Life with a newborn is full on. I’ve done it twice before, but you forget and I don’t think it gets any easier. You have this beautiful bundle of perfectness and you know you should be happy. And there are moments of happiness and total sheer joy at this little person you have created. But there are also moments of frustration, anxiety and tears.
You forget how totally overwhelmed you can feel to be the one that this tiny person is totally dependent on 24/7. There is no break, even when they are sleeping you are checking them. Are they still breathing? too hot, too cold? If you are breastfeeding this can feel relentless especially to start with. You worry if you are doing things right. You don’t leave their side and will vividly remember the first time you manage to have a shower and actually blow dry your hair.
Then there is the crippling tiredness. You might be recovering from major surgery or a long, difficult labour and it takes time. We aren’t always kind to ourselves. You feel guilty for not being able to spend as much time with your other children. For not being able to get out and about with them. But it comes with time and before you know it you will have outings as a family, getting everyone wrapped up. If you’re lucky getting out the door without a nappy needing changing or sick needing cleaned up. You’ve done it! The first time I was exhausted just getting out the door. But you do it and you watch if you have them, your older children running about having fun. The baby sleeps peacefully in the sling or pram and for a while you feel normal. The messy playroom and kitchen that you never quite get long enough to finish tidying is out of mind. You’re enjoying the moment and it gives you hope that things will in time get easier.
You remember that this moment of newborn won’t last. You won’t have this little person so reliant on you forever and you cuddle your baby and give them a kiss. You breathe in the baby smell and feel the fuzzy hair on your cheek and you smile. You remember to cherish this time, to enjoy the sleepy cuddles and the moments in the middle of the night when it’s just you and them. To try and enjoy each day, each moment because you know that it doesn’t last and parts of it are so precious.