When Baby Arrives Early
Chicken was defrosting on my counter. Tacos were on my mind for dinner after my routine check-up, and so clearly having a baby was not in my plans for the immediate future. While I obviously had been preparing for baby for the last eight months, I had never braced myself for an early arrival.
I really never imagined having a preemie, or a long hospital stay, or an abrupt departure from work! The last weekend in October, I had an important wedding shower to attend and having a baby was not conducive to that commitment! However my first parenting lesson was learned in that hospital: life with a baby changes everything.
Once I got over the initial shock of realizing the baby was arriving soon, I experienced basically every human emotion.
First, the panic was immediate. I mean, I literally had chicken defrosting on my counter so clearly I was not even close to being baby ready. At home I also had an unfinished nursery and a half-filled hospital bag. There were moments where I feared the unknown, was the baby healthy? Would I be OK? When anxiety subsided, I felt excitement realizing we would meet this new favorite person of ours. I also told myself a Halloween themed birthday party can be way easier to plan than a Thanksgiving birthday dinner, right?!
Once our baby did arrive, it was a joy to hear “It’s a boy,” luckily followed by his first cry. While the joy was there, we experienced a bit of sadness as our boy was whisked off into the NICU immediately. While we were assured there were only minor issues, emotions were raw, and I had not envisioned our baby’s first hours would be spent apart from me.
Amidst any sadness, I was often reminded to have gratitude, as a lot of people in our lives started just making magical moments. Family brought in pre-washed new preemie-clothes for our little peanut, the hospital staff surprised us with Halloween themed hats and blankets, and donated pajamas and books were brought to our son’s NICU room to make our stay less scary.
During our stay at the hospital, we were grateful to receive a Masters class in parenting from the medical staff. From having coaching on how to burp to getting expert advice on the baby swaddle, we were able to get all of the basics down pat due to this unexpected long duration in special care.
After two weeks in the hospital, we headed home as our new family of three. Overall while my rollercoaster ride into motherhood would not be what I hope for other mothers, it was my reality and gave me a crash course in parenting…I learned to expect the unexpected! And now we’re onto our newest adventure: my husband and I are both back at work and learning how to manage parenthood and better prepare for the unexpected now.
I am a first-time mom to a beautiful baby boy. As a part of the Communications Team at Bright Horizons, I have been learning how to balance mom life while returning to work. As a lover of music, with a hockey-loving husband, I am excited to see what our son loves as he gets older. Whether he is into the arts or sports, my husband and I really hope he loves travel like the two of us and I look forward to sharing our parenting adventures along the way.
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