Before my son was born, I read dozens of articles, paged through most of the popular pregnancy books and sought advice from moms I knew. But nothing can fully prepare you for parenting and there were many things that took me by surprise.
The First Day – Taking it all in
You can hear someone talk about childbirth and holding your baby for the first time, but you can’t fully understand until you’ve done it. When the sun came up the next morning and my little baby was sleeping next to me in the bassinet, I reflected on how far I’d come the past year and looked at my baby as the best prize I could ever win. I couldn’t believe what I just went through and that we were both perfectly fine.
The First Week – Adjusting to a new life
When we walked through our front door after being released from the hospital, I thought it was finally time to relax. It was a blessing to have any maternity leave at all because I would need the days to nap because I was awake at all hours. Countless diaper changes a day, pumping milk like clockwork, I couldn’t believe that I put my other life priorities aside to focus solely on him. But it was perfect.
The First Month – Getting easier
At this point, my son and I had a good routine established. The worries I had in the early days had subsided and I was delighted how natural it felt to be a mom. I surprised myself by learning what his different cries meant and could act on his needs quickly. The rest of the time, I stared at him, awake or sleeping. I knew that these precious moments would be fleeting so I took dozens of photos and videos a day and inhaled his sweet smell.
The First Year – I have a toddler
It is weird for me to say, but I don’t have a baby anymore. I have a toddler. If I thought taking care of a newborn was hard work, I believe I’m in for it. My son is one year old now and I am thankful and awed every day by this handsome and happy boy. This new stage we are in comes with its own set of challenges. My favorite part of his age right now is watching him discover the world. He’s not talking, but he can understand. So I have to step back sometimes to reflect that my little baby can understand me, sort of. He hasn’t said Mommy yet, but I’m not worried. I know he’ll wear it out.
It’s fascinating how life changes in 9 months, and that’s just the beginning of a new life full of changes, challenges, and adventures!