When my husband and I decided we wanted to expand our family and try for our first baby, we made that decision together. In the privacy of our own home, after some serious thought, planning, and questions, we made the decision on our own.
So why is it, now that we have welcomed this tiny little life into our family, anyone and everyone has advice for us? All of a sudden this private decision that we made, and even struggled to achieve, was opening up our private life to all sorts of comments from the peanut gallery. The advice started to roll in as I neared the end of my pregnancy. Well meaning or not, comments such as “sleep now while you can,” or “enjoy this, you’re going to miss it” probably aren’t all that helpful to a woman who can’t sleep period because she feels like a beached whale and is up every 32 seconds to pee. Not only that, but as someone who had a difficult pregnancy, I’m sorry, but I probably won’t miss the midnight emergent runs to hospital, the weeks of bed rest, and the constant worry that something is tragically wrong with this little life inside.
Thankfully, we delivered a beautiful baby girl. And now that we have, my husband gets the “helpful advice” thrown at him too (takes the heat off me a bit now that I no longer resemble Free Willy). What I am wondering now is…why is it all so negative? My all-time favourite phrase since we brought home this little one is “Just you wait!”
When people ask you “is she a good baby?” “Does she sleep?” “Does she cry?” Basically any normal baby activity, we are being told to “just wait” if we respond with a positive outcome. Yep, she does sleep, at this point in time, she loves sleeping! She’s all about her boob meals 2,500 times a day, so we know she’s eating well. And yes, we are tired of changing diapers already, but guess what, such is life. I love when I respond positively about this insane time in my life and people follow it up with ALL the negatives that could possibly happen. Thank you, for basically making us wait for the other shoe to drop as we cautiously cuddle our newborn whom, according to these people, is basically a ticking time bomb ready to destroy our lives.
I get that we want new parents to feel prepared, and like the sleepless nights, zombie walks, and general life suck that is their newborn baby is all normal. I just can’t figure out why it’s all anyone highlights! Do people really go into parenthood thinking they will still get their uninterrupted 10 hours of sleep a night, and carry on with their pre-baby life? Maybe there are people out there like this, but I can say they are not the majority. Yet as we cautiously enjoy this sleepy phase of our little ones life, we are plagued with the negative warnings from everyone. We get it. She probably won’t always be a brilliant sleeper. She will get sick at some point in her life and be a bit more miserable. It’s true that we may encounter some tough preteen or teenage years (This one is my favourite, seriously, its 12+ years away, leave me alone!)
So, my DH (dear husband) and I have decided we are going to try to embrace (and share) the positives. Expecting or new parents, here are some of the fabulous things you have waiting for you:
- The first time they grab onto your finger and hold on, melts your heart!
- When they fall asleep on you with a full belly, and their warm little furnace bodies warm you to your core.
- The first gummy smile, even if it is just gas and not a true smile.
- When they are crying in the morning (or at any point) but stop as soon as you pick them up!
- Watching their eyes open wider as the days pass and watching them see the world around them.
- That new baby smell! (Okay, this isn’t something either of us experienced, but apparently it’s a thing).
- The first stretch of sleep that you get after you bring baby home will make you feel like a new person! (But you will wake up and panic wondering what’s wrong with the baby that they slept for so long).
- The sounds! Not the cries, but the grunts, gurgles, wimpers, “puppy sounds” will seriously have you ooing and aww-ing (at least, we do)
There really are a lot of good things happening in the first few weeks. At least, we have experienced a lot of good things. It doesn’t mean that there aren’t rough times, inconsolable cries (coming from me…not the baby), projectile vomiting (baby this time), poopsplosions, etc. But please don’t just listen to the crap other parents are slinging at you about how HORRIBLE this time is. Try to see the good in what is happening. Each day sit down and think of your favourite part from the last 24 hours. Look for the good, and you’ll find it. This is a hard, yet magical time. We are choosing to see the good & attempting to enjoy it, the good, bad and in between. I hope you can too!
What are your favourite moments from the newborn phase? Let me know in the comments below 🙂