‘Just eat it off the wrapping, we haven’t got any clean plates’
‘Overwhelming’ is the word I found to best describe bringing baby home. Walking through the front door and into the flat, introducing Winnie to every room and inanimate object in sight and settling down onto the sofa as a family of three. Overwhelming.
Suddenly, your world feels as though it has gone from 0-60 miles per hour in just a matter of seconds and you feel as though the past 9 months that previously felt like years, went by in just minutes.
“I know I said I was ready, but I was NOT READY.”
‘What do I do if she cries?’
‘Where did I put the midwife care pack?’
‘Is she breathing?’
‘Why hasn’t she woken up for a feed?’
‘When will I be able to walk normally again and not like John Wayne?’
A million different thoughts pop up in your head and its completely, utterly and intensely ‘overwhelming’ !
The thing that helped me the most in the first few weeks was to accept the help of others. We all want to feel like a super mum:
‘Yeah, I had a 38 hour labour, almost 4 hours of stitching and no sleep for the past 50 odd hours but could I fetch you a cuppa and a freshly baked scone?’
I had it all planned in my head.
I’d bought biscuits, a lot of biscuits. ‘Back up milk’ just in case we ran out. I’d bought flowers, and even dusted behind the TV unit. I was ready for the visitors to descend. I’d be sat there, no bump in sight, make up on and cuddling my brand new baby and everyone would coo and say how wonderful it all was.
Well. That couldn’t have been farther from the truth.
I had greasy hair and hairy legs. Bags the size of black sacks under my eyes and joggers 3 sizes too big. I was smiling, I was incredibly happy, but I was exhausted. I’d forgotten about the back up milk, I’d forgotten about the 10 packets of custard creams and I’d even forgotten what day it was. All I could remember was that I was now a mum and that anything I felt or needed came second to anything my baby felt or needed. It’s quite amazing how quickly that instinct kicks in.
People came and people went. My mum brought up dinners every day for 2 weeks as I was poorly. We had no dishes, we hardly had the curtains open and we lived in our comfy clothes just staring at our baby, snoozing, repeatedly saying ‘I can’t believe she’s actually here!’ and falling more and more in love.