There is nothing quite like a newborn. A tiny perfect little human that is so new and fresh – not to mention that newborn baby smell. While newborn babies might just be one of the sweetest things on earth, those precious bundles are HARD work. When I had my first child my husband and I were woefully under-prepared for the trenches that are the first two weeks. Sure we had done some reading, we both have younger siblings and had been around babies, but as all the veteran moms and dads out there know, it’s different when it’s your own. My personal opinion is that those first two weeks are the hardest. With our first we were living on love and no sleep, just trying to survive. Right before our daughter was born my cousin said to us, “Every morning when you wake up, just pat your pillow and thank it for another full night’s sleep.” We totally laughed that off, thinking “Yeah, yeah babies don’t sleep. How bad can it be?” Well, we found out.
Our perfect little babe got kicked out of the nursery at the hospital for waking up the other babies in the middle of the night.
Probably not a good indicator for the nights to come when we were at home without the aid of any nurses, and figuring this parenting thing out all on our own.
Amidst many challenges with breastfeeding, a baby who was always hungry (aren’t they all!), and just being new parents; we were overwhelmed. No one tells you, (or maybe they do and you just can’t fully grasp it), how hard those first few weeks are. Case in point, in our utter exhaustion we left the lights on in our whole house, twenty-four hours a day for weeks. And then we wondered why our baby could not figure out her days and nights! We still have no idea why we did it. Too tired to turn them off? The baby might be scared of the dark? What if we can’t find the light switch in the middle of the night? Your guess is as good as mine!
Heading into the birth of our second daughter we went in with eyes wide open to the challenges of those first two weeks. However, I also went it knowing that the sleepless nights do come to an end eventually and that those sweet newborns, they grow up too fast. I have successfully come out on the other side of what I consider the hardest period of adjustment and guess what? It was so much easier the second time around! My c-section recovery was better (and faster), my mindset was different, I went in ready, really ready – and with the attitude that I would savor that time of newness and not just survive it. Don’t get me wrong, it’s still hard and exhausting but at least this time around we kept the lights off.