Tag Archives: newborn

One Year: Reflections

I have almost forgotten what it was like to have my baby with me, inside me. It feels like that was a different person, a different being. I look at Bubs and can not relate the feelings, the kicks, the rolls, the hiccups with this person that is running around my living room. Being pregnant feels like it was a lifetime ago. Am I different? I think so, but not so different, if you get me. Just older, wiser and probably more tired. I feel sad that this connection is fading, but on the other hand it is so exciting watching her grow and change, and be herself, her own person. I can’t remember a time that she wasn’t here – everything feels so natural and everyday. Things are much easier now, and we all sail by in our little boat through life without too much rocking or bad weather. I am relieved about this. But also, now I have time to reflect, I want to make sure I don’t forget anything.

I sometimes think back and wonder about it all. My pregnancy was so easy, and I enjoyed it. I didn’t really feel that bad (I did feel a little sick at times) but I was healthy, happy and it sort of suited me. I was in no way prepared for the birth I had or what happened next. All the difficulties I experienced, that many experience, the stress, the tiredness. Even that all feels like it was a long time ago, and you know what? It was. Almost a year ago.I sometimes wonder to myself, will I ever get the chance to do it again? To learn from my mistakes, to correct what I feel went wrong? My honest answer is I am not sure. I don’t know. I am not sure if I want another child, and if we did, it won’t be anytime soon anyway. Why do I feel like I want a second chance? I want to do it right – but it may never be right. I may never get to do what’s in my head, I thought I would. It is so unpredictable, you would never be able to say that. And yet I feel if I had another chance, at least I could give it a go. I feel sad that I will never have that ‘first chance’ again. I am not sure I appreciated it all enough at the time – but then again, does anyone? In the heat of the moment, do you take time to breathe it all in and remember that time as you may never have it again?

So for me, seeing her grow, and smile and laugh is lovely. But I can’t help feleing sad that this time has come to an end, this first year. But of course it will, and of course it should. Pregnancy and newborn babies are all consuming, and I feel like the last few months I have been coming out of a bubble. She doesn’t need me the way that she needed to in the beginning. She is learning, and thinking and doing what she wants to – not what I want to. It’s fabulous, it really is, and of course she still needs me, but not in the same way. I guess it is only now I here at this point, I can stop look back and appreciate those first few weeks and months. How I thought I’d never want to think back to those times. But I can barely remember her as she was, so small and frail and newborn, and I need to try and grasp that memory before it fades away. I need her to know that I did love and appreciate that time, even though I found it so hard.

10 Survival Tips for the first few weeks of parenting

10 Survival Tips for the first few weeks of parenting

For what it’s worth I have been compiling a list of Tips for surviving the first two weeks. This has made night-time feeds slightly more interesting for me, and I hope that someone may find some of these useful.

1. Remember to brush your teeth

Sounds obvious doesn’t it? But I’ll confess: day 3 in the hospital and I realised I hadn’t brushed my teeth since Sunday. You worry so much about the baby you forget about yourself.  Showering can be more of a challenge, But brush your teeth, your dentist will thank you and you will feel so much better.

2. Learn to take showers that last 30 seconds

As above; even simple tasks can seem impossible when you’re on your own with the baby. But you’ve got to shower, even if it is just your big toe. I put baby in their Moses basket in the bathroom with me, jump in, scrub myself like a bat out of hell and jump out again before the baby goes too high on the Richter scale. Each time you do it,it gets easier. So best to start sooner rather than later. And besides, you don’t want to smell too bad when your relatives come round.

3. You’ll only have one arm

To start with, babies need a lot of attention. I sort of knew this, but I didn’t really think about how this would affect me living day-to-day. Newborns can feed very regularly, and Nancy fed practically every 20 minutes to start with, when we began breastfeeding again. This can cause you some issues; namely, you will be holding the baby a lot, which will mean that you will have to adapt to doing things slightly differently – i.e. – one-handed. I have perfected eating roast dinners one-handed, so the opportunities are endless once you get the knack.  There are a few things that you should have to (one) hand at all times in this situation. These are:

  • TV Remote – you do not want to be stranded on the sofa one-handed without the TV remote. I got caught out once and had to endure Alan Titchmarsh. That was a low day.
  • Mobile Phone/Laptop – you need to be able to communicate with the outside world. Twitter is my friend, as is Candy Crush (or is that enemy – damn jelly sweets)
  • Kindle/Book – if you can still see straight, then reading is an option. Kindle is much easier as you don’t have to turn the pages. So I am very thankful for that one.
  • Snacks/Drinks – its important to keep yourself hydrated and fed especially if you’re breastfeeding. being awake 24 hours a day means you’re body needs fuel. I have devised a snack table for myself (pictured) to ensure that I have these things to hand. I try to keep it fairly healthy but chocolate is a must if you ask me.

4. Buy a box set

This is a perfect opportunity to watch some TV shows you’ve never got round to. So far I have watched Boardwalk Empire, Game of Thrones and am currently halfway through Breaking Bad. If you’re not going out, may as well make the most of it!

5. Freeze meals

One armed, you wont be able to knock up many gourmet meals. So if you try to make them (or get someone else to) in advance, freeze them, then you can get them out of the freezer and microwaved quite easily one-handed, or if you just can’t be arsed, which I find, is quite a lot.

6. You’ll become Obsessed with wee and poo

Just to warn you; you’ll become obsessed with wee and poo, no joke. You’ll be ringing people up to tell them your baby has pooed and what colour it is. I never thought I would, but look at me now. I even tweeted about it earlier. To be fair it is rather important to keep track, just in retrospect i doubt everyone wants to know. However I really need to heed my own advice here.

7. Work around the baby

Don’t make the baby work around you. It’ll make you stressed and it won’t work. You can still do things, just not when the baby needs you’re attention. This may be at odd hours of the day, but it’ll work. I know the baby will be asleep around 7am, so I make sure I shower then, that is if I want to wash my hair, face and actually feel like I’ve had a shower as opposed to a quick dash (as described above). I can wash up, put the washing on, even leave the house – but I prefer to do this once I’ve sorted the baby. It’s just so much easier and less stressful.

8. Things take time.

Things slow down. But you still get them done. Why do you need to be in a rush anyway? You’re on maternity leave! I do little and often rather than all at once. It still gets done.

9. It gets easier.

Everyone tells you this. But it does. You just need to take it day by day, night by night. Think of all the fun you’ll have eventually! Think of that day when you may sleep 8 hours again! These are you motivators for getting through the first few weeks.

10. It’s up to you

No-one tells you how to do it, you have to work it out yourself. And suddenly you have to make the decisions. People look at you, and will ask you what you think. They won’t judge, and they won’t tell you what to do either. It’s a bit disconcerting for me, but I’m realising that no-one has the right answer, no-one knows everything, and you may as well go with your gut instinct as if you ask there will be loads of people with advice if you really need it. (and you’ll get it if you like it or not anyway)