New year, new life
God, some bloggers make it look so easy... How on earth do they manage to get the time together (not to mention the clarity of mind) to share so eloquently, so soon after something so life-changing as having a baby?? I'm in absolute awe. I have been trying to get a piece out since mid-December to fit in with my previous schedule of one blog each week - seven weeks later(!) here we go - what we have found in the most magical new chapter of our lives...
Stock up on painkillers
You are getting a human being into the world - it's a pretty huge task for your body to undertake, so give it a bit of help. In the first few days I was in complete agony and there was only so much Ibuprofen and Paracetamol could do, but it passed pretty quickly - cushions too - have all the cushions, you've earned them.
Placenta tablets saved my bacon
I had low iron throughout the pregnancy and struggled with dizziness, so needed plenty of rest and needed to get plenty of nutrients in - resulting in a very large baby, who wasn't wanting to budge. The labour was pretty full on and I was a shadow of my former self by the end of it, running on reserves for the first few days, scary for all of us.
The Mister was the one to first discover placenta tablets - after speaking for about 15 minutes, we agreed placenta encapsulation was something to look into. It just so happened that our wonderful Bump & Baby classes were hosted by Charlotte also happens to provide encapsulation services through Birthtale, so we sorted it our pretty quickly - Charlotte dropped the tablets off on day five and I felt semi-normal within hours, it really was a notable difference. It's not cheap, but it saved my bacon without a doubt and continues to help hugely.
People are very, very, very kind
We have been absolutely inundated and utterly overwhelmed by the amount of well-wishings, cards and gifts we continue to receive. If you ever wonder if there is good in the world, having a baby will make you sure of it.
Sleep deprivation is real and quite scary
It is worth saying that I really was not sleeping in the last few months of pregnancy, so the sleep deprivation on the other side has been bad, but not as bad... An hour here and there really has been a treat, mainly because it's been more comfortable, so I have looked forward to it more. But I'm still waking myself up in the night thinking the doorbell is ringing, or that the washing needs taking out... Delusions seem to be very real here.
Delilah and I have been in one room whilst The Mister gets a more solid sleep in the main bedroom, in order to look after us during the day. As mention in my 'Nursery' piece, the Snuzpod has been incredible, such a lovely feeling being able to reassure her the moment she opens her eyes. Once the little lady is sleeping through the night we'll be back together again and hopefully all sleeping soundly.
Mother lion vibes
Don't mess with a new mother kept away from her baby for longer than a shower... The hormones can be pretty lethal.
Ollie the Owl is her/my BFF
This has to be close to the best £40 I've spent in the last few months... This little cutie keeps the little lady calm at just about any point... She can get a bit scared of the dark and the little nightlight feature means she can see me if she wakes in the night, so that heartbreaking little whimper is a thing of the past. The different noises are brilliant for calming her, distracting her and keeping her asleep. Ollie, you have our utmost respect... Please don't break.
Manage the visits
We were advised and agreed to pace the visits at the beginning - needed, as the urge to play hostess is in my blood, so the temptation had to be limited, especially in the early days when I really needed to rest. So as energy levels build and sleep increases, the enthusiasm for seeing loved ones continues and we've managed to get a few moments as a little trio in there too.
Do things at your own pace
The excitement of Delilah arriving in time for Christmas had us all very excited about a new level of festive joy. But given her late arrival and feeling pretty delicate afterwards, we agreed it was best to stay put and give ourselves the first couple of weeks as a new family unit, resting and recuperating in our own space and time. It was definitely the right decision, as I would have been in agony doing any long car journeys and given the feed stops, it would have taken days to get anywhere.
The pressures of social media have been eye-opening for me. I have been longing to be one of those ladies getting back into their old clothes in a fortnight, but alas, I can barely get into my brothers' clothes (each 6ft +), let alone my skinny jeans... Boyfriend jeans never were more functional. A friend suggested to put the maternity clothes away as soon as possible, with the opinion that it does nothing for your self-esteem. I'm in total agreement, especially when scrolling through Instagram, so I bought a few pairs of extra-stretchy trousers in a medium, just to tide myself over, but the goal is in sight - Wedding season is fast-approaching - but I'm not rushing anything and will be exercising, eating and dressing at a pace that works for me - and the little lady of course.
Making time for yourself is hard work
I've found this close to impossible - a shower and a warm cup of tea really have felt like such a huge treat at times, it really has become the little things that have helped remind me of my former self. The ladies I met through the Bump & Baby group have been so wonderful for keeping me (relatively) sane - we meet up weekly and share all sorts of anecdotes over Whatsapp and wine - as Delilah was the last to arrive out of the babies we are a little behind the others, but will soon be heading to classes and sharing to giggles with some wonderful familiar faces.
My first trip without Delilah was forced, but needed. The mister took her for a few hours, so to avoid stalking them, I took myself to the delights of Fortnum & Mason... The tube journey alone brought me straight back to reality - Doritos still stink. So when I walked through the doors of Fortnum & Mason up to the ladies' floor, seeing the Delilah beauty counter sent me into floods of tears - hormones, aren't they wonderful? Luckily, the woman on the counter knew the feeling only too well, so we had a good natter over concealers. I came back with slightly more discreet bags under my eyes, beyond excited to see my little family.
Always keen to do everything at once, The Mister arranged for us to have our first trip out as a couple the next day... The Mother-In-Law gleefully came over and had a blissful time with the little lady whilst we emerged from our baby cocoon and reminded each other of life as a couple. A win-win situation to go home together, to her.
Next week we celebrate two whole months with our little lady - how quickly she has changed every single thing and enriched our worlds in ways we never even thought possible. We are incredibly fortunate and count our lucky stars every day... I'm sure there will be plenty of moments when the rose-tinted glasses are off, but for now, they are firmly in place. Now we just have to master how to juggle life before Delilah and get a bit of non-parenthood back into the mix...
Are you a new parent? How have you found it? Do you have any advice? And stories to share that you might have appreciated knowing beforehand? Please do share