The hardest part about bringing home a new baby is how overwhelming it is. Your child does nothing but cry and eat constantly, and it's up to you to meet their needs. Scarlett was my first child and obviously I had no prior experience before her. I never babysat for an infant or even was around an infant in my life. Everything seems doable and manageable when you're in the hospital because you have the nurses around for help. Once you go home, it's a whole different story.
When I was discharged from the hospital with Scarlett, I became immediately sick. I was unable to take care of Scarlett and was throwing up day and night. My mom actually ended up staying longer than planned to help out with the baby. Once I was better, it was the first time I was actually taking care of the child on my own. I cried and said I didn't know how I was going to do this. How could I maintain my own interests and hobbies while taking care of a baby around the clock? I was adjusting to no longer having the same life I've always lead, but changing my life for my child. It was difficult to say the least.
Scarlett had her days and nights mixed up. She slept all day and partied all night. I was making bottles every 2 hours and feeding her around the clock. When the baby monitor went off with loud cries at 2 AM, I dreaded it. My husband couldn't do any night feedings during the week because he worked. It was up to me to feed the baby 5 days a week solidly myself. I was very lucky that she always went back to sleep after each feeding. I remember sitting in the rocking chair at 3 AM and thinking to myself, will I ever get through these night feedings? When will they ever end? Even though they are an essential part of the newborn stage, I loathed them.
I don't remember napping too much when Scarlett napped. Only when she got on a schedule at 6 months did I nap with her. I remember being tired a lot, but I think I didn't nap with her because I was unsure of how long she would sleep and I didn't want to not hear her cry. Everyone says nap when the baby naps, but it's difficult to take that advice.
The #1 item that I would recommend for all parents of newborns is the HALO sleepsack. We started off with the sleepsack swaddle in the hospital, and now have moved up to the HALO sleepsack. I absolutely love this product and really appreciate how it grows with your child. Everyone should have these on their registry, and I certainly give them as baby gifts. The sleepsack swaddle comforts your child and allows them to sleep peacefully and soundly. What mom doesn't want that?
It's funny how the newborn stage seems so difficult. You can't see past it and can only live in it for the moment. I couldn't picture my daughter being 3 months, 6 months, or even a year. Now she's days away from being 15 months. Where does the time go? She's walking and and so active and on the go. Of course that comes with its own set of challenges as well. What I wouldn't give to have that tiny baby back, even for just one day!
I know you're tired. I know you want a break. We've all been there. Try to appreciate your newborn for the stage that they're in now even if it seems impossible. In the not so distant future you'll blink and your child will be hitting all sorts of milestones. Cherish the memories and your time together and don't forget anything.