Leave your expectations at the door

To this day, I remember the first moments when we brought my son home from the hospital. I had years of experience working as a postpartum and nursery nurse and thought I had newborn care down to a science. My main concern was washing my son’s hair convinced that the nursery nurses didn’t do a very thorough job since his hair was standing up like a punk rocker, and making sure my husband didn’t cut his hair as he was threatening to do. Little did I know that was the least of my problems. 

Newborn CareI quickly learned that I had a fussy baby and life was going to be different than I anticipated. I never thought I would be wheeling my son in his carriage outside in the middle of the night on the rooftop of our apartment building, but that is what it took to calm him down. With the sleep deprivation, fluctuating hormones, and what felt like nonstop feeding, I felt very out of control and guilty that I was not feeling happier with my bundle of joy. 

 However, with time, the situation got much better and by four months he was sleeping through the night and was the happiest baby. Bringing home a newborn can be overwhelming especially when things don’t go according to expectations. Just remember that these feelings are totally natural and transient in nature. The main issue is not to be hard on yourself. This is a transition period and it is okay to put your usual routines on hold while you take care of yourself and newborn and find quality time with your partner. Don’t hesitate to call your doctor for concerns about your infant and seek the help of family or friends or even a postpartum doula or newborn care specialist to guide you through this exciting but challenging time- it can make all the difference.