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10 Surprising Things My Newborn Taught Me

10 Surprising Things My Newborn Taught Me NashvilleMomsBlog

I just had my first baby 3 weeks ago. I am by no means a stranger to babies. Having a large family (Hello, 11 cousins!) and being a nanny when I first moved to Nashville, I was pretty confident in my baby skills. I already knew the rules of storing breastmilk, how often and how to change a diaper, and I even knew you could pull onesies down over the baby’s legs instead of trying to magically maneuver a puke-covered outfit over the kid’s head without smearing the puke in his face. (For the record, going over the head is virtually impossible—you’ll just end up gagging while trying to deal with the mess all over you and your child, and now you’ll have to get it out of their hair. Just take advantage of those fold-over shoulder flaps most onesies have, and pull it down!) I knew things would be a little different when it was my own child I was caring for, but I had no idea how much. While I’m sure I could write a short novel on just how different things really are, here are my top 10 things that took me by the most surprise about becoming a mom:

1. Boy parts.
When my husband and I opened the ultrasound envelope and saw that, I freaked out a little. I had lots of experience with babies—girl babies. I didn’t know what to do with a boy. Our son had been here about 4 days when I looked around and realized that having a boy was perfect for me. I love all the blue and red and orange and green. I love the toy truck blankets and jungle animals and the adorable little blue newborn-sized Converse. I really love how chill it is having a boy. No one expects him to show up in a full outfit complete with matching headband like people seem to do with girls. His first time to go to church, he wore fire truck pajamas—and everyone thought that was adorable enough. We plan to have more kids, and I would love a girl someday, but for my first, a boy has been perfect.

We're having a boy

2. People are ridiculously nice and want to talk to you when they see your baby.
You hear all these stories about perfect strangers kissing and touching babies, but that hasn’t been my experience at all. Sweet old ladies in Costco, waitresses, moms whose kids are all older—they all have asked politely to look at my baby and then share some sweet story about remembering when their kids were that small (or that theirs were never “that small!”) It’s so sweet how a new baby can create connections for just a few minutes between complete strangers.Costco trip

3. On the other hand, some people will have no filters.
I’m talking to you, random lady in Costco. My baby is 2 weeks old. This is our first time out of the house for more than a doctor’s appointment. No, I didn’t just walk out of the hospital, thank you very much. I know my baby is little (he was 5 lbs., 10 oz. at birth.) Please keep those comments to yourself. I was going stir crazy and needed to go somewhere. I not only have crazy postpartum hormones surging through me, I now have this new mama bear instinct; and if you make one more comment about my tiny little baby, I might just punch you. Not really, I’ll probably just go walk down the next aisle while tearing up. I know my baby is small, but he’s healthy and perfect and you don’t know our story, so just leave me alone!

And on that note…

4. I’ve become a crier.
I am not an emotional person. I don’t typically cry about things. I watched The Fault in Our Stars when I was 8 weeks pregnant and didn’t shed a single tear. But now, I cry. I cry because I’m tired. I cry because I don’t want to sleep and miss out on something. I cry because when I look at my baby all I see is perfection, and my heart is just so overwhelmed knowing I’m responsible for this tiny little life. How do I know if I’m doing everything right? I just love this little person so, so much. I’ve come to terms with the crying now and chalk it up to the fact that I love this little guy beyond words (and to the hormones, of course).

5. I have a son. I’m going to get peed on.
In his first week he got me, my mom, my sister, my dad, and my husband. I always thought people exaggerated how much boys pee outside a diaper. They don’t. I’ve had a couple really close calls, but so far I’ve managed to avoid it hitting me in the face. I’m sure my time is coming though. There’s no preventing it. You can keep everything covered until the last possible second; it doesn’t matter. He will still find that split second when your defenses are down, and he. will. get. you.

firetruck pajamas

6. I am now a total worrier.
It’s taken me over 3 weeks to sleep (almost) soundly again. I spent the first night at home holding him on my chest while sitting in the recliner. Most nights after that, I would only sleep a few minutes at a time because I was constantly checking on him to make sure he was breathing. I still am checking on him all the time. Is he breathing? Is he too cold? Is he too warm? The worrying never stops. I worried some while pregnant—worried about miscarriage at first and then about him moving enough—all the things I think everyone worries about. Now, I’m just constantly worrying about whether he’s okay and comfortable.

7. I will never be truly alone again.
He is at the front of my mind constantly. I left the house for the first time by myself and spent two hours at Target. The whole time all I did was think about the baby and getting home to him. I think about him 24/7, and everything else is now on the back burner. (Sorry, hubby!) All I care about now is keeping my perfect baby happy and healthy.

8. Fourth Trimester is totally a thing.
I basically treat my baby like I would if I was still pregnant with him. I feed him when he’s hungry and let him sleep on my chest while I watch TV. It’s made our lives so much easier. I don’t worry about schedules or making him sleep at certain times or in certain places. I just let him do his own thing and work around it. He’s on his own schedule, and it works for us. Before having him, I had planned for him going to bed and waking up around the same times every day, and we might work on that eventually. For now though, 11 pm is when he likes to be wide awake, and he likes to sleep hard in the middle of the afternoon. Thankfully, I get to stay home with him, so scheduling is just out the window for now.

9. Babies are going to do what they want when they want.
I really expected to go the 2 weeks past my due date that my midwife was going to let me go before inducing. I was completely shocked when my water broke 3 weeks before my due date! I didn’t even believe at first that my water had broken. After leaving some puddles on the bathroom floor, I nonchalantly told my husband we should probably pack a couple of bags and go to the hospital to see what was going on. I walked into the maternity triage at 7:30 pm, and our little bundle of joy came out screaming at 11:16 pm.  Those bags we packed…and they were still in the car. Talk about a crazy few hours. I should have known this was just the beginning of this baby showing  us who is really the boss around here. He doesn’t care that we just put a clean diaper on him; he’s going to fill that sucker up with fresh poop. Oh, you just got me dressed to go run errands? Let me spit up all over my clean outfit and the blanket you had me wrapped in. We just laugh it off and keep going—because, hey! He’s the boss.

And my favorite thing my baby has taught me…

10. I love him so much!
I had no idea how much I would love this little guy. I knew I would love him, of course. We had talked about having kids for years—before we were even dating. This baby was hoped for, prayed for, and wanted, long before he was conceived. I was just staring at him at 4 in the morning, and the line from How the Grinch Stole Christmas popped into my head about his “heart growing three sizes” that day. That’s exactly how I felt. When the midwife laid this tiny, little screaming person on my chest that night, my heart expanded. He’s still so new, but it feels like he’s just always been a part of me. Just looking at his little face makes me fall more in love with him everyday, and I can’t wait to watch him grow up and see who he becomes. For now, though, I’m just going to enjoy my sweet baby boy and treasure every second of his newness and babyhood.

family pic

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