I thought I knew what life would be like with a new baby…
They tell you about the sleepless nights, the feelings of uncertainty, and the love you will have for your baby. I knew the safest ways for her to sleep and the best thing that she could eat. The nursery was decorated, clothes were washed and tucked away, meals were prepared and frozen.
I should have been ready. By all reasonable standards, I was ready.
But any mom knows, nothing can truly prepare you for the whirlwind of becoming a mother.
No amount of planning can make you understand just how completely, mind-numbingly exhausted you will be. Before your baby is born, you can never know the feelings of desperation and self-doubt that creep in when you’ve tried everything you can imagine and your precious child is still wailing as she fights sleep. No one can really describe the swell of emotion as you silently weep while trying to get your sweet baby to breastfeed when you are already so sore. You never anticipate how it will wear on your marriage when you’ve had your seventh sleepless night in a row and haven’t had a moment alone in weeks.
It is exceedingly difficult to have a child. They come crashing into your life and it will never be the same.
Fortunately, that is only one aspect of having a child. It is also impossible to understand how completely you will love this tiny human the second she is placed in your arms. You can never know the feeling of pure joy that overcomes you when you’ve worked for hours and your little one finally falls into that deep sleep and you know you will be able to rest. No one can describe the deep appreciation that overcomes you as family arrives and you finally understand how important it is to rely on those closest to you. You can never anticipate the joy you experience when walking out of the doctor’s office after hearing that your child is thriving or realizing that the love you have for your child has not replaced the love you have for your husband, but that the love you are capable of having has increased exponentially.
I am learning to survive the difficult moments and enjoy the precious ones. I must always remember that never again will I work this hard, sleep this little, or love this much…
…until number two comes along I suppose!