There is nothing as exciting, overwhelming, sweet, precious, wonderful, and scary as coming home with your newborn baby. The minute we strapped Hudson into his car seat and the nurse wheeled us together out to the car, I was a ball of emotion. But I couldn’t quite figure out which emotion I was feeling. I had never done this before and had no idea what to expect. For a control freak, that’s hard.
We came home to a surprise from my mom. She had ordered a large wooden stork to be placed in our yard and it had Hudson’s name and birth stats on it. It was such a sweet surprise.
It’s an overwhelming thing to come home and be responsible for a brand-new, perfect little person. Especially when it’s your first time. I had never bathed a baby or cleaned a belly button. Hudson came home on the biliblanket and that added a new level of stress. We were measuring out all of the breast milk he was getting and taking him for weight checks and heel pricks every day. But I was in a fog.
We had wonderful friends bringing meals every single day, and because of this, we had daily visitors. I tried to keep it to just one visitor per day so we could try to maintain a schedule and so we could all get our rest. But everyone is so excited and wants to see the baby. Maintaining a good “one visitor per day” rule was effective for us. If someone called and we weren’t up for visitors, we asked if they might be able to come the next day or later in the week. We love our friends and family so much and wanted to just have a house full of people, but sometimes you’re just tired and want to be in a quiet house, holding your precious newborn.
I was very fortunate to have my mom stay with us for about a month. She cleaned for us, warmed up the food our friends brought, and generally helped me learn how to take care of a baby. She was patient with me and loving and it was such a special time as Todd and I learned from her.
The best thing about having my mom around? That whole sleep-when-the-baby-sleeps thing? It’s so much easier when you can count on your mother to take care of the baby in case he does wake up. I slept so soundly during all of those naps. And when your newborn baby sleeps 21 hours a day, it’s easy to get caught up on sleep.
The day she left, however, was a very sad day. Deep in my heart I knew I could do everything by myself, but I was scared. And I had gotten so used to her company and her advice. (Solicited and unsolicited!) But five minutes after she left I stopped crying. And I looked at my 10-pound baby boy and something clicked for the first time. He’s mine! He’s mine.
He is my baby and I know him. Better than anyone else. He’s a part of me and even if I don’t have every single answer, I will figure it out. And he and I will grow together.
We were so fortunate when Hudson and Hayes were born to have so much help from friends and family members to help us ease into this new life as a growing family. The day would come when the meals would stop. And the visitors would stop coming by every day. There would be many wonderful days, but just as many hard days as we figured it all out. But we do, eventually, figure it out. This experience is unlike any other, and that first week of pure bliss mixed with complete fear really did a great job of preparing me for the full range of emotions that come with motherhood.
Find more posts from bloggers sharing their experiences of motherhood on the Huggies page on BlogHer.com.