This morning, I am writing from my bed. “Oh LOVELY” – I assume that’s what you’re saying. Actually, it’s not as idyllic as it sounds. I am covered in semi-dried baby vomit, as is my newly washed bed linen. The positive is that the little fella, who fared remarkably well during his terrorist attack of the morning, swivelling his head delightedly as he covered Mammy and bed with vom (avoiding his own pristine baby gro with seasoned ease), is napping beside me.
The last three weeks have passed in a blur of feeds, nappies, panicked stroking of the little fella’s face to make sure he is alive and not just asleep and whispered shouts of “BE QUIET!!! You’ll wake the baby!”
The first week and a half was the most surreal. I spent the time in total shock, following my body around as it wrapped and unwrapped the baby on a seemingly endless loop, changing nappies, offering the boob, crying silent, heaving sobs for no reason whatsoever. It was like I hovered desolately above my head, feeling sorry for this sad, pathetic stranger. Then, in week two, I arrived, THUMP, back in my body. The tears became less silent as I began to explore the roomy confines of my baby-less body and I spent a LOT of night times crying at the fella “I have the BABY BLUES. The BABY BLUEEEES”. I did, it turns out, because day by day the tears dried up, and I was able to concentrate on loving little fella, properly this time.
There are lots of things you learn about being a new parent, these are the main focus points for me:
1. Guilt is a perpetual feeling. I feel guilty every time I cry, every time I change his nappy, every time my boobs don’t give him enough milk. It’s like there is a bull horn screaming FAIL each time my baby cries.
2. Those people who coo at you “sleep when the baby sleeps; it’s the ONLY way” are full of horse shit. When my baby sleeps I want to pick up the wee-filled baby gros that are flung on the floor, put on the dishwasher, brush my teeth and if I have time, check my emails. The LAST thing I want to do when he puts his head down is sleep myself – I cherish every tiny second I have to brush my hair or talk on the phone.
3. Boob feeding is HARD. The little fella made them bleed at first because I wasn’t doing it properly, and then I was worrying that he wasn’t getting enough milk and would die, and then we had a week or so of bliss, but then he hit a growth spurt (MAD, I know!) and was demanding more than my boobs could offer – we have settled on giving him a bottle before he goes to sleep at night and the boob for the rest of the time. My boobs are grateful, and it means the fella can be involved in feeding time. A happy compromise.
4. I am obsessed with my baby’s poo. And I have become that woman I hate, who cries “yaaay baba!!! You just did a pooo!” at my kid every time he defecates. This is because you are told that if your baby doesn’t poo four times a day he is very sick and might die. I am on constant poo watch. And also, have been pooed on quite a bit.
5. My baby is a cause of endless wonder to me. It is so SO amazing looking at a person growing, hour by hour, in front of you. It’s unBELIEVABLE. Every day he grows a little fatter, wakes up for a little bit longer, and hones his filthy looks when he wants a nappy change – he is a rock star, and I have never been so in love.
In FABULOUS news, this evening I will be joining the FABLISS Orla Barry on Newstalk’s The Green Room to talk about Ouch My Fanny Hurts. Tune in from 10pm.