Each month Raise a Bundle (RAB) interviews one of our RAB families. This month we had a chat to mother of Evie Herbet, Wafaa. Wafaa has great things to say about her value in having Plunket nurses and PlunketLine available to her. She talks about the struggles she faced being a first time parent and gives her one great piece of advice on being a first time parent!
Read below for more...
Plunket: How have the first 500 days been?
Wafaa: The first 500 days of Evie’s life was a rough start as Evie was our first child and everything was so new and challenging for us! We didn’t know what to expect, or how to react, you can read as much as you want to but you will never know what it’s like to have a child until you do! Evie has changed our life for the better – she brightens each day. Every day she surprises us with new things she has learnt, how she is developing, and she always has a big smile on her face. She has taught us what unconditional love is – so no matter how rough it was (and can get), one smile from Evie and everything gets re-set. I can’t imagine my life without her, we have forgotten how life was without her and I can never get too much Evie!
Plunket: How crucial are the first 500 days of a child’s life?
Wafaa: It’s the earliest development of a baby and that is super important and crucial. She learns about how to bond, how to trust, and how to care and be cared for. It’s very important for me to build that trust and bond with Evie every day. I have never lied to her and I think that is very crucial to building her trust. She now trusts the adults in her life and it’s so important to teach your children love and trust from an early age.
Plunket: What has been one of the biggest struggles in the first 500 days? And how did you overcome this?
Wafaa: The biggest thing, for both Evie and I, was lack of sleep. She was very colicky for a couple of weeks which was a really rough time for both of us. We both learn that patience was the only remedy for this! Sometimes it was very hard for me to maintain the patience and to not lose my mind, but it was just a matter of using family support and patience to get through this. Evie’s grandmother is a huge help in her life, and we were so lucky to have her help when needed. Even if that meant just to have her watch Evie for 10 minutes while I relaxed and calmed down again. I would say overcoming this struggle was only do-able with the support that I had – utilizing the support system you might have in your life is so important when raising a child.
Plunket: How has Plunket supported you in the first 500 days?
Wafaa: Plunket was very helpful! Once we had left the hospital we only had the support of our midwife for another 2 weeks which seemed to fly by! I registered with our local Plunket nurse who visited every couple of weeks. Plunket helped me to understand I wasn’t alone. My Plunket nurse would give me great advice on how to deal with certain things e.g. teething, and when she thought Evie needed tummy time, and so much more! Advice was the most valuable thing that Plunket had offered me – good advice wasn’t something that came naturally to me as I was a first time parent, so having the people and resources from Plunket helped me get through a lot.
PlunketLine was another very helpful resource available thanks to Plunket. We used PlunketLine a lot in the first 500 days, whenever we were concerned about something we were able to pick up the phone and they helped us to understand what might be wrong with Evie. As we are new parents and everything was new to us, the PlunketLine nurses helped us to sleep and put us at ease.
Plunket: What is the best piece of advice you would give to a first time parent?
Wafaa: Prioritise the advice given to you. Lots of people will give you advice, don’t be overwhelmed, and trust your instincts as you know your baby more than anyone!
Thank you Wafaa for sharing your special first 500 days with Evie.