Before Toby was born I read loads of pregnancy and baby books. I went to antenatal classes with my husband. I signed up for all the ‘your baby this week’ emails…basically I did my research. That’s just the kind of person I am; I liked to be informed and therefore hopefully be prepared. But it turns out no amount of research can actually prepare you for that first night at home with a newborn. I’ve now had two babies and I thought I’d share some things I wish I’d known before having a baby.
I’ve just spent another day sat on the sofa trapped underneath a feeding baby. When, after several hours, I finally seem to fill him up he sleeps, but wakes the minute I try to move him off my lap. And so I sit, playing endless games of Candy Crush or refreshing my Twitter feed for the hundredth time.
Barry has been doing a fantastic job of getting Toby up, dressed and fed, of playing with him, of deflecting his never ending requests for apple. I try and encourage Toby to sit with me for a cuddle, or get a book for us to read together, but it seems that while mummy is constantly hidden by a baby who never seems to move from her knee, Toby prefers to keep his distance. Sometimes he can be persuaded to give me a cuddle before he goes off to nursery for the afternoon but often a quick ‘bye’ from the doorway is all I get.
And so I sit some more, I sit while my husband brings me sandwiches, and biscuits, and cups of tea that I drink luke warm for fear of spilling them on the baby. He goes shopping, does laundry and spends what seems like hours of everyday keeping on top of the endless washing up.
In the early evening I usually manage to snatch 15 minutes to put Toby to bed, after Barry has done the hard part of getting him ready, and then he spends the time I’m with Toby trying to comfort a crying baby who won’t be comforted because daddy doesn’t have boobs to provide milk on tap.
After some more sitting, and eating my dinner from a plate precariously balanced on the edge of a feeding pillow, I spend the night trying to catch snatches of sleep in between moving a baby from one side to the other and sleeping without moving, constantly tense in case by letting my baby sleep next to me I some how end up hurting him. If we’re lucky Toby stays asleep, but if not I have to listen to him crying for me whilst his daddy does his best to calm him and get him back to sleep.
And then the morning comes and we start all over again.
Barry goes back to work on Monday and I have no idea how I am going to get myself and the two boys up, dressed and fed, entertain Toby all morning and then get him to nursery in the afternoon. I anticipate a lot of tears from all of us.
We didn’t come into this situation with our eyes shut. We knew having another baby, when Toby was only just two, would be difficult.
Nobody said it would be easy…I just didn’t realise it would be this hard.
This is only going to be a short post, I’ll follow it up with the full birth story and some proper photos as soon as I get a chance. As I write this on my phone at 2am I am watching TV with a sleeping baby in my arms who is just less than 48 hours old.
Toby somehow, miraculously, slept through the whole thing! (Not so tonight, I’ve just spent an hour trying to get him back to sleep and he is still awake and talking to himself!). I think he was a bit confused when he came downstairs to find the baby wasn’t in mummy’s tummy any more. He slowly seems to be getting used to him though.
I’ll leave it at that for now. Thank you to everyone who has congratulated us on social media, I’m sure you’ll be seeing a lot more baby spam from me in the coming days and weeks!