A year ago, I had my first white Christmas. It was also my first hospitalized Christmas. After two days of intense labor and then an emergency C-Section, my perfect son Karsten was born, just before Christmas Eve.
And so, when the nativity church bells tolled over snow-sprinkled roads, I could hear them chiming from the ward where I was admitted. I sat in the lobby, watched the pretty lights from the hospital window, and felt all festive. The tiny bundle lay peacefully in my arms, and I looked out over the silvery-blanketed German town. Visitors of other new mothers were coming and going in the corridors, and as I waited for my husband, who was bringing over home-cooked traditional Weinachtsgans (Christmas goose) for dinner, I felt it was timely that on December, I had become a mother, too.
I reflected on past Christmases when, as the volunteer coordinator for our Christmas outreach programs, December was normally the busiest month of the year. This time, I was instead, doing nothing, but learning what it meant to be a mother: sleepless nights, painful stomach, the sluggishness of extra weight, and a brand new life which helplessly depended on me.
And my own life would never be the same again.
If you are a new mother this Christmas, or about to be one, I suggest you bask in it. Learn to let go of the usual stresses that come with the season; enjoy beginning this new journey with your little one.
Here are 5 more tips to help you enjoy the season:
1. Journal, remembering that Christmas means love and new life. Celebrate it by keeping a diary to reflect on your personal journey.
2. Use the time before baby is born to take a lot of personal free time. You won’t have as much time to yourself afterwards.
3. Use the time to also sleep—you have no idea how much of this you WON’T get after the birth.
4. Learn as much as you can from other moms. Make that extra phone call; write those emails to ask advice. Celebrate the gift of friendship you have with others who have traveled this journey before you and have much to share.
5. Spend lots of quality time with your partner. Like it or not, baby is bound to come between you both and hubby could lose his space on the bed. Make him feel even more special now before the ‘intruder’ shows up.
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About the author: Enjoying life as a new mom, Nyx Martinez is an artist, writer, and constant traveler. Join her journeys at www.nyxmartinez.com