Holy Mother of God! That Baby Is Going Home With ME??

Welcome to Risky Baby Business! Saturdays are ALWAYS about pregnancy and babies, here at More Cowbell, particularly those on the high-risk side. For a list of previous Risky Baby Business posts, click here.

Since several of our readers are in various stages of baby-making, we’ve been talking a lot about Labor and Delivery as well as products we liked during pregnancy and beyond. But what about when you’ve delivered the child and the hospital releases you to go home? Or when you have a home birth and the last childbirth professional walks out your front door?

I remember looking at the nurses rushing around our room, trying to discharge us from the hospital and shooting my husband a look that begged him to “please get them OUT of here for a minute!”

Thankfully, he got the memo and asked for a few minutes of privacy to feed the baby. The second they left, I started crying.

Disclaimer: You’re going to do that more often than you expect to.
When a new mom builds up hormones for 9 months and starts offloading them at a rapid pace (after the baby is born) emotions might be a little rocky. Especially, if you were a high-risk pregnancy, you’ve been worrying for MONTHS. Even if a new mom doesn’t get official post-partum depression, new parents can expect to be exhausted and, well…emotional.

Look how HUGE that car seat looks!

I remember looking over Baby Girl’s head, with big crocodile tears pouring down my face, and whining saying, “We’re actually going to take her home? Now?”

Him: “Well, we’re not leaving her here.”

Me: “I know that!”

Him: “It’s going to be fine.”

I wanted to ask him, “How do you know?” But the hardest part of being a new parent is the realization that NO ONE really knows what they’re doing, especially you.

You can take every parenting class in the world (and you should, just to get some comfort with the basics) and your new child is still going to stump you with some issue that you’ve got no answer for. Probably in the middle of the night.

Photo: babydon.com

You are now in charge of keeping this little being safe and there will  be a moment of terror, sometime in that baby’s first few weeks of life, when you wonder how the hell you’re going to do that.

I can give you some practical tips to help you get a little more sleep, but I cannot help you wrap your brain around that concept of 100% responsibility for the safety and well-being of your first child.

But I’ll be happy to listen while you vent.🙂

Did any of you parents have jitters the first time you were alone with your new baby? What do you remember as your “what in the world is this child doing” moment? For any of you who are pregnant now, what are some of the things you’re worried about? (The moms who hang out here have great answers!)

Jenny

About Jenny Hansen

Avid seeker of "more"...More words, more creativity, More Cowbell! An extrovert who's terribly fond of silliness. Founding blogger at Writers In The Storm (http://writersinthestormblog.com). Write on!
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25 Responses to Holy Mother of God! That Baby Is Going Home With ME??

  1. Laura Drake says:

    I never had babies – motherhood with me came as a package with the marriage – a pissed off 9 yr old, and a checked out 13 year old. But I can relate to the feeling.

    My (now) daughter came running in one day, asking to go with a friend somwhere. My (now) husband looked up from the TV and said no. She ran back out, and I asked him, “Okay, so how did you know to say no? Do you know the parents of that kid? Would there be trouble? What in what she said worried you?

    He looked at me and said, “I felt like it.”

    What an eye-opener…you mean all the time I was a kid, when my mom said no – she didn’t KNOW what the hell she was doing? OMG!!!! If you don’t KNOW – how am I going to ever figure it out!

    Where’s the damn manual for this stuff?

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  2. I believe you just wrote the script for the majority of women stepping onto the stage as a new … gasp … mother. Before that, the mother in your life (if you were fortunate) was the person who always took care of you and now you have taken on the mantle for this tiny being. It can be daunting. My mother lived nearby and was a nurse (woohoo!) – that plus speed-dial calmed many an imagined pending crisis. You are so right – there will be moments. New moms shouldn’t be shy to ask for help or for someone to give them a little time off. As a grandmother now, I channel my mother and am just a speed-dial away.

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    • Jenny Hansen says:

      Hi Patricia,

      My mom was a nurse too! One of the hardest things for me was knowing that she was long gone by the time I had my daughter (who is named after her). There’s no speed dial option for me but I do have many friends who’ve had babies, plus I got some seriously great training with my baby sister.

      Still, it’s just shocking for me that they let you just take this kid home and start raising ’em. What, are they nuts??

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  3. K.B. Owen says:

    Oh, Jenny, I just laughed out loud reading this! My husband and I had the same feeling when taking our first-born home. Honestly, we were going down the elevator, across the lobby, and out the door to our car pulled up at the entrance, me in the wheelchair with the baby in my arms, hubby pushing the wheelchair, and we kept looking at each other.

    Finally, hubs said: “Do you have the feeling someone is going to run after us and ask what the hell we’re doing with this baby?” I laughed so hard it hurt. That was exactly what I was thinking!

    You need a driver’s license to operate a car, but nothing to be solely responsible for steering your child through life. What a crazy world. Thanks for the trip down memory lane!

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  4. it was a long time ago, but I remember looking at my 3 wk old son and thinking Oh my God, I am totally responsible for this person for years!!! I need to have a job and a home and food and keep him safe and..and…and…well you get the picture. It was god awful but he survived and so did I. and it’s joyful to watch him go thru those same feelings with his first born. payback is …wonderful to watch

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    • Jenny Hansen says:

      Hahahahaha…I had Baby Girl at 41. Unless she really steps on it faster than I did, I’m not going to get to see a ton of payback, but I’m looking forward to seeing her grow up. It’s a bizarre feeling sometimes to look at a little person you made.

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  5. Yeah, I had that panic moment too. Oh and the tears…LOL. I remember crying for half an hour over Jamba Juice messing up my smoothie. I said NO chocolate base in that peanut butter mooed, darn it. Oh boy. And then every snort and sniffle in the middle of the night. Trying to keep my daughter awake enough to nurse. The unsolicited advice. LOL.

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    • Jenny Hansen says:

      Those Jamba bastards gave you a chocolate base??! Can you believe the nerve?

      I’m laughing because there are so many moments like that where you are FREAKING OUT and you can’t really explain why. You’ve gotta love that hormonal rollercoaster.

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  6. Don’t hit me🙂 but I can’t remember any real fear at being left alone with baby. Perhaps some of that stems from being a nanny to triplets, on monitors, before having my own kids. Perhaps because my first was a home birth (23 hour labor) with everyone, and I mean everyone, there (my poor two bedroom bungalow about burst at the seams), that I was beyond ready to shoo them out. I also had the added support of my mother being a nurse.

    It is a huge responsibility, there is no manual, and we all are flying by the seat of our pants. What a ride o.O

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  7. Julie Glover says:

    I was fine when I left the hospital with Baby #1. My nerves didn’t start to rattle until the colic set in. Then the dismay, confusion, tears, and general panic set in. Thankfully, we made it through. If I had it to do over, I would not consult so many books or friends with babies. I’d ask advice from the savvy grandmothers around me who had raised excellent kids.

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    • Jenny Hansen says:

      Great point. And the Granny’s always have some cool tip like – have them chew this, or warm flannel dipped in X does Y *and* Z. Why do you think I’m so excited about Piper’s Granny Plan??

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  8. “…there will be a moment of terror, sometime in that baby’s first few weeks of life, when you wonder how the hell you’re going to do that.”

    In my case, I still wonder how I’m going to make sure my oldest makes it to 18, and how my youngest will ever survive her third year! LOL Ok, I’m not that bad of a mom…they’re just so, so wild. I sit and watch hubs wrestle with the girls and think, “My god…how is it they haven’t killed each other yet?” lol

    When they’re brand new you are terrified you won’t feed them well enough, or just enough. You’re constantly worried that you’ve made them too hot or too cold. You think every noise they make is because you’ve somehow screwed up lol But then, as they get older, you begin to realize just how helpless you really are. You can’t be with them every single second of every day and the new worry is that in those precious few seconds when you’re not there the worst will happen. That’s where I’m at right now: learning to loosen my grip a little bit (but ONLY a little bit) and accept that I cannot be there every single moment trying to keep them in the safety bubble.

    If only we could.

    As always, great post Jenny!

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    • Jenny Hansen says:

      I’m sure you’re a great mom, Kate. But it’s hard, because I think you don’t REALLY know how you did until they’re like 30. The huge fear is, “What if I get that far and realize I did a crap job???” We just have to laugh in the face of that fear, right? Especially when they’re teens and toddlers.

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  9. Ah, yes. That first trip home with the new baby. For me, I was a single mom with my daughter and kept my panic to myself. There was no way I could let anyone know I was scared! Not after coming home from England pregnant and announcing to all of God and the civilized world that yes, I could raise a child on my own, thankyouvermuch. I was terrified. But we survived.

    My son was my husband’s first child and it was hilarious to see him go through the same panic I’d been through with my daughter. Except, I was all calm and like, what’s your problem? It was awesome!

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    • Jenny Hansen says:

      Oh, Tameri…no wonder you’re so wise now. Raising a kid on your own is SO FREAKING SCARY. Yes, you get all the rewards, but there’s no one to bounce the “what do you think” question off of. And there’s no one to sit there with you and think, “isn’t this kid the coolest thing you ever saw?”

      I’m glad you got to watch someone else go through it. It probably made you feel like a pro!

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  10. Another great baby business blog, Jenny. You do this series brilliantly.

    When we took our daughter home I remember driving home so slowly. I was terrified the g-forces would harm her. Then when I pulled up in the driveway I thought “why have they let us out with her? I don’t know what to do.” I’m an engineer. I plan for things, run simulations, predict results. I don’t take a human life and just give it a go and see what happens. But we did, and ten years later I’m painting her room blue and green and not worrying about anything. Well, apart from from her education, and college fund, and whether she should have a sleepover, and …

    Cheers

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    • Jenny Hansen says:

      WOW, thanks Nigel! You’re good for my ego.🙂

      I can hear how much fun you have with your daughter…and I’ll be she LOVES that room.

      I can so relate to your drive home. We drove as slow as we dared and we used our smaller car so I could get in and out easy with my C-section stitches. At our first major intersection past the hospital, we had this huge green truck come barreling through the merge lane, looking for all the world like it was NOT going to yield. We both about had a heart attack. I was in the back seat with headlights about 5 inches from my face thinking, “Oh, for crying out loud. We JUST got her!”

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  11. That “I’m an imposter” feeling came for me when I first got out of college. My dad always seemed to know what to do about everything, and I knew I didn’t. So I was pretty much over that by the time my daughter was born. And his being a pediatrician helped, too. The main moments of panic were when she would cry (and cry and cry) and I had no idea what was wrong. Why can’t they be born able to communicate with you?

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  12. Piper Bayard says:

    Lol. How funny! I remember bringing our son home. I had literally never changed a diaper before. Then, when I carried him around the house, I kept whacking his head on door frames when I turned corners. He would literally grow 1/2 inch over night, and it would take me a whack or two to adjust my distance. He’s now 15 and 6’7″ tall. He whacks the tops of door frames. It’s his destiny. It’s amazing that our children survive us, isn’t it? Great blog, Jenny!

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