While I was pregnant with my now almost-9-month-old son, William, I of course had lots of expectations for what life would be like once he arrived, but I really think that you can’t truly know what it’s like to have a new baby until you experience it. Many of my fellow bloggers have either recently had babies or are currently expecting, and that has me thinking about my own experiences when my son was born. I sat down recently and made a list of some things that I will remember most about being a brand-new mom. Everyone’s experience is different, and these are a few things that I will remember about having my first baby:
There was a lot of anxiety. About a year after my husband and I got married, I got baby fever. We waited a while longer though, so we could enjoy being married, just the two of us, and I’m very glad we did. But by the time my son was born, there had been months and months of anticipation on my part. I was very excited and couldn’t wait to hold my tiny baby in my arms. And while I did experience joy like I had never encountered before, I also suffered from a lot of anxiety. My baby was underweight and had trouble staying warm in the beginning, and I worried constantly that something was wrong with him. I took his temperature all the time and freaked out about everything. It gradually got better, and my husband was very patient with me, but it was a very anxious time in my life. You are so overwhelmed with love for this child that the thought of anything happening to him takes your breath away.
Breastfeeding was easy for me. I know that many, many women struggle with breastfeeding, and I was nervous about it as well, but I am so grateful that I really had no problems with it. I’m lucky enough to be home with William still and I think that is a big reason we are still going strong almost 9 months later. William gained weight quickly after birth and has only had one cold in his life, all of which I attribute to breastfeeding. Most of all, it has been an incredible bonding experience for us. I love it so much and hope that I can breastfeed as successfully with my next baby, when the time comes.
I can go without sleep. All my life, I’ve been someone who needs a lot of sleep. I used to be a total nightmare if I didn’t get at least 7 or 8 hours. Suddenly, I had a tiny baby who needed to eat every two hours. Honestly, going without sleep was one of my biggest fears about having a newborn baby. But I learned that your maternal instincts kick in and you just do it. It’s not that you won’t be tired; it’s just that you’ll know your baby needs you and you’ll automatically get up and go check on him. Because he was so small, my son ate every two hours- probably longer than a lot of babies do. He didn’t start sleeping all night until he was about 7 months old, getting up once in the middle of the night for a feeding for several weeks before he finally slept all the way through. Is it the most fun part of new motherhood? No. But if I can do it, anyone can, and I was so in love with my baby that once I got up, I actually enjoyed the quiet time in the dark with him.