Wow your baby is about five pounds now so if you wanted to get an idea of what it would be like to have him or her on this side of your belly, simply carry around a bag of sugar, don’t shower for two days and keep asking your husband if he thinks what ‘the baby’ is doing is normal or should you call the doctor. That should give you an idea of what the first few weeks are like with an infant.
Seriously though, this is a good time to talk about those first few weeks if you haven’t done it before because they can be tough.
This is your first time being a parent and your baby’s first time being a separate person, so there’s a steep learning curve to say the least. Oh, let’s also add a tsunami-like wave of hormones that hit you just after giving birth that will often leave you weepy and temperamental – imagine a ramped up PMS with teary long distance ads on loop.
The best advice that I can give you is to live in the now. If you start worrying about sleep habits, baby books, keeping up with a schedule, you’ll drive yourself crazy. Just get through the day and do what makes the most sense for you and your family – if that means lying on the couch watching a tv marathon while breastfeeding and eating ice-cream, do it. Here’s a post I did on What You Need to Know About Newborns that may help a bit too.
I always think it’s unfair when people tease first-time moms about being hyper-reactive. You don’t know when you can be lax and when you have to snap into action – you’ve never done it before. I mean it’s not like you can’t just start over if you fuck up your practice baby.
I remember reading something about watching a baby’s fontanel (soft spot) on their head and to call an ambulance it if looked sunken. I was constantly saying to my husband, “does that look sunken?! I think that looks a little different than it did yesterday.” So when I end up going to my Mother’s Group that was put on by public health a few weeks later, I ask the nurse about my son’s fontanel that I had been diligently watching. She tells me that if my baby’s fontanel is sunken but it would be one of the last symptoms indicating that my baby was sick and dehydrated – poor feeding and dry diapers being the first – and that I shouldn’t bother watching it because he would be really sick long before his fontanel would sink. Er, okay. Glad I wasted all that perfectly good hysteria on something useless. I felt stupid but fuck it, I could have just as easily been right, so figure out the new ropes with reckless abandon, and don’t worry if people make fun of you. After all, you may want to hang onto that practice baby for a while.