Friday, 29 May 2015

Bringing home baby!

We were very lucky to have only a two night stay in hospital following Elin's C-section delivery. My biggest fear when facing a section was that I would need caring for when I should be doing the caring. However I was incredibly lucky in that I bounced back fast. Perhaps walking laps of the maternity unit before even having the catheter removed helped or maybe I am just lucky but I have had no complications since for which I am so grateful. Especially in that I was fully able to throw myself into the demanding task of caring for a newborn. In the end our stay only extended into the second night because of Elin's tongue tie. She was unable to feed but once her tie was cut (pinging like an elastic band so I'm told) she certainly made up for it with a cracking latch much to this mummy's relief!!

No matter how long or little you stay in hospital its still incredibly exciting to bring your baby home for the first time. Just walking into our house as three instead of two was quietly wonderful. It feels like a milestone. This is how life will be from now on. And then that quiet bubble is burst with an onslaught of visitors, family friends and even one or two people you can't even remember how you are related to seem to come flocking. We were pretty strict and I don't regret that one bit. Our guests bought food or hoovered or washed up. My Dad provided a pretty cracking Chinese takeaway and Mum did lots of laundry. Cheers 'rents! This seemed a fair trade off for cuddles with our brand new baby! One thing I'd do differently? Provide cardboard cups for everyone. I honestly have never made so many cups of tea over those first few days and the constant flow of visitors meant we had a draining board permanently stacked with mugs. So next time i'l stock up in some cardboard ones, but that's a looooong way off yet!

In those early days I'm fairly certain we did nothing other than watch our little bundle. I know I didn't sleep for fear of our girl needing me. Obviously hindsight is a powerful thing and I realise that was incredibly counter productive but it felt logical in that post baby haze. Pretty much those first weeks were spend covered in breast milk and caught between gazing at a peaceful sleeping baba and frantically bouncing that same baba when colic took a hold during the witching hour! I don't know how we ever remembered our own names let alone anything else. One thing I am grateful of is that we did somehow think to get Elin's hand and foot prints taken. I know one day we'll both utter those clich├ęd words of 'I can't believe you were ever that small' and its nice to have a real document of her teeny tiny-ness.

While buying baby clothes and dressing our daughter in the most adorable little outfits is a wonderful thing, there is nothing like a little naked baby. The smell. The tiny chicken legs. The super soft skin. Those little creases and folds. Its so beautiful. James and I were loving skin on skin with little Elin and even now when we're having a hard time or bad night I'l strip her down and let our bodies sooth each other. Its a beautiful and powerful thing having the most tiny, vulnerable yet strong baby on your chest.

Its so much fun looking at photos from those early days. I'm still rocking a spectacular pregnancy double chin but my hair is also still thick and full from all those hormones. There's the Ying and Yang of it for you! Everyone says it but those days fly by in a haze. Make sure your a little bit selfish and make time for baby and Daddy, even if that means the granny's have to wait back a bit. And take photos. Then take some more. Even if you can't think of anything worse it will make you so happy to see them in years to come. I'm so glad James step mum had the foresight to take a shot of Elin, James and myself as that hadn't even crossed our minds, yet that photo is so treasured.

How about you? How did you feel bringing home your new baby for the first time? Anything you would do differently? Or anything you plan to do when that day arrives for all you expectant mummy's out there? I'd love to here your memories of those life changing few days.

Love, Tess

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