Looking back to when I was pregnant, way back in the swirly mists of time, I wrote a post on things I’d completely forgotten about newborns, about, well, that really. I was worried that I couldn’t and wouldn’t remember anything about tiny babies, used as I was to brilliant mini-giant toddlers who eat the food off your plate, sleep all night and actually have an opinion (“Topsy and Tim please! No, that one”)
Well the new baby has been here a few days, and we’ve been holed up at home in the really cosy baby bubble that seems to consist of feeds, changing babygro after babygro and eating cake. And the good news (apart from all that)?
You do remember, and it is lots easier second time round.
I also think, with the benefit of 4am hindsight (I’m writing this on my phone during a nightfeed) that I was possibly too negative about everything beforehand and had also forgotten all the really good bits.
So here’s a mini round-up of the first few days – a postcard from the babymoon – I’ll be quick, though, as you know, sleep:
* Oh, newborns. The baby smell, the tiny skinny frogs legs, the little wrinkly feet that were kicking inside you only hours before. Having a sleeping baby curl up on your chest. Making up a hundred silly and affectionate nicknames. Sniffing her tiny velvety head. The warmth and heat and goodness.
* New things: it’s much more relaxed. We are much more relaxed. The birth was so much better, more on this later. It’s amazing how your expectations change about things like sleep. Alex and I were discussing how Florence is a ‘really great’ sleeper (as she goes between 1.5 to 2ish hours a night – sure I would have been horrified by this last time).
* And yes, remembering all the old things. Holding, comforting, swaddling and so on – they do come straight back to you (admittedly after a few nights where she would only sleep on one of us though). But F is, obviously, a different baby and it’s interesting finding out what works for her.
* I also didn’t focus enough on the other great parts to come, like the first time E met her sister, and how heart achingly cute she’s been with her since. There are new challenges, too, it’s not easy and I know it will get tricky when it’s 4am and we’re all crying, and I’m still completely exhausted, of course, but trying to take it all as it comes.
* Three things from Day Three: two giant ‘my milk has come in’ boobs (eat your heart out Dolly Parton) and the tears. Oh man, the Day Three – to five and beyond – emotional roller coaster. But it’s all baby swings and roundabouts. Breastfeeding has started off much better this time, which is a massive relief, so there’s no added anxiety on that account.
* But did I mention how amazing newborns are? It’s worth every pregnancy moan, and after-pain, and the lack of sleep. This whole post is all helplessly hormonal and shamelessly sentimental, but you know what? I’m completely besotted.