As some of you may know, on October 2, 2019, I gave birth to a beautiful, healthy baby boy. During my pregnancy, I honestly did not know what to expect once he was born. He is my first child, so I have no prior experience in raising a child. I was so focused on all the new experiences I was having while being pregnant, that I barely thought about what it was going to be like after I wasn't pregnant anymore and actually had my baby. I just could not picture what having a baby would look like in my life. Now that my son is three months old, I have learned some things that I wished I knew before I gave birth. Some things I was pleasantly surprised by, and others I was challenged by. Here's a list of just a few of the things that surprised me about having a newborn.
1.) Newborns eat A LOT.
Because newborn's stomachs are so tiny, they have to eat so many times throughout the day. Eight to twelve times a day, in fact! And since they are just starting to learn how to eat outside of the womb, they take their time eating. I felt like all I was doing in the first month or two was feeding him!
2.) Babies nap patterns are... not patterns.
Everyone tells you to sleep when the baby sleeps when you are pregnant. I remember thinking, "Babies are supposed to sleep 14-17 hours a day, I don't need to sleep that long." But boy, was I wrong. The first few months are a mix of feeding the baby, changing their diaper, trying to put them to sleep, and trying to manage any sleep before they wake up again. And there is no schedule yet! They may sleep for two hours, they may sleep for 10 minutes. Every chance of sleep I had, I would try to will myself to sleep as fast as possible in fear of the baby waking up any minute.
3.) Babies may confuse night and day.
Within the first month, my son slept pretty well for a newborn. He would sleep for three or four hours straight at night, and while I was still exhausted, I got a decent amount of sleep. Then enter his second month. Somehow, he got his days and nights mixed up, and our schedules were all off. I was up until 5 am with him almost every night, trying to get him to fall asleep, only for him to then sleep through much of the day. It was hard to get out of the cycle, but we finally made it. He now sleeps 10 hours through the night! Hallelujah!
4.) The days just fly by.
In between taking care of the baby, cleaning the house, making meals, and getting schoolwork done, the day is over before you know it! One minute you are just waking up, and the next, you are eating dinner! Half the time, I don't even know what day it is.
5.) How much a smile can brighten your day.
My son started smiling right around six weeks old. This was right in the middle of his sleepless night period. And boy, did his smiles come at a perfect time. A baby's little gummy smile can brighten your whole day up in just a moment! When I was exhausted and felt like I couldn't do anything more, his small smile would keep me going.
6.) How much you can love your child.
You always hear about how much mothers love their children. But I had no idea what kind of deep love you would feel until I experienced it myself. It is crazy how you can love this little baby, who has no ability to love us back, so much. I think it gives us just a small glimpse of how God feels towards us. He loves the whole world, even those who don't love him back. Oh, what a love that is.
These are just a few of the things that I have learned through motherhood so far! You hear about most of them, but it is a whole other thing to experience them yourself. I am only three months in, and I know I will continue to learn more and more about motherhood every day. I am so excited to watch my son grow up and see all that God has in store for him. Did you have any surprises when you became a mother? Leave a comment down below! I would love to read others, so I don't feel like I was the only naive one!