#Realmomshit: Meet Camille. Before becoming a mom, she was terrified of birth. Once she got through the exit strategy, she struggled with breastfeeding. She’s a new mom to an adorable 6-month old baby, takes a very “open-minded” approach to parenting and isn’t afraid to ask other moms a million questions along the way.
How old is your baby?
He will be 7 months on the 21st of May. Time FLIES.
What were you most afraid of going into the birth and how did it go?
My entire pregnancy I was terrified of birth. The entire thing. The pain, the pushing a baby out of your hoo-ha. Just no. Also of course, there is the worry of things going wrong. My mom kept telling me EPIDURAL EPIDURAL. Then I hit 8 months and everything changed. No fear. Excitement and just OVER IT – Get this baby out of me!!!
My labour was endurable. I’d never say “great” but it wasn’t horrible. It was around 12 hours start to finish. The hardest part was waiting for the anesthesiologist to give me my epidural (he was in surgery) so I went from 2cm to 6/7cm dilated before my water broke with some intravenous drugs to help. In hindsight, I wouldn’t have had as much intravenous medicine. It made my memory a bit foggy of everything. I commend women who labour naturally without meds. I couldn’t handle that haha. (Ps. Mom was right – Bless the epidural)
What has been the hardest part of becoming a new mom?
This is going to sound so lame but motherhood has been a smooth transition for me. Jett (my son) has been wonderful, but I do have some things that have been harder. First, saying goodbye to a part of who you were before having the baby. I can’t stay out til the bars close (I don’t really want to anymore, but it was a nice option lol), in fact just making plans is way more work. I used to love going out all day and going to all the thrift stores in Kelowna or running errands all day but that ain’t happening now, it’d be too exhausting. And while you can still make plans with friends, it’s just a bit harder and a lot more is involved. Sometimes, you feel like you’re missing out on a social life, but then you look at your little sidekick who just rolled over for the first time or tried a new food and you forget all that stuff.
My second answer is more specific. Breastfeeding was super hard for me. It took about a month before we had a groove. Jett didn’t get it, I was frustrated, and there were definitely tears. But, we persevered and he did figure it out eventually.
What has been your favorite part of becoming a mom?
I feel like I have a purpose now. A reason for being. I get to hang out with this smiley, happy dude all day. He’s the best. Every time he learns something new is the best day ever. He’s so content and happy. Watching him grow and evolve is such a joy!
What are some things that you wish people had told you before having a baby?
Breastfeeding is HARD. I was not expecting that. It sounded all magical and lovely but was so frustrating for me. It’s magical and beautiful now, but damn. Also, I never knew I could worry so much. Worst case scenarios are just constantly running through my head. It’s hilarious because they’re usually so irrational. But ya, you worry. A lot. I hear it only gets worse too (great).
As a new mom, how do you know what to do and when? Do you Google? Ask your friends, or just go with your gut on most things?
I ask YOU! Haha … Jokes aside, the first thing I do is ask my mom, and other moms I know and trust. The mom community is SO HELPFUL!!! This is my biggest mom tip. When in doubt, ASK A MOM! Google is a scary place. Sometimes I’ll google simple questions but I find my more laid-back parenting style doesn’t mesh well with Google. And yes, for some things I for sure trust my gut or my “motherly intuition”. It’s there for sure in full force.
Is your husband hands-on in the parenting duties?
Super hands on! He’s great. Diaper changes (even though he gags). He takes Jett on weekend mornings so that I can sleep in. He gives him bottles at bedtime and helps in other aspects like cleaning up or making dinner. All-star dad!
We all have those things we “won’t do” with our next baby. Do you have any yet?
I won’t use a bottle right away. I think Jett got very confused about breastfeeding after we introduced the bottle. But I LOVE BOTTLE FEEDING. 100% pro bottle, just not right away. Jett isn’t napping very well unless we’re at home or in a car that’s moving… I 100% blame COVID. I’ll make sure my next babe will be able to nap anywhere. I’m pretty easy going in the parenting department and so far, we have a very happy baby that sleeps well so I don’t have too many other things I’d change!
Do you have any hot tips or tricks that you’ve learnt along the way?
Don’t get into bad habits right away like co-sleeping (if you don’t want to), or never putting your baby down because they don’t like it. They have to learn to be by themselves! My biggest tip is: a full baby will sleep for the most part. I always give a bottle before bed. A big one. I pumped a lot at the beginning and I think that’s important so you know how much milk you produce. Now, I’ll either do pumped milk or formula.
If you feel your supply is low, remember to drink heaps of water. SO much water. I also take Fenugreek tablets which are amazing for boosting milk supply!
Now, with the bottle comes the swaddle. Right from the get go I swaddled Jett because he’d constantly wake himself up if I left his arms out. He’d protest at first but he’d be sound asleep soon after. Another parent also told me about putting an electric heat pad under a sheet in the bassinet/crib. You turn it on half an hour before baby goes down and you turn it off when you put them down. It makes them warm and cozy and it worked for us! Also, baby swings will save your sanity and allow you to make food or clean up if you wish! If you have a baby that likes to be held, invest your money into a Snuggle Me Organic Infant Lounger. That thing is worth every penny in my opinion for so many reasons! Seriously so many tips. I’ll stop now.
Do you have any advice to other new moms?
All babies are different. They’re little riddles we have to figure out. My biggest advice would be to keep an open mind and try everything until something works! Process of elimination. Ask so many questions and reach out if you need help! Parenting is HARD!