I had no idea what type of parent I would be until I had my first child, Timothy. You can try to plan out how you will act or react ahead of time, but take it from me: Once that baby arrives, it’s all about gut instinct.
My pregnancy and childbirth were on the easier side. I went into labor at 2 a.m. and gave birth to Timothy at 8:53 a.m. It was love at first sight: I held him in my arms, and my heart felt like it was going to explode. We came home from the hospital three days later, and I had a very hard time not spending every single second with my newborn son.
I was lucky that nursing wasn't too difficult, and I soon discovered I was definitely an attachment-style parent: I listened to my baby’s needs, and they came first. After my mom left to go back to Idaho (she spent the first two weeks with us), it didn't take long for overwhelm to set in. I was suddenly exhausted, lonely, and a little sad.
What helped, though, was having Timothy in bed with me and letting him breastfeed through the night—it meant less crying time for him, and it made waking up at night so much easier. Timothy was never a good sleeper, either; so if I did try to put him in his crib, he was up almost every hour. When he was beside me, we both slept much better.