In one week, I have learned more than I have at any other point in my life. In the matter of a moment, I became a mom and Craig became a dad. Our lives changed in that instant, and we have been on a crazy ride since then — a ride that neither of us would change for anything. I know we have a lifetime of learning ahead as parents, and we’re by no means experts at this thing yet, but we have certainly learned a lot already.
– Time flies. As I started writing this post (one-handed while holding baby girl at 5am, mind you), I realized that exactly one week ago, I was holding my daughter on my chest for the very first time. It was the most surreal moment of my life. She is now already one week old, and Craig and I have survived our first week as parents. It’s hard to believe that we’re already home with this angel and starting to settle into some semblance of a routine (even if it currently revolves solely around feeding, diaper changing, and sleeping). I’m doing my best to savor these moments, even the trying ones, because although the hours may seem long, the days are short. She’ll never be as tiny tomorrow as she is today, and that’s something I hope to remember and embrace each day.
– Patience is a virtue, and it also takes practice. In the hospital, someone told us that a baby will make you learn patience, and they couldn’t have been more spot on. I am beginning to fully understand why God made babies so cute, sweet, and cuddly — to make up for seriously trying our patience and sanity! Craig can attest to the fact that I’m not the most patient person. He, on the other hand, has the patience of a saint, which is something I admire, try to learn from, and am now more thankful for than ever. He’s especially good with L’s cry sessions that seem to be about nothing – and usually take place at a time of day when no human should be awake, let alone wandering around the house “shhhh-ing” and bouncing a tiny baby in hopes of rocking her back to sleep.
– We will be doing a lot more laundry than I expected. Babies are messy, and they have excellent timing for spitting up on clothes you’ve only just changed. Good thing we bought a new washing machine last week.
– The human body can adapt and run off of very little sleep very easily when it’s for a good reason. We have both found that even after a night of just a couple hours’ sleep, we’re somehow still able to function like normal human beings for the majority of the day. Even Coco has seemed to quickly adapt to this little person who has invaded her space. She sniffs everything Leighton touches and even in the middle of the night, if L makes a noise, Coco has been quick to go check in on her.
– Babies are tiny, but they are strong! I feel like we needed degrees in alligator wrestling in order to properly and efficiently change her clothes and diapers when she’s wiggling around like a little monkey/snake/jitterbug/rascally animal of choice.
– Teamwork truly does make the dream work. Craig has been 100% on board and involved in every aspect of caring for our little one from the minute she was born. He happily obliged when I asked him to take on the probably daunting task of photographing her first moments because I was unable to. He jumped right in for her first diaper change in the hospital, only to have her not-so-politely request another change before he could even get the first diaper on. He has quickly learned how to dress a squirmy newborn, and he even helped me dress her up in a tiny swimsuit yesterday just for fun. He fixes and serves dinner while I feed Leighton. He rocks her when she’s fussy so that I can have a moment to check work emails (and maybe play on the computer a little). He switches off with me in the middle of the night so that I can get more than 30 minutes of solid sleep. He is the best daddy and I couldn’t have asked for a better teammate to do this with.
– We have really amazing family and friends. Calls, texts, emails, and social media messages with well wishes, advice and prayers, visits to meet L, food deliveries to keep us going each day. We are so grateful for each and every one. It really does take a village, and our village is pretty awesome.