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Monday, December 15, 2014

One month in: What to expect when you're expecting...

You know that book What to Expect When You're Expecting? It's like 700 pages long. The first and only page should read "we really cannot tell you what to expect, because it's likely nothing will go as you planned." Seriously.

No matter how many books we read, blogs we followed or moms we talked to, truly nothing prepared us for the reality of having a baby. We're one month (and a couple days) into this adventure, which on its own is hard to believe, and we are just starting to feel a tiny bit settled into life with baby. It is a wonderful, rewarding, scary, uncertain and sometimes terrible adventure that we wouldn't trade for anything in the world.
Attempting to take newborn photos. Believe it or not, this was the best shot of the three of us.
Please don' take this post as complaining, because we know we're lucky to have Ella. But we think not enough people are honest about how hard all of this is. And if we're anything, we're honest. And oversharers.

Here are a few things we thought we knew, but really didn't know at all.

1. We thought we wouldn't want any help. We felt strongly that we ought to bond as a little family unit. Well, two or three overnights with a newborn who isn't eating enough changed our minds pretty quickly on that one! We are now in "accept all help, any help" mode. And a big thank you to all of you who have held our baby while we cried. I mean slept. No, I mean cried.

2. We thought she'd sleep more. And therefore we'd sleep more. This particular baby just doesn't sleep that much. At first it was because she wasn't eating enough, but we fixed that. Now it's because she has a cold. But even in between, she's really awake a lot, especially in the middle of the night. Who would have thought??

3. We're in this together. Well, of course we are, but in reality, we hardly see each other. We split up the night into two shifts, with each of us on "baby duty" for 4 or 5 hours each night. That means one of us is in the living room with the baby (who is awake, of course) while the other sleeps in the bedroom, then we switch. Then Meg goes to work and Kate stays home with the baby. Then Meg comes home and tends the baby while Kate takes a nap. You see where this is going. We miss each other. We are so grateful that we started this journey with a strong relationship. I honestly don't know how people in rocky relationships survive the first month.

This pretty much sums up our relationship for the first month of Ella's life.
4. We'll instantly adore our baby. Don't get me wrong, we LOVE Ella. And some of the time we even LIKE her. But there are moments when we are not her biggest fan. When she's screaming at 2am, for instance, or when she poops on her clothes..blanket..your clothes..her feet..the rug.. I think we were both under the impression that some kind of magic baby spell was going to come over us that would make us not mind never sleeping, never leaving the house, and never taking a shower. Ok, we take the occasional shower, with one hand reaching around the curtain and bouncing Ella in her chair between lathers. Nobody feel either of our legs anytime soon because shaving is out of the question. As a good friend of ours (and fellow newborn mom) asked "Was there a moment, maybe 10 days in, when the joy wore off and you wondered...what did we get ourselves into?" In short, yes.

Don't let all this get you thinking we're not overjoyed to have our lovely little Ella. We are. We feel very lucky that our pregnancy journey was relatively uneventful and that she is healthy and mostly/sometimes happy. We're so grateful for all the love and support our friends and families have shown us and how welcoming they are of Ella. We are overflowing with adorable baby booties and handmade headbands and tiny dresses. We love it. We have a lot going for us. But that doesn't mean it isn't hard. People seem ashamed to admit that so here we are, breaking the ice.

PS: We promise we'll have funny gifs next time, when hopefully we'll be better rested!

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