So today is 12 November. My due date. The date I was given all those months ago at my 12-week scan. Now I know it’s not an exact science. Babies will come when they’re ready…and boy is that true.
My due date has arrived and my little Phoebe has already been in the world five weeks and one day.
It never went to plan, but what does? It has been a bit of a hectic few weeks, but I’ve dealt with it. And I’ve learnt a hell of a lot since she’s been born, some of which I’d like to share.
- There’s no point in having a birth plan. I never had one I just went with the flow, did what the midwife told me and listened to her advice and managed it both mentally as much as physically.
- Breastfeeding is hard – it has been for me anyway. But that’s OK. Despite the enormous amount of support I had in the hospital from the midwives and nurses I am having to combination feed purely because Phoebe struggles to latch on and then when she does she is falling asleep really quickly on me so I’m having to top her up with formula. It;s not ideal for me but it works and she is gaining weight.
- It’s OK not getting out of your PJs – some days are just like that. I have tried to go out as much as I can with her even if it’s just next door to the local supermarket but other days are just, well, duvet days. We watch rubbish daytime TV, cuddle and just keep cosy and warm in this cold weather.
- Speaking of supermarkets…I went there with the car seat and got a trolley the other day. A whole trolley for one tube of toothpaste. What was I thinking? I was flustered and stressed with it all so another lesson – either get someone else to do the shopping or take the pram.
- Nappy changing should be quick. I have mastered it now. At the beginning I was dilly dallying around like I had all day. Now it just has to be quick before I get showered in wee. You see, Phoebe waits until the nappy is removed before going so it has to be like a quick march. Off with one and on with the other.
- The dreaded moses basket – At first she could be happily asleep in anything other than the moses basket. But we’ve persevered and now she’s content in it but boy at the beginning she did like kicking off when she was in it. Luckily we bought the Moba, so once she’s outgrown it we can double it up as a washing basket. Bonus.
- Muslins…you will never ever have enough muslins. Full stop.
- Tea…you will never drink that hot again ever.
- Sleeping is fun and it’s surprising how satisfied I feel having only had 3 hours sleep at a time. She’s still waking up every 3/4 hours for a feed but it’s not too bad. We also introduced early on getting her in her own room and space and it’s the best thing we did. We get some sleep and so does she. She wakes, we feed and then she goes back down.
- Clothes – I really didn’t know what clothes she’d need when I was pregnant so I went out and bought a load of clothes for newborn (up to 10lb), 0-3 months and then 3-6 months. I wish I had waited until she was born as I now have more of an idea on what she really needs to wear whether I need long or short sleeve etc. Most of it will get worn but we have a lot of the same stuff and not a lot of other stuff. The other thing is as she was so premature none of these clothes fit so I have had to go out anyway and buy some clothes for a baby under 5lb and now she’s on clothes for a baby under 7lb. So many clothes I hate to think what she’s going to be like when she’s older.
- Trust – it’s really important to trust the capabilities of your partner. I know I am dealing with Phoebe day in day out so when POG comes in and does things slightly differently it’s OK. I worried at first but it’s just something you have to get on with. When we first came home from hospital I couldn’t bear to be apart from her for a second for anyone but now I’ve done a few solo trips to town and the gym it’s getting a bit easier. I’m definitely not ready to leave her with anyone else yet but POG is absolutely amazing with her.
- Charlie – our dog. I was incredibly worried how he would react to a new baby but he’s been better than expected. I totally had nothing to worry about. I’ve learnt he just likes to still feel loved and part of the family. We’re part of his pack so he’s welcomed her with loving paws.
- Car seat – what fun that was. Not. In the end we had to buy another car seat that was more of a baby carrier that fixes with the seatbelt. And I can tell you it’s a whole heap easier to get her in and out. It’s still a bit of a faff in a three door car with it being rear facing but it’s much easier than it was.
- By far THE biggest lesson I have learnt is that you just have to enjoy it and savour all the cuddles, dribbles and gurgles. The time flies so quickly. And it’s so so important to not compare yourself to anyone else. All babies are different and so is the parenting style. If it works for you then big thumbs up. It’s also OK to admit I’ve had a cry and felt really lonely – none more so than my first night in the hospital when it was just me and Phoebe alone. I have had the odd day here and there when I have a little blubber but I’ve just taken a deep breath and carried on.
These are just some of the lessons I have learnt. I am getting to grips with things daily. And I’m loving it.
So here’s to Phoebe. Happy due date little one. X