There is no change more dramatic in your life as having your first baby. I know I didn’t plan to have a baby so soon, but once I got used to the idea, I couldn’t help but be really excited. The funny thing was that I wasn’t nervous at all. I just figured that babies are born all over the world, everyday, so why wouldn’t this be just fine? Everything was fine, but that is only because God was very good to me and I’m grateful.
Doesn’t he look…“not happy?!” Actually I think he was just mad at being all wrapped up to come home from the hospital.
I’ll never forget, how awkward I felt trying to hold him comfortably and trying to nurse him. I felt like I’d never get it right but I was so very determined to learn. We were kept in the hospital for a few days because he had a high bilirubin count and had to go under the lights. One night, late, I woke up hearing a baby cry, which was pretty common on that hospital floor, but I just felt like it might be him. You know, a crazy new mother who doesn’t know anything but is running on intuition. The nursery was really far down the hall from my room and I told myself that I was just ‘losing it’ and tried to go back to sleep. Well, this baby kept crying off and on and I sheepishly called the nurse in and asked her if that was my baby crying. She kind of rolled her eyes at the idea because my room really was far down the hall and said she’d go and check. Well, she called me on the intercom and said that it was him and did I want to hold him or nurse him? You can’t believe how excited I was. I felt like I’d just passed the test, I recognized the voice of my own child. Now I was really a Mom!
We named him David after his Dad and he was so beautiful. It might surprise you to learn this, but we were pretty sure he was the most beautiful baby in the world. He weighed 9lbs. 12oz. (yikes!) and had just enough dark hair, dark eyebrows and dark eyelashes to be so beautiful.
If you’re willing to learn, the best help in the world can come from the people nearest and dearest to you. One evening in the hospital, I said to my Mom that I just couldn’t get the breastfeeding thing right! It was becoming very discouraging and I’d even had help from the nurses. She just showed me a couple of tips that just did the trick. You can’t beat experience. Of course my Grandma couldn’t wait to come over the next day and fuss over the new baby. She decided that he needed a bath. I honestly didn’t know what to do first. Grandma was very systematic and methodical and taught me baby bathing 101. Truly invaluable. The best tip of all was from my dear mother in law. She showed me how she swaddled all of her babies in a little receiving blanket. She took his little arms and wrapped them in tightly and then tucked the blanket this way and that and as if by magic, we had a little papoose who was as content as can be. Nothing beats the ‘wrap’. I could calm any of my babies, any time by wrapping them and then rocking them. Its the sweetest way to snuggle them and be able to kiss their little cheeks and have them look up into your eyes with their sleepy little eyes and drift off to sleep.
Those first couple of years were a huge learning curve that was so rewarding.