It’s hard to believe but our little man just recently turned one month old. Sure, people had shared lots of advice about what to expect with this new addition, but as we reached this milestone and I found myself reflecting back on the time there were some elements of motherhood that struck me as quite surprising.
My body image is not what I expected.
I remember telling my husband near the end of my pregnancy that I had accepted the fact that I was going to feel disgusting for about two months after the baby was born. I had gained a good amount of weight and based on my new stretch marks, I knew that things weren’t just going to bounce right back after delivery. I was mentally prepared for a period of disappointment and low self-esteem. Immediately after delivery, I felt like I’d lost 20 pounds. It was an incredible relief physically. But I had a rude awakening the next day as I took my first shower. My body looked nothing like the pre-baby body that I remembered. As I stand here today however, I realize that my self-esteem is high and I’ve put little to no thought toward what I look like physically. Truth be told, I’ve been so preoccupied with baby and the whole transition that I probably just haven’t had the time or the energy to be concerned. Additionally, and more importantly, this body made a baby. It gave my husband and me the greatest gift in the whole world and I truly can’t be upset about any physical sacrifice I made.
We made the right decision (for us) about cloth diapers.
Very early on my husband and I decided that we wanted to use cloth diapers for our baby. We had family who had done it and swore by their experience. We ran the numbers for purchasing disposable, compared it to cloth diapers with a laundering service, and decided that it was what we wanted. As it turned out, we lived too far out in the country to have a service handle the diapers and were going to have to wash them ourselves. And so, one day out of nowhere, my husband (who literally vomits at the sight and smell of poop) told me that he was rethinking the whole thing. Once he decided he wasn’t on board anymore, I knew that I didn’t want to be on board by myself. I wasn’t going to be the only one washing 14 poopy diapers out by hand each day.
In hindsight, I am so glad we went with the disposables. If the service had been available to us, I think I’d feel differently, but the truth is that there’s so little time in a day with a newborn. Every minute of every day is precious and having a new baby is a big adjustment in itself. We definitely made the right decision for our situation.
I shouldn’t have washed everything.
As baby’s due date approached and the nesting really set in, I got the urge to wash all of the bottles, clothes and everything in between. I was shocked when I discovered that the outfit I’d brought to the hospital was too small for baby and even more surprised to learn that none of the newborn clothes we had fit. We had a situation with the bottles too. There was nothing wrong with the ones we got, I loved them, but the doctor suggested another brand while he figured out how to nurse. In both cases, I had plenty of items I could have returned if I hadn’t removed the tags and washed everything. Though nesting is a powerful force, I’d try to fight it in this regard next time.
There are some awesome services out there.
My husband and I have been holding on to a free trial of Blue Apron for just the right moment and well, trust me when I say that the right moment is when you have a newborn. In a nutshell, the service sends you three recipes with all of their necessary ingredients right to your front door. What we’ve had so far has been delicious and saved this mama some serious planning and a trip to the store. Similarly, we’ve recently discovered the convenience of Prime Pantry on Amazon. Amazon really can do no wrong. This service allows you to basically have a box sent to you with all kinds of items including cereal, soup, shampoo, deodorant, and almost anything you can think of. If you fill a big enough box the shipping is free! For this new mama, it has saved me major shopping trips and even those pesky return trips to the store for the single items I’d forgotten to grab!
You don’t know how much you’re going to love your baby… And your husband.
You spend 9 months or more dreaming about this little being. You love your little bump and think you know how much you’re going to love him or her when they arrive, but the truth is that it’s unlike anything you’ve ever experienced or can begin to describe. Probably a little more surprising is how this also translates to your relationship with your partner. Seeing my husband not only as a father, but as an amazing father, has made me love him even more and in a way that I couldn’t have anticipated. Nobody can prepare you for this. It’s incredible.