What I Wish I Had Known
5 things no one could have taught me before having a newborn.
It was the day before nye when I found out I was pregnant. Myself as well as hundreds of other women probably got flooded with different thoughts when they saw that little plus sign. I saw it three times just to make sure. After the excitement (and a lot of it), and adrenaline settled in the emotion of nerves started to creep up days and weeks later.
I asked myself, why am I nervous? I have no reason to be. I wasn't nervous that I was pregnant, and I wasn't nervous about having the beautiful human. I was nervous about if I was going to be able to do everything right. I immediately started reading everything I could those 47 weeks. I read articles online, and had multiple books sent to me. Loved ones, friends, and even some strangers (unwanted at times) would give me tips along the way.
Now, my job the last four years has involved kids. So during pregnancy I was thinking to myself, Katie you work with kids, you know their tricks, you know what they're capable of, you know what they do. But I kept saying this is different. This is my child. My baby. I'm not seeing him or her for just six hours a day. It will be 100 percent up to his or her dad and myself how to raise this child.
Well...all of those nerves went away the second my son was handed to me. All the words I read when I would spend hours staying awake at night (because of the horrible heartburn) got ignored. I was so excited and ready.
My son is 4 months old. These past four months I've learned so much not just about him, but about myself. What I've learned, no book or video could have taught me.
1.) Being tired
Yes we all know the sleepless nights are included when you bring a human into this world. I thought when I was pregnant and waking up often to use the bathroom that I was tired. Having a newborn takes it to a new meaning of exhaustion. Everyone says sleep when the baby sleeps. Yes that is true, but with me it's different. I take my naps here and there, but when my son is sleeping my calming method is different. I enjoy cleaning, and doing the laundry. Or getting things set up. To me that\'s relaxation. If your baby hasn't gotten an ounce of sleep all night then I would say first and for most rest when you can. But if you\'re like me and you feel better going out of the norm and picking up your favorite hobby to do while he's resting i say go for it.
2.) Have your doctor on speed dial
My sons pediatrician probably thinks I'm crazy. I can't even count how many times I've looked at my fiancé and said is that normal? Or how many times I've googled different types of baby poop. (Yes you will do that) I'm not a pediatrician, so when things pop up with my son everything is foreign to me. If you didn't think you were a hypochondriac before your child was born that will change. Do not feel bad about calling his or her doctor! I repeat do not feel bad. My son is 4 months old and I've called his doctor a ton of times. You're a new mom, and they know that! If it makes you sleep better at night to call and make sure that your child sneezing 6 times in a row is normal do it.
3.) It's his first rodeo
Your husband changes your child's diaper, and accidentally doesn't make it tight enough. Five min later your child has a blowout, all up the back. You say to yourself I would have made it tighter. Do you go and scold your husband for it? No. Why? Because just like you, this is his first kid. You don't know everything. No mom is ever going to do things perfectly, and no dad is every going to do things perfectly. Moral of the story is your husband is learning at the same speed as you.
I remember my final appointment before my son was born I got weighed and realized I had all together gained 30 pounds. I wondered throughout my pregnancy how fast it would all go away. Truth is it will probably not all ever go away. If you want to get back in shape to how you were prior I say go for it. Remember though you carried a human being for 9 months, and pushed one out. That's going to leave battle scars. Yes I can fit into a couple pairs of my pre-pregnancy shorts, but my body will never be back to exactly how it was before my son was born and I'm completely fine with that. I'll trade a stretch mark for our little bundle of joy any day. Don't beat yourself up over it.
5.) Is that item really needed?
When I was about three months pregnant, I started thinking about what I wanted my son's crib to look like. While researching what crib out of hundreds to buy more and more cool items popped up that made me say 'yup we need that, and that. One thing my mom said throughout my whole pregnancy was to wait until my son was born to buy a lot of the stuff. Stating that the stuff I think I need, I won't even touch once. That fancy changing table you want? Just wait. She would say I'm going to end up pulling out a changing mat anywhere in the house I could. Guess what? I do that exactly. Of course there are things that you definitely want to splurge on. Just don't go and buy the newest high tech sound monitor quite yet, when chances are you will be sitting next to the crib bird eyeing him when he sleeps.