What I Wish I Knew Before Baby
From the moment you find out you’re pregnant, all of your attention and focus immediately turns to the baby you’re carrying. I remember that feeling of excitement wondering who the little one inside of me was going to be. All I could think about was the day I would get to hold and finally meet my baby.
I've been a mom before, actually. I have a beautiful, bright ten year old daughter along with my sweet and cute ten-month-old baby girl. So you could say I've had some experience around babies. It's true what they say; a baby changes your life forever. All moms know what I'm talking about. You become a new version of yourself after you become a mother. Your world is now forever altered. Your partner's world changes, too.
I met my husband when my oldest daughter was two years old. Right away I was swept off my feet and fell quickly in love with the man whom I call my best friend. As we looked forward to our future, we knew we definitely wanted to have children together. When I was pregnant with my youngest, my husband and I were practically on cloud nine. It had taken nearly eighteen months and one tragic loss to finally be expecting parents. I always knew my husband was going to be a great father. When our daughter was born their connection was instant and I knew he was in pure love.
That cute baby changed our relationship. It will change yours, too. Everybody knows that a baby will change a family forever, but no one really talks about how. I knew that when we brought our newborn home the added stress could put a big strain on us. After all, you're sleep deprived, exhausted, filled with crazy emotions and probably even bloated or leaking. That's definitely a big adjustment for almost anyone. I remember bickering with my husband more during that time. On top of that there was little time for romance or alone time for us as a couple. The little free time that I did have was mostly spent pumping milk for my daughter's next meal. At the beginning we weren't too concerned about our individual needs because all of our focus was on the baby. She had a rough start due to jaundice and some reflux issues. She also had trouble gaining weight and at one point was diagnosed as failure to thrive. Luckily, we no longer have any issues, and she is doing so well now.
Eventually, my husband and I started to learn how to get back to our old selves again, the way we used to be before the baby was born. I wish I could say that things are one hundred percent back to normal, but we're not there, and we may never be fully back there again. And that's ok. We have found a way to make a new normal. Our sex life may still be less frequent for now and sometimes we still get annoyed with each other, but our love for each other has grown so much stronger. I have a new respect for my husband as the father of our family. I know that I can count on him to always love, support and care for us.
You can never predict how your relationship will change once the new baby arrives. Sometimes a baby brings focus to the realization that the parents are not the right fit for each other. And even if you are confident in the relationship you have with your significant other, that doesn’t mean the pressure of having a newborn won't affect either of you. But it's up to each couple to decide how the changes will manifest in their relationship. My best advice to any new mom is to give each other some grace as you are both learning to navigate your new normal. Remember why you fell in love with each other. Don't lose your original self in your new role. Remember to do the things that make you happy and make you, you. Remember that it’s important to put your relationship first. This is the foundation for successful parenting—leaning on each other and working together as a dream team. Though the days may seem long, the weeks and months will fly by, and you will look back on this period as just a phase in your life. More changes will come, but change is an opportunity for growth. And that can be a really good thing.