Let me be clear: I love my newborn. She is precious and delicious. I would not trade this experience for the world no matter how hard it is in the beginning.
That being said there are some important parts of having a newborn that I had blissfully forgotten. I say blissfully because I am pretty sure the first 6-8 weeks of having a newborn is not something that appeals to anyone. There are lots of things that I had forgotten so I thought I would make a list of some for all those who are thinking of becoming parents or are already on their way.
1. You will never sleep again. I am not joking nor am I exaggerating. You are literally not going to sleep at least until he or she starts sleeping through the night, and who knows when that might be. There are times when my four year old doesn't sleep through the night. Even if he/she starts sleeping for stretches of 4 hours at a time this is really misleading. What it means is that you will feed her for 30-60 minutes of those four hours. Then you will spend 10-20 minutes praying that she will go back to sleep, and then you will spend 30-60 minutes trying to actually get back to sleep. Then you will be jerked awake by every little noise he or she makes afraid that they are waking again. So that 4 hour stretch really is only the equivalent of an hour and a half or so.
2. You will become obsessed with pee and poop. You will keep track of every wet and messy diaper your child has. It will even become part of your daily conversation! "Bo and Hope might be getting back together on Days of Our Lives. Oh and my kid had 6 poopies today!" Why are we obsessed? It is the only thing that indicates that she is getting enough to eat. It will even become normal to discuss how the poopies look..."black as tar, yellow and seedy, slightly green..." Also, (note to self) beware of explosive poopies, especially when you are changing the diaper. You must move quickly!!
3. You will feel like a worse parent. I am not sure if this happens to everyone or if it is just me, but the first time I had a child I felt like a complete and utter failure. I was unsure about everything I did and did not trust myself or my judgement at all. I felt like I was horrible at this parenting thing. When I had my second child, I felt much more confident about the baby stuff but felt like I was a horrible parent to my other child. I was so tired and all she wanted was my attention and I had none to give her. I spent most of the time feeling guilty.
4. You will feel like you are going completely insane. First of all you will cry a lot...for no reason at all. The water works could start at any point in time. During a commercial, when someone asks you what you want to eat, when your husband asks you a seemingly innocent question like, "do we have any coffee?" You might even feel insane because as your sweet baby continues to cry inconsolably even after being changed, fed, and rocked you think "what is this creature?!?!? And what does it want?!?!?" Have no fear! The best piece of advice I was ever given was from my husband's aunt when she walked into the room and I was crying uncontrollably along side my newborn . She looked at me sympathetically and made an AWESOME proclamation, "It is perfectly natural to want to punt your newborn out the window, as long as you don't do it!" What she gave to me that day was the permission to feel frustrated with this bundle that I was supposed to be all lovey dovey over without feeling guilty.
5. How unbelievably AMAZING this new creature is! I mean you made her or him. He or she came out of you. Just a few days ago they were kicking you from the inside and now she is in your arms. She knows your voice already and will love to cuddle into your neck, which is the sweetest feeling ever!
So yes you do blissfully forget how hard it is to have a newborn. You forget the first 6-8 weeks can sometimes be described as He#$. What you don't forget is how wonderful this new addition is and how amazing she will make your lives. This is the knowledge that will sustain you on those long nights of no sleep...that and caffine;)