Hey Google, Is This Normal?
By: Stacey Herbst
I was worried from the day I took that positive pregnancy test. Worried about the babies health, my health, to infinity and beyond. People would say, “You will never stop worrying. If It’s not one thing, it’s another.” And I believed them. But I didn’t realize the extent of how much of a paranoid mother I could actually be.
After an eventful pregnancy, I delivered at 38 weeks and two days to a perfectly healthy baby boy. Has anyone ever felt like this is a total out of body experience? It’s like you are there, but are watching from a corner. Shock maybe? Like holy shit, I just had a baby. In the hospital, I felt totally safe. The nurses, lactation consultants, and my doctor were all amazing. From helping me trouble shoot breastfeeding with a nipple guard (and not making me feel bad about it), to teaching me to run a diaper under water and freeze it to use as an ice pack in your three times too big underwear for your swollen lady parts.
I don’t think it had really hit me until we got home. We had a brand spankin’ new human to take care of. Happy? Yes. In love? Yes. Worried? HELL YES! My brain was consumed. From the sounds he was making, to the foods I was eating. Were these normal sounds? Can I eat this? I legit googled about hang nails once because I had more then usual because of my constant hand washing. And this stuff would keep me up at night, when I was supposed to be getting those two consecutive hours of sleep.
It’s like your brain is on auto pilot and won’t shut off. I still can’t decide if Google is a blessing or a curse. A good support system. I can’t tell you how important it was to have my husband there with me for the 4 weeks of paternity leave that he got. (I know this is not normal, but dads need to push for paternity leave too!) Not only did he get to experience all things new baby related, but he kept my head from spinning in circles. (Even thought it still did at times) Having support of a partner, family member, therapist or friend from the beginning can make or break your experience as a first time mom from the get go.
Now our son is 8 months old. My head still spins from time to time with worry. I still check to make sure he’s breathing during a nap. I have Benadryl ready to go when he tries new foods, and still rely on Google maybe just a little too much. Alas, the worry will absolutely never end. But it is nothing compared to those first couple weeks and months of brining home a new baby. I love being a mom. It has challenged me not only physically, but mentally as well. And it is more important now then ever to keep both of those in check.