Our Initiation into Parenthood

It was at the hospital after the birth of our first child that I first realized what a sound sleeper my husband is.  I don’t remember what it was I needed, but I kept pushing the nurse’s button and nothing was happening.  I tried calling Jason, who was asleep on a pull out chair beside my hospital bed.  Nothing.  I called his name louder.  Nothing.  I yelled as loud as I could.  He didn’t move.  Next I took a pillow and threw it at him.  It landed right on his head and rolled off.  Nothing.  I took another pillow.  Same thing.  I took my last pillow, hurled it at his head while yelling his name and he finally woke up and asked what the matter was.

Our first night home with our new baby was grueling.  I remember being so happy and proud to bring Faith home and then feeling completely helpless as to how to take care of her.  I fed her and put her in her bed, hoping she’d sleep for a few hours.  She woke up screaming at ten o’clock.  Jason was already asleep.  I walked with her for hours, around the living room, up and down the hall, and back into the living room. Since I had third degree tears, every step hurt.  Faith would finally fall asleep and I would ease down into a chair.  But as soon and I would sit down, she would start screaming all over again.  I tried those anti-gas drops.  I tried everything I could think of, but nothing helped calm her.

Off and on all night I kept looking for our one pacifier, thinking that might help, but Jason was the last one who had it, and I couldn’t find where he left it.  At three o’clock in the morning after I had walked with the baby for five hours, I finally went into our bed room, and yelled, “You lost the pacifier!” in complete exhaustion and almost in delirium.  Jason woke with a start and asked why I hadn’t gotten him up sooner.  I guess after the experience in the hospital, I didn’t think I’d be able to wake him up.  I cried myself to sleep that night.  Jason walked with the baby for another two hours before she finally went to sleep.

Bringing a baby home sounds so natural and homey.  But all the things that can and at times do go wrong are anything but that.  Our first baby is now nine years old, and I am so thankful for her and for all the Lord has taught us through her!

This post is linked to Tuesday Baby Link-Up, Memory Lane Friday and Marriage Mondays.

24 comments to Our Initiation into Parenthood

  • It certainly is hard in the early days. I remember when the twins were born and we were still in the hospital I tried to wake up my husband to change a diaper while I was nursing the other one and he said, “I’m trying to get some sleep!” LOL. He was just out of it. I think ;-)

  • My husband and I are still trying for our first child so I guess I have something to look forward to. :) Although I have to admit that I am the sound sleeper and he sleeps so light that if I am breathing funny I will wake him up. I will probably have a cranky baby and a cranky husband on my hands. Thanks for sharing this memory.

    Christiana

  • Hattie

    I used to be a sound heavy sleeper until the boys were born. I still get up in the night to make sure all four are covered. Jay only gets up for a midnight snack!!! Ahhhh, the plight of a mother!

  • Bringing home the first is such a learning experience, wonderful but very educational. My oldest was my toughest newborn, cried and cried and never wanted to sleep. I used to be a sound sleeper and now awaken and the drop of a hat, how did this happen? :)

  • My hubby did great in the hospital, but trying to wake him at home was not so fun. Then we had number 2. If number 2 wakes at night for any reason other than nursing he only wants his daddy. (guess that’s cause they are so much alike). Amazing how much you learn about yourself and your spouse when you have kids. I learned how lucky I am to have such a great husband. :) ~Jessica

  • I SO remember those days! (And for me it was 21 years ago!) My husband has worn hearing aids from a young age. They come out at night so he really didn’t hear anything. About every 2 weeks or so he would see that “wild” look in my eyes telling him that it was time for him to take a turn. He would leave the hearing aids in, sleep in her room with the door closed so I could have one night of uninterupted sleep. Amazing how much that helped me!

    That baby is a senior in college right now. It goes by SO fast!

  • My nephew used to scream from colic, and the only ways we could keep him quiet was by swinging him wildly in his car seat. Or by holding him close to one’s chest and rocking him very vigorously while crooning desperately… Ah, the fun of babies!

  • LOL My husband are trying for our first still and while this cracks me up, it also terrifies me! My husband is SUCH a sound sleeper I think a marching band complete with cannons would fail to rouse him.

  • I can’t even imagine . . . And, BTW, how do you manage to look the same age in all your pictures?

  • I’m such a light sleeper that when a moth flies into a light fitting I wake up. I often lie awake in Madagascar listening to the termites eating my ceiling. I don’t think I would do well with little kids! I like the fact that I can teach, enjoy them during the day and then say goodbye in the afternoon…

    By the way, I’m in serious need of a whole lot more laughter today – cabin fever hit the whole family at the same time! Please could you do two or three blogs in one day? Wa ha ha [I refuse to use "LOL". I'm an English perfectionist]

    And yes, we’re still waiting for the embarrassing moment in church post…

  • Oh my goodness this is so funny! The husband thing…they all do the same things. They seem so tried you would have thought they would have been the one to give birth! Mine was eating a Taco Bell burrito and watching our middle daughter be born all at the same time. Can you say somebody was in trouble?

  • I think they call that selective sleeping.

  • Denise

    Hi Ester,
    I remember those days too. My husband was pretty good at helping it was the baby that wouldn’t comply. He never slept. Up every two hours. He still never sleeps and he is eleven!
    I just have to say Ester that you are too funny. I just read your post on your dating experiences in Nebraska, Can’t believe that guy wanted to split the meal and how the date would ruin him financially!

  • Esther – Loved catching up on all your posts. I keep marveling at what a lovely family you are. God bless you all and may 2011 bring you even closer together in love and togetherness.
    Hugs
    Corinne

  • Oh how I remember the days. I had a similiar experience with our first child as well on several occasions but as always it is all worth it. Happy New Year my friend.
    ~ God Bless

  • We’re going through this now! I think that it is just the genetic makeup for the men to be able to sleep so soundly. If you add random responses when they DO wake up to the mix then you have my loving husband. I must say though – when he’s awake he is the BEST! LOL! Sometimes I do get jealous that he can sleep through the crying of our almost three week old twins. >sigh< I do realize that God knew what he was doing when he made the women the nurturers though. Hee hee.

  • Elle

    She sounds like our 2nd born baby. She was so crabby all the time. Gas drops do not work. LOL. And I can so relate to the husband thing too. My husband can sleep through a hurricane. It drives me nuts. My daughter is almost 9 now and she’s a smiley, joyful, happy child despite her first 6 months of screaming and crabbiness and putting up with me being a total impatient mother. Oh how we all survive!

  • I remember those early days with a baby! Hard but worth it!

  • I remember those days. That first night home every time our son made a noise we would both jump up and check on him. It never even occured to us to take turns. Needless to say we got no sleep!

  • I love it, my husband is the same way! I always say that I could be raped and murdered in the bed next to him and he wouldn’t know until morning. Yes, bringing them home is natural and homey…its what happens after you get there that changes everything! Great post, thank you!

  • Married life would be so easy if it wasn’t for us being so completely human. :) It can certainly stretch us (especially when we aren’t getting any sleep), but it helps to remember my own weaknesses when faced with my husband’s. I have to admit I’m glad we’re past the getting up all night and searching for the pacifier days. :)

    Blessings,
    Julie

  • I remember bringing my firstborn home, too. Once we got inside the door my husband looked at me and said, “Well, NOW what do we do??” Unlike Faith, mine was a great sleeper but he nursed all. the. time. I literally felt glued to the couch for the first several weeks! Turns out he had Cystic Fibrosis and wasn’t retaining any of the nutrients that he was receiving(hence the constant feeding), but I was truly at the end of my rope! So glad those days are behind me and I have more mommy-knowledge to work with now!

  • I know this is an old post, but I happened on it and just had to leave a comment. My experience of trying to wake up my hubby in the hospital was almost identical to yours! Calling, calling louder, yelling, throwing things, all to no avail. I never did wake him up. Then, we had the same all-night crying those first nights. He had to go to work, so I didn’t want to wake him up (and the few times I tried, he was so out of it I had to explain everything about 10 times). I also had third degree tears which made the hours of walking almost impossible, and every time I sat down, baby would wake up and cry again. I was never so thankful for my mom being here! Anyway, thankfully he outgrew those night cries very fast, but reading this story brought all those memories back very vividly. I can laugh about them now too :)

  • […] It’s been 13 years since that night in the hospital when I realized…I’d never sleep through a night again!  It’s been that long since my first near death experience, yes there have been more […]

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