Nine years ago, I was up all night, tossing and turning. My husband was sleeping like a baby.
I couldn’t sleep because I was going to give birth TO a baby.
Despite the fact that during my six weeks of “bed rest” I read every book I could to figure out what to do with a newborn, nothing, and I mean NOTHING, can truly prepare a new parent how to, well parent.
All babies are different. All parents are different. And besides, most of “those” books seem to be written by doctors of some kind, who I swear don’t have the first clue what being a “parent” is really about anyways.
So, after only eight hours of labor, my first son was born.
THAT was the easy part. The rest, not so much.
I was stuck in the hospital for four long days because they thought I had a fever from giving birth. It took one night nurse to look at me and for me to say, “It’s a NOSE STRIP. I don’t wear this EVERY day. I wear it when I have a COLD.”
Still, she pushed the IV fluids – which only made me have to go to the bathroom even more, which meant I had to get out of my bed 10 times more than I usually do at night.
It was fine though really, because you see, my husband and I made the stupid mistake of allowing our newborn to STAY in the room with us for those long four days. (FYI for new parents, hospitals have nurseries for a REASON, use them!) And, when I finally begged, and I mean BEGGED, the nurse to take him for three hours, just THREE hours, I got the evil stink-eye and the comment, “WEELLL … we aren’t suppose to … but …”
I wanted to throw a bottle in her face.
So, we took the baby home four days later. I was sick and my husband had the flu.
Welcome To Parenthood!
I called my mom. She had just driven home the day before and she agreed to drive back – another three hours to help us out.
She arrived and I was still in my housecoat. That’s about all I remember.
For nearly a week, we tried to establish a routine with the 7-pound baby, but he didn’t seem to care what we wanted. And, he cried. He cried so much that I think I torn holes in the carpet swaying with him while listening to Faith Hill’s “Cry” CD – the song seemed appropriate for the situation.
The day she left, I sobbed. I held him in my lap and cried because I had no idea what I was going to do or how I was going to do it.
But then it dawned on me … I wasn’t in this alone. I had an awesome husband (still do!) who helped out. That’s what dad’s are there for I think. When I needed a break, I was able to take one – even if that meant walking around the block in the middle of February or taking a shower in peace and quiet for 10 minutes.
Now, nine years later, I have a very smart, thoughtful and kind boy … and something tells me I better hold on to him tight now because if the past nine years flew by, that only means the next nine will speed by and the days of him wanting to play board games will soon be coming to an end – and we love our board games!