Why I'm relishing the newborn chaos

Posted August 30

Six years have passed between my last baby and the new baby boy we recently adopted. Six years seems like another lifetime as I adjust back to what it’s like to have a newborn.

I had all but forgotten the feeling of a 4 a.m. wake-up call from a hungry baby. I lie in bed, staring into the dark, wondering if maybe he will just go back to sleep if I wait a minute more. Has this actually ever happened in the history of parenting? For real, let me know, because every night I think it could happen, and every night I am disappointed and end up stumbling to his crib bleary-eyed anyway.

All the memories of life with a newborn have come flooding back in the last few weeks. I suddenly remember what it’s like to pick my clothes based on what I don’t mind getting coated in spit-up and other assorted bodily fluids by the end of the day.

And then there’s the stuff. Stuff. Everywhere. Bouncy seats and swings and car seats and blankets and bottles and baby monitors. How can one tiny human need so many accessories?

I’ve also all but given up on getting anything done during the day because the baby doesn’t nap or I have no clean bottles or onesies or simply because this baby tricks me into sleeping with him on my chest rather than do the work or cleaning that needs to be done.

I had clearly forgotten the constancy of a newborn baby. These little ones come into your life and take over time and space. They need something as soon as their eyes are open in the morning and keep on needing until their eyes shut at night (and then some).

This baby needs me every second. And now that I’m back in baby mode, all I can think is, "Oh, how I’ve missed it."

I had forgotten how amazing it feels to have a little one cuddle up on your chest, their hands draped across you, so trusting and loving as they sleep in your arms.

I’d forgotten the joy of first smiles — little, much-needed affirmations that seem to say, “Hi Mom! I see you there loving me. Guess what? I love you too.”

So yes, my purse is full of ridiculously small, unmatched baby socks and diapers and bottles and burp cloths and the thousand other pieces of paraphernalia we need to leave the house.

But this time around, I’m not too eager to reclaim my purse, my house or my schedule.

It’s OK because this time, I know he’s my last. This is the last newborn baby I’ll snuggle at 2 a.m. The last time I’ll pack up newborn clothes or inhale the scent of Dreft from my laundry room. The last first smile. The last first everything.

So instead of lamenting the full-blown takeover of a newborn, I’m relishing every moment of it — every sleep-deprived, fluid-soaked moment. And when I pull a ridiculous adorable unmatched sock from my purse when I reach for my eye-liner, all I can think is, “Oh, how I’ll miss this.”

Babies grow. Seasons change. Life moves on. The dishes and bottles and dirty diapers will disappear soon enough. But for right now, the work can wait. Let the chaos rule.

I’m busy cuddling my last baby, who I need just as much as he needs me.

Erin Stewart is a regular blogger for Deseret News. From stretch marks to the latest news for moms, she discusses it all while her 9-year-old and 6-year-old daughters dive-bomb off the couch behind her.


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