If you’re a soon-to-be parent, may we kindly suggest that you take everything you thought you knew about newborns and just gently toss it all out the window? Trust us when we tell you that fresh-out-the-womb humans throw a lot more curve balls than one would expect from something so seemingly harmless.
Our newborns came bearing a lot of surprises – the first of which popped up while we were still at the hospital.
Like most new moms, we spent the first 24 hours after our babies were born marveling at the absolute perfection of that thing that just emerged from our bodies.
Running on pure adrenaline, all we thought that first day was: This is the best. This baby is the best. I’m a fucking Rockstar. This baby is so chill. This baby is so cute. Our lives are going to be so awesome. I’m going to be the best mom ever. This baby rules.
But then night two hit and with it came surprise number one.
It’s that thing that newborns do when all the satiation from within the womb wears off and they suddenly transform into hungry velociraptors who demand to suck on your nipple every hour on the hour for the whole night.
It all felt like a cruel joke – like, “Hey, I know you’re currently recovering from major abdominal surgery, but would you mind just staying up all night while this baby tries to extract milk from your tender breasts even though neither of you know what you’re doing so it’s going to hurt like a bitch? Sweet, thanks.”
We’d both assumed that the black tar poo would be the first wake-up call in our respective journeys through early motherhood. Turns out, that was just the teaser.
The surprises only multiplied and intensified in the days to follow…
Surprise! The baby hates being put down.
Surprise! The baby shits 500 times a day. (OK fine, not 500, but definitely like 10 – which is STILL a lot of shit for a tiny baby.)
Surprise! The baby can’t deal with your milk let-down so he chokes every time you try to latch him.
Surprise! The baby has day and night mixed up so he snoozes from 8am to 9pm and parties from 10pm to 7am.
Surprise! The baby hates that $300 designer bouncy chair you bought him.
Surprise! The baby loves the hideous $30 colourful monstrosity of a chair that your mother-in-law bought him.
Surprise! The baby develops a case of acne that rivals that of your 13-year-old nephew. (And there’s nothing you can do about it except wait it out and maybe squirt some breast milk on it.)
Surprise! The baby hates his car seat. “But, I thought all babies love the car and it’s the most sure-fire way to get them to settle down!” – Nope! Not this baby.
Surprise! The baby has to go to 100 doctor’s appointments in his first 12 weeks of life. (OK fine, not 100, but definitely like 5 and that’s a lot of doctor’s appointments for a tiny baby.)
Surprise! The baby flies through 300 diapers in his first month on the earth. (Sincere apologies to the environment.)
Surprise! The baby vomits so forcefully that it hits the wall behind you (and the sofa, and the chair, and the dog, and his clothes, and your clothes.)
Surprise! The baby cries everyday from 5pm to 8pm… for no reason other than #witchinghour.
Surprise! You’re a mom now and coming face to face with that reality is by far the biggest surprise of all.
This is it, dude; you’re in it. This is what you’ve been preparing for – for all these months.
Can you make it through this onslaught of *surprises* while recovering from likely the most intense physical injuries you’ve ever suffered and enduring the (actual) torture of sleep deprivation all while wrapping your emotions around the hormones that just plummeted through the ground?
Yeah, you can, because whether you’ve noticed yet or not, you are tough as shit, because you’re a mom now. Congratulations. Welcome to the other side.
Featured Image: Jane Birkin in Majorca with Kate, 1967