I’m not certain how many of you watch the show ‘Up All Night’ but there is an episode where the arrival of their baby is the focus. At the end of the episode, they show them being discharged from the hospital and the nurse walking them out to the car and checking over their car seat situation. Once that’s done, the nurse leaves them so they can head home. My favorite part in this scene is when Christina Applegate says ‘That is very irresponsible of them!’ meaning the nurse staff just leaving them to figure out the rest of the trip.
And this is where the safety net drops out and all that you ‘planned’ to do with your baby as parents comes into play. We were very fortunate as when we left the hospital, we came home to the grandparents still visiting. We had a few extra hands helping us the first couple days. If you can get that sort of help, DO IT! Don’t try to be a champion and power through it. Especially if you have had a c-section; you need to take it easy, mama!
When you think about how tough the job of a parent is, think about the life of a newborn. They really do have it the hardest. The world is so bright and unfamiliar; they kind of know who you are by sound, but really, they are among strangers. Their bodies are doing weird things like breathing, digesting, ‘going to the bathroom’, itches, twitches, hearing strange new noises, seeing, and just trying to handle all these things we don’t even think twice about anymore. Yeah, babies sleep a lot, but it’s because they are overwhelmed by everything. Lucas cried all the time for a very long time as he was just one of those babies that did not adjust well to life on the outside. I had to learn how to walk away from him to keep my sanity! I was told ‘If he’s fed, changed and safe, but still crying, it’s ok to leave them in their bed for a couple minutes so you can have a few moments to yourself’.
Don’t forget about all the crying you are about to do. Your hormones are the stuff of a daytime soap! All the crying could easily win you the ‘Best Drama’ award at the Daytime Emmys! Oh and the leaking. EVERYTHING LEAKS! Yeah, totally gross, but eh, it’s another reality. Not only are you gross, your baby is gross and your partner is gross. Everyone is trying to keep up with each other, running on fumes and adjusting to this new life; that’s a smell you don’t get rid of! And don’t get me started on the Hollywood makeup/design disaster your body is going to look like….
This household had a horrid start as I was back in the hospital two weeks after giving birth due to a pretty nasty c-section infection. (It truly was my fault as I tried to be the champion I warned you about and put way too much stress on my worn out body) I had to have vacuum tubes surgically put in to my incision for a week; we were back in the hospital from a Tuesday-Saturday and Noah had to be my nurse when we got home and clean out my tubes until the following Tuesday when they were removed.
So, aftermath not really what you thought it would be? Me neither! Lucas may be my first child, but he was not the first kiddo I’ve watched, cared for or been around. But, man, when they are yours and they are in your care 24/7/365, that, too, is a whole different beast. I hear many first time moms state they have been around kiddos their whole life… WATCH OUT! That will come around to bite you right on your rear.
While there was a lot of things I didn’t anticipate, I truly love being a mom; especially to Lucas. Your child will be your perfect match. While I was so tired, feeling gross, hungry and in some strange haze, I didn’t want to be anywhere else. I wanted to be right there, tubes and all, giving Lucas all the love and attention he could ever want. Sure, I was pretty beat up that I got a crying, colicky baby (hey, we tried the 5 S’s; I think we needed the doc himself for Lucas), but he was mine and he was Noah’s and he was ours. Nothing could change that and we didn’t want it to change. Don’t wish away any of this funky time. It’s a miracle so many people dream of (shocking, right?!) and some cannot have on their own. Love every moment and just absorb being a parent… CONGRATS AGAIN!