Becoming a Mom was truly the best thing that has ever happened to me. I remember every minute of my labor and delivery, and the exact feeling I had at 5:43pm that Thursday evening… “Oh thank goodness!” were the words to come out of my mouth as they placed her onto my belly, “she’s finally here!” I was thinking…. But immediately after that thought passed a slight panic washed over the room.
My baby wasn’t breathing.
A flood of emotion took hold of me as they scooped her up and took her to the incubator in the room. A whole team of people worked on her out of my view as I was stuck there flat on the bed still in the midst of labor and afterbirth with a lump in my throat; too scared to ask “is she ok?”. After the longest 2 minutes of my life, I heard her little cry come from beneath the hands of the doctor and nurses. Tears began to fall and I saw my husband carrying our precious little 7 pound girl towards me. I cradled her in my arms and she began to nurse. I remember that I couldn’t get over the feeling of familiarity. I knew this child. This little person. Even though I was just meeting her, I knew her. It is a feeling I will never, ever forget.
As a first time Mom of course I didn’t know what I didn’t know. I had a lot of experience with babies and small children, but being a Mom is entirely different. I was constantly trying to get ahead of the game, and figure her out. Is she hungry? Is she eating enough? Was I producing enough milk? Why isn’t she gaining weight? Is this just fussiness or is there something wrong? Everything is a question… I think it is natural to worry and research and even feel like things aren’t going right- it’s a lot of responsibility to care for a tiny human. I was given some advice to follow my gut instinct as my child’s Mom. It was initially difficult to do, but the more I did it, the less I worried, the less I felt like I needed to have answers to everything. The more I got to know her and myself as a mother things just fell into place. Now that I am experiencing things a second time around, there are definitely stages and moments that I realize pass far too quickly. I don’t regret anything about the beginning of my daughter’s life, but if I could go back to the crazy newness of it all there are definitely some things that I wish I had known to savor and remember.
Thankfully, I have been blessed with another healthy baby. This time, a boy. He came into the world at 8:04pm also on a Thursday. I am much more confident in myself as a mother this time around. I feel like I am able to enjoy him in a different way. He is most likely going to be my last baby, and I know now that this baby stage definitely goes by in the blink of an eye. I know to appreciate more of the little things this time. Things that I didn’t realize that I would miss.
I am not going to say “enjoy every moment” because honestly huge poop explosions and crying for hours during the night are not moments that I enjoy. But here are some moments that I feel are ones to savor.
- Pregnancy kicks and turns. Toward the end I was uncomfortable and most certainly more than ready to meet my babies (who both came late)… but I still miss feeling them moving around.
- The smell of your baby’s breath. There is just something about your own newborn baby’s sweet breath… You won’t be able to just smell it once. 😉
- The weight of your baby when they fall soundly to sleep in your arms. At the end of the night when all I think I want is to have some ‘me time’ or go to sleep myself, I find myself just holding him for a few extra minutes. Feeling all of his weight, his love and his trust is in my arms. And I watch him sleep.
- Dream smiles. I won’t lie sometimes the ‘few’ minutes I just mentioned turns into 20 minutes if he is being particularly smiley in this sleep. Call me crazy, but seriously, it’s the cutest.. he has a dimple and everything!
- Gassy smiles. When they are a couple months old and gas just feels that good that they are practically giddy when it passes.
- The wide-eyed look you get when your baby realizes you’re next to them. My son is a generally happy baby, but when he notices that my husband or I or his sister is next to him he gets very excited. It is very cute to watch him light up at the sight of us.
- The big sigh they let out when they are about to fall asleep or finally calm when you hold them. My son doesn’t get upset often, but when he does he usually wants Mama to calm him. Once he realizes that he is safe and in my arms he lets out the biggest sigh of relief and falls asleep.
- The first things that make them laugh. This is something that I do remember about my daughter, but felt should still be on the list!
- The most wise and gentle soul I’ve ever known once told me “Feeling the warmth of your baby against your skin is purely magic”. She was so right. Skin to skin snuggling is one of my favorite things. Feeling the connection with my son brings back the memory of snuggling with my daughter, but this time I am holding on to the feeling for sure. Thank you Nain for your loving words of wisdom ❤
- The first little noises they make and sound of their voice. Being a speech pathologist I am
bigHUGE on communication. I couldn’t wait to hear my daughters voice and I worked really hard to help her communicate as early as possible. But without going back and watching videos I can’t really remember what her little babbling voice sounded like when she was a baby. This time I am making a point to memorize my son’s little voice and noises.
So there you have it. I know this list won’t be for every one, but for me these are things that I know the second time around I will miss if I don’t take the time to enjoy.
What are some moments that would make your list?