By Doula Jen
First night home with your baby? Pretty scary, huh?
We once knew a family who said of their first night home, “We shall never speak of this again.”
See there? Wipe away those tears and temporarily ignore the inexplicable post-tornado like mess that has erupted in the wake of this little cherub’s arrival.
This. Is. Hard. For everyone.
It’s not unusual for breastfeeding to go perfectly under the watch of the nurses, lactation consultants, midwives who were around CONSTANTLY during that first 24 hours.
It’s also not unusual to check your Baby’s breathing about fifty times on this night. There’s this little living thing in your house…a little thing that you love very, very much! How do you keep them breathing? How do you sleep for fear that they’ll stop breathing?
You burp them and nothing happens. This isn’t the way it’s supposed to go.
And you’re hungry! How do you eat when you’re so busy with the diapering and the burping and the breathing checks?
As doulas, we know how you feel, because most of us have had “first nights” of our own. As doulas, we know, because we have walked this night with a family or two.
So, what we want to say to you is this:
Welcome to parenthood! Welcome to heartbreaking love which leads to overwhelming worry. Welcome to second guessing yourself and making a million mistakes.
Yes, this is your life now.
But it gets better.
Not every night will be like this.
You will forget to worry, sometimes. The love will become part of your skin and therefore not so scary as it seems now. You will make milestones and memories more often than you make those mistakes.
Someday, we’re certain, you will speak of this night — fondly and with laughter.
Until then, try to get a few minutes of sleep.
With love from your doula,