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Bringing Home Baby: 9 Things I Wish Somebody Would Have Told Me 9 Months Ago**

AWC >  Adoption > Bringing Home Baby: 9 Things I Wish Somebody Would Have Told Me 9 Months Ago**
(**not that I would have listened….and neither will you…or maybe you will and I was just too stubborn)

This month marks Little Dude’s nine months on this earth and in our family.  You might have noticed that it’s also been about that long since the last time I blogged.  Coincidence?  I think not.  So to mark the big day (well, the one before the big day.... i.e., his year birthday) here’s my list of nine things I wish somebody had told me nine months ago:

1. Overalls on babies are adorable.  The first couple of pairs I received as gifts, I kind of did that whole “oh-I-love-it” generic face, but as soon as I put the first pair on him, it was over.  He now has several pairs and I’m always looking for more.

2.  You will be tired.  Okay, to be fair, I’m pretty sure that I was told this on several occasions, but there’s no real understanding of tired until you go through this kind of tired.  The first two weeks weren’t too bad because the man had new parent leave from work (thank you, DoD!). After the man went back to work, the bulk of Little Dude’s care fell to me.  Which I knew was going to happen, but by the time it’d been just me for a week, I was exhausted. I’m talking, take the most tired you’ve ever been and multiply it by 100.  I used to just stand in the kitchen and cry.  It got better once L.D. started sleeping through the night, but recently he’s been waking up once or twice again.  Probably a growth spurt, but I’m really praying that those full nights of sleep come back soon.

3.  Even without an exercise program, you’ll be getting a workout every day.  Especially if you have stairs, which we don’t, thank God.  Constant trips around the house for things you’ve forgotten to pick up that you need (because, remember, you’re tired!), up and down out of the floor to play with baby, hauling the baby around in the car seat, and especially the baby bicep curls because it’s MUCH more fun for Mama to bounce him up and down instead of doing it in his jumper seat. *sigh*

4.  You might have times that you feel like you made a horrible mistake.  You’re human, you’re exhausted, he hasn’t slept more than an hour at a time in the last two days, he’s screaming, but you can’t figure out why.  I mean, if you can go through that and not have the thought (fleeting or not) of “What have we DONE? I can’t DO THIS for another 18 years!”, then you must be Superwoman and I want your autograph.  I’m just trying to convey that these kinds of feelings are completely natural and I don’t know anyone who hasn’t felt like this at some point.  Especially in the first three months.  So don’t beat yourself up about it.  This, too, shall pass.

            To be honest, I really struggled with this one.  We wanted him so badly and tried so hard for so long that I was shocked when there were times when I daydreamed of our pre-LD days.  But 98% of the time, I wouldn’t trade him or being his mom for anything.  The other 2% of the time, it’s just because I’m tired (see #2).

5.  You will almost always smell like some assorted bodily fluid and no matter how many baby outfits you pack for a day trip, it will be one less than you actually need.  We got lucky because LD wasn’t a projectile spit-upper, but there was one ill-fated weekend trip to Memphis when, within the first two hours of us being gone, I was covered in pee, poop, and spit up.  Ah, good times.

6.  Baby blues (postpartum depression) aren’t just for mommies that birthed babies out of their own bodies.  The first month or so after LD came home, I cried a lot.  I was ecstatically happy, but I also felt guilty that I was happy.  I grieved for S, not just that I got the chance to raise LD and she didn’t, but also in the loss of her friendship.  I grieved for LD, that he would grow up missing her from his life.  I grieved over the fact that I couldn’t breastfeed (trust me, no one was more shocked by that particular emotion than me).  I was sad that there was no rush of family members to our side when we brought him home.  Also, as I might have mentioned once or twice, I was exhausted. 

7.  Things will happen to your baby that you have next to no control over.  When LD was six weeks old, he had blood in the stool in his diaper.  We spent almost an entire Saturday in our local emergency room, trying to figure out why.  There was blood work, X-rays, CT scans, and on and on and on.  The doctor thought he had a milk allergy, but we found out a week later from our pediatrician that he had actually tested positive for salmonella.  Talk about your guilt!  We couldn’t figure out where he picked it up.  I mean, we’re educated adults, we know to wash our hands!  It was bad, but it could have been so much worse.  And at the end of the day, he got his medicine, he got better, and there have been no lasting consequences.  And we STILL don’t know where he picked it up.  My point is that things happen and as parents, your job is to roll with the punches and do the best you can with the situation you’ve been dealt.  You’re not always going to be able to prevent the bad stuff.

8.  Once your baby smiles for the first time on purpose, it becomes your mission in life to see that smile as much as possible.  No song is too silly, no sound too obnoxious, no place too public.  Singing “Old McDonald” complete with sound effects as you walk through WalMart?  No problem.

9.  As full as your life was before baby, it grows leaps and bounds once he’s here.  Being his mom is the most difficult, exhausting, exhilarating, and WONDERFUL thing I’ve ever done.  As tired as I usually am in the morning, seeing his face light up when I walk into his room to start the day is the BEST feeling in the world.

So happy 9 MONTHS, Little Dude!  Now play quietly while Mama tries to write a blog post!

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