately, by just being beside me, willingly, without hesitations and doubts; 
  2. Epidural (that worked), which helped me to save some energy for the pushing bit (and it didn't work during my third birth, the epi was all over the mattress!); 
  3. Supportive and attentive midwives. Yes, I love the midwives better than MDs during labour. They helped me made it a special experience, and not just a science project (but to all MDs out there, you can prove me wrong during my next birth, inshaAllah); and
  4. Ultimately, ALLAH and the trust & faith in Him, who makes it bearable and tolerable (most of the time).

Alhamdulillah, remember, not all of us ladies are privileged to be a mother, to go through a painful yet beautiful experience being a Mom. To all momsies out there, never forget that we are the chosen ones, we are the special people that He chooses to mold another generations of great Muslims - even when the endless midnight crying episodes occur!

[And I do want to remind myself to always be sensitive and not to brag about how cool being a mom is, since this kind of statements might hurt others who are desperately trying to be one... (and I do apologise for my wrong doings). I sincerely pray to Allah to ease the conceiving process for my friends who are trying to expand the quality Muslim ummah. Aamin.]

Mak with Registered Midwife Lorraine,
minutes after Al Fateh was born at King Eddie's, Subiaco.

Being the First-Time Ummi

There are several things that I wish I knew before I had a baby. Of course no lesson is truly learned without firsthand experience, but trust me, you will get through those first two weeks, two months and live to tell about it.

The first night home with a newborn is like being taught how to cook when your mom is not around. You're not sure of how much, how long, how to, when to, then what .. but you just do it. I confess that I didn't do everything right the first time, but I learn from my mistakes and move on. Unfortunately, parenting doesn't come with a manual and until we're face-to-face with an eating/pooping/crying/sleeping factory, junior has to endure the trial and error mode. Just do your best, ask for help when you need it, and before too long, you'll be a pro!

It might get very lonely when you're feeding and burping at 3am, when you could actually here the chooks' cockle-doodle-doos and hubster's deep snores in sync - please do not despair, you're not alone, and it will get easier. Rule of thumb, index, middle, ring and pinky, SLEEP WHEN YOUR BABY IS ASLEEP! You need the rest to gain back your energy (and sanity as well as patience!).

Drink water, loads of them to increase milk production and reduce constipation. Some old schools are against this but it helped me, alhamdulillah.

Routine is essential. Get your baby on a feeding and sleeping schedule as soon as possible (i.e. feed every three to four hours, etc.) It will help you and your baby become more comfortable and know what to expect if you have a routine. 

Do not reject offers to help, especially if you have tried feeding, changing the nappy, burping but junior is still cranky and not content - let hubby, grandma, grandpa, sister or anyone hold the baby while you clean yourself, or go on the bed and have a nap, or even endure a pitiless massage. Please do not feel guilty.

I had a love-hate relationship with my milk factory during the first few weeks of birth. Latching junior on the engorged, painful milk factory with sensationally sore at the end of production line, was a huge battle for me. I remembered taking a HUGE breathe-in before latching junior, while stomping my feet on the floor with grimace and pain, pinching myself as junior nursed.  Even though it was painful, I looked down at his little face and I know he was enjoying it so much and getting the nutrition he needs.  It was priceless and completely worth it.  Even so, I wish that breastfeeding could be easier. So I salute to breastfeeding moms out there.

.... And well, time rolls along and you either get more sleep or you get used to not having any, but either way, life gets easier and more bearable. Just take each day moment by moment and cherish them and enjoy each moment to connect with your baby. I say this because sometimes it can feel like you're just doing a 'job' taking care of your baby and always seem tired and rushed. Remember to slow down and just enjoy your baby. The infant stage is gone in a the blink of an eye. Take loads of photos!

This piece is dedicated to the first-time moms of..

Ilyaas Hafiy bin Abdul Halim (25.3.2011) - Siti Nur Fathiyah
Irfan Muqri bin Uzair (27.3.2011) - Maizah Abdullah
Rezafran Damien bin Razim (31.3.2011)- Rafiza Idayu

Please share and comment on your experiences, the goods and the bads =D !! It might prepare other new moms for the new chapters in their lives!


  1. I have to admit it was tough dealing with the first time motherhood on my own..with no help from others except for Hubby, I think I get post partum depression every now and then (even now when my son is already 2 y.o ++), unlike most moms out there who are ashamed to admit how hard it is being a mom, I am not..it was a bittersweet memories for me, I never want to go through the raising infant phase ever again..

  2. thanks azza! so very the important to me. juggling with final phase of my PhD thesis, insya Allah, hopefully Allah will make everything bearable.

  3. Afie you blog? I didn't know!! I hope you're well (and the thesis is too =D) Take care! My prayers are with you, babe!

    Robo; I personally know a lot of moms who suffered - mainly because of severe birth pain and NO SUPPORT. It's good to be sincere and frank, especially to yourself and husband. Now go and get creative with your artsy work, babe! Smile!

  4. aah dulu rajinlah. =P now macam busy2 dah jarang dah. keep on sharing eh azza!

    having a very supportive husband sgt membantu, he was there reciting doa and zikir every time contraction waves come ( Oh Allah, sakit sgt bila contractions )+ athi tak amik epidural just amik laughing gas at the end of labour ( before doc told me kepala baby tak crown lagi after nearly 9hrs of labour..n decided for emergency caeser (with tears) ) Halim was very supportive ..midwives kat APSH pon supportive and caring for me through out the labour..

    n yes i do the same thing when every time Ilyaas and me having our bf sessions.

  6. I didn't now that you had C-section - after 9 hours labour, Athi! I had the same experience, but when nearly reaching the tenth hour, Al Fateh emerged like a hero!! But I was only 8cm dialated! But Allah answers your prayers, suddenly 10cm tunnel expanded for him to say hello to the world!

    Oh, the breastfeeding bit must be harder for you since your tummy is stapled! I pray that you'll heal well and quick, insha Allah. Enjoy kicking the air and stomping the floor during bfding! =D Smooches for Ilyaas for us!

  7. oh really we had the almost same experience...im glad that Ilyaas was safely delivered though it was a bit sad for me in the beginning when deciding for emergency c-sec...find out that Ilyaas umbilical cord was covering his face n his head senget sedikit that's why he did not crown..n yes i was at 8cm at the time...

    Alhamdulillah breastfeeding wasn't that hard for me even my tummy is stappled..Allah does ease this session for me. and I started storing my EBM to start work later..Alhamdulillah.

    kisses to your trio !:)


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...