Adjusting to life as parents definitely comes as a shock. Not only is the life of a little human is now your complete responsibility, but the life you once lived is suddenly gone forever. Spontaneous activities and leaving the house whenever you want to, to do whatever you want, is suddenly a distant memory. That first week is a shock to both baby and the parents.
I remember my wife and I leaving the hospital after a very rushed and sudden birth, which I covered in my previous post. A wave of emotions hits you as a new parent. Excitement, but also nerves, quickly set in. The helpful guidance of medical professionals begins to slowly slip away as the distance between you and those hospital doors becomes larger and larger, and it finally hits you that it’s now up to you to take it from here. Thankfully my wife and I had an excellent support system from our parents. They were always eager to listen to our updates and provide welcomed answers to our long list of questions.
That first week will always be remembered as one of the most difficult weeks of my life. From the sleep deprivation to the constant self-doubt that followed every action that I took to care for my newborn child. We had midwives that came to the house to check in and answer any questions that we had. The team from Access Midwives was absolutely fantastic, and they helped my wife and I through each question and concern that we had. Not only did they reassure us that our baby was physically okay, but they helped us through our nerves as first-time parents.
I soon found myself sharing photos and videos of Bria with my family who is scattered across the country in a Facebook Messenger conversation. Although they couldn’t be there physically to meet Bria, that interaction allowed my family to witness what we were experiencing in real-time. Those messages quickly became an outlet for my wife and I to connect to the outside world. The support that came from those responses to the countless photos and videos are more appreciated than I think the senders of those messages will ever know.
I remember my wife and I trading off every couple of hours to hold Bria while she slept at night. Neither of us were able to get a full night’s rest, and it soon began to take a toll on both of us. It was insane how those hours would melt away looking at the walls of her bedroom while we held her in the glider. I remember thinking about having to go back to work after my week off and wondering how on earth we would be able to juggle everything. Soon we were able to get Bria to sleep in our bed in a Summer Infant By Your Side Sleeper. This mobile bassinet proved to be fantastic, and it allowed us to bring Bria throughout the house without having to hold her while she slept. It was these little milestones or discoveries that made me realize what parenthood is all about.
You can read all the parenting books, attend the pre-natal courses, listen to all of the personal advice from loved ones, but at the end of the day, it really is a learning process. There is no one size fits all answer to how you should raise you child; but rather, it takes some experimenting to find the right formula. As a father and husband, patience is the key throughout this process. Being supportive to a spouse who has gone through the traumatic experience of child-birth, as well as patient and understanding to the fact that it takes time to find your groove to being a parent is the best advice I can give to any first time Dad.
My little girl just turned 7 months old last week, and it amazes me when I look back at photos of her shortly after she was born to how she looks today. How scared she must have been leaving the security of the place she called home for just shy of nine months. It was major a time of adjustment for her, just as much as it was for her parents. We all survived, and with each passing day we overcame another challenge, become more acquainted with each other, and were often given another challenge to overcome. No parent is perfect, and I know my wife and I will look back on the whole experience and wonder “what were we thinking?!” But I can confidently say that our little girl is happy and healthy. When people ask me how I’m enjoying parenthood, I proudly say that the best part of my day is coming home to see that smiling little face. And for that little moment every day, along with so many others, I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Thanks for stopping by!