The Newborn Experience

It sounds like a ride at Disney World, right? Like one of those virtual reality rides where you wear 3D glasses and sit in a pod that moves up and down? And the quote on the the advertisement posters would say, "The Newborn Experience -- you have to see it to believe it!" Because isn't that the case? No matter how many times people told you how hard it was going to be there was just no way you could fathom it until it happened to you.

My husband and I go back and forth as to whether or not we should "warn" first-time parents how much their lives are going to change once their baby bump becomes a real-life, eating, breathing, screaming person in the world. And we usually don't. There's no way you can really explain it to anyone. If we tried we'd sound negative -- and we wouldn't mean it that way. Bringing our son home from the hospital was all at once the most wonderful, terrifying, beautiful and stressful thing in the world. To me, being a parent isn't a good thing or a bad thing -- it's the only thing. It changed every single part of every single thing in my life. If someone had tried to tell me that, I wouldn't of believed them.

I also don't want to be a busybody and give people unsolicited advice. (I do it all the time, but I recognize I shouldn't). Do you remember when you complained of being tired during pregnancy and someone would say, "You think you're tired now? Wait until the baby comes"? Or when your new-mama-self was near tears because of all the sleepless nights and your friend said, "Welcome to parenthood -- wait until they start teething"? Didn't that make you want to pull off their fingernails with rusty pliers? Yeah... I don't want to be that person.

We have friends with a one-week-old and they're going through all the classic, hard-as-hell, newborn baby things -- no sleep, bad latch, lots of crying (both baby and mama) and constant worry. No matter how many times we try to tell them, "We understand. No really. WE UNDERSTAND." I don't think they believe us. Now they only see us as parents of a (almost) toddler. They see us laughing while our son says "uh oh" and claps his hands and plays on his little piano and they think, "They're so relaxed. Their baby is so happy. They have no idea what this is like." Oh grasshopper. You have so much to learn.

I'm writing this right now not only for the new parents, but because I want to remember every  2 a.m. feeding, every moment of overwhelming stress, every poop explosion and lost paci. I think I've figured something out. God gives you amnesia once it's all over. It's the only way I can understand how people have multiple children. And my son's almost one... And he's getting so big... And newborn babies are so cute... And little...

Uh oh.


  1. Oh how easily we forget....I have baby fever off and on. But, my youngest JUST got potty-trained. That means I haven't changed a single diaper in TWO WEEKS. It's like bliss. Plus, they're starting to sleep until 7am. How could I possibly want to start all over with night feedings and diapers and all that? I know why...it's because babies are cute and I love watching them grow, but I sure do remind myself regularly how hard it is.

  2. The diapers I don't mind, but the lack of sleep is a killer! We are just now getting to the point where MOST days I'm not a zombie... Most.

    Thanks, Lindsay!

  3. I spent the first two weeks of my newborn niece's life with her, to help my sister and to learn what it's really like to have a newborn. THis is my sister's 2nd child, so she knew what she was getting into. I on the other hand learned A LOT!

    Thanks for stopping by my blog on my SITS day! :)


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