It has now been almost a month and half since we first met our little girl, and as the dust settles from visitors, initial doctor visits, health care forms, and frequent Babies R Us trips – our new normal has emerged.
And we absolutely love it.
We are brand spanking new parents, but we feel compelled to share our experience thus far. If the veteran parents who have successfully groomed multiple children into adulthood find it appalling, that’s ok. What we are sharing is probably best suited for young couples who are engaged or married, thinking of starting a family or are pregnant, and feel like there is a lack of true testimony coming out of the young parenthood community.
This is not meant to be a training manual, but simply reflections on what we have already learned from this experience, and what we think we wish we had heard from other new parents.
Ask and listen to everyone’s thoughts and opinions, and then collectively form your own.
Once you drop the big news, everyone is ready to give you their best advice. This is an amazing thing to have, as there is such a wealth of wisdom to be gained from parents, grandparents, and others who have been doing this parenting thing for several years. We made it a point to ask people what their parenting/pregnancy advice is for us, and are glad we did. We learned a lot.
However, be sure to have your minds prepared to filter some comments out. As with getting married, the negative comments can start to really overwhelm you if you let them. We’re talking about the people who have already had children and feel the need to share their horror stories and worst memories – in place of anything remotely positive.
Parents are going to be your best resource, as their memories include YOU. They are bound to reminisce about how they felt bringing you home from the hospital, about how cute and tiny you were, and how they never realized they could love someone so much – this is what you cling to, not the negative stuff.
Take everyone’s words in, remember it, but this experience will ultimately be shaped by you, your spouse, and your new baby. It will be the story you share.
Be prepared to have your faith strengthened.
Perhaps we underestimated how this experience would impact our faith, but we have felt closer to God each and every day since our daughter was born.
And in hindsight, how couldn’t we?? From the minute she was born and we heard her first cry, we immediately thanked God for a healthy baby. The miracle of new life has blown us away. Once that new baby is in your arms, you go through all the cliche, yet totally normal, mind-blowing realizations:
We MADE this?
This came out of me?
My body is capable of creating these little toes, facial features, and body systems?
I can feed them with my body?
The answer to all of these is of course, yes. It is all possible because of God’s amazing creation, and it becomes so evident once they are born. To us, seeing firsthand what he has made us capable of, through him, is the only evidence we would ever need to know that he an awesome, powerful God.
And it goes so much further than that!
For those who have ever felt uninspired in their prayer life, prepare to find that inspiration. Praying for our baby is the easiest, most natural thing we could do. We feel like especially as new parents, it’s always a bit nerve-wracking wondering if she is “ok” and getting everything she needs. She can’t exactly tell us with words!
Praying for ourselves has also gotten easier, and feels much more important to us now. We’ve never done this before, and are going into it blind to a point; we need God to come into our lives to keep us calm, give us wisdom, and feel confident in our ability as new parents.
We couldn’t imagine having a baby without feeling confident in our marriage first.
This one has been perhaps the most important, and maybe the main point we would give to any couple who asks us about our journey through pregnancy and the initial newborn stage (at least what we’ve gone through so far).
For us, having a baby to take care of means a tremendous amount of reliance on each other. We NEED help from each other much more often than before, and everything does feel like it changes overnight.
It should come as no surprise that we’re not sleeping as much, that’s just how it goes for a little while. There does seem to be less “down time” in a day, and going out isn’t quite like it used to be. All of this is happening to us as we learn to be parents for the first time. But if we had not felt like we had a rock-solid relationship with each other first, then who knows where we would be.
If we were prone to being short tempered with once another, than we sure would be in for a long ride. If we hadn’t learned about good marital communication in pre-marital counseling, we’d be keeping things to ourselves if we felt overwhelmed or overtired – and that could cause tension in our home.
If we weren’t best friends, this would be tough.
Simply put, we’re so in love with our newest addition.
From morning cuddles to nighttime stories, we are cherishing every moment with our little girl. Her little features make us smile, we love seeing her personality come to life, and now we get to enjoy watching her non-intentional smiles become intentional.
We never imagined how being so selfless could be so natural. We immediately felt the “her first” mentality kick in when she was born, wanting to give her everything she could possibly need. Putting a daughter before ourselves has been so rewarding and we can’t imagine our lives any other way now that we’ve met her.
Our love for her feels indescribable. She has completely stolen our hearts and we’re obsessed with every little thing she does. An hour of loud crying is immediately forgotten with one cute smirk, and we can’t believe God has blessed us with the honor of caring for this precious little girl.
Thank you God!!
Thank you to our dear friends for the family photos