No matter how many parenting books and websites they devour, or how many times friends and family tell them how much everything is about to change, nothing can truly prepare expecting parents for life with a newborn. It's just something people have to experience for themselves before they can truly understand. Because suddenly, you're responsible for this tiny human — and with that comes around-the-clock feedings, diaper changes, baths, burping, rocking, spitting-up, diaper blowouts. (Repeat for what seems like eternity.) Don't even get me started on those long, sleepless nights. Parenting a young infant is not for the weak. And honestly, Jeremy Vuolo's recent Instagram posts perfectly capture the hell that is newborn sleep deprivation.
On July 19, Counting On stars Jinger (Duggar) and Jeremy Vuolo welcomed their first child together — a baby girl they named Felicity, Us Weekly reported. “God is so kind. Jinger gave birth to Felicity Nicole Vuolo this morning at 4:37 a.m.,” Vuolo told the publication. “Felicity weighs 8 lbs and 3 oz, and is 19.5 inches long. Both mom and baby are healthy, doing great, and resting well. We are very thankful for her safe arrival and look forward to life as parents!” As InTouch Weekly reported, just a couple of days after his daughter's birth, Vuolo took to Instagram to share a couple of updates with his followers about how the transition is going so far. Spoiler alert: It doesn't look as if too much sleeping is going on in the Vuolo household.
Overlain on a photo of a bed, Vuolo wrote, "To Sleep, my dear friend and faithful companion, So long. It was a good run. Fondly, Jeremy." LOL. Seriously, though. If that doesn't perfectly sum up the first few weeks with a newborn, I'm not sure what does. The pastor's followers were quick to jump in with words of encouragement — and solidarity — for the clearly exhausted new father. "Welcome to parenthood!" one follower commented. "This too shall pass, but it won’t feel like it ever will. I promise. Your little one will be 18 before you know it!"
Another person wrote, "#joysofparenthood. Sleep gets better and happens well some nights, not so much others. But the sleepless nights are so worth it."
Yet another follower chimed in with, "Don't worry! You will sleep again...when she goes off to college! Hahahahaha welcome to the parent club!"
On the heels of this post, was another similar sentiment from Vuolo — except this time, it was an ode to the nectar of parents everywhere: Coffee. "To Coffee," he wrote. "It's just you and me now. Don't let me down. Gratefully, Jeremy." And all the caregivers of small children said, "Amen!" Let's just say that fellow parents felt this one hard.
Another person commented, "Welcome to parenthood where coffee is your best friend."
Yet another follower wrote, "You might want to Stock Up on Coffee. Because she's only 4 days old & you still have quite a few years to go... Lol"
During Jinger's third trimester, the expecting parents had shared what they were doing to prepare for their little girl's arrival. Jeremy explained they had been “getting the house ready and making sure we have all the necessary accessories we’ll need, like diapers and clothes, so just the final touches.” As for Jinger, it seems like her focus was more on not worrying about labor itself. “I’ve gotten a lot of good advice from my mom and sisters. A lot is just don’t stress because as I think about it, the closer it gets, it’s easy to become anxious,” Jinger said, according to People. “And so I think just looking forward to meeting this little girl and trying not to think about it too much.”
In my opinion, if parents truly want to prepare themselves for what life on the "other side" is like, perhaps they should attempt functioning on just a few two-hour increments of sleep per night — for a week straight. While constantly holding a bag of flour in one hand that's crying. And while smelling vaguely of baby spit-up. Because that might give them a taste of what life with a newborn is actually like. (Then again, maybe sleeping as much as possible during those last few weeks of pregnancy is the route to go — so new parents will have their strength up for the real deal.)
In all seriousness, though, Jeremy Vuolo's recent Instagram posts are spot-on. But as physically and as mentally trying as caring for a newborn is, it's all worth it in the end for this tiny human you helped created. I wish Jinger and Jeremy the best of luck — and the strongest of coffee — as they begin this next chapter of life together. Congrats, guys!