Things I didn’t expect to happen when my baby arrived
Since my daughter arrived over 2 years ago now I’ve watched many friends and family plan for their new arrivals and welcome their bundles of joy into the world, and each time it has led me to cast my mind back to my experience of becoming a mother first time and ask myself: can you ever be truly prepared?
In the weeks and days before that life changing visit to Stepping Hill, I couldn’t have been more ready: a shiny new travel system awaited, the baby books had been read, fresh paint was drying on the nursery walls, an array of soft toys lined the shelves, and the wardrobe was filled with a lifetime’s supply of baby grows and more knitted cardigans than I could shake a stick at.
But it turned out there were some things I wasn’t prepared for…
Hormones. Surely they should just leave your body once you’ve given birth, right?
Sweating. Excessive sweating in the week or two after giving birth. What’s all that about?
The toilet situation. What do I do with my baby if I need to go? Do I call a midwife to keep guard over the crib, do I ask the person next to me to watch them, do I just hold it in until visiting hours, take baby with me, or just dash to the lavatory as quickly as possible hoping my baby is still there upon my return??
Who knew that a line changing colour on a nappy could be the new best thing since sliced bread?
Fear of forgetting my baby. I’m so used to not having a baby, what if I nip to the shop and forget to take her? What if I get back to the car and realise I’m forgetting something?
Leaving the house being a military operation. Maybe it would actually have been worth taking the kitchen sink?
Genuine outrage at the misuse of the parent-child bays. Grr.
Tiredness. As in, a whole new breed of tiredness. I mean I’ve been tired before – a long haul-flight, over-time, a hangover so obviously I was prepared? Yep, I wasn’t.
Baby brain. Turns out it’s actually a thing.
Irrational (maybe) sensitivity at well-meaning but slightly ridiculous questions. “Does she sleep?” (Erm..well sometimes she sleeps and then sometimes she’s awake… a bit like most humans I guess..) “Is she good?” (what does that even mean?), “have you taken her for lots of walks? You know, fresh air is the best thing for them.” (Nope, 4 days post c-section I thought I’d give that one a miss)
An urge to re-decorate the living room. I’ve stared at the same wall whilst doing feeds for a week now, and I just hate the colour (and the light fittings could be moved too, not to mention the seaside canvas is just boring now, it needs replacing).
That even though it’s a lot tougher than I ever imagined, I wouldn’t have changed it for the world.