I was warned that my life would never be the same after my daughter Emrie was born. I was told to sleep as much as I could because once she was here, sleep would be a thing of the past. Others, more seasoned parents, told me about the dirty diapers, the woes of breastfeeding, and the inevitable lack of date nights with my husband.

“Having a baby is hard,” they told me. There were so many warnings that the closer we got to her due date, the more my excitement was replaced with dread.

Now, almost two weeks after Emrie was born, I have found that while the warnings were useful and accurate, and will probably continue to be helpful, they are lacking in some areas.

Few people warned me that my new baby would make me laugh. I laugh at her long toes, her quivering lip, her scrunched up nose. I laugh at the little faces she makes during the day when she wants food, is getting ready to sneeze, or is just sleeping peacefully. I wasn’t warned that this little girl would make me smile so much.

They also forgot to warn me that I would want to take pictures of her every second. Not only do I want to, but I actually do. They didn’t warn me that the pictures I took wouldn’t capture how cute she really is, but that it was still worth a shot. We take pictures when she is “cheetah baby” in her animal-print jammies, we take pictures when she is “little glow worm” under the jaundice lights, and we take pictures when she is “daddy’s girl,” snuggled up against his chest watching a movie. Having a baby has increased my desire to capture every moment in whatever way I can.

I was warned that having a baby would change my relationship with my husband, but they didn’t tell me in which ways. They didn’t tell me that having a baby would make me love him even more as he worries about our little girl and if she is eating enough, pooping enough, sleeping enough. I didn’t realize that I would smile when he talks to her in a baby voice, calls her princess, or cheers her on when she eats. I didn’t know that caring for a little girl together would strengthen our relationship and enrich our marriage.

They forgot to warn me that when I read her stories, it would make me cry; when she had to be strapped under the jaundice lights overnight, it would make me cry; and when I thought of her growing up or even changing a little bit, it would make me cry.

I wasn’t warned that I would give her kisses and kisses and kisses until she was good and annoyed with me. They warned me that in a matter of minutes my life would change. But what they didn’t tell me was that the change was more than the stress of raising a little one; it’s also the contentment of being a mother.

So to all you expectant mothers out there, consider yourselves warned by a less-than-seasoned parent. You will have sleepless nights, breastfeeding your baby will hurt, and sometimes you won’t know what to do or how to calm your baby down.

But the bigger warning is this: a little person is about to join your family and fill your
life with more love than you ever imagined was possible.

QUESTION: In what ways has your life changed for the better because of your children?

CHALLENGE: The next time you talk to an expectant mother, don’t forget to warn her about all the good things!

Photos submitted by Becky Young Fawcett

 

 

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