My best friend gave birth on Monday, and not being able to be there right now is torture. Torture! I email her at 3:40am when I'm up with David, but that just isn't enough.
Since my head is on baby things and newborns right now, I thought I'd write about it. Here's my own personal road map for the first few weeks. It's what I remind myself every time we have a new baby.
The first day or two after birth are kind of a honeymoon. The baby sleeps, the baby latches, you're not hurting too much, time has sort of stopped, and your whole tiny little world has been blown apart by this miracle that's just taken place.
Soak it in. Don't try to figure it out. Just enjoy it.
About day two or three, you've probably spent the last three nights awake, and you have a sinking feeling you'll be awake all night again. Baby is doing more crying and being hungry than he is sleeping, nursing has become painful in a way you never fully understood before, and it's 4am and the night stretches long...
The night will end. Daylight will come and it will feel so much better. This baby will stop crying. And you will sleep again.
A week goes by, two weeks go by, and just when you think you cannot figure it out, you cannot do this one more time, you are absolutely going to break, something clears. There's a doctor's visit and you get medicine for reflux. You discover the magic of white noise and swings for baby sleep. Your milk comes in, and you can finally both get some sleep.
Now it's time to celebrate!
Some babies take this process in a leap, some drag it out for longer, but it's dependent on the baby, on his unique blend of personality and physical needs, and definitely not you. If it takes you longer to get your crap together, it's not you. And if you find yourself leaving your house freshly showered and makeup'd, and you have a magical first family outing as a family of three, celebrate that, too...because that's not you either :).
And if you need help, ask for it. If something isn't right, tell someone. Forget sleeping when the baby sleeps; and feel free to just cry when he cries. Every day with your precious little newborn is a marathoning-mountain-climbing-death-defying-life-altering-God-Almighty-miraculous event. You did it, mama. I'm so proud of you.