I know, "It goes by so fast!" is a sentiment every new parent has heard. But, I mean, it does. My toddler’s 3, but I feel like his baby stage was just yesterday. It's like I blinked and my newborn was suddenly running around, saying words and being an actual person. Sometimes I wish I could go back and revisit those newborn days, with his chunky baby arms and legs, gummy smile, and endless cuddles. So while I love having a toddler, there are some post-baby moments I wish I could relive over and over again.
Of course, I wouldn’t want to relive every single part of postpartum life. I had an extremely complicated labor and delivery, so it's safe to say I’m not in any hurry to experience my birth trauma over again. My son was also very sick his first few days of life, so everything was complicated. While I was so happy to finally meet him, I was also incredibly nerve-wracked, anxious, and depressed. So believe me when I say postpartum life isn't all rainbows and unicorns, and sometimes the last thing a new mom needs to hear is something along the lines of "enjoy it while it lasts."
Still, there are a few golden moments I’d love to experience one more time, because parenthood is nothing if not a mix of the best of times and the worst of times. In fact, some of the best post-baby moments I can now claim my own took place at the hospital. Moments like, for example, the following:
The First Time Seeing My Baby
This is eternally emblazoned into my mind’s eye. I can still recall him practically floating over to me in his father’s arms. He was all gooey, and he just looked enormous (over 9 lbs, after all). Even so, I was instantly in awe.
The First Time We Did Skin-To-Skin
This is another memory that I know I’ll never ever forget. My son had just been incubated in the NICU and my husband held him first for a few seconds. Then the nurse handed him over to me to place directly on my chest. They put blankets over us, played the soft music on his seahorse toy, and dimmed the nights. My heart exploded into a million stars at the amount of love I felt for this little human.
The First Time Breastfeeding
I believe this was a couple of days after the first time I held my baby boy. I recall the room being quiet and cold, and feeling slightly nervous at what the experience would be like. When I put him to my breast, though, he took to it like a champ.
The First Time My Baby Smiled At Me
My son always had an expressive face, even when I could only see it behind the plastic of his NICU incubator. I would stand by his bedside for hours, then hold him for a while, then stand some more and just stare. During one of those moments, he looked at me and totally seemed like he was smiling. And yes, I know they say that babies don’t actually smile until they’re about 2 months old, but still.
The First Time I Took My Baby Home
This was one of the most incredible moments ever. I spent two months waiting for my baby to get out of the NICU. The first thing we did after we got out of the hospital was go to this ice cream shop down the road. I was nervous as hell, paranoid he’d catch some virus or something from a stranger, but my baby was fine. I got a hard-earned milkshake, and we went home triumphantly.
The First Time We Co-Slept
No one makes for a better cuddle buddy than your baby. My partner and I co-slept by having our son sleep in his bassinet next to my bed, and we didn’t bed-share until he was around 10 months old and nearly walking. Sometimes, though, we would take naps in bed together when he was much younger, and they were undoubtedly the coziest naps ever.
The First Time I Was't In Excruciating Pain
I was in pretty awful pain for the first few months of my son’s life. Because I spent so much time at his bedside in the hospital, my healing process was much slower, too. But once I started to feel like myself again, life wasn’t all that terrible anymore.
My First Postpartum Orgasm
You thought this list might only include stuff about the baby, huh? Well, I have to say, by the time I finally had an orgasm again, it had been way, way, way too long. I was on pelvic rest during most of my pregnancy (meaning no sex or masturbation), and healed extremely slowly from my birth-related trauma. I was also feeling the effects of postpartum anxiety, postpartum depression, and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). In other words, sex wasn't in the cards for a while.
Eventually, however, one day...er...night, I was finally feeling OK. I finally felt up to trying something out. It took all of a minute or two, and that postpartum orgasm felt like an earthquake. It’s not as easy these days to make that happen quite as fast and intensely, so I wouldn’t mind experiencing that one again.