Prescript: The following is one of my Quora answers. I felt it is worthy of being a blog post. Also, I don’t want it to get lost after years. Here it goes.
How does it feel to have your first baby?
My son is now 1 year old. Looking back, it feels like a long journey of self realization (And I’m sure the journey is going to be so much more laborious and endless). You never know who you are until you get pushed further the edge of your sanity.
I used to think of myself as a mature person. Someone who could handle extremes in life. Turns out, I’m not.
Having a helpless tiny human by your side that is totally dependent on you is such a huge responsibility that can’t be explained in any number of words in any language. It just has to be experienced. No amount of prenatal counselling could prepare you for what is about to follow.
I was awake during my unplanned C-section delivery. Holding hands with my husband, I heard the first cry of my son as he arrived into this world. I was more relieved than happy.
I am one of the very few lucky ones to have both my parents and my husband by my side during the first 5 months. I barely did anything except nurse my son. Even then, it was physically and emotionally demanding.
The constant anticipation of being needed any minute resulted in anxiety and frustration. The inability to rest at my own will further added to the resentment. Not to mention the sleep deprivation.
I was torn between wanting to be a good mother and wanting my time to myself.
Every day was the same. Life was reduced to preparing food for the baby, feeding the baby, cleaning the house for the baby to move around, entertaining the baby and putting the baby to sleep. It was all about him. I was just existing for his sake.
I could end this answer in a cliched way saying it was all worth it, or I could reveal that I lost my own self. Both would be true.
Every day is still the same. I just have learnt to come to terms with it. I have learnt to enjoy doing everything I do for him.
TLDR: In my experience, having your first baby makes you wonder who you really were. It changes you as a person.