By Jeana Lee Tahnk
It seems a bit crazy to think that you could relish a time that isso physically exhausting, but there's something about the first threemonths of a baby's life that is extraordinary. Brand new to this world, ababy is 100 percent reliant on you for survival, for love, nourishment,comfort and care. Unfortunately for you, that care requires being onduty 24/7, day and night.
To make it through, you have to go in assuming that the first threemonths are going to be tough. Your body is out of sorts - you get nightsweats, things are leaking, parts are soft and mushy - and on top ofthat, you're not sleeping. There are those rare, urban-legend babies whostart sleeping through the night at two weeks old, but until Iexperience that myself, I'm going to assume they're just a myth.
Being a parent of a newborn puts you into a special club, one where,"Are you getting sleep?" is the secret handshake. A club where waking upevery two hours is common, getting pooped on is a daily occurrence andcarrying around a 10-pound weight all day, every day, is your only formof exercise.
But what a special club it is. I look back on the newborn phase asone of those time periods that I don't really miss necessarily, but I dolook back on with such nostalgia. The baby is so small, every day shelooks different - those newborn reflexes, little mouth movements ... oh,how sweet. My baby isn't even a year old yet, but looking back onpictures from when she was first born makes me melt and marvel at howquickly time goes by.
If you're in the thick of those first three months, days can seemnever-ending. But focus on those things that only newborns do andrealize that it's such a short period of time. Your baby eventually willsleep, and as taxing as that every-two-hour feeding schedule is,knowing that you'll soon come out of it can make it a bit easier tohandle.
That newborn stage is such a precious one and there really is noother stage like it. You and baby are getting to know each other: you'relearning about your baby's needs, baby's personality is starting tocome out and, hopefully, you're relishing every sleep-deprived second ofit.
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