It’s been nearly four weeks since Liesl was born. (How is that possible? The time has gone by so quickly!) While everything is still fresh in my mind, I wanted to put pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard, in this case) and jot down a few thoughts on what it’s been like becoming a parent.
As soon as the nurse placed Liesl in my arms in the delivery room, I felt an overwhelming, unconditional love for her. This wonderful feeling caught me off guard; I don’t think I was prepared for this immediate connection to the newest addition to our little family. I’d heard that this bond may happen quickly for some parents, while for others it takes time to forge this connection. It felt really great to experience this connection right from the get-go!
Pete and I learn something new everyday about how to be better parents. At this point, it seems like Liesl changes a little bit each and every day, and this gives Pete and me plenty of chances to learn new parenting tactics (e.g. how to pack a diaper bag as efficiently as possible, how to soothe a fussy Liesl, how to put clothes on a baby without causing her to cry, etc.). Whenever Liesl starts to get fussy, we have our little checklist of things we go through to figure out what she needs:
- Is she wet?
- Is she hungry?
- Does she want to be swaddled?
- Does she want to be rocked/held?
Watching each other become parents has been pretty comical, at least for me. I try to look at our parenting mishaps with a sense of humor instead of getting frustrated or feeling helpless. Pete continues to make me laugh when he sings to Liesl, and creates silly songs and rhymes to entertain her. We laugh at how quickly our evenings pass by, and how exhausted we are when 8:30pm rolls around! Our evening routine sans Liesl seems like a thing of the past; now, with a baby, our evenings fly by as we enjoy dinner together, feed/burp/bathe/clothe Liesl, “put the house to bed”, prepare all of the baby’s bottles for the night, etc.
Side note: I never knew how long it would take to complete a feeding; by the time Liesl eats, is burped and has her diaper changed, about 30-60 minutes have passed!
Regardless of what I want, I’m always thinking about what’s best for Liesl, and want to make her as comfortable and happy as possible. Knowing that she’s only this age once, and that she’s never going to be this little, this young, this innocent, ever again, makes me really appreciate each moment with her. Not taking this time for granted, or wishing that she was older, or sleeping through the night, or eating solid foods, is important to me. When I hear her crying in the middle of the night ready for a feeding, I just think about her sweet eyes looking up at me, and how much she relies on Pete and me for everything, and it makes the sleep deprivation worthwhile.