Today we hear from Sophie about her experiences of adapting to life with a newborn…
“So you’ve had 9 months to prepare for their arrival (or even longer if they were a stubborn little so-and-so like JJ who was 10 days late.) You might have read every baby book out there, purchased all the latest baby ‘must haves’ and been to every antenatal class; but there’s nothing quite like that first night at home when it’s just the three of you and the realisation hits – life as you once knew it now has a whole new meaning.
It all started with leaving the hospital. I spent what should have been a five-minute journey sat in the back with JJ while Rich crawled along, waiting ages at each junction even after all the cars in sight had passed ‘just in case’. If only we had an illuminated sign on the car saying ‘NEW BABY ON BOARD – PLEASE STAY AT LEAST 3 CARS AWAY!’ We finally arrived home, introduced him to the pooch, then had a little cry as we sat staring at this beautiful little person we had created, wondering what the hell we were meant to do next!
During the first few weeks, day and night pretty much merged into one. As I was breastfeeding, I was obviously responsible for the night feeds (as much as Rich was disappointed by his lack of boobs and therefore inability to help). Before bedtime each night I would surround myself with drinks and snacks, making sure my phone and the remote were in easy reach. As strange as it may sound, I almost looked forward to JJ waking up in the night for a feed, as this was our time together. Just the two of us. Seeing his little eyes gaze up at me as I held him, knowing that I was all he needed at that moment; it was just so special. Not only were we bonding, but I also got to catch up on Netflix shows – win/win! There was something about the stillness of the night with only the glow of the TV in the background that made me feel like we were the only two people in the world (even with Rich snoring away next to us). Despite the limited amount of sleep, I was consumed by a whole new level of love for this little boy and it was that overwhelming feeling which helped me power through each day.
As a new Mama, you would think that the first time your baby sleeps through the night would be like Christmas coming early. Nope. In reality it’s far from it! The first time it happened for us was when JJ was about one week old. My body was still exhausted and recovering from the birth, so you’d have thought I would be longing for some proper sleep. But no, every hour or so I would wake in a panic as my eyes darted towards the crib, using my phone light to check he was ok and not being able to relax until I’d felt his chest moving. After he’d missed one feed, I even resorted to late night googling ‘what to do if your baby sleeps through the night – is this normal’. The midwives try and encourage you to wake your baby if he sleeps more than 2 – 3 hours at a time, but we opted for the ‘feed and sleep on demand’ method which made far more sense during those early weeks. I just couldn’t bring myself to wake a sleeping baby – surely that’s the golden rule of parenthood?
A few weeks in, right when you start to feel like you’re getting the hang of things, BAM, it’s time for your other half to go back to work and for you to go it alone. It was quite daunting to begin with – What do I do if I need a wee? Where do I put him?! But looking back I couldn’t even tell you how we filled our days! It was pretty much 50% staring at JJ in awe of how perfect he was, or taking pictures of him, while the other 50% involved running in and out of the shower mid-shampoo to check he was ok! And trusset me, during those first few weeks, you won’t even think about trying to leave the house, as even the once simple task of washing your hair feels like one massive Mama WIN!
What were your biggest challenges as you entered the adventures of parenthood? Share your stories below!”
Thanks Sophie! x
Read more posts by Sophie at www.thismamacan.com