Those 3 minutes only lasted about 3 seconds. I was that pregnant, the test didn’t even need time to think about it. Pure panic hit me so hard I cried. While my husband and I both wanted kids and recently discussed trying for our first, the reality of being pregnant was terrifying. A million things ran through my mind…will I be a good mom? How are we going to afford it? Are we really ready? Aside from babysitting when I was younger, I had little experience with kids and had no clue what to expect. So I read the What to Expect books, googled every question I could think of, downloaded the baby app and followed along on my iPhone as my son grew from a sesame seed to a pumpkin.
Near the end of my pregnancy, I felt as prepared as I could possibly be. In my opinion, I was an expert and being a mom was going to be a piece of cake. I don’t know what kind of fantasy land I lived in but I couldn’t have been more wrong!! No amount of reading or googling could have prepared me for the 18 hours of labor, a huge scare with the umbilical cord being wrapped around his neck and a baby with a bad case of jaundice who refused to eat and would not go to the bathroom. My “supermom” feeling was quickly replaced by the fact that I was completely clueless.
“I thought y’all would do that!”
I remember settling into the hospital room after my son was born. He was asleep in the hospital-provided bassinet and the nurse was going over rules and what to expect. What I didn’t hear was when I was supposed to feed him, when he would wake up, when they would be coming to change his diapers, etc. All the information from the books had melted away to a pile of mush. So like the clueless new mother I was, I asked. The answer she gave me was not the one I was expecting…in a nutshell she told me I was on my own and they would just be in to check vitals and make sure he was healthy. I was his mom and it was up to me to know when to change him and to keep track of his feeding schedule. I feel like a complete idiot now but I had the crazy thought that while I was in the hospital, they would be doing it all and I could just observe and learn what the heck I was supposed to do when we got home. Thankfully the nurses at UT medical were amazing and helped answer the 3,000 questions I had!
“Do you know this is on backwards?”
My son’s first doctor’s appointment is one for the books. As I was checking in, my husband took our son and sat down in the waiting area. Then I heard it…it sounded like my husband had just blown out of his seat that’s how loud it was, I looked at him and he was laughing hysterically. My son had just had his first diaper blow out. I asked the receptionist if the bathroom had a changing table and she told me no…and did not even offer an alternative as to where I could change him. So I took him out to my car and changed him in the backseat of my tiny Honda Civic. Naturally, I did not stock his diaper bag so the only diaper I had was a sample from Huggies (I was used to using Pampers), so when I put it on him I noticed it did look differently but thought that’s just how Huggies were. I found out that was not the case when we got in to see the doctor and he went to move his diaper for his checkup. “Do you know you have his diaper on backwards?” Ummm…no I didn’t.
“Can I use your back room?”
Trying to figure out a breastfeeding schedule and making it out in public is impossible! I used to read articles about women fighting for the right to breastfeed in public and say to myself “I would never even want to do that!” Well, unfortunately 90% of the time, you just don’t have a choice and are usually in a place that is not feed friendly. Before I realized that I just needed to pump and bring a bottle with me, I’ve had to breastfeed in the back of doctor’s offices, in the hallway of the hospital, in the car or wherever else I could find a place!
“I should have learned the first time!”
You would think I would have learned from my un-stocked diaper bag at his doctor’s appointment but for some reason mom-brain has caused me to forget things constantly. Over Christmas, I had family in town and we took a day to drive through Cade’s Cove. I had all my son’s toys (and yes diapers) in his bag ready to go. Before entering the cove, we decided to all take a bathroom break and since I am a slight germophobe, I decided to do a diaper change in the car again as opposed to taking him to the public restroom. Cold air must have gotten to him because as he was diaper free, he decided to give the car an interior makeover. My seat was soaked (sorry rental car), his clothes were soaked and naturally I had no change of clothes packed for him. We were an hour from home and still had at least another hour to go through the cove so I zipped him up in his coat, put a blanket on him and away we went.
“I’m sorry I’m just worried.”
If I had the doctor print off a list of the number of times I have been in there this year it would be as long as my arm. Every sniffle and sneeze, odd rash and unusual breath has left me running for the doctor’s office. My doctor, a father of 3 kids, always tells me he looks/sounds worse than he is and that is just teething, or has a small cold, or gas. Of all the books I read, nothing prepared me for the feeling of panic when your child is sick and you have no clue what to do! My son got his first bee sting at daycare recently and I immediately rushed him to the doctor. He took one look at it, said he was fine, put wet tobacco on to reduce the swelling and eliminate the pain, and sent us home. I am sure as time goes on I won’t worry quite as much when something is not completely normal but in the meantime thank God for good insurance and a patient doctor.
“What are you eating?!”
When my son hit crawling age, I made sure that my house was baby-proofed. I put things up that he could reach and covered every outlet with a protective cover. Little did I know that is not enough to baby-proof your house. Babies have to have some kind of 6th sense that enables them to find the tiniest piece of debris on the floor and then stick it in their mouth. I really wasn’t prepared with how fast and sneaky a baby can be and now I know that if I have turn my back for even a second, I have to make sure he is in his playpen or walker, far away from anything he could find to eat.
“There’s so much to learn.”
Reading about something and actually living it are so completely different, I feel I learn new things every other second…I didn’t know how to get his bottles fully disassembled to wash them correctly, I have googled sample meal plans every month because I have no idea what he is supposed to be eating at almost a year old and I’ve gone through many different kinds of diapers to figure out which ones don’t leak and are still affordable. I had no idea there was so much to remember and change as time passes. So while these are just a few samples of my crazy *clueless* mom life I’m sure I will encounter plenty more “duh” moments along the way.
Have you had similar experiences as a new mom? Share with us by leaving a comment!