#FreshBaby is my favorite hashtag to see pop up on my Instagram feed.
Not only do I get to see pictures of my friends’ new babies, but for just a moment, I am taken back to my #FreshBaby days, sitting on the couch, exhausted and consumed with love for my very own little miracle.
The two weeks after both of my daughters were born are two of the best times of my life and also the hardest.
That new baby bubble can be exhausting and frustrating, but it is worth it all.
Take some steps to make sure that it is a time you look back on with love. Here’s how:
Focus on what's right in front of you
Know that you should have a very limited focus in the first few weeks—recovering from birth both physically and emotionally and caring for your new baby.
Everything else can wait.
Anyone who feels like judging my messy floor can get the vacuum out.
Are you hungry and the thought of walking to the kitchen makes you hurt all over? Ask someone for a sandwich. Ask your husband to just get you a glass of water any time that he sees you nursing.
Are you feeling overwhelmed and would like for someone to hold the baby so that you can walk to the mailbox for 2 minutes of peace? Ask for it.
Beginning your journey as a mother by allowing other people to help you and being open and honest about your needs will set you on a course for success.
Buy what you need
There are a whole host of products aimed at brand new mothers that will only be helpful for the very early days of motherhood/babyhood.
Not everything, obviously, but assuming you have a small amount of money set aside for baby purchases, don’t be afraid to buy something that helps you, even if it has a short shelf life.
Every woman and every baby is different; my go-tos are a belly wrap, ice packs and all the Miracle Blankets I can get my hands on.
Eat. It. All.
There will be a time to work hard and eat very carefully, the weeks directly after giving birth are not that time.
Especially if you are nursing, eat when you are hungry, and to some extent, eat what you want.
Personally I carbo-load like I am running a marathon and enjoy my share of the pregnancy forbiddens (Sushi! Rare Steak! Blue Cheese!)
Grace for yourself—you will have ideas about what these weeks should look like and they will not always live up to your dreams.
It is not your fault.
Grace for your husband—he is new at this too and you are learning together and in it for the long haul.
Grace for your baby—he has no idea that nursing is important to you/what a sleep schedule is/that she shouldn’t spit up on her carefully curated wardrobe.
It will get hard.
There will be tears.
Your baby will also cry. (You might, too)
Pick a tv show to binge watch on Netflix; grab a water bottle, nursing pillow and your baby; and spend as much time as possible staring into each other’s eyes.
You will never regret a moment of it.
Andrea Corker is a writer and a mother.