Motherhood is one of those things in life that you’re just thrown into. Sure, you can read all the books, take all the classes, pin all the Pinterest pins. But you’re not really going to get it until that baby is out of your body and in your arms.
I think most moms have that “oh-sh**” moment when they’re leaving the hospital. You’re marveling at your new baby, but also wondering how in the world are you supposed to keep this tiny, helpless human-being alive. It’s scary!
Those first few weeks are like a painful, sleep-deprived bootcamp. You’ll learn things about your baby, but you’ll mostly learn about yourself. You might find out your nipples cannot be sucked on 24/7 without cracking, bleeding, and basically feeling like a piranha has been attached to them. You might find out you’re not able to carry on a conversation with anyone after a full week of only sleeping in 1.5 hour stretches. And you might find out that you can deal with all types of bodily fluid without a second thought.
The day we brought Graham home from the hospital was full of joy, and complete and utter terror. He was in the NICU for the first week of his life, and I couldn’t imaging bringing him home to our non-sterilized, dog-hair covered house. How would he ever survive?!
But of course, he was fine. And a year later I’d laugh when I remembered how scared I was of the dog hair on the floor. Especially when Graham would crawl over to me, reach in his mouth, and pull out a chunk of dog hair covered in drool, and laugh. (That kind of stuff builds immunity, right?)
We also decided to have newborn pictures taken that first week. And it was during this event that I was fully initiated into motherhood.
I’m sure you’ve seen the cute pictures of tiny, sleeping newborns wearing adorable bows, wrapped up in soft blankets, laying in cute little baskets. And then there are the pictures of the proud moms and dads holding their sweet, naked, newborn, smiling those heavy-eyed, exhausted smiles.
Our photographer had a home-studio set up in her garage and Graham was a champ during his newborn pics. He slept through almost all of them.
But when it came time for us to take the family pictures, Graham decided to show me what motherhood was really all about.
Josh and I were standing there against a black backdrop and I was holding my sweet little babe. He was cuddled up against me, so soft and warm. And then he peed – all over my shirt and jeans.
The photographer grabbed some paper towels for me and I blotted as well as I could. I had three pairs of extra clothes for Graham in my diaper bag, but nothing else for me!
But we continued. During the next set of pictures, it was Josh’s turn to hold Graham. He was cradling him in his hands, and all of a sudden, Graham’s little body tensed, and he started to poop! My lightening-fast mom reflexes kicked in and before I had any idea what I was doing, my hands shot out, and cupped underneath my newborn son’s bottom, catching fresh, warm, runny newborn poop. In my bare hands.
“Welcome to motherhood, Holly.”
Do you have a funny story about your initiation into motherhood?