Making, Baking, Delivering and Raising…
Not so long ago, in fact all of 8 weeks and 1 day ago, our son, Lewis was born. Extreme feelings of elation, fear, joy, guilt and exhaustion have since petered away into less extreme versions of themselves (except for exhaustion some days!) and we’ve all come to terms with our everyday routine.
There was so much I’d forgotten about having a newborn. The first one is, you will have the best of intentions before your baby comes but once it’s arrived, your fight to get through the early days takes precedence and all of those intentions go flying out of the window as fast as you can say “Epidural”. Yes, I wanted to not feed the baby to sleep. Yes, I wanted to rent one of those gorgeous baby hammocks to rock my little one to sleep at night instead. Oh, and I could have sworn I was going to sign up for a baby massage class!
The fuzz of the early months clears and suddenly you panic that you’ve not done enough or that you’ve gotten your baby into this routine that’s going to be a bitch to change, especially when you’re operating on minimal sleep. People will give you a lot of unsolicited advice. My advice would be- ignore it.
Then there’s “the stuff that not many people talk about”…. Like burning pee, constipation, giant, nappy-like sanitary towels, knickers made from weird, net-like material, breast engorgement, leaking nipples, public breastfeeding, flabby tummies, stretch marks, post-birth sex and choosing contraception (unless you fancy a crack at the whole bun-in-the-oven thing again very soon)…. And that’s just concerning your own ‘stuff’. When it comes to baby, you also have to deal with red pee, black poo (and it’s true that you will become the next Gillian McKeith, investigating the many shades of poo your baby might create), spit-up, vomit (and the differences between the two), gammy eyes, colic, loud burps, inappropriate farts and don’t forget to take a change of clothes for yourself as well because, a little like puppies, babies just love to show us how excited they are to see us by peeing all over our freshly-washed nursing shirts.
BUT you know that by the time your newborn is able to walk and talk and use a toilet with some success, you’ll have forgotten the pain of birth all of the above and who knows, maybe you’ll consider having another? That’s Mother Nature at her best: She allows us to retain all of the good stuff- the first time you saw your baby, his first smile, the cute noises he makes, the chubby thighs you’d like to just devour and all of the hard, unpleasant or uncomfortable stuff just falls away. Perfect.