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I used a forehead thermometer on her and it read We dashed to the hospital, where they used a rectal thermometer that said her temperature was completely normal. But because we had a higher reading, the doctors waited to see if it would go up again. She was fine, but a fever is no joke.

Word to the wise: Make sure you use a rectal thermometer. As I found out, it's far more accurate on newborns. Be honest. Thank goodness. Also, don't be too quick on the diaper draw. While sleepless nights and poop explosions take up a lot of your time, you need to make sure you and your partner talk about more than just the little one's milestones. Remember that one day the baby will be an adult, and you'll be left with each other to talk to again. Sure, it's a good idea to have enough supplies. But the baby is going to outgrow those newborn diapers in about 5 minutes.

I have friends who are milk fountains, sleep gurus, Pinterest queens and still manage to be total bosses at work. I'm stumbling through the day in a caffeine haze, doing a mediocre job at most things, including parenting. Here's the truth: There is not enough of you to be the perfect mom or dad. And there's certainly not enough of you to be the perfect mom and Employee of the Month. Something has got to give. Ask for help. Leaning in, having it all, or whatever — it's not realistic. Don't beat yourself up over it.

How big is your baby? When did she start walking? Is she sleeping through the night? Does he talk yet? If you stack your baby up against other infants, he may look like a champ.

EMOTIONAL BIRTH VLOG! (FIRST TIME PARENTS)

But he may not. Either way, every baby develops at different speeds and in various ways.

Comparisons are just another way to drive yourself crazy. Confession: I had trouble sharing my newborn. After 9 months of her being mine and mine alone, it was hard to hand her over. I also didn't want to miss a single minute of my dwindling maternity leave.

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That also meant I never slept, rarely got things done and probably hurt a few people's feelings. It took awhile, but I finally learned to share the love. I'll always be her mommy. It happens.

He cleaned her up in the men's room before the appointment and said it looked like a war zone. Men kept opening the door to come in, they'd see what he was dealing with, then they'd turn and walk out. I was in the library trying to be quiet but totally covered in poop.

I walked all the way home in wet clothes, laughing at my new mom mistake. While it's not a good idea to expose your baby to the germs of a large crowd, that doesn't mean you have to stay at home those first few months. Amid the hustle and bustle of machines, nurses, therapists, and doctors are cries so small and weak they are barely audible — more like a squawk. One in 10 babies in the U.

My own son was born at 29 weeks, weighing 2lbs, 8oz. He spent 73 days in the NICU, going home two days before his original due date. He learned to suck, eat, and breathe on his own in an incubator. For the first month, all I could do for him was sit with my scrubbed arms inside two portals, cupping his tush and his head with my hands.

I sat very still, my arms aching, afraid the slightest jostle could send his respiratory rate into dangerous territory. The highlight of my day was getting to assist in changing his evening diaper, navigating a tangle of tubes and wires, and maybe a quick sponging off.

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I cradled him for the first time just shy of his one-month birthday and the overpowering rush of love and protection was like a drug. Dani just turned one year. Doctors had warned me that his chances for survival were slim and if he did make it he would likely face countless developmental and physical challenges. But no one prepared me for what he would look like. Bathed in garish blue bili lights that turned his translucent red skin purple, Dani was barely visible in his nest of foam.

Here’s why becoming a mother for the first time is so physically intense

His body was perfectly developed but painfully thin, weighing just 1lb , 3 oz. Three nurses worked together to place him on my chest without dislodging his tubes. I held my son Dani for the first time, too emotional for words. Dani nestled his little body against me and instantly fell asleep while his monitors quieted, showing no signs of distress. Theo now tips the scales at 16 pounds and just celebrated his first birthday.

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It took two NICU nurses and a respiratory therapist to lift my 1lb, 13oz baby from his temperature-controlled isolette and nestle him under my shirt and between my breasts. I was too scared of hurting him do anything but sit completely still for an hour while he listened to my heartbeat. It was all I could do for my baby. But we knew that we were still just foster parents. And what do you as foster parents do when you get a child you fall in love with? You get on Facebook. You try to find who the parents are. You try to find out who the relatives are. You try to figure out which family members are bums and which ones could possibly be a threat to the child.

You check online court documents. I was actually pretty good at it. I figured out who the parents, grandparents, baby-dads, former baby-dads, cousins, uncles and aunts were. And when it comes to people with CPS records, that is not easy to figure out. I figured out all of the possible avenues that our little girl could be taken away from us.

21 Rookie Parenting Mistakes - Mistakes All New Parents Make

In all my searching I found only one person who could possibly take our little one away. But we were told by CPS that there was a person but that nothing really promising was there. But then on Feb 18 at I received a reply to an email to our caseworker asking what happened to the person. Our caseworker said that she was out but that another person wanted to be considered. I, quite literally, was on a knife edge.

I was about two seconds away from picking up my desk and throwing it out the front window of my house no joke. We had worked through almost all of the potential people and they had all fallen through and then this new one came up. I tell you the truth when I say that I almost destroyed my office in a fit of rage. Later the caseworker came to our house for our monthly visit.

Her jaw dropped. The one family member who I was most worried about was the one who had come forward. And we were devastated. But instead of recuperating we got, ahem, slightly inebriated, and had to head home early. When you are a foster parent be prepared to be devastated. Devastation will occur at some point. This is doubly true if you are hoping to adopt. We go and visit them any chance we get. In retrospect, our home was the wrong home for her. And if she had stayed with us we would not have taken in any more children and we would not have gotten to adopt the kids we now have.

The bitterness is gone and in place is a new friendship with a very good family. If you want to be a foster parent then you should not be a foster parent. Our reports were always late, often in-accurate.