Life-changing is one of those phrases that’s bandied about every day, but never is it as apt as when you have your first baby. Life changes in a way you could never have imagined, and all of a sudden, the world looks very different, it’s like looking through life on one of our phone filters: everything’s same-same, but different.
You see yourself differently; you see your husband differently. You question your strength and courage to look after a tiny human, without breaking them! You wonder every single day how you can even survive the tiredness without cracking up. Some days, you win. Some, you lose. But you never question the love – imagine what you think it would be like to win the lotto – and you feel like that every, single day. Not all day, admittedly, but at least once a day, you double take as you look at them awestruck that you have made this, and you feel like you’re the luckiest person alive.
But emotions are high and low, and you’re consumed with questions, never-ending questions, like these:
1. “When did I last feed the baby.”
Really, you’ll say this around ten times every day. It gets complicated. And you’re ability to remember the timings of feeds gets convoluted when you’re sleep-deprived.
2. “My boobs are sore.”
No matter how well nursing is going, your boobs will be sore over the first few weeks (sorry!). Some people have more pain than others, but when you’re using them all day long for hungry little people, and they’re expanding and contracting all day long, it’s no wonder they get painful. Cabbage leaves, soothing balms, cold or hot compresses, or all of the above can help.
3. “Today is the day we go out.”
Before you have your first baby, you have no concept of how busy your days can get. Some days, you’re skipping out of the house for a walk in the fresh air, others are spent in your PJs with the curtains shut in a breast-nest cocoon. Your little person’s mood dictates your day.
4. “When did I last have a shower?”
See point 3! Some days, you don’t wash. You want to, you really do, but things like growth spurts and long winding episodes can make it impossible to get even the simplest things done. But when you do, it’s delicious, like the best shower you have ever had in your life… for three minutes, and then you’ll hear the baby cry (can be real or imaginary!).
5. “I’m not sure if I can do this?!”
Doubt creeps in, especially in the depths of the night at the start, you feel like you’re not doing it right, Why are they crying, WHY?! Why can’t I make it stop? Fact is, babies cry: they cry because their little digestive systems aren’t developed, they cry because they want a cuddle, they cry because they have a pain because they’re over-stimulated or just tired. You’re never going to work out why they cry every time. After a few weeks, you do get to know some of the cries, facial expressions or eye rubs, and gradually you become a total expert at knowing your own child’s needs. Promise.
6. “Which boob did I feed on last?”
Followed by a boob grope. Every time. The heavier one wins!
7. “Oh no, she’s asleep – without being winded…. do I leave her and go to the toilet or wake her up by winding her?”
Oh, the conundrum. You’re so happy they’re in the land of nod, but what if you make the wind worse by leaving them without being winded? It could make or break their mood for the next few hours. The struggle is too real.
8. “Is that normal – is it supposed to look like wholegrain mustard?”
Followed by panicked checking of exact poo colours on Dr Google. Welcome to a whole new phase of your marriage or relationship: talking about poo colours, frequency and consistency. So romantic.
9. “How am I going to peel her off my chest without waking?”
It’s a delicate dance: lightly peel newborn off your warm, cosy chest and place it in a not-so-warm crib without waking it. It’s like walking a tight-rope, in heels.
10. “Not another dirty nappy, seriously?!”
At this stage, you glance sideways at your partner or ANYONE who will listen in the hope that you can do one less nappy that day (there can be at least 12 at the start!).
This article is sponsored by Bepanthen.
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