One of the reasons for not blogging for a while, is that I’m trying to figure out who I am now. My life is so different. I thought I had an idea about what it would be like to be a parent. I knew it would be really hard work, and really tiring, but I don’t think I really grasped just how hard it would be.
I like to be prepared for things, and to know what’s going to happen, and to be organised. I find spontaneity stressful now, and I wonder if that’s partly because I wasn’t in control of the things I thought I would be after the little man was born.
He arrived slightly early, right at the beginning of my maternity leave, and I wasn’t prepared. I hadn’t quite finished up with work, mentally, and I was expecting to have a couple of weeks to get myself used to not being at work, and to get organised at home.
The birth was fine, and is something I’m not going to get into here, but the stay in hospital afterward really knocked me for six. As he was quite small, and didn’t gain weight quickly enough, we weren’t allowed to leave for four nights, so I was in for five in total. I’d never spent a night in hospital before and it was miserable. (He’s all caught up now and is perfectly average, size wise).
Although the vast majority of the hospital staff were lovely and caring, a couple were not, and the hospital policies around food and visitors were not conducive to a restful stay. This isn’t the forum for that rant, but 4pm is not an appropriate time for the evening meal, and having new mothers left alone without their partners from 9pm to 9am is not helpful.
I am extremely lucky to have a great support network in place, and I abandoned the hospital food altogether in favour of Marks and Spencers food brought in to me. Meanwhile our mums went into action at home, getting the house cleaned, the cot set up in the main bedroom, and the freezer stocked with delicious meals that just needed to be put in the oven. We’d had no reason to suspect that the little man would be quite so little, so hadn’t bought a lot of newborn sized clothes, as everyone said that you don’t need many. Our mums went shopping. In the end, he was wearing the newborn sized clothes they bought for the first couple of months.
The help from our friends and families was invaluable. I couldn’t have managed without their help in so many ways.
My memory of the first eight weeks is of living in a little bubble. It’s dark around the edges. It was August and September but I can’t tell you if we had a summer or not.
Now it’s seven months later, everything’s on track, and after six months where I didn’t sleep for longer than three hours at a time, I’m much more rested. The little man is a happy baby, and is developing a lovely personality, and I’m finding my feet and trying to find my personality again.