We're well into week three of life with a newborn and the dust is starting to settle a bit. We can't set our clocks by anything but getting out of the house to do things is much more plausible this week than previous. We're been here before, so some of this newborn stuff sees us a bit more confident - we aren't as afraid to handle the baby, aren't as fussy about where or when she feeds or gets changed etc. On the other hand, it has been almost 5 years since we had a newborn in the house so lots of stuff feels properly new again too; like our bodies and minds have had to realign fully to this stage again. Dave and I were talking the other night about some of the things we had forgotten about with the newborn stage so I thought I'd jot them down here in case you could relate or for anyone heading back to babysville in the near future
+ I forgot about the skills you master in being able to do things with just one free hand. Admittedly the sling is a life-saver for periods when you need both hands free to get on with the day, but on Saturday morning I wrapped TWO birthday presents with just one hand while I held Ada to feed with the other. I must have looked hilarious but I felt like I had superhero powers.
+ I forgot about the sweetness of the night feed. This one may just be personal to me, but (tiredness aside) there was always something so tender and beautiful about feeding in the middle of the night when everything is still and quiet and it's just you and the baby. She's all drunk on milk and I'm bleary eyed and it's all a bit magical. I also love sleeping all night long too.
+ The amount of guess-work involved. For the last few nights Ada has cried for 3 hours solid. She can not be consoled by being fed, rocked, carried, changed, walked etc. We literally spend from 8pm-11pm looking at each other every 15 minutes and shrugging our shoulders (and wanting to scream into a pillow). Sure, they cry to tell us something is up but sometimes what is up is a giant mystery and you just have to endure.
+ Another thing I've forgotten is how it's nearly impossible to be discreet when you're breastfeeding in public. There is a lot of you pulling your various tops up and down and the baby pulling away from the boob and your milk squirting out everywhere when they do.
+ How much newborns sound like baby goats. So. Much. Grunting.
+ That the days fly by so quickly when you are in the cycle of feeding and sleeping.
+ How when you pack all of the things for a trip out, you end up needing absolutely nothing but when you go a bit rogue for a quick trip out - BOOM - that's when you need all the gear and end up wrapping your baby in a random scarf from the boot of the car because they were sick all over their only change of clothes.
+ Hormones. They are whack. The other day we were driving and Graham Norton played 'Reach' by S Club 7 on his Radio 2 show. Levi recognised it and told me the P3's had done it in assembly at School so him and I blasted it out and I caught a glimpse of him in the rearview mirror, signing away (with actions obvs) and had a full on well-up. To S Club 7. I'll just leave it there.
+ I forgot how much Kellymom would again be my new best internet friend. There are endless amounts of googling to do when you have a newborn and most of it - for me - always starts with 'kellymom' and then I add in whatever thing that I'm over paranoid about at that moment 'baby/gag/reflux signs/mucous/engorgement/seedy poo etc etc etc'. Isn't it delightful?!
+ That standards will slip and that's OK. Want to wear the same thing you wore 2 days in a row even though it smells of spit up because it's comfortable? Do it. Want to use baby wipes to clean just about anything in your house or on your body? Do it. Want to have frozen oven food 3 nights in a row because you just cannot muster the energy or inspiration to make a decent meal? Do it. The newborn stage is the stage of all the allowances and none of the judgements.
Can you relate? Are you in the throes as well? What are your memories of the newborn stage?