As I was pacing in circles around our dining room table this morning at 4:19 am I realized with sudden clarity that I would do anything for this little girl.
Let’s be honest, the first week and half of her life I was seriously disappointed. Throw in the postpartum baby blues and we have a blubbering non-pregnant person. It was love at first sight, yes, but she felt like an alien in our house. All of a sudden this other person, supposed to be our little person, is pooping and crying and staying up all night.
She was a disturbance to our existence and one that I thought I was ready for – but was thrown a reality check soon thereafter coming home from the hospital. The last part of the second week and this third week has been 180 degree’s different. I’m getting used to the sleepless nights, I sleep during the day if I can. I’m getting more comfortable with a newborn – you know, surprisingly they don’t much care about alot at this point – they just want warm arms and ready boobs … she’s not going to wake up and ask me for an allowance yet. Realizing this has put me at ease – not only do we get to witness her growing up, but we get the time to grow into the parenting thing with her.
This is another reason that infants are awesome. They won’t remember the mistakes you make the first few weeks – and maybe they aren’t even mistakes. Maybe they’re just trial and error – and everyone goes through it. Which is also comforting.
So more about the first week and half – I was stuck at home, I’m not a stay at home kind of a person, I like to get out – see things, do things … even if it’s just a car ride. But I couldn’t even do that, I was afraid to put her in her car seat. And what if she started crying while I was driving? Would I have to pull over to comfort her, and if I did that would I really even get anywhere? Turns out, this worrying thing, is all stupid. You just have to do it, don’t look back.
And babies cry – this is obviously the simplest thing to be said about an infant – but not every parent agrees. I did some reading up on the letting your infant cry thing and there’s opinions all over the board on this one. Some people say you shouldn’t let your baby cry, they need to know you’re there for them. Which I agree with, they need to know you’re there for them. But babies cry. Inevitable. So don’t try to stop it – sometimes they cry in their sleep, without waking up and then we, the eager overzealous parent, rushes into the nursery and picks up the crying baby. Which then wakes them up – and then you have an entirely different discussion on your hands.
We went from the baby sleeping in bed with us, Aaron wanted to make sure she was breathing … – to her sleeping in a Moses basket in our room, to her sleeping in her big crib, in her own room with the monitors on and her sleeping in her big crib in her own room without the monitors – and let me tell you … the last option there – finally worked. She successfully spent the entire night in her own room last night! I heard her cries, but recognized when they were wakeful hungry cries, not just sleepy grunting. And I got more sleep too.
Remember when I said I was going to do cloth diapers? HA! I lied. We bought them, had everything ready to go and then we brought her home from the hospital. Need I say more?
I said I wanted to have a natural birth – again, I lied. I did the epidural. And THANK YOU JESUS for the epidural because they broke my water at 4 in the A.M. and I didn’t have her until 3:42 later that day in the P.M. After they break the water, that’s when the REAL fun contractions start, and I was not going to go almost 12 hours without something to sedate me and keep me sane.
If there were one thing I wish someone had told me before we had her – it would have been:
Chill out. Don’t worry about everything. Everyone who has kids goes through this with the first one.
I spent alot of time worrying that I would never be allowed to do anything without the baby. Seeing as how I’m breastfeeding. But then we bought a pump and I LOVE the pump – we can go out, without the baby for HOURS at a time and I don’t have to worry about it! But then I was worried about if we went out for hours and I missed a feeding, would I need to pump while we were out? Would my milk go dry if I missed a feeding??? And someone just needs to shout “STOP WORRYING!!”
It’ll be ‘aight.