I have experienced some pretty terrifying moments in my adult life, but when leaving the hospital with that brand new human I almost, quite literally, sh*t my pants. Pregnancy is long, labor is hard, but the moment you realize that tiny, fragile blob of human solely relies on you for SURVIVAL is crazy overwhelming. Our insurance covered a three day stay for his delivery so you better believe we hung around until last possible minute (can we get a late check out please?). Walking out of the hospital with Nash, DJ and I (in addition to being tired AF) were at a loss. Do we need to go through some sort of evaluation? Any kind of baby customs we have to get through before going home? Nope, he is ours for the taking. Up until that moment, we had been surrounded by well-trained nurses, doctors, and lactation consultants. Suddenly, it was just us, a couple of rookie wannabe parents. You mean they don't send us home with a complimentary live-in nurse? I want a refund BlueCross! JK, JK.
The prep work for this baby was extensive, to say the least. We are talking extreme clean nesting, research on products to aid parents and baby, and how basically to care for a baby. You name it and we were well versed in it. I tend to be slightly unorganized and scatterbrained by nature, but I felt confident before Nash was born that I was prepared for any curve ball that baby had for us. Well, all that prep work pretty much went to crap our first night home. About an hour in, we realized that no matter how many articles you read or classes you take, they ain’t sh*t compared to real life. Shortly after returning to our crash pad, Nash begins to fuss. I try and nurse and, wouldn't ya know it, I cannot get him to latch. We only had ONE successful latch in the hospital without two nurses hands assisting, so I was kind of hoping for a miracle with future feedings (like how Smalls felt in the outfield in The Sandlot). Well, he won’t eat so maybe he has a fever? This furnace of a baby decided to join us during the hottest week of the year, so I take his temperature four times (no fever, just a paranoid mom). Does he want to be swaddled? Little Houdini keeps breaking free of any amateur wrap we get him in, so thats a bust. Diaper change? Nope he's clean. OMG should there be poop? When did he poop last? At this point, the fuss has morphed into an all out scream. I lose it and begin to cry hysterically. What have we done?! I can’t do this! We need to go back for help! Thank sweet baby Jesus for DJ who, without saying a word, calmly takes Nash from me and retreats to our bedroom. I sat by myself and sobbed for about ten minutes (boob hanging out of my nursing bra and all) thanks to this overwhelming responsibility, hormones, a sore vagina, and serious sleep deprivation.
Those first few days home with Nash were stressful, to say the least (I have that hot stress sweat on the back of my neck even just writing about this). Does any first-time parent out there feel great about the first days home with baby (if so tell me your secret)? I need to emphasize that parenting is hard. Like, really freakin’ hard. And to be as cliche’ as possible, that baby is totally worth it. Having that baby changes your life in every way you could think of (and not think of). I honestly feel nothing can ever prepare you for that life change until its actually happening. Not to be so dramatic but there were multiple days where I would cry and feel like I did not deserve to have something so perfect. I NEVER want this baby to be in pain or uncomfortable in the slightest. However, like all difficult things in this world, practice makes perfect. One day at a time we learn, grow, and begin to work together like a well-oiled machine (well that is a reach, but we like to think so). I don't necessarily have any tips or tricks for this very broad topic, but I would like to give new parents (and myself, who am I kidding) encouragement when the responsibility feels too heavy. When I am drowning in diapers and Nash and I are both crying, I remind myself these moments are fleeting. “It will not be like this for long” on repeat in my head. If anything, the newborn phase goes by too quickly, I already am blown away at Nash’s 2-month picture compared to his newborn. Soak in every second! The good, the bad, and the ugly.