There isn’t much sweeter than a newborn baby. But as a first time mom, I think it’s hard to appreciate and savor that fleeting newborn stage because, to be quite honest, you have no clue what you are doing. This tiny, fragile being that you just brought into the world is completely and totally dependent upon YOU. And that’s kind of a lot of pressure…… and then if you add in the nervousness and the cluelessness topped off with a healthy dose of fluctuating hormones all running on about 2 hours and 23 minutes of sleep, it’s hard. It’s hard to truly enjoy those first moments of motherhood.
I often look at first time expectant moms and want to pull them aside and tell them that the first month is NOT pretty. That they are going to cry and feel inadequate and completely overwhelmed. But just like everything else in motherhood, you figure it out. You realize that it just a phase, and you are more prepared for the next time. But maybe the next time you are juggling a newborn and a toddler and that brings on a whole new host of challenges. Jealousy. Feeling stretched thin as a parent…. and the juggling act begins.
And if there is a next time, you move from man-to-man to zone defense. How can you possibly do it all? At this point, you are probably used to not sleeping, but three kids is chaotic. They are likely in three different stages of childhood and have different needs and a million activities and how can you get dinner on the table when you are chasing the toddler, nursing the infant, and trying to figure out which friend of yours has room in the carpool to get your oldest to soccer practice?
And then if there is a next time, well, how could you possibly do it all? There were so many times during my last pregnancy that I would step back from the craziness in my household and think, “How is ANOTHER baby going to fit into all of this?” And it sort of freaked me out. My kids are a handful (some more than others) and I was really nervous about being able to handle four kids. But the saving grace is that I have done it all before. I’m used to the juggling act. I haven’t slept through the night in seven years. I’ve been through the infant stage 3 times, the toddler stage 3 times and we are starting to dip our toes in the “kid” phase. And because of all this, I can say that this fourth time around, I am truly enjoying the infant stage…. FINALLY. I’m calm and relaxed and, yes, even though I’m a little tired, I finally feel like I know what I’m doing. And no, it is not all roses over here by any stretch of the imagination. Someone is always crying or making a mess or not listening or sneaking cookies or saying butthead or not listening, but that baby……….ahhh. I am so thankful for him because newborns are as sweet as can be. I was just never really able to appreciate that before. So this fourth (and last time) around, we are in full on “soak it all in” mode.
And so I bring you.. the newborn photos <3
Feet that are as long as your pinky finger, little bodies still curled up as they were inside of you. And that smell…mmmm. Documenting this fleeting time is a must because there is nothing like a newborn photo on your wall to remind you of that foggy, emotional, exhausting first month. And after four kids, I can confirm that they do, in fact, grow up so fast. If newborn photos serve no other purpose than proof that, yes, once they really were that small. Fast forward 5 years and you’ll be buying three gallons of milk per week and you’ll be a 2 pizza family plus a cheesesteak.
And as a treat to myself (because why not – I mean I did just carry a baby for 9 months;)) I had this idea to ask Concihairge, a traveling hair salon, to come out and style my hair so that it was one less thing I had to think about for pictures that I will savor for a lifetime……. #girlsgottado 😉 . Getting my boys to wear “dress up clothes” (a.k.a. pants with buttons) is enough to wear down an army of SEALS let alone a mom who just gave birth.
This was one of the better ideas I’ve ever had.
Monica did her work, while I held and nursed the baby.
(And sidenote, if anyone is looking to give a new mom a unique gift, a gift card with Concihairge would be it!)
And, Alison, my amazingly talented photographer, worked her magic .
Our first month with Bear has been pure bliss.
Totally kidding. It’s been chaos….(mixed with moments of bliss).
But I’ve come to learn that chaos = life. Sometimes my house is so chaotic and SO full of life that my husband and I just have to laugh (…..and then immediately put on stern faces so our kids don’t see through us…. which they totally do). Ahh, but that’s for another post another day.
Craziness and all. Bear has no choice, but to be one tough little brother.