Doug and I learned a lot in the first month with our little guy.
I learned how quickly three hours can pass by.
Donovan was on the newborn three hour cycle. Eat. Poop. Sleep. Repeat. I seriously could not believe how frequently he did these things. The clock started when he demanded to be fed. Nursing could talk up to an hour and that hour counted. We would usually need to change his diaper and then we had around 30 minutes of alert time before he would be ready for a nap. Thankfully, at night, he was always ready to go right back to sleep.
Sleep deprivation is no joke.
I had been tired before. I had stayed up late and had gotten up early the next day. But I was never one to pull all-nighters. My sleep is precious. Having a newborn will quickly remind you that it doesn’t matter how tired you are because when your baby needs you, you must wake up. The nights were the worst. I saw hours of the day that I had not seen many times. I’d say that 3 am is one of the rudest. It is really late, but almost really early. Doug always got up with me when Donovan needed to be fed. We utilized the inputs and outputs rule. I provided the food and Doug took care of the waste 🙂 He would always change Donvan’s diapers and re-swaddle him so the little guy could go back to sleep. Doug was a master swaddler. Donovan would wiggle out of my attempts at swaddling, but Doug was a master!
You don’t realize that you are sleep deprived until you try to formulate sentences and the words won’t come to your mind. Words such as ‘remote control’ or ‘boppy’ would escape you and instead you just ask, “Can you pass the..thing. that. ya know. THAT!?”
Napping was great in theory. Doug could always take a nap on a moments notice. I, on the other hand, am not a huge napper. But when you are so tired, you find a way. That is if you can stop worrying about whether your child is breathing. And inevitably, the moment that I was about to drift off, Donovan would wake up and need something.
You use so many diapers.
Holy shit. So much poop from such a small human. Enough said.
Being a parent is the hardest and most demanding job there is.
Hands down. I will never scoff at a stay-at-home-parent ever again. I thought being on-call, doing end of the year damage checks, and conduct meetings were challenging. Nothing compares to the round the clock demands of a new baby. I might not have been going to work each day, but I was doing work all day and night long. Doug was able to work from home and was able to run out when he needed to do things for work. It was great having him with me to share the load and to keep me sane.
Leaving the house requires at least 30 additional minutes of preparation.
I am a stickler about being on time. When we start to run late, I get crabby. With a child, I had to re-evaluate what ‘on-time’ meant. I soon learned that to be on-time, we needed at least 30 minutes of additional preparation and planning to ensure that every item necessary was located and packed prior to our departure. Do we have enough diapers and wipes? Where is the pacifier? Where did his other sock go? Did you grab the boppy? Will you re-fill my water? Have you seen my wallet? Oh it is still in the diaper bag. It is sunny out, does he need that hat? The mental check list goes on…
Parents have secret super-powers.
You suddenly realize that you can do things in ways that you never could:
You can do anything one handed…babywearing is the best!!
Breastfeeding…I’m pretty sure this is the ultimate super-power.
You can somehow discern the different types of cries that your child makes and you know exactly what they need.
And eventually, you become the only thing that will soothe your child. Holding them is the way to silence the crying instantly.
Here are a few special moments from Donovan’s first month:
Even though the first month left us feeling sleep-deprived and frazzled, Doug and I cherished every moment. By the end of the month we could not believe how much we had grown and how much our little guy had changed. We officially understood what people meant when they said that having children makes time fly.
From me to you