The peace of your own home: when you leave the hospital, after the delivery: it sounds so great and peacefull…
The harsh reality already hits you before you’ve left the hospital. You have just hold your son for the first time and then you already have to take care of other things.
Part 1 is arranging the maternity assistance. The wife already did the research months ago to select the best maternity assistance available, so the only thing that you have to do is call them that the little sprout is born and if they can stop by today for the first appointment (because they already come by your house at the first day that your son/daughter is born). After providing some general information, everything is arranged and the maternity assistance is on your door step after 2 hours. It’s a real “old school” lady, the kind of type: “less talking, more working”. We were extremely lucky with this kind woman from the maternity assistance: she did not complain for a momen, she did the laundry, cleaned the house and took care of the maternity visit.
That brings me to part 2: the maternity visit. If there is one thing that you really don’t want to think about after a long exhausting day/night during the delivery, is dealing with all kinds of family/friends that want to visit the newborn son/daughter, this is where the sacrificing already starts. After you have put aside your principles and fatigue, it’s already time for the first visitors even though you’re still in the hospital: the new Grandfather and Grandmother from dad’s side and the newborn Aunt, all the way from Amsterdam. Despite the fact that you were not looking forward to this, it is a really joyful and precious moment to see your parents so proud and happy with their first grandchild. Full of pride they were holding there grandson in their arms. After the first pictures were taken of the proud parents/grandparents, the time is finally there to go home. Arriving at home, there was more family waiting: the grandparents from mom’s side and a proud Uncle and Aunt. After a few more hours, and already awake for over 38 hours, the time is finally there to go to your own bed and enjoy a long night of well-deserved rest…
And that, unfortunately, is the star tof part 3 of this blog: sleepless nights. You probably heard all the optimistic stories of other newborn dads/moms of their little sprout sleeping through the night after a few days, but I can tell you 1 thing: assume that you will have sleepless nights for at least half a year. If you expect to not sleep more than a few hours for the next half a year it will only get better (I hope). It’s bizarre how your body and mind can still function correctly after a few months not sleeping for more than a few hours at a time, but some way or another, it is working out ok. Now, more than a year later, I sometimes still ask myself how I got through this period, but I think that your body goes into some kind of “super mode” making this possible. Maybe it comforts you if I tell you that this period will pass by as well and you will have some decent sleep after a while, and in the meantime: the grandparents are willing to take over the night shift, make sure you use this if you can!. But be aware: despite that your better half is not carrying a baby anymore in her belly, you still have to be careful if you suggest this option. The last thing she wants is to “give her baby away”, although it’s only for 1 night.
And don’t think that you are the most important thing in her life; from the moment she found out she was pregnant, the baby became the most important thing in her life (that is if you were the most important thing in her life at all before ;-).
Topic next blog: Dirty diapers, (unwanted) advice and growth leaps