Updated: Jun 3, 2020
Life with a newborn is a rollercoaster of emotions. There's happiness, sadness, anger, frustration, confusion and hilarity. It's a magical time, while also being one of the most difficult times of your life. Here's some of the highlights, the lowlights and the downright funny moments from my experience as a first time mum.
There are endless good things about being a mama to a fresh, squishy newborn, but the main one for me was the snuggles. All your baby wants is to be close to you in the early days, and this results in some of the most delicious snuggles. They'll snuggle in under your chin for a nap, or in the crook of your arm. In those moments I'd shed a little tear and wish for her to stay that little forever.
Which leads me to my next favourite thing about having a newborn. Watching them sleep. Oh a sleeping baby is like looking at the face of an angel. The innocence, the serenity. It's just too beautiful for words.
A less emotional positive of the newborn stage is feeling like a total badass. A human being just exited your body. No matter how they made it out, you are a total badass. You carried that little human for 10 months, sacrificing your body and countless foods. You brought them into the world, and you were there for them when they needed their mama.
Finally, the overwhelming love hit me like a tonne of bricks. I never understood what mothers meant when they said your heart just expands to love your baby in equal measure to the others in your life you love. Your heart doesn't just divvy out a finite amount of love. The love is infinite, and it is incredible.
The crying. Not only the crying but not having ANY IDEA why your baby is crying. In the first week of my daughter's life we had a couple of nights where she would just scream and scream for hours. I had no idea why she was crying. We tried everything, rocking, colic drops, singing, swaddling. None of it worked. All that worked was boob. Until it didn't work and the cycle started again. I remember standing rocking her and sobbing while choking out 'Amazing Grace' because it was the only song that I could remember the words to.
This is totally tied for first place, but the sleep deprivation is like nothing you've ever experienced. Sure you'll have pulled all-nighters before, but 7 nights in a row? 14 nights? It's almost worse when you DO get some sleep. To get decent restorative sleep it really needs to be a solid 4 hours or more in a row. Broken sleep is an absolute killer.
Whether or not you choose to breastfeed, chances are your milk will come in anyway. And it hurts. Your boobs are sore and swollen and heavy. If you are breastfeeding, despite everyone telling you that breastfeeding "shouldn't hurt", it does. You've never had a tiny human sucking on your nipples for 23 hours of the day. It takes some adjusting, and it hurts like hell for the first little while. Commiserations to all the women for whom it continues to hurt, you are truly incredible humans for persevering with your breastfeeding journey.
Add to that the sore EVERYTHING. If you had a vaginal birth, it kinda feels like you've been kicked by a horse in your intimate areas. If you had a caesarean you've had major abdominal surgery and you've got some serious healing to do. Everything hurts like hell, and chances are you're going to groan every time you get up or sit down.
Amongst all the magical moments and the sleep deprivation, there are moments of uncontrollable laughter. I don't think I've ever laughed harder than the time I was in the kitchen and I let out a little fart. My husband laughed, and I laughed. My laughter combined with my wrecked pelvic floor meant my laughs caused more farts to escape. It was a moment of hilarity amongst the desperation.
When your milk comes in, you'll find yourself with very heavy, full breasts. It's wonderful because finally it feels like you're feeding your baby the "real" stuff. But full boobs often mean spray. It goes everywhere. In baby's face, in your face, on the dog, on the couch. And it's hilarious. Don't sweat it if the milk goes in baby's eye. It can't hurt them.
Speaking of milk, there's nothing funnier than a milk drunk baby. The rolling eyes, the hilarious faces. They really are like little drunk adults. I challenge you to not whip out your phone every time it happens.
What are some of the highlights, lowlights and funny moments you experienced during the newborn phase?