Saturday, April 21, 2012

My experience thus far as a new parent

Being a new parent is a wonderful and terrifying thing. It's intimidating how much you can love another human being that you've never met so completely the minute that she enters your world.

Tonight, Ashley had a random crying fit. It was a hysterical cry and it seemingly came out of nowhere. I have no idea why it happened... Did I snap one of the snaps on her skin when I was changing her? Did something bite her? Does her stomach hurt? Was it just overstimulation? Is she just overtired? What was it? WHAT MADE MY BABY CRY LIKE THAT???!

I can harp on this stuff for hours. I want to know her inside out so that she will never cry like that again! I know it's not realistic, but it's certainly how I feel. I'm now living the largest and most important part of my life in making her happy.

People don't want to lose themselves when they have babies, but you give up so much of yourself in the beginning that major change within is inevitable. Don't get me wrong.. I'm still me, but I'm a mutated strain of myself, and of course I believe this 'mutation' is for the better. I'm a mom now and this new life is so familiar yet foreign at the same time.

I feel so strange about this new relationship at times. When Ashley is awake, I spend so much time trying to get her to sleep so that she's in a good mood and happy, but then when she's asleep in her room, I long to hold her all night to make sure that she is safe. As much as I would love to see her sleep through the night, I can't wait for her 3am feedings just so that I know that she's okay. She's very reassuring with her early morning smiles though, and as grumpy as you want to be that early in the morning, she can just melt your heart right then and there.

Life has changed so much in just this short 7 weeks. My husband and I have changed. I'm seeing a side to him that surprises me. I always knew he would be a loving father but to the extent that this new found love goes, he is as smitten as I am. He's an amazing dad who misses his daughter when he has to work, and who wants to be there to hold her all the time. He's hands on and wants to get right in there to change diapers and learn everything he can about his new role in life. I love seeing this side of him.

As far as me and my husband's relationship goes, we are doing great with each other all things considered. I think we are so focused on Ashley sometimes that we get a little lost, but we do manage to find our way back enough to make sure that we know we are still here.

So far, my experience with parenthood is that it is hard. It's a new level of love, fear, stress, and just life in general. I have moments all the time where I look down at my daughter and think to myself... Oh god, I hope I'm doing this right... But in looking at her, I also see that she's growing. She smiles, and she chatters in the way that infants do. She looks for me when I cross a room, and she's sad if I'm not there. It's an amazing feeling, and I know I must be doing something right for her to make me feel as loved as she does. I love my beautiful daughter so much.

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