Babies don’t come with instruction manuals.

Before becoming a parent on May 26, 2010, I didn’t have a lot of experience dealing with babies. I would occasionally hold a baby or two, but I never baby-sat a newborn or looked after one for an extended period of time. In fact, a few hours after holding Oliver for the first time and after everyone had gone home to let Jeremy and I settle into the reality of becoming parents, I was clueless and scared out of my mind. I remember very vividly calling my mom, panicked. “I don’t know how to burp him! I’m afraid I’m not holding him right…I’m too embarrassed to ask a nurse, Mom.” I didn’t think they’d let me leave the hospital with him if I asked them such simple questions like how to burp a baby or hold them the right way. I was so overjoyed during the whole 9 months of pregnancy that I didn’t even think about not knowing how to do the simple things.

The first few days with Oliver were pretty rough. Actually, hours after leaving the hospital we realized they somehow forgot to take off Oliver’s security bracelet. You know the bracelet…the one that puts the hospital into lockdown if you leave with a baby that has one on. Well, somehow we made it all the way home before they called us and asked us if we could come back. We told them the next morning we could.  Jeremy and I hardly got any sleep. We would drive around in the middle of the night in hopes of calming Oliver down during the ride. When we took Oliver in the next morning to get his bracelet removed, we actually asked the nurses “Is it normal for babies to cry this much?! Is there something wrong with him because when we were here he hardly cried?” Looking back on it, I think it’s quite funny. Jeremy and I would get into these insane arguments over the silliest things. We were sleep deprived…maybe we were beyond just sleep deprived. On top of having a newborn, we moved into our very own place when Oliver was just a week old. I think we pushed ourselves a little too hard in the beginning.

Before I hardly knew how to put on a diaper without Oliver peeing up the backside of his onesie, but now I’m pretty darn good at it. I know his cries and which one means tired, angry, hungry, etc. Nothing can fully prepare you for parenthood. I enjoy watching him grow into his own. His personality becomes more and more evident every day. He’s just like his Dad. That’s a phrase I’ll probably repeat several times. I still freak out about little things, but those little things used to be catastrophic in the beginning. My biggest obstacle right now is that darn crib. He refuses to sleep in it and I need to find the patience to let him cry it out.

Oliver in his Johnny Jump Up…3 days shy of turning 5 months old!


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