As a second-time mother, I thought I’d have a pretty good grasp of what to expect once I brought my little bundle of joy home from the hospital. The sleepless nights. The endless yellowy-green, seedy diapers. The unexplained crying.
I thought I would remember how to handle all little quirks that come with having a newborn, without having mini-emotional breakdowns every 3-4 hours.
I thought wrong.
Sure, I’m hormonal and sleep-deprived, but accidentally squishing blue Play-Doh into our cream-colored carpeting doesn’t normally bring me to tears. It’s baby-induced hysteria and I’m willing to admit that. But with baby-induced hysteria also comes baby-induced mania – another powerful state where you feel so euphorically happy, you can sit peacefully in soaked-through breast pads and a vomit-covered t-shirt, while staring into the closed eyes of your slumbering newborn and know that all is right with the world.
At the moment, I vacillate between these two states with startling frequency.
When I left the hospital, I was given about 6 or 7 trees worth of documents about how to save cord blood, contact my local La Leche League, choose a competent pediatrician, etc. But what I really wish I had been given was the following list regarding life in the real world the first few days and weeks after you have your second baby…
1. Your baby will sleep all the time. Just kidding. He’ll sleep until you try and lie down, then his eyes will open wider than Steve Buscemi’s.
2. You are going to breastfeed your face off. And then just when you think you’ve done the best possible job of any woman in the history of the world, your baby will burp-vomit all that liquid gold back into your face.
3. You are going to begin a love affair with your washer and dryer. Never ever have you done this much laundry. Ever.
4. Even though you swore you’d be more relaxed this time, you’re still going to unapologetically douse all visitors in hand-sanitizer. You’d spray them down Lysol if you could, but that would just be crazy. Right?
5. Prepare yourself to be covered in absorbent paper goods for the next several weeks. Breast pads (gross) and sanitary pads (grosser) will be your very best friends. And if you’re really lucky, your three-year-old will find your stash of Equate pantiliners and thinking they are giant stickers, stick them all over the house.
6. You will get poop on your hands and it will stay there, unnoticed, all day long. You will notice it eventually and make a mental note to wash it off…when you get the chance.
7. Desperate to escape the confines of your house, you will drive to Target for a very specific purpose. You will forget that purpose upon arrival and return home without buying the Desitin you so desperately needed.
8. Without warning, your toddler’s bedtime will suddenly jump from 9:30 to 7:30. If he’s going to get up at 5:45am either way, why not carve out a little “alone” time, if you can?
9. You will discover there is nothing you can’t do with your left hand, while cradling a sleeping baby in your right.
10. Your brand new little baby, who is absolutely nothing at all like your first, will melt your heart more and more everyday.
But you already knew that.
What do you wish someone had told you when you were headed home with that first little miniature human? Tell us in the comments below!