When it comes to parenting, all the firsts are associated to your baby. Their first smile, first steps, first solid food experience, first time they taste lemons (or calamansi). Each memory brings us so much joy. But then there’s also their first chaotic diaper change, first fever, first cough and colds, first crib acrobats, to mention a few. These are the firsts that can make our blood run cold. While the spotlight is on our babies, new parents like me, also get a share of the most heart-melting, most hilarious, most embarrassing and scariest “firsts”.
Nothing scared me most than the thought of giving birth. When my waterbag broke, I knew there is no turning back. It was the worst pain I have ever felt in my entire life. While on labor, I was telling myself this will the last. When she finally came out, the worst pain became the biggest relief. No, the angels weren’t singing when I saw her. I was so groggy. But when I woke up, her overwhelming cuteness made me believe in love at first sight.
My first 8-hour sleep after giving birth
Little did I know that there’s a fine print in the 10 commandments intended for new parents that says “Thou shall not sleep”. I got warnings from fellow moms. Sleep all you want they said. I took it lightly. It’s a nightmare to realize that an 8-hour sleep would just be a dream when my baby came out. For the first two months, I looked like a cast of the Walking Dead. One weekend, husband offered to look after the baby so I can completely rest. I woke up the next morning feeling like I won a lottery. So, that’s how “sleeping” feels like. I wanted to do it again, but back then, sleeping was more like a privilege that I cannot abuse.
The first night I slept without by baby beside me
When I was about to return to work after my maternity leave, we had to leave our baby to my parent’s house in the province for a couple of months. While waiting for my mom-in-law to move in, we had no choice but to endure a long-distance love affair with our daughter. I began co-sleeping with my little one two weeks after she was born. So the first night she was away, I was crying Niagara Falls. I may be able to get lots of sleep, but without her beside me didn’t seem like a fair trade.
The first time I was up overnight soothing my sick baby
It was around September last year that our daughter got really sick – fever, projectile vomiting, diarrhea and colds. I’m used to staying up all night but it’s a lot different when you have to take care of a sick nine-month old. The thing with babies, their only outlet is to cry and be fussy. First time in my life that I got so worried and felt extremely helpless. I had no choice but to let the illness run its course (with the prescribed meds from the pedia of course). My mom-in-law told me “Nanay ka na talaga, naranasan mo ng magkasakit anak mo.” Hah! Experience points! Leveling up one quest at a time.
The first time she had a vomiting spree on a long bus ride
She was just 10 months old then. We had to visit my parents’ house. Their house is around 120 kilometers away from Manila. That’s three hours of bus ride, but it felt like forever. Husband and I did not expect her to have travel sickness. All three of us smelled awful. Lesson learned. Aside from extra baby clothes, plastic bags, and towels, I should take extra clothes for me and husband as well.
My first year was something I will never experience again. No matter how screwed, tired and frustrated I was, I wouldn’t trade it for the world. Now, Luthien is only a year and almost three months, and I know there are a lot of ‘firsts’ to come. You can’t even Google these kinds of stuff. There are no dummies guides, or friends to tell me what to really expect. You will learn just by being a mom. It is a journey and everything that comes along the way will forever change me.