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Answering All of My Pre-Baby Questions
Three months ago I had a ton of questions about what life with a newborn would be like. There is of course plenty of information on the internet about birth and babies, much of it helpful, some of it shouty, but none of it delivered what I really wanted, which was a crystal ball telling me exactly what life would be like for me and my baby.
So without further ado, today I’m reporting in with my 2.5 month old son to answer all my 36-week pregnant self’s most burning questions:
Past Self: How bad is the sleep deprivation, really? You know how I love sleep.
Current Self: Well, there’s no getting around the fact that newborns have to eat every two to three hours, so, yeah. But honestly, checking in at 2.5 months? It’s not nearly as bad as you’re expecting. You will be blessed with a calm, happy baby who goes right back to sleep after most of those wakeups. As long as you don’t think about how long it’s going to be before you’ll get a full 8 hours, you’re golden.
But shhhh. Keep that to yourself. No need to go trumpeting that around, unless you don’t want to make any new-parent friends.
Past Self: If babies can’t sleep with blankets per safe sleep guidelines, then why do we have 85,000 blankets?
Current Self: One word - swaddles. You never think about swaddling now, but it’s about to become a huge part of your life. Also burping, nursing, keeping baby warm in the carseat… oh yes, soon you will learn the way of the blanket.
Past Self: People say that breastfeeding is hard, but I don’t understand how. How hard can it really be? Isn’t it instinctual?
Current Self: Oh, honey. You will get the hang of it, but it’s going to take 6-7 weeks until your nipples stop feeling like they’re being sanded off. Also, in the first week, you will be hormonal and exhausted, and your baby will be small and have no head control, and somehow you missed the information that they only eat literal teaspoons in the first couple of days, so you will be unnecessarily terrified about how much he’s actually getting. But I’m happy to report it gets much better.
I would summarize it as: birth, postpartum recovery, sleep = all easier than you’re expecting. Getting started with breastfeeding = harder than you’re expecting.
Past Self: How do you deal with the crushing fear that something bad could happen to your child?
Current Self: … I have no idea, sorry. The only good news I can tell you is that after the birth you will have this cool, shiny, new worst fear that makes all of your previous worst fears look dinky and quaint in comparison.
Past Self (in a shameful whisper): So, um… sex? I have a lot of questions.
Current Self: [RESPONSE REDACTED] because my parents read this blog, but in a very general and nonspecific way I recommend this old Nicole Cliffe piece, which is helpful and encouraging on the subject.
Past Self (in an even more shameful whisper): Do you ever regret it? Having a baby?
Current Self: Never. Not even once. He is amazing, and you will love him more than life itself. You’re going to surprise yourself with how happy you are. It’s even better than you are hoping.
Also, sorry about all the pelvic pain, that sucks. Turns out we made a tall baby and that’s why you have both pelvic pain AND heartburn.
Oh, and one last thing? He’s going to get here three weeks early, so stop procrastinating on the baby shower thank you notes and just do it already.
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