I knew having a baby would change my life. I knew it’d throw all my plans into disarray, and any schedule I had would go out of the window, and any semblance of normality would be eradicated instantly.
I didn’t realise how it’d change my life for the better too. I was expecting nothing but nappies and sick and crying and feeding, with no reward or reason to keep pushing through the hard parts. In fact the reward is there, with interest, every time I look down into my daughter’s face. She’s got the most expressive eyebrows – she’s had us howling at some of the expressions she pulls! You wouldn’t believe the change in her; she can go from looking so peaceful, with what could be mistaken for a smile (I say mistaken because it’s usually just a burp) – to pulling some really impressive faces. She’s definitely got an attitude – a little diva in the making.
See, I could gush about her for hours, because she is just that fabulous. I’m coming down with a severe case of PFB-itis – ‘PFB’ is a mumsnet term, standing for ‘Precious First Born’ syndrome – because anyone who’ll listen, I’ll just drone on for hours about how absolutely interesting she is. I mean, she’s a newborn baby! I need to get it straight in my head that just because she is so riveting and amazing and impressive and I’d want to hear about her all the time if it was me, not everyone else feels the same way. (That’s not to say I’ll have momentary lapses when I can’t help but rave about her, and yes, my Facebook is plastered with pictures of her that are all beautiful, natch).
The thing I’m finding it hardest to deal with is the physical recovery from the birth. As I said last time, I was stitched pretty extensively, and those bitches HURT as they’re healing. A messy birth is a great contraceptive; D is going nowhere near that bombsite for the far forseeable future. The doctor at my six week check will be lucky to get within six feet of it, actually. SB doesn’t have that big a head, but giving birth in four pushes is a bit of a speedy exit for any size baby, so it’s hardly any surprise. Another thing I was never warned about was that your uterus has to contract down after the baby is out, back to it’s normal size. It makes sense, I just never realized it’d take actual contractions to do it – nowhere near as bad as the real thing, but they’re really sore. Yesterday, one week after giving birth, they measured my uterus as being the size of a 14-weeks-pregnant woman. I started this blog when I was 14 weeks pregnant! The change that has happened in that time is too big even to comprehend.
The first week of motherhood – and indeed parenthood, because D is on this learning curve with me all the way – has been a bit hazy and very crazy, and there have been ups and downs – SB’s feeding dilemna, which I’ll go into more detail about in a later post, was a definite low, but now that she’s settled on formula and seems happy, things are much better. I’m sitting here now surrounded with muslin clothes and child benefit application forms (it’s all looking a bit scary!) and trying to remember when SB is seeing the midwife and the health visitor. I don’t feel stressed though. The three of us are sprawled on the sofa, watching a film on TV and just enjoying being a family. That’s definitely the highlight of my first week of motherhood – the moments where nothing much happens, but we can just sit back and enjoy being together as a three. Always thinking vaguely about the next nappy change, the next feed, the next load of sick-covered babygros to go through the wash – but for now, just enjoying the moment.