My husband took this photo of me almost exactly four years ago… Sigh…
Like so many first time new mothers, my baby and I were a permanent fixture on the living room couch. My butt print was embedded in the upholstery and the outline of my baby’s ear was perpetually pressed onto my chest. I stayed in my pajamas all day. I didn’t even have an iPhone back then to get distracted on! I tiptoed around the house if my newborn would let me put her down for a second, so I could use the toilet and shovel food down my mouth. I was a nervous wreck, but completely in love.
Those first few weeks and months, when things were so new, I watched the clock and waited for my husband to come home from work, so he could ‘rescue‘ me from the couch. I look back on those days now and laugh… rescue me from what?! From eternal cuteness and cuddles? Rescue me from that warm little sleepy lump on my chest? Rescue me from the feed/change/clean/burp/repeat cycle that was my day? I knew it was a special time, because everyone told me so, but I didn’t realize how it would be just a blip in time. Back then, those days of feed/change/clean/burp/repeat, felt like an eternity.
Life went on and things got busy again, and quickly. That tiny little lump didn’t stay tiny forever… And, get this, that tiny lump, who would only sleep on my chest… Well, in just a short amount of time, she wouldn’t sleep there anymore, even if we tried! In fact, if we tried it now, she would probably crush me and I wouldn’t be able to breath! No matter what people try to tell you, that a baby needs to ‘learn‘ to settle themselves, I’m sorry, but there really is no need for concern. They won’t sleep on your chest forever. And, I never got the chance to get ‘stuck on the couch‘ again either, even when I had another baby, simply because I was so busy chasing after the older one.
I’m not saying that everyone should obsessively enjoy every second of the newborn-glued-to-you-phase, because there are certainly times when you actually do have to get up from your living room couch and do something. There are ways to temporarily un-stuck yourself too. Getting a baby-wrap, so that I could wear my baby on me while I moved around the house with my hands free, was like, the best thing ever. Also, getting people over to say “hello” and going for walks, and little outings close to home, etc. There’s no need to be a couch martyr.
But, for the most part, ladies, keep your pajamas on and get comfy! Until the very end of your baby’s life, there will never be a time in his or her existence when everything can be so incredibly still and quiet. Everything in today’s world is so hurried, but for this one thing, it’s just too precious to rush. Many cultures place a huge emphasis on the first 40 days of life. Some cultures even make sure that the mother and baby don’t leave the house for those first six weeks! Of course, you do what feels right, but take that time to settle and to just ‘be‘. I promise you, no matter how long the days drag on, or how endless the couch session seem to be, there will never EVER be a time like it again in your own life, where you get to be so still. There will certainly never be such a time in your baby’s life. So, relax. Enjoy it. Take your time and enjoy your perfect little creation 🙂
If you are really feeling the ‘baby blues’ or having real signs of depression, and it’s not just normal ‘stuck on the couch’ or watching the clock feelings, please please please talk to someone and get some professional help! Getting help is not a sign of weakness, it’s a sign that you are human!