As we lay in bed with the baby quietly snoring, we exchange a look of relief. Everybody said it would be hard, but you can’t comprehend the rollercoaster of emotions regardless of how many times people say it. This first week of parenthood has been phenomenal. I’ve felt the highest highs and lowest lows and I’m
completely exhausted. We both are. It’s not just one specific thing though, it’s a combination of stuff and as we draw towards the end of Round 1, a few things really stand out.
“Get some rest while you still can!” Ah the sound advice from friends, family and strangers alike…sleeping seems like a distant memory; the idea of kipping all night is the kind of thing I would now dream about (if I got any sleep of course). The cycle of rest is like a game of chess. If you don’t sleep when you can and the baby decides they aren’t sleeping at night, it’s check mate. I think it’s the sporadic patterns that make it so hard. I can cope without sleep – what I’m finding hardest is day and night are irrelevant; it’s like being on the doors again, the only difference is, I’m dealing with a milk hooligan now, not pissheads!
Doing the change is always eventful. Swapping a dirty nappy for a clean one seems simple enough…yea, it’s not that straightforward. Circumnavigating baby-grow poppers whilst you try to pacify your child at the same time as getting a nappy and wet wipe out is something they don’t train you pre-birth. Throw into the mix projectile poo and firehose urination and you have nothing short of a party. The first time my son pee’d up the wall I creased with laughter, it was hilarious. The following 3 times, not so much. Such a simple task quickly gets complicated when you’re tired too. Thank goodness for Aldi nappies.
The Holy Grail of parenting. If in doubt, the boob comes out. Cry? Boob. Restless? Boob. Upset? Boob. Again, sounds simple enough – It’s not though. Contrary to all of the “expert” advice, breastfeeding isn’t straightforward and even if you’re doing it “right” there can still be discomfort for a number of reasons. As a bloke, you’re pretty powerless and all you can do is offer moral support in the form of pillow placement and (seemingly) empty encouragement. The single most important thing to our baby right now is food – that means feeding a lot. After her emergency C-section, my wife is having to recover at the same time as adapt and get used to breastfeeding a particularly hungry mini-human at every request…again a difficult one with no sleep!
Sleep, nappy, eat, repeat. I’m back to work on Monday and I don’t feel ready to leave yet. We are just (literally just) getting the hang of things as a team and I have to go back. I’m gutted to not have more time for Lis and the baby…but you can’t live for free I suppose. Let’s see what new challenges next week brings! Whatever they are, I don’t mind. Every time I see my baby’s face I forget any negatives (except sleeping – I really miss that).