Friday, August 9, 2013

In The Beginning....

Hi. Welcome. So, you survived the birth, left Hospital weighed down with balloons and motherly love, and they let you walk out with A BABY. And, scarily, no one stopped you.

So, now you're at home, staring at the wrinkled bundle screwed up like a frog in the Moses basket, (or, if you're still terrified of holding it, it might still be in the car seat) wondering what you've done. Maybe, you think, in a few days, someone will ring the doorbell, and tell you its all a joke, and you can have your life back. Or maybe an instruction booklet will fall out of your vagina/Caesarean scar.

Well, I got news for you sister. It ain't gonna happen. Best to adjust your breast pads and get centred. This is it.

If you're reading this pre-baby, straining at the leash of your Maternity Leave, let me let you in on a secret. For the first three weeks, you'll spend your day in front of the telly in an open bathrobe, watching the Jeremy Kyle show with your tits out, either with a red-faced infant hanging off them, or trying to encourage the aforementioned red-faced infant to hang off them. If you've had the baby by now, you'll know this already, and will be hoping that your lady garden isn't rivalling the Channel Tunnel. But you're too scared to look, and are possibly hovering nervously on a bag of frozen peas. Or, if you had a C section, you are holding your stitches while showering, and tucking the scar into a fetching pair of maxi pants.

If you haven't given birth yet, you will still believe the following are true:
  • Breastfeeding comes naturally, and is easy
  • You will never smell your child's bottom to see if they need changing
  • The house will be tidy - after all, you're at home all day - how hard can it be?
  • You'll have time to whip up delicious, lovingly prepared meals from Good Food magazine
  • Your child will never cry
  • 3 hours sleep a night really is okay (it's not)
  • You don't see the need for Parent and Child parking spaces
  • You will never cry because you can't put your Bugaboo up/down 
  • You will have time to learn a craft-based skill or undertake some DIY

After birth, you will slowly realise that all the above are true as your life as you know it slowly unravels. You will become the woman you used to hate.

I once found myself pushing my child around Waitrose loudly talking to her. My voice boomed out: "I think we need some LIMES." God, I used to hate women who did that. Not only was my then ten week old too young to help, she also didn't care. What she wants is milk, and plenty of it. Which brings me neatly onto breastfeeding the beast. Or, as tiredness, tears and cracked nipples set in, beset with daytime TV viewings, bottle feeding the blighter.....keep reading.

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