So, today is three months since Weston made his three week early debut into this world. I've learned more than I ever thought I could in the last three months, and you know what I realized? No one can prepare you for this. No one. And here's the clincher, and the little joke...no one really tells you how hard it is having a newborn. No one. Know why? They know how hard it is and they don't want to scare you. It is hard. And he was a pretty easy newborn! He did have some formula issues, but overall, he's a funny, happy, sweet fella. But, like Eric said one night, "When they say you don't sleep, they really mean you DON'T sleep! Um, no. You don't. Not at first, and not really the same way ever again. There's no more deep, deep "I don't have to wake up for hours" sleep. Every time you wake up, there's a little face to check on.
Now, don't get me wrong: I have loved having a baby. I didn't MIND being pregnant, but the diabetes thing really made it terrible in the end, so I was really happy when he was born (and I had a really easy delivery, thank God!) But, no one can explain in word what it's like to hold your baby in your arms, or to see them smile, or to worry. There literally are not words for it. So, here's what I've learned, sort of, in the last 13 weeks:
- When people say their newborn "sleeps through the night," they are flat out lying. Okay, maybe they aren't "lying," but did you know the definition of "sleeps through the night" changes when applied to little humans? It doesn't mean they sleep from 10-6, it means they sleep in long stretches and wake up once or twice, and that, my friend, is "sleeping through" the night. I prefer to use the French idiom, that the baby is "doing his nights." Sure, he's doing it. Sometimes he's doing well, sometimes he's doing sleep, sometimes he's doing wide awake...but he's doing something.
- Also, no one told me that the purpose of a bassinet/side sleeper is not to keep the baby close to you, but also because the crib is way too big for a 5 pound (which he was) baby to sleep in! It scares them! I thought I was a total genius when I got him to sleep in his bouncy seat (thank you to my sister in law for giving us hers, and I bought three since. Not kidding. He has one wherever he goes!), until I mentioned it to a few other moms and they said, "Oh yeah, my kid slept in that for months next to my bed!" Well, gee, thanks for the heads up. Now you know. Try the bouncy seat. Weston doesn't like being flat on his back, so we swaddle him (love you, Swaddleme) and put him in his little seat, next to our bed, to sleep. Also, he did sleep with us for a few weeks. It was sweet, but made me neurotic about pillows/blankets! However, it was an amazing bonding time, and I still bring him into bed when he wakes up at 5am.
- You have to be tough. Like, "it's time to put your big girl panties on" tough. When someone, along the way, screwed up and my son didn't have health insurance and NO ONE told me...(cause that was a fun few days), I had to take matters into my own hands, get on the phone and get the case solved. It took a lot of work and strength, but hello, it was for my son! This "mama bear-ness" also ranges from the simple, "welcome to my home, please wash your hands!" (PS. If someone comes into your house and says, "oh, we just washed!" Please let your response be, "Where? In the car?" Don't say "we just washed" upon visiting a newborn...it's weird. Just wash!" We love our automatic soap dispenser! Not only is is sanitary, but gives people a reason to wash: "Would you mind washing your hands? You can use our fancy new soap dispenser!" Anyway, you learn to be strong.
- You have to make fast decisions. Like super fast. Your mind starts to work on overdrive.
- You learn to live on less sleep.
- You can say "NO" to people. As in, "can I come over and hold the baby?" You are allowed to politely say no!
- Don't worry about a schedule for the first three months. My aunt gave us this great advice and it was freeing!
- You will shove food down your throat and eat fast.
- You will learn to shower in two minutes.
- Your day literally never ends. NEVER.
- You will see that though you get up 6 times a night, there is nothing like that wide smile when they see your face.
- There is no greater feeling than having your little baby's head in the crook of your neck.
- It is an adjustment. It's a huge adjustment. Your life will never be the same! I've read Jordan's 3 Month Check In over and over and over...it helps to know others have gone through the same crap!
- I could not do this without my family. I couldn't even come close to doing it.
- Let people help you. It's not that you want the help, you NEED it. Somehow in my brain I had this crazy idea that because I was getting help, I was weak. But uh, like I said, having a new baby is crazy-town on fire. It's insane. Use the help. People love you, they love your baby, they want to help.
- But, seriously...when they say it's all worth it, it really is...I mean, how can you say no to this face?