Saturday, January 23, 2010

Your Newborn Baby

This is to all you new moms out there who are trying so hard to do the right thing for your little, tiny newborns. If your heart is in the right place and your only problem is that you are worried for the well-being of your baby then I have one word to say to you. Relax. Really, just relax because everything will work out. Those little tykes are so resilient and really need very little from you other than love. Let me explain.

It wasn’t until this week when my 40 year old best friend brought her new baby home from the hospital and called me in a panic about all of the things that were concerning her about her baby that I realized that I had something very helpful to share. I thought back to those first days at home with my second daughter and began sharing everything in an effort to relieve some of her stress about the fact that she thought someone had to sit in the backseat of the car with her baby to make sure he was still breathing because how could he get any air being slumped over like that?? Oh boy did it take me back…

My second daughter was born on 12/20/2007 and being so close to the Holidays it was a wonder I even survived. First of all she was so terribly jaundiced that the whites of her eyes were bright yellow. My first daughter had no jaundice at all so this was alarming enough. If that was all however I imagine I would have been in better shape. She also had two ingrown toenails that I was informed I had to get out myself or she would have to be sent to a podiatrist for surgery. So three times a day I had to first soak her feet in Epsom salts (ever tried to soak a newborn baby’s feet? I can think of more fun things to do) and then put on gloves to literally dig her little toe nails out all the while puss is oozing everywhere and did I mention she was completely hysterical? Yes, she was and the first 100 or so times her cries made me cry so I was trying to do all of this through a curtain of tears. She also came home with pink eye in both eyes. I am telling the truth. In both eyes so two times a day I had to pull her eyes open and line the inside of them with this cream and pray to God that I did not poke her eye while I was doing it! This is why I think that all mothers should carry an honorary “M.D.” behind their names but that is the topic for another post. And lastly, poor little baby also had an oozing bellybutton that I swore was going to make the ugliest “outie” anyone had ever seen. I could not make this stuff up. And as I told Anna these things I could feel the tension dissipate and a calm start to settle over her. I wish someone would have said to me “you can’t hurt her, just do your best and don’t worry so much about everything.”

A few days after you bring your baby home you will start to notice things like maybe they are constipated, maybe they cry what you think is a lot, maybe they are not eating as often as you had hoped or any number of other things that you deem noteworthy. Rarely is there a problem that is serious or does not work itself out. By all means call and visit your pediatrician often but at the end of every day take time to relax and remember that it is all going to be OK. Newborn babies are made of a material comparable to titanium in their durability so try not to stress so much!

Look at my second daughter! Is there anything about her that is not perfect?

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