This. This is all I really remember in those first few weeks. Trying to play with my baby and both of us lasting a maximum of three minutes. Time well spent? I’d say so! Let’s look at real life here and stop feeling bad about not following new mum rules, because let’s face it, sleeping when baby sleeps? Doesn’t happen with visitors around!
I got told I should limit my visitors. This is something you desperately try to do, but you don’t realise how many people you actually know until you have a baby. Texts and calls quadruple, random knocks at the door and neighbours hovering on their driveways a little longer to catch a glimpse of the new arrival. You feel obliged to invite everyone in for a ‘quick cuppa’ because you know, you are British! You are also excited to show off your little bundle because he is the cutest baby to ever be born. We had every intention to spread our visitors out but when you have friends at work, 6 – 7pm is prime time to ‘pop in after work’ and there’s a two week window before your baby isn’t brand new, so you just brave it, invite everybody round, and you actually feel fine. And baby? Sleeping soundly, ignoring all of the fuss!
This is the time I should have taken to nap whilst daddy was around to help in the day. But this is exactly the reason I didn’t want to nap, because daddy was home for two whole weeks and we were excited to spend time together, awake time!
We would take trips out into town or go for coffee, because maternity wage hadn’t quite kicked in and if my money wasn’t being spent on baby goodies or prosecco, it was going towards coffee dates! This is where we would get bombarded with members of the public because babies are stranger magnets! We would get asked those annoying questions, deemed acceptable questions to ask new, emotional and sleep deprived parents… ‘Is he good?’ Well actually, he’s a baby. He sleeps, eats and poops. He cries if I’m needed, even if it is just for a cuddle, that’s fine though because newborns smell and feel so good! It makes you feel good to cuddle that little dot and know that you are all he needs right in that moment. So is my baby good? Well, yes, he’s doing what he should be doing after all.
One of the other things I remember in the newborn phase is going out for a walk in public – 6 days after having a ceserean, not recommended! I would constantly be asked the age of my baby and then be greeted with shock if I answered anything less than two weeks old. I got a lot of ‘oh wow, you’re out already? But he’s so young’ or ‘well done you, it must be hard coming out with him so tiny’. You can’t respond how you’d like to – yes it is hard, my nipples feel like they are bleeding every time I move my arms, I feel like I’m being cut in half again and I just want to cry – whether you’re being nice or not.
Let’s face it, it’s 6 weeks of feeling like your life is complete and a complete mess all at the same time. Listening to strangers telling you that they grow up too fast, you don’t believe it and think you have all the time in the world, but it’s not long until you realise they are right.
Milo’s newborn phase seemed to only last two weeks, because this is when he started treatment for his talipes and his legs were in full casts.