I’m taking a break for most of January, but I don’t like to leave the blog too unattended! Nikki, someone who I’ve known online for years now, has kindly written a couple of guest blogs about becoming a new mum to help me think about what to expect! She had her first child, Emmy, just over a year ago and this is what she remembers about the days of early parenthood…
Having a baby is a weird time. I’m speaking from someone who only has one, I can’t say what it’s like for second, third and beyond, but your first is weird. For all the classes you do, for all the books you read, for all the advice well meaning people give you, you’ll never be more unprepared for something in your life. Especially in those first few days, everything is so amplified. Your senses are in overdrive and you find yourself doubting everything you know about…well, everything.
Although my husband is self employed, and so theoretically had no paternity leave, he made sure he pretty much cleared his schedule to allow him a couple of weeks off. Those first couple of weeks are a hazy memory, but generally I remember a lot of feeling very unsure about things, but also feeling like I could do anything. I’d just had a baby for chrissakes! I grew an entire human being and now I’m feeding it and keeping it alive using milk my body produces! At the same time, the reality of the situation is terrifyingly huge. I have to keep this tiny, froglegged thing alive! It’s relying on me for literally everything and can’t even hold its own head up!
We got her home, and put her in her bouncy chair and sat on the sofa to look at her. She looked so mad at the whole situation, so incredibly pissed off that we’d removed her from her cosy home and thrust her into this loud, bright world. We then ordered pizza so we didn’t have to leave her to cook.
We did some hard core nesting and hibernating those first couple of weeks. We spent entire mornings in bed, marvelling at her tiny hands, her tiny toes, her tiny nose and only emerging to get mugs of tea and plates of hot buttery toast. Breastfeeding was a major undertaking in those early days, and I’d curl up to feed her, with plenty of reading material and a list of Netflix series to get through. I soon realised that my other responsibilities weren’t so pressing, especially when I had a tiny baby to cuddle. I remember the hormone crash – spending two days weeping at everything whilst stroking her head and promising I would do everything I could to protect her from the horrors on the news.
After a couple of weeks, you suddenly realise you can do this. Looking back, the first year is peppered with watershed moments where I suddenly realised it was getting easier. A year on, I wonder what was so tricky about it all – it’s so second nature now. She knows us, we know her and for every day that I mourn she’s no longer a tiny baby, I get excited about the future.
Nikki lives in Milton Keynes with her husband and not-so-tiny-anymore daughter Emmy, who was born in November 2013. She spends time lurking on Twitter and Instagram, and sporadically blogs at https://quietcontentment. wordpress.com.
Thanks Nikki! I’ll be back to food blogging soon ! Look out for the next new recipe comin at the beginning of February.