As we head into Baby Baer’s 3rd week of existence, I’ve become more and more flexible when it comes to the unexpected. Even though Austin and I have been preaching the “wait and see” approach, there have still been some surprises from the get-go that have left us wondering if there’s anything we know for sure about being parents. From a 23 hour labor to worries about baby snatchers, here is a list of things unexpected in the first few weeks of parenthood.
1) The aforementioned long and difficult labor.
2) Agreeing to (and being interested in) seeing the placenta.
When (wonderful) Barb-the-midwife asked if we wanted to see the sac our son had been occupying over the last 9 months, I surprised myself by blurting out -yes! If you’ve never seen one, think bloody sea creature.
3) Giving our son a pacifier before he was 24 hours old.
All the books advise against giving babies a pacifier before they are a month old, and yet at 3 in the morning when our baby was screaming and just wanted to suck on something-we surrendered in our sleepless delirium (and he’s just fine).
4) Being worried about baby snatchers our first night home and sleeping on the couch.
My newly acquired protective instincts have surprised me. Anytime Waylon is out of my sight, it’s as if all my senses are heightened and I become very alert until he’s back in view.
I’ve always been pretty adamant about not wanting a baby in our bedroom, but now that he’s here and sleeping in the next room over–I wish he was with me. That first night was obviously extreme, but I couldn’t shut my brain off thinking about all the terrible things that could happen-so I just gave up and slept on the couch beside him.
5) Finally giving in and sleeping Waylon on his stomach so he could rest.
Austin and I were sure we’d sleep this guy on his back because of all the fuss about SIDS. I still question our decision from time to time, creeping out to his bed to check his breathing, but mostly I’m fine with it. He has a very strong neck so I know he won’t smother himself in any blankets.
He just sleeps so much better this way, and that’s important to everyone’s morale.
6) Getting peed on at least twice a day.
I admit it, I totally made fun of people who spent money on “pee-pee teepees,” the little coverings you can buy for boy babies to keep from getting soaked on a daily basis. They seemed so unnecessary! What a waste of money!
I was wrong. I want some. His wayward peep is making a ridiculous amount of laundry.
Oops. We have a cuddler on our hands. This kids just loves to sleep on or next to us and makes this known every morning around 5am. We’re just too tired to argue (also, he is ridiculously cute).
8) Wishing for TV.
Breastfeeding (for this guy) takes a milenia. Some babies eat in like ten minutes, this baby eats slowly for an hour. And I treasure the time together, I do. It’s bonding, it’s special, it’s wonderful that I can give him all this free, miraculous, milky goodness, etc, etc. Fine. Yes. Okay. Great! …but gosh it can be boring. Especially at 2 in the afternoon when I’ve already fed him for half the time I’ve been awake and I just want some sort of distraction.
It’s been 8 years since I’ve lived with any sort of television channels, but I’m ready to throw in the towel. Those 2pm breastfeeding sessions would be so much better with 90s sitcom reruns.
9) Lack of Time.
Before I had a baby, I wondered what the heck mothers who had babies did all day. I wonder no longer.
I suppose I thought I would have more energy, or at least be able to straighten up the house and make dinner on a regular basis. The problem is that the amount of time I’m not feeding or holding baby W is so precious (and short) that I either want to be sleeping myself, finally grabbing some lunch, brushing my teeth, or maybe even sit down at the computer.
I know it will get better, but for now I remain completely amazed by any parent of a newborn whose house isn’t a disaster.
10) Big Love.
I guess you can never really prepare yourself for the kind of love that comes with having a child. I’d heard about it, I’d believed in it, but I could not truly experience it until he was in my arms. I know it’s corny and obvious and oh-so-mushy, but he is just so wonderful and perfect that my heart could burst. It’s true what they say. There is nothing like it.