Once you hear the little cry and hold this little being who just came from inside you, the joy and love that you feel is beyond words. The world seems to stop and all you can think about is the little miracle in your arms. You see that little chest go up and down as she experiences her first breaths and all the pregnancy and labor pains are forgotten and you are filled up in a way you didn’t dream was possible.
It is amazing how being in the presence of a newborn seems to slow down life for everyone.
Almost anyone who sees a newborn, not just a parent, seems to slow down and take a moment to enjoy and delight in them. It is such a blessing to be able to give this gift to others as we share our newborn with our friends and family. Everyone seems to talk a little softer, smile, and experience the joy and love that seems to just radiate off them.
When I am feeling the stress and fatigue that caring for a newborn also brings, I try to reconnect with how I felt in those beautiful first moments with her.
As I reflect on the first week at home with Paige and our two small children, I realize we spent more time at home together than we ever have. It’s been nice to slow down. Cal and Lucy are starting to get used to their new life as one of three children, instead of just two. They realize they can’t get what they need as soon as they want at times and that Mommy can’t always give them their bath or read them their story like I used to. But the times that I do get to do these special things with them—that once felt customary—now feel like a treat and we all seem to appreciate it more.
When I feel the busyness and stress of life start to overwhelm me, I remind myself to look at our newborn and feel her calm presence and it all seems less complicated again.
When the baby’s needs are met, she is calm. I try to follow her lead and not let the little things bother me as much knowing that everything will be fine—the dishes will get done, the playroom will get cleaned, the melt-down will end. It is a blessing to be able to take a break every two or three hours to feed the baby. I set my other children up with a show or an activity or snack so I can feed the baby.
Feeding times are a reminder for me to be present, slow down and just be happy for what is in front of me.
The activity I set up doesn’t always last and I am usually disrupted and find myself grabbing a toy or filling up a cup of milk with one arm as I try to nurse my baby in the other. And while those times are not calm at all. For the most part, I can use the feeding times to slow down our pace a bit and express some gratitude.
I try to just be grateful for this new life in our house and trust that the love and joy she brings outweigh the temporary challenges and struggles.
In just one week, Paige has already taught me a lot about what is most important in life and to be grateful for all that I have. She has taught me how important it is to slow down and really appreciate what is in front of me, being fully in the moment instead of stuck somewhere in the past or in a worry for the future.