My baby is now a toddler, and I was recently thinking back to the day I had her…. well, I often do as it was kind of the biggest day of my life to date! Anyways, within the first 24 hours I remember wondering why nobody had told me about the shock of responsibility that hits you like a wall. And it really was just that, an overwhelming sense of shock and fear that seeped into my elated high after giving birth to my baby.
Throughout my pregnancy I have felt pressured by all the activities I “had to do” (let’s not even discuss the don’ts) for the well-being of my unborn child. Drink water. Drink more water. Eat well. Eat frequently. Take vitamins. Exercise. Go to the chiropractor. Go to the midwife. Go to childbirth classes. Drink even more water. But that is all auto-pilot care for the baby. They swim about inside and take and leave what they do and don’t need.
Now they are out. And they NEED you, oh how they need you. Though at the beginning it’s mainly change them, feed them, let them sleep, repeat. It’s the fact that they are so small and dependent, and you realize that this being will only survive it you take care of them…. every minute of every day for many years to come. OH. MY. GOD.
It is just so very Suddenly very Real. I didn’t see it coming, and I’m not sure you can convey it to an expectant parent, but it’s something I would have appreciated hearing so as that when I occurred I would have thought “That’s what she meant! This is normal.” Somehow I think that would have helped me feel like it was going to be okay instead of feeling like I was the only woman who doubted she could sustain her baby for more than 24 hours after birth.
So here it is, mom’s to be: The moment you give birth you are more responsible for the well-being of that baby than you have ever been responsible for anything else in your entire life, but it will be okay.