The First Year: A New Family’s Honest Experience With Their First Year Of Parenthood

Join as we follow Jasmine and Brian through their first year of parenthood.

After trying for a long time to get pregnant, Jasmine and Brian were beyond excited when it finally happened. Just like any expecting couple, they had all the usual fun planning to do — decorating the nursery, accumulating baby gear, packing their bags for the hospital. It was a time of joy and anticipation, but it also happened that they were pregnant during a pandemic, so they had to plan around those unknowns too. Jasmine and Brian admit pregnancy during the pandemic was scary, and that it wasn’t until Moriah was born in December and they heard her cry that they were finally able to relax. Jasmine describes the feeling of hearing her baby’s first cry as “sunshine” after a dark year.

For the next year, Scary Mommy, in partnership with Enfamil Enspire, will be following Jasmine and Brian’s journey through parenting their daughter, Moriah. This is part one of their story.

Moriah is five months old now. What’s one thing you’re already feeling confident about as a parent? What are you looking forward to in the coming year?

The one thing we already feel really confident about as parents is accepting that we don’t know everything. In the beginning, this lack of knowledge felt like a failure, like we didn’t pay enough attention to the advice we’d been given. But now we realize that each baby’s journey is their own, and we are learning about our daughter as she is learning about us. And really, this getting to know each other is a happy process.

We’re looking forward to all the usual firsts — first steps, first words, and watching Moriah get to know our big family. And of course we’re really excited to partner with Enfamil and participate in the Enspire Family Beginnings program as we move forward in our parenting journey with Moriah.

Describe the moment you knew the pandemic was going to make this a different kind of pregnancy than what you had envisioned. How did you navigate that “new normal” emotionally?

It was when the OBGYN office told us only the patient would be allowed in the office for appointments. This was our first child, and it felt like we were losing part of the experience even though we knew the precautions were for everyone’s protection. I think the hardest part was feeling disconnected from loved ones. But our virtual baby shower was still fun — we were just as surprised with our gender reveal and opening our gifts. Nothing could take away our joy.

You knew from the get-go you were going to exclusively formula feed. Can you tell us more about that? What did you look for when choosing a formula? How is Brian, in particular, involved in feedings?

We had hoped to breastfeed, but I was diagnosed with Progressive-Relapsing MS. I learned early on in the pregnancy I would have to undergo chemotherapy, which meant I would need to exclusively formula feed. The key factors for us in choosing a formula were recommendations from friends and family, brand familiarity, positive reviews, and, above all, the essential nutrients in the ingredients. We wanted something as close to breast milk as possible that would have the essential nutrients breast milk would provide. It’s emotional to realize you’re not going to be able to breastfeed like you’d hoped. It’s just as emotional of a comfort to be able to give our baby a formula like Enfamil Enspire that checks all those boxes.

Moriah has established her own feeding schedule that requires both of us to be thoroughly involved. During the morning and early afternoon, Mommy handles feedings. Brian works during the day, but in the evenings and overnight, he takes over with feedings. Whenever we have to change our routine, Moriah is not in favor. She likes her schedule just how it is!

We know that every new (and seasoned) parent is “winging it,” but what is one thing you wish someone had told you about new parenthood?

People told us, “say goodbye to your sleep,” but only in a general tone. No one really shares the raw truth about how you can actually lose touch with time to the point of not knowing what day of the week it is. It can impact your day-to-day functioning because you’re both happily and nervously wrapped up in this new world — your baby’s world. We’d recommend new parents have a calendar up where they can mark the days. That would have helped us keep in touch while trying to adapt to this new sleep-deprived life.

What’s one thing you’ve figured out your daughter, Moriah, loves? And what’s one thing you know she can’t stand?

One thing we know Moriah loves is her Grandmother. Anytime her grandmother comes into the room, she brightens, and when her grandmother exits the room, she gets sad. Moriah doesn’t have to say anything — her facial expression screams, “I want grandma all the time!”

One thing Moriah can’t stand is anyone playing with or brushing her hair. She gets so frustrated, a little vein pops out on her forehead. It’s the cutest thing to see just how expressive she can be with her likes and dislikes.

Parenthood often teaches us surprising things about ourselves and our ability to adapt. How do you think you have both grown so far, and have either of you discovered any new talents (like, for instance, baby burrito swaddling)?

It’s a new and rewarding journey each day, and we discover new talents all the time. We’ve developed online speed ordering abilities. We order and pick up in the blink of an eye. And we can prepare Moriah’s bottle before she cries — each time it’s like we’re beating a Guinness World Record.

Our growth comes from seeing in real-time how much we can count on each other. We have really been there for each other and for our baby in what has been a huge learning experience every day. It’s one thing to believe someone will be there to go through life’s obstacles with you. It’s a whole other thing to actually experience it.

For tips, discounts and the chance to win free formula for a year, sign up for Enspire Family Beginnings today. Enfamil Enspire is Enfamil’s closest formula to breast milk. It offers 5 important nutrient benefits in one formula to support the overall health and development of your baby including immune and gut health, language development, motor skills, and attention span. You can learn more about Enspire here.

None of the statements contained in this article have been reviewed by a Physician. This information is provided for educational and entertainment purposes only.