I had actually planned to write this post for a few days, and what do you know... one of my favorite bloggers posted something similar today. Well, great minds post alike, right?
There is nothing in the world that can prepare you for that first day home from the hospital with your first child. Nothing. Not all the books you've read. Not all the years of babysitting. Not even having friends and siblings with kids. Nothing.
You need a license to drive a car. You have to sign your life away to buy a house. But there you are, being handed your hat, the proud new recipient of, arguably, Earth's greatest creature- all yours to take home. An 18 year commitment (or longer) and all they do at the hospital is wheel you out to your car with your belongings and this brand new life.
The consequences are stunning. You... YOU are solely responsible for every little thing that this little thing needs. This tiny creature, as fragile as a feather, unable to eat, sleep, sooth, smile, hold it's head up, sit up, stand, walk, crawl or run. It's so tiny it probably doesn't even cry the same as you think when a baby cries (that comes later. Billy's first cry was a staccato "ah! ah! ah!" He didn't get the full on wail until two weeks old.)
And you. You've just been through a major trauma, whether natural or C-section, your body is a mess. You're hurting. Your boobs are leaking. And now, on top of recovering yourself, you have to take care of this tiny life. You- you are solely responsible. It's daunting. It's panic-inspiring.
And practically every human before you has gone through it. Consider it a rite of passage.
I remember having Billy home that first day. I was so tired (don't get me started on the hospital fiasco). I checked him every 5 minutes to make sure he was still breathing. There was no sleeping while he was sleeping. I was scared shitless about his well being. I had no idea what he wanted when he cried. I didn't know what to do with the gross stubby thing left over from the umbilical cord. He was constantly shooting hands and feet out in weird, monkeylike ways.
Yes, yes. There's that whole falling in love at first sight thing. But that becomes overshadowed by being sent home from the hospital without a clue of what to do or what you're in for.
It passes- I swear. Or maybe those months and months of sleep deprivation are playing with my mind. Could be either.
But the end result? I got a Billy.
So, don't panic. It's just initiation into the Parenting Club.