On 7 January 2005, I experienced the most amazing moment in my life, I hadn't experienced anything as beautiful; it was seeing my son's face for the first time and 10 years later I have only ever experienced that feeling one other time, it was when I looked into my second son's eyes the day he was born. If parenting was easy I would keep having babies as there is no high like it, I can't find the words to articulate that moment, it's something you have to experience to understand. I literally get so excited for my friends and clients who are expecting their first baby (and their second or third), as I know they are going to experience "that moment".
I did expect life to change when we had our baby and the first week home wasn't too bad. I remember saying to my husband "well if this is it, I'm not sure what everyone complains about, this isn't too bad". A week later the reality of sleep deprivation had kicked in, and I had felt nothing quiet like it. I was lucky with my first baby, he was literally text book perfect 4 hourly feeds, healthy, he only cried when he was hungry, tired, cold or needed a nappy changed, he was the 'perfect' baby. I couldn't imagine not haven't the 'perfect' baby as I had never been so sleep deprived or selfless in my life and it was a shock to the system.
I felt like I had given birth to a living, breathing alarm clock; after the hour feed, I would proceed with burping, cleaning and settling and I had a small window of time to fall asleep before I would be awake again repeating the process. I must say my husband was amazing, he would always get up with me, made sure I had a glass of water beside me and in the early days gave me advice if I was having trouble with attaching our son. Once he knew I was feeding he would wander back to bed to catch 40 minutes sleep until he knew I had finished feeding, then he would return to change our son and settle him to sleep.
I loved being my son's mother, though as the weeks passed I kept thinking... 'things will settle down and return to normal just get through today'. One night after a late feed as I was climbing back into bed I asked my husband, "when do you think things will go back to normal?" My husband had a bemused look as he broke the news to me "honey this is our normal now....."
BOOM.... it hit me..... of course this is our normal....how silly of me!... what was I waiting for?.... what was I expecting?
It still makes me smile to think it took me 5 weeks to realise this is 'our normal'. On reflection I don't look at those first 3 months as 'our normal', the first three months are pretty tough on new parents, I would suggest you look at them as your 'now'. Every stage you experience with your baby get's easier and easier.