It’s amazing how something so life-changing can come so naturally.

I thought when the baby came everything would be different. I was told over and over my life would never be the same. That sounds a little intimidating, but now that it’s happening it’s surprising to me how true it is, and at the same time how comfortable it is.

I’m living on three to five hours of sleep a night. I’m scheduling my day around naps and feedings. I spend more time getting her ready in the morning than myself, and it’s all OK. I feel like I was designed to do this.

Unfortunately, worrying is also coming naturally.

I think when people try to warn you how different your life will be they must be talking about the worrying, but no one can describe it just right. To someone who has never raised a child before it seems ridiculous.

If she eats too much or not enough, sleeps too much or not enough, or even poops too little or too much and heaven forbid it’s the wrong color — it’s a cause for worry. Google and mommy chat rooms become your best friend.

My poor sister, who has young kids of her own to worry about, has had to accept daily phone calls or texts that always end with, “Is that normal?”

I made my first trip to the emergency room with my daughter, Kaybree Ann, not even a week after we had first brought her home. It had been five hours and she wasn’t eating, and as a first-time mom I couldn’t wait it out any longer. We were at the hospital until 2 a.m. After $4,000 worth of testing they told us sometimes newborns are just sleepy, but that she’s fine. Take her home, they said.

All this stress is excessive, and yet I look back at all that I worry about and all of it seems completely justified. I may be worrying more than I ever have before, but I’m learning that it is normal.

So that gets me thinking about her growing up. My goodness! This child is going to be a teenager some day. Some day she’s going to stay out past curfew, date boys and drive. All of that, I’m sure, I will worry about.

She may only be five minutes late, but I will be worrying. Her dad swears he will carefully interview each boy she dates, and I’m sure she will ace her driving test — but I’m her mom and I will worry. I guess that’s what moms do.

It’s strange to take a step back and try to examine how this little girl has already changed my life. The loss of sleep, the change of schedule, and even all the worrying is just part of life, and I’m coming to realize it’s natural.

• Contact writer: (480) 898-7914 or She comes back from maternity leave in late-August.

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