Parenthood – Myths, truths, lessons learnt
10 THINGS WE HAVE LEARNT IN THE FIRST FOUR MONTHS
1.FIRST SIGHT Its easy to imagine the first time you see your baby, come on we have all watched one born every minute… I know what i’m supposed to do – i’m supposed to burst into tears at the site of this pink little screaming bundle of joy… What nobody told me was that pushing a baby out is the most ridiculous and absurd thing you will ever do. And when the midwife told me to look down all I could do was laugh! Now it might have something to do with the copious amounts of gas and air – but my god I found seeing him for the first time funnier than Michael McIntyre’s wobbly hair.
2. TIT-TOC, TIT-TOC My mother had warned me that breast feeding was no walk in the park. She told me about the cracked nipples, the mastitis, the issues with latching and the tongue ties. So once I had mastered the latch, and got over the fact that my enormous breasts engulfed my babies head so that he was just a set of ears poking out, I realised something… breastfeeding takes a long time. I mean a really long time, all day long. Tit waits for no man! 20 minute feed, followed by a 20 minute
wrestling match burping, followed by 20 minutes crying, followed by 20 minutes sleeping followed by 20 minutes feeding (oh we’re back here again) and repeat!
3. LETS GO OUT This one might surprise you – because despite what I had been told – this is not a chore at all. I was warned that I would need Sherpa like packing skills to leave the house, and that when I did it would be 2 hour 15 minutes late. But, I have a confession to make, it took me longer to sort my pre-parenthood self out than it does my changing bag. I’ve somehow turned into a sort of ‘stick a muslin in my back pocket and i’m out the door’ kind of girl. And handbags!? What did I use to put in my handbag? I now leave the house with a phone in my back pocket, a lipstick next to the teething gel and a hair band on my wrist. Liberating.
4. JUST BURP THE BABY or wrestle with a small monkey as I refer to it. Who knew that burping babies is hard. Like nigh on impossible. I saw my friends do it, I see people on television do it, I just assumed that they all kind of just did it… I didn’t know some babies could refuse to burp with such determination that you think they have a cork in it. Leaving you an even more broken shell than you were before with the added extra of aching all over like you just took up bikram yoga in your sleep
5. WIND THE BABY? This leads me in to my next point. Having to wind the other end. He never had colic… but he constantly had trapped wind that had gone much further down (a result of the refusing to burp) this meant we had to (I’m using the past tense, see point 7) wind the business end. With legs circles… Instructions 1. Lay baby on back 2. Lift legs 3. Circle in clockwise motion 4. Count to 10 5. Listen out for what I affectionately called the fart factory. It was a particular favorite of my mums, his Nanny would happily sit there for hours just circling his legs and waiting for the hugest farts to leave his arse end. It was entertaining and adorable. It didn’t smell and he was so much more comfortable. However following nicely on to point 7…
6. WAS THAT YOU?… now he can do them on his own. I have no control over them and now they stink. So now I’m that mum at baby group who’s baby drops one every 10 minutes… I didn’t realise I would be the mum who had the baby that stunk. If you’re ever with me and you think ‘I wonder who’s gross baby just did that?’ It was mine.
7. SICK I don’t have to change my baby half as much as I thought I would. Because to begin with. He was never sick. I mean even a little bit… sorry to all you mums with babies that have re-flux because my baby refused to even burp (like there was a cork in it). We just never had it come back up. Sometimes I’d just get him changed because I was bored!
8. POO Babies poo a lot. I mean soooo much more than I could imagine. Breastfed babes apparently do this more. But nothing could prepare me for the constant poo on tap at the beginning. The curry sauce, leaking out at every wriggle. Then. It stopped. And welcome to the new rules of the 10 day waiting game… the anticipation, the nail biting suspense… will today be the day, when will it happen. Will it happen at home? Please lord, let it happen at home!
9. WEE being pissed on so much had never been so cute. At six hours old he had already pissed in my face and his own. It was brilliant! And weeing continues to be a source of great amusement for me. Little boys wee goes up. And sometimes when he’s nappy-less and he starts to pee my brain falls out of my ears and I’m unable to stop the flow, I just stand there. But it’s always funny, every time.
10. MUMMA KNOW BEST As a childless 20 something I saw my friends and relatives administering medicine and advice to each other and I assumed they new exactly when a baby needed calpol/teething gel/teething granules/a nap/a bum change/a feed. But what I realise is all of them were awesome at sounding like they knew what they were doing. I now realise they were all just winging it. I think I’m passing it off so far. I think I’m in the club of ‘no-ones got a clue’.