The idea of having a newborn to care for is intimidating, but don’t get ahead of yourself.
Written by Maureen Ferrin
1. No time for yourself.
It has been said a time or two before, that once you have a baby, everything changes. You forget the last time you showered, put on makeup, or really analyzed the pile of dishes in the kitchen.
Wait—you just had a baby, not a toddler. You’ve got at least 9 months until they are fully mobile. At this very moment, my 2-month old son is cuddled up next to me while I write. I’m fully showered, makeup on, and my freshly vacuumed house smells like clean linen thanks to the folded laundry at the end of the bed.
Amidst all the craziness, don’t forget that it doesn’t all happen at once. You’ve got time to adjust to becoming a parent. You and your baby will learn together, and I promise you won’t be left in the dust. Sure, the time may come when going to the bathroom becomes a brief opportunity for peace, but for now, enjoy those hot showers, uninterrupted poops, and the sweet baby cuddles you’ve waited nine months for.
2. Once you leave the hospital, you’re on your own.
False. If you’re a newbie like me, you’ve already scheduled out visitation for family and friends! Let them help while they are visiting. Take advantage of the programs provided by your hospital! They understand that this is no small undertaking, and they want to help make the transition from hospital to home manageable. They want you going home confident.
Remember that you’re not the first person to have a baby. Ask those who’ve done this before for help, tips, and tricks.
3. The pain of delivering a baby is excruciating and hectic.
I blame Hollywood for our altered view of delivery. It’s not all curse words and ice chips. Imagine this—you’re sitting at home, when the contractions you’ve been timing are closer together and starting to become painful. You’ve got your hospital bag by the front door, and calmly inform your husband that it’s time to head to the hospital. Upon arrival, you inform the nurse of your symptoms and she quickly gets you to your room. After a couple hours of contractions, it’s time to push. Your epidural has kicked in and you’ve been resting before the big moment. Push, push, ahh. Baby’s here. No screaming, no cursing, just the miracle of childbirth without the Hollywood drama.
Sound like a miracle? Actually, childbirth is more likely to be like this than like the traumatic scenario that’s been playing out in your head. Trust that your body knows what to do and how to handle what’s about to happen.
4. Crying is a must.
While delivering a baby is exhilarating and emotional, not all of us experience that Hallmark moment when our newest arrival is placed on our chest. When I delivered my son, the amount of relief I felt after the last push was surreal. So surreal in fact that I almost immediately fell asleep.
It wasn’t until I was alone with him in our hospital room, several hours later, that I really even began to wrap my head around what happened. I love my son more than I ever thought possible, and it’s ok that I didn’t cry. He doesn’t need to hear me cry or see my tears to know that I love him. Childbirth is different for each and every woman. Don’t diminish your experience, or feel guilty about your emotions.
5. Instagram as soon as possible.
In an Instagram heavy world, it seems unfit not to share a photo of your newest arrival as soon as possible. However, the amount of time we devote to our mobile devices can take away precious moments for bonding in those first hours spent together. Definitely take photos and videos, and prepare to spam your feed later on. But for now, enjoy these quiet moments in the hospital. Your baby will change right before your eyes; don’t miss a moment scrolling through that never ending feed of food, puppies, and Lipsense invites.