Why preparing for baby still doesn’t prepare you for baby

Well before the moment I saw two lines on the pregnancy test I knew I would be a certain kind of mother. There were certain things that I absolutely knew I would do. Cloth diaper? Yes, I don’t mind the extra laundry. Exclusively breastfeed? Obvi. Make my own baby food? Hello…. I don’t want my baby having all that chemical crap and preservatives in packaged baby food. Formula? Forget it, talk about chemicals!

I spent hours picking out the perfect crib from one of the only brands that actually makes everything for the crib and assembles it here in America. Her room is ridiculously adorable with items I have collected over the years and things I shopped for once I found out I was expecting a girl. I was prepared to welcome an adorable rosy baby home from the hospital. We would cuddle together surrounded by chirping birds and butterflies and spend every free moment together.

Then she came (10 days past my due date!!!). I was positive for GBS, got a fever in labor and before she was born there was meconium in the fluid. The cord was wrapped twice around her neck. After she was born she was immediately given to a group of doctors who worked to get the fluid out of her lungs. I got to hold her for a few minutes and she was whisked away to the NICU to receive antibiotics. This was so not what I had pictured, or planned for. She spent 72 hours in the NICU and it was the most tremendously intense experience of my life. Although she was by far the least sick baby in there, it was scary for us.

I had to learn to let go of most of my expectations. We had a difficult time getting her to eat and it was very scary. My milk supply wasn’t great and I had to supplement with formula. I saw a million lactation consultants to no avail, and my daughter refused to nurse at all at 7 months. She is Mrs. Diaper rash and I had to forgo cloth diapers because of it. She prefers the organic premade baby food and has refused to eat any homemade puree I have ever made.

Of course, if there is something that is really important to you as a parent then by all means go for it. With subsequent children I will again try with breastfeeding, cloth diapering, etc. But sometimes when it’s not working you just have to learn to move on and not feel too badly about it.

Being a mom is a lot harder than I thought it would be, but it’s so much better than I thought it would be at the same time. Luckily my daughter loves to cuddle, but the butterflies and chirping birds have yet to join in. 🙂

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