I spent my pregnant months scouring the Internet for as much information about newborns and motherhood as I could. I read, and read, and read. By my ninth month, I felt pretty confident that I knew what to expect in terms of labor, taking care of a newborn, and being a new mother. As it turns out, I had no idea. All of the blogs, pregnancy websites and forum posts couldn’t prepare me for what was about to happen.
Motherhood is Scary
At least for me. It is really, really scary. I had minimal experience with babies, and had changed a handful of diapers in my thirty-four years. I had no idea how to swaddle a baby, how to pick them up, how to change a diaper. I was clueless.
You Become a Pro Very Quickly
The cluelessness disappears pretty quickly. It has to. Once you give birth, you are responsible for the survival of a helpless, fragile, tiny person. That is some serious business. You quickly learn to change diapers one handed, in the dark. You can masterfully swaddle your baby, turning him into a baby burrito. You can tote them around one handed while you unload the dishwasher and mop the floor. You become super mommy in no time at all.
Things That Used to Be Gross Aren’t So Gross Any Longer
Pee. Poop. Boogers. Throw up. You name it. These once disgusting bodily functions are not so gross anymore. When our son was born, his first pee and poo happened all over my husband. He didn’t flinch. Very recently, I went to kiss the little man’s foot, and maybe nibble on his little toes. I looked down, and his little foot was covered in poo. I didn’t bat an eye (granted the foot never made it into my mouth).
You Can Survive on No Sleep and Halloween Candy
I have always been a sleeper. I needed my eight hours of sleep, or I couldn’t function. Those days are long gone. Some nights, when our little guy is cluster feeding, we are lucky to get four hours of sleep. And its okay. We survive. Some days he insists on being held. All day. And the moment I reach for a bite of food, he has a meltdown. Its okay. I survive. On Skittles.
For the better. Seeing my husband with our son has made me love him even more. He is an amazing dad, and does all that he can to take care of the little one. And we are now a stronger team than ever before, working to keep our little man healthy and happy, and maintain our home and some sense of sanity and order. There is nothing more special than sharing this incredibly deep love for our son.
Breastfeeding is Hard
Now, I had read articles about this. I was worried. Unsure that I could do it. It has been difficult from the very beginning. If the baby can’t latch, if he isn’t getting enough sustenance, if he isn’t gaining weight, if he has a tummy ache…you feel like a terrible mom. You feel like a failure. When you exclusively breastfeed, you are limited to what you can eat, what you can drink, and the medicine you can take. You are even limited to where you can go and when. Especially when a baby may eat every hour, on the hour. Six weeks in, I am proud of myself for sticking it out. And I am proud of my son for learning to eat like a little champ. And I am proud of my husband for his patience. It has been an emotional journey.
Every day I recognize how blessed I really am. I never understood how much love one feels toward their baby. Its overwhelming sometimes. So much so that I become emotional. Brooks is the greatest gift, and we are so grateful.