After the little fella was born the last place I wanted to be was the hospital, so from the minute we were back on the ward I started campaigning for our release. It didn’t help that The Fella and I were instantly deemed troublemakers due to the fact that we didn’t want our little fella to receive the vitamin K injection. Well. We were put through the ringer on that one. No less than seven people were sent to my bedside to ‘reason’ with me before they brought out the big guns in the shape of the head of the neonatal unit who told us that we were basically handing down a death sentence to our little fella if we didn’t give him the injection. Less than ten hours after the loooong birth was NOT the time to be telling an overemotional Mammy that she had already failed at parenting, let me tell you. Eventually we conceded, agreeing to an oral dose rather than an injection (we felt our little fella had gone through enough without having to face yet another needle).
Anyway, thank GOD for the midwife friends I made during my incarceration. They took it as a personal challenge to prepare me and the little fella for early release, speedwalking me through breastfeeding 101 *HARD and sore at the beginning, but amazing and worth it in the end*, nappy changing, dealing with a screaming baby and the icky stuff like looking after your stitches (all I am going to say on that one is that you are recommended to bring a squeezy bottle of water with you every time you go to the jacks to… douche the affected area – I KNOW), remembering to moisturise your stretch marks and the importance of healthy eating.
ANYWAY, the day after the little fella was born we were unleashed onto the world. The Fella and I spent the journey home in tense silence – me, tentatively patting the baby in his car seat while The Fella navigated the terrifying roads of Dublin’s suburbia. White as sheets we arrived home, texted our families and invited everyone over. I know. How stupid were we? As soon as everyone arrived I started crying. I couldn’t cope with people in the house, touching the little fella… touching me – it was all too much. After everyone left The Fella and I sat, shellshocked, on our couch, shaking with the velocity of what we had done. We stared at the baby with terror, not at all sure what we were doing.
That night was long, and tear filled, with both of us sitting on the edge of the bed cuddling the screaming baby who went off the charts when put down in the moses basket. Eventually at about half four we gingerly placed him in the middle of us and took it in turns having five minute cat naps until the sun came up. We spent the next day wandering around like zombies, trying to cope with the endless nappy changes, boob feeding and soothing. The only thing that got us through was the little fella. Every so often his eyes would focus on us and like a punch to the tummy we were both hit with the total and utter magnitude of our love for him. Also, our love for each other. *apologies for puke fest here* The Fella is an amazing Dad and through the panic of those few days was a rock to the little fella and I. Especially when those up-the-back-poos hit us. That was quite stressful really.
Our Mums have basically been minding the three of us since we came home. Between frantic hysterical phone calls wondering if our baby is sick and gently letting us know that maybe, just maybe it might be a good idea to put a few more layers on the little fella in case he freezes to death, they have been our total saviours. As for my Mum, it is totally true that your relationship deepens when you have a kid. I understand my Mum in a way I never could have before, and love her even more – if that’s possible.
Anyway, tomorrow the little fella is a whole two weeks old. It feels like he’s been here forever already, and though my boobs are not my own anymore, and I can’t have a bath that lasts more than seven minutes, I wouldn’t have it any other way.
ps The blog has been shortlisted for an Irish Blog Award. This is hugely exciting, and flattering – The Fella, little fella and I are only delighted – it’s a group effort this having a family thing!