I saw this great video on one of the other mom blogs I read and LOVED it! (I'm not sure I posted the video right, so I included the link as well.) And while I was fighting back tears the entire time I watched (and the subsequent 345 times I had to watch it again and again) I kept wondering what would I tell myself.
I can think of both a million things...and then also nothing. Because would I really listen to what I had to say. I remember in those first weeks home with Lucy I kept saying "Why doesn't anyone tell you how HARD this is?" But now I understand. Because, until you are "in it" you can't even begin to comprehend what it is like, good and bad.
I'm not sure there is an exact way to articulate just how utterly exhausted you will be and realize there is simply nothing you can do about it. Your baby will keep crying and crying no matter what you try. You will have puke that shot out an alarming distance from your tiny newborn that is now covering your clothes. Your breasts will become engorged the day you come home from the hospital and that first night home you will find yourself sitting there while both your mom AND your husband try to manually (read: painfully) squeeze the milk from boobs. And you will not find this experience weird in any way at all....you just want sweet relief! Your breasts will then subsequently leak, everywhere.
Your tiny, beautiful, delicate daughter will load her diaper like an experienced grown man. You will clean her (and yourself) over and over again until you make the realization that she isn't that covered in spit up. That the tiny amount of poop that got on her onesie won't technically touch her skin so it's probably ok if she still wears it....I mean you did rub the spot pretty good.
You will worry that you are going to give your daughter pink eye because you can't remember the last time you washed your hands after changing her massive blow-out.
But, you will also lay in your bed with your tiny baby and do skin-to-skin time with her and feel like your heart is going to explode with love for this little being. And that love will only continue to grow. And grow. And grow. You will be amazed that her tiny, perfect little body was inside you only days, hours, moments ago.
You will worry more than you ever thought possible. You will pray for your tiny baby when she is healthy and for when she isn't. You will then pray for all the babies in world as you now truly understand just how much of a miracle they are.
You will understand the phrase that your mom used over and over again. "She is pure love" For all babies, everywhere, are simply that. Pure Love.
You will be both joyful and terrified the first time she sleeps through the night. And every night after that.
And for every story you hear of a tiny baby passing away, getting sick, or being born early you will squeeze you baby even tighter that night before she goes to sleep.
You fill find there is nothing better than having your baby fall asleep on your chest in the evening. And no matter how many times your husband says you can put her to bed, you don't move a muscle because she is almost part of you again. And then you realized that even though the cord has been cut, she will always be a part of you.
You will get slightly irritated every time someone mentions your daughter and says she looks like your husband. Yes, she spent 10 months inside you and yes, you did all the "heavy lifting" but keep in mind that yes, she does look like you too. Just look at her eyes! She is a part of you!
For every task your daughter accomplishes, you will find it the most amazing, the most fascinating, the most wonderful thing ever. You will marvel at what a little person she is, even as a baby.
But for all the tips and hints and pieces of advise I guess I would just tell myself this:
Love your baby....and everything else will fall into place!