I don’t think I’ll ever forget the day I brought my daughter home.
I was young and heartbreakingly naïve and I had no idea what I was meant to do with this tiny human that I was holding in my arms. Don’t get me wrong, I knew that I had to keep her safe, warm and nourished but apart from that, I was clueless as to what I was supposed to do with a baby.
This is the one great taboo amongst parents. We know that we want a baby, we know that we are instantly in love with them, but it’s hard to admit that not only are we out of our depth, we are also struggling to see where we ourselves, fit into this new life.
Just as an FYI, you should know that this post is sponsored by Jean Hailes, but all opinions expressed by the author are 100 per cent authentic and written in their own words.
During the first week, I was still very much riding the newborn “buzz”. I was still open to visitors popping in. In fact, my daughter hadn’t really even woken up all that much. I remember openly questioning what the big deal was. These newborns, what a piece of cake, what was everyone going on about.
After about a week though, everything changed. Suddenly my house wasn’t full of well-wishers anymore and my beautiful girl was still beautiful but had also taken to waking up every 2 hours and because I was the one in possession of the breasts, i.e. the food, I too was up every second hour. They don’t use sleep depravation as a torture method for nothing, let me tell you.
Then not long after, the mastitis hit. And I just didn’t understand what was happening. Because in all the classes, in all the conversations I’d had with my friends, no one had mentioned that I might suddenly feel as if I’d been struck down with the flu. And then not long after, with hot, pulsating, aching breasts, become so sick that I could barely move.
I felt like I had jinxed myself, believing that this whole being a Mum wasn’t so hard. I had gotten cocky and look where it had landed me.
Being this sick though, doesn’t register with a 2 week old. They, and rightly so, still want to eat and wake and poop and well, be a baby.
If I were thinking anything in those first four weeks it would be this: What have I done? Because I was suddenly baffled as to why I would put myself in this situation.
There you would find me at 2am, screaming baby in one arm, desperately hoping the electric pump would work fast enough, crying in pain, angry that I wasn’t shown any of this in the brochures.