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A Year with a Newborn

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Monday, April 11, 2011

A Year with a Newborn

I hear this phrase a lot.... "I don't know how you do it."  What I think people really want to say is, "What is it like?" .... but they just don't know how.  So I will tell you... What it is like.

It is like a Year with a Newborn.
Now... I say this and everyone mumbles...mmmmhhhhmmm.. But there are many layers to having a newborn.  It is one of those things that happens for such a short time most people romanticize it.  When people are in the throws of the first few months of life - they are struck by the harsh reality of what "newborn" means....but in a few months it all seems like a dream.  I can speak very candidly about what the "newborn" time is like... because I'm still living it. 
I've wondered on and off all weekend if I should post this.  I've wondered if it would be taken out of context. If people would see it as a "gripe" or "complaint." The truth is - this post is neither. It is a glimpse into my world. A look through the window pane..... with clear glasses. In May it will have been a year with a Newborn.

When you have a newborn, you don't sleep.  Remember those nights? When everyone is on edge? When you wake up because of nighttime feeds? (or the jingling of bells).  When you worry about SIDS because your baby hasn't quite mastered rolling over yet or moving purposefully away from the bumpers.

When you have a newborn, your house is perpetually messy.  Remember those days? When everything is strewn everywhere because you are too exhausted to actually spend time picking things up.  When you look around and wonder - what sort of tornado ran through here? Why didn't I just put this stuff away as I got it out?

When you have a newborn, you have no time for yourself.  Remember the times you didn't shower for an entire weekend strait? Remember when you used to take the baby into the bathroom while you took a shower because you were wondering if he/she would start crying and you wouldn't hear it?  Right now I'm sporting a mullet because I don't have the extra time to go get my hair trimmed into the awesome cut I got 2 months ago.

When you have a newborn, you constantly second guess your decisions.  Why is he crying? Is he hurt? Is he hungry? Did he poop? Does he just need some comfort?  Am I doing the wrong thing?  Am I making it worse? How can I make him feel better?

When you have a newborn, you are "extra careful" with him.  You guard him with constant diligence.  You worry about germs. You wash your hands perpetually and insist that everyone else does.  You hear sniffles and coughs from across the store.  You monitor other kids - where they are and what they are doing.  You are in constant protection mode.

When you have a newborn, your relationships with others are tested.  One inappropriate remark from a friend can have unintentional consequences.  Marriages are often the most stressed during this newborn phase.  Everyone has needs and you want people to respect your needs.... because you are putting your newborn's needs first.

When you have a newborn, someone needs you.  He looks at you with this amazing gaze and you find yourself falling more and more in love every day.  He needs you.  And you need him.  You feel this amazing blessing to be able to provide for all of his needs.  This is what God created you for.... to be his momma.

When you have a newborn, he knows just how to cuddle in the crook of your neck.  Your rocker gets put to good use.  You learn to rest together - holding each other for dear life.  Your hand fits in the small of his back and it is your soothing love pat he craves. 

When you have a newborn, you know there are going to be new tricks he learns.  You are excited for them to happen and you relish each one of them as they happen. 

And this is a year with a newborn.  It is almost exactly like that. Time moves incredibly slow - a day stretches into months.... maybe it is so I can stop and smell all the roses that are coming my way.

You know.... One of the most powerful prayers is the prayer of Serenity....

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
the courage to change the things I can,
and the wisdom to know the difference.

I put this at the end because I want you all to remember that Life with a Newborn is a blessing.  People dream of the day they will get to hold a newborn in their arms and kiss his sweet face.  However, for most people, the newborn phase passes so quickly - they try to remember a year later what it really was like - and they can't.  That is why I wrote it all down.

I cannot make Alexander grow any faster than he is growing.
I can make a difference in his development by continually encouraging him. By never losing faith that he will do something new right around the corner.
I can pray for continued wisdom in decision making and trust that God will guide us down the path we were meant to take.

What is your best "Newborn memory?"  What was it during those first few weeks that when you think back just brings a smile to your face? 


At April 11, 2011 at 6:54 PM , Blogger Shannon said...

Great post Kristen! So true! Although, my youngest is almost 3 and Emma (my WHS kiddo) is 4 and my other two are 6 and 8 and my house is pretty much still perpetually messy! :)
My fave newborn memories were when my kiddos were sleeping peacefully in my arms and there was nothing that needed to be done right away and I could just gaze at their sweet faces! All of them, even Ems who was a "newborn" for a year!

At April 11, 2011 at 8:07 PM , Anonymous Becky Kirouac said...

My favorite memory from my now 14 year old (Sadie) as a newborn was being the person she lit up for every time I walked in the room.

And from my now 8 year old (Sophia) was nursing her in the middle of night. Something about the second time around and not feeling nearly as stressed as with the first one that made the night time with her feel special and sacred as opposed to dreaded.

And finally from now 4 year old (Owen) my favorite memory is giving him his first bath with two doting big sisters looking on that thought he was just the dearest thing they'd ever seen...and Sophia saying, "Ahhh look momma, he has a pom pom on his bottom"!....yep she was speaking of his scrotum.

Thanks Kristen for sharing

At April 11, 2011 at 10:38 PM , Blogger Kristin said...

I swear i think you have a direct link into my brain. I was really going to call you and come right out and ask you this. You did a great job with this.

My favorite time with the girls - was feeding them in the middle of the night- it was quiet ( rare with 5 kids in the house). After they were done i would always hold them extra minutes even though i needed that precious sleep because I knew all too well that those moments would be fleeting.

Thanks Kristen for sharing:)

At April 12, 2011 at 6:27 AM , Blogger Kristen said...

Thanks for the posts. One of my favorite newborn memories actually involves the NICU - believe it or not. But Addison was only a few days old and I knew it was my last night to stay in the hospital. I snuck down at 2 am to feed the twins. Andrew was passed out asleep, but Addison was wide awake and hungry. I held her and fed her...just like a momma and her daugter should be. And even though it was in the NICU - we were almost totally alone. So when I shut my eyes, it was just as soothing as being in a nursery at home. One of my ALL TIME FAVORITES! Keep the posts coming. They make my heart happy on this rainy day.


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