Whether your labor ended up actually matching up or not with your birthing plan, chances are you have a newborn in the house. Slowly and then rather suddenly, you’re not showering, peeing, or even sleeping in peace. Or maybe you are and you, and your newborn, are now the envy of new parents the world over. So how are you faring?
If your newborn sleeps through the night
If this is your first baby, you’re probably looking around wondering what parents have been so complain-y about. Sure, you’re not sleeping until 11 every morning, but a good six or seven hours is still being banked, so you’re functional. You may even be catching up on those Netflix series everyone encouraged you to finish before baby came. But what do you know, you’re cruising through “Orange Is The New Black” WHILE ALSO welcoming a newborn. If this isn’t your first kid, you’re getting down on your knees every night and thanking the stork for bringing you one of those “easy babies” you had always scoffed at.
If your baby has colic
Oh, friend, how the maternity gods have slighted you. And yes, you’re taking it personally. What are you doing wrong? Are you leaving him or her to nap over a bed of coals? NO. Are you feeding him or her spoiled milk/formula laced with lemons? NO. So what is eliciting these shattering screams every three hours? You’ve been hanging on the interwebs for dear life, probably crying yourself, accumulating an extensive browser history of “colic” searches and seeking out the parents who have “survived.” But to your horror, they normally just halfheartedly smile and slowly pat you on the back.
If your baby is eating every time and all the time
Whether you’re working with the boob or formula, this is a solidly thumbs up occasion. No latch on issues or fussy bottle babies for you and you couldn’t be happier. You’re so enthused that even you’re genuinely singing about “lunchtime! Lunchtime!” as you prep all the necessary goods (although to any on-lookers, the song and dance appears to just be for the baby). You also spend some post-lunch nap times hoping that this behavior will persist through toddlerhood. Who knows, maybe you can even have those veggies touching ON THE SAME PLATE.
If your baby won’t breastfeed and you planned on breastfeeding
If you can afford it, you’re up to your knees in lactation coaches and making private consultations with the holistic baby lady that your neighbor down the street had a lot of success with. In doing some mental math, you realize that you’re spending more on GETTING YOUR BABY TO EAT than on actual food for the baby, and this is just so ironic given how you swore up and down that you would breastfeed (so cheap!). You may not have purchased your first helping of formula yet but you’re working up to it.
If your baby never sleeps. Like ever
You look as bad as you feel. People said this was the rough part and you probably made a crack or two at your baby shower about how your life was over. But WTF. It’s like a truck has come through your vagina, your soul, and apparently, your closet. Thursday blurs into Monday in an entire week (or two?) of completely unaccounted hours and the very same pair of yoga pants. Showering is a luxury, you now realize.
If your baby appears to like your partner more than you
You’ve had your suspicions for the first week or so, but now you’re more aware of it. Those serene glances they both share, the way your baby is almost starting to smile whenever your partner does the diaper changing and/or feeding. Meanwhile, attention, songs, and flipping parades of affection from you result in screams of epic proportions. If this is your first baby, you’re practically in tears on the bathroom floor blaming the GREEN TEA you decided to drink ONCE after you discovered that you were pregnant. Surely that one instance can account for some severed bonding, right, right, right? But if this isn’t your first kid, it’s more like a passing thought while you enjoy a round of Oreos and your partner handles another late night feeding. “What? He likes you better!”