When my husband and I brought our first baby home, I was way out of my element. I am the younger of two kids in my family. I had babysat only a handful of times in my teen years. I had hosted my nephew for a sleepover but my husband had done most of the heavy lifting during his stay. To put it mildly, I just didn't have a lot of experience with babies and kids.
As a result, I second guessed every decision. I beat myself up when things weren't going well. I jumped out of the shower mid-shampoo if he started crying. And, then I wondered why I was the only one in the world who wasn't great at this gig of motherhood.
A month into our son's life, he got sick--really sick. I'd had some hunches that something wasn't quite right but, because everyone said that how he was acting was normal for a newborn, and because I had so much self doubt as a mom, I ignored my intuition.
One afternoon, my husband went to play soccer and I needed support so I took my crying baby boy to my sister-in-law's to hang out. Not long after we arrived, it became apparent that he needed medical help. I froze. My sister-in-law, though, swept into action. She herded my and my son into her car and drove us to Seattle Children's Hospital. His six week stay is a long story but suffice it to say that he is now a healthy 12 year old boy.
What I wish I'd known back then is that I knew more than I was willing to give myself credit for. I wish I'd known that I needed to relax a bit but also be willing to listen to my intuition. And, of course, in those scary days of diagnosis, surgery, and recovery, I wish I'd known that he would be alright.