Before Lincoln turned our party of two into a family of three, I thought I knew what I was getting myself into. I’d been told about the 3am feedings and not showering until 2pm (or let’s be real – not at all) but no matter how many parents I talked to, nor how many books I read, I found out there were at least 10 things I never knew about having a newborn until I experienced them myself, which I will happily share with you! And don’t be scared. Wait ’til you get to number one. (Also those are Lincoln’s feet. I could just eat them up, I could.)
10. Get ready to do some laundry
Buy stock in P&G now because you will be doing a ton of laundry in the first couple of weeks. I repeat, a TON of laundry! From mattress pads and fitted crib sheets, to blankets, onsies, and changing table covers, I had no idea one little person could produce so much laundry. That being said, now that we’ve learned to ahem, aim it DOWN, our laundry has gone down significantly, but between the three of us I still do at least one load a day. (I use Dreft detergent and Purex no-dye, fragrance-free softener.)
9. You will sweat at night. So much.
I thought the AC was busted the first night I woke up completely soaked in sweat after getting home from the hospital. Then I tore the covers off and realized the bedroom was cool and crisp as a cucumber. The same thing happened the next night…and the next night…until my friend finally asked me – have you had the night sweats yet? Um, YES! Why didn’t anyone tell me about night sweats?! So bizarre. Just plan on adding your PJs into your daily load of laundry.
8. Hormones are a bitch
There I said it. Of course I read all about Postpartum Depression and the baby blues before Lincoln came, but I was not at all prepared for how unbelievably crazy the sudden drop in hormones made me feel after he was born. I cried (read: lost it) when Ben nearly had to go out of town for 3 days when Lincoln was a week and half old. I cried while watching a news segment about premature babies. I cried when Ben suggested we upgrade our Costco membership (not kidding.) While I don’t think I had PPD or the baby blues, there is absolutely no denying that my emotions were out of control for at least a week post-birth. Thankfully I started feeling like my normal self after two (long) weeks!
7. Forgetfulness (especially at night!)
Blame the wacky sleep schedule, but nobody told me how forgetful I’d become post-baby! A few weekends ago Ben and I were driving out to a nearby lake to take a walk with Lincoln, and I forgot the stroller. Ben feeds Lincoln in the early morning, yet just last night I found myself feeding him when he walked in with the bottle. What?! Just make lists and forgive yourself when you feel like you should be committed.
6. Experiencing uncertainty
I have always been a quick decision maker. I hate dawdling and just want to make a choice and move on. Now that Lincoln is here I have become the most uncertain person about everything! I am so scared that I’ll make a decision that will negatively affect him. Hopefully this is a phase, but I kind of doubt it…
5. Learn to love cold food
A hot meal? What’s that? I’m only kind of kidding, but be prepared for your meals to be interrupted by diaper changes, nap rescues, nighttime fussiness…and laundry. It could take you awhile to get back to that yummy hot meal you planned on eating hours ago.
4. Girlfriends are gold
I never knew I’d rely so much on my girlfriends who are also moms for advice during the first uncertain couple of weeks after having a baby. Make sure you get those girls on speed dial!
3. Battling back pain
Do yourself a favor and schedule a massage for 2 or 3 weeks post-baby BEFORE you give birth. Between nursing and pumping (which kills your back,) hunching over the diaper changing table, and constantly stooping to coo at your sweet baby, your back will be taking a beating. Ben’s been great at giving me rubs, but I can’t wait to get a legit massage!
2. Online shopping is a gift
During those first weeks when it’s not always easy to get out of the house, online shopping will become your best friend. From swaddle blankets and a hands-free pumping bra, I have ordered a ton of stuff online lately and seriously, with shipping these days, I feel like my items have all arrived 2 days later no matter which shipping option I picked. Go Amazon.
1. It is ALL worth it!
It’s cliche, but so true. I’d eat cold hot dogs, walk as a hunch back, and do 100 loads of laundry a day just to have Lincoln in our lives. 1-9 is nothing compared to the unconditional love I feel every second I look into his face, and the joy his smile and funny faces bring to my heart. I sometimes think it will literally explode inside of my chest. Of course people told me this all throughout my pregnancy, but I couldn’t fathom this love existed until I actually experienced it myself. Motherhood is hard, but it rules!
So what say you, fellow parents? What surprised you about having a newborn baby?