It is Jem’s first birthday today, so I thought it was worth a little reminiscing, particularly as I will return to work in a month, so my “lazy” mornings will be a thing of the past.
The first few months were challenging, I didn’t feel much of a connection to my baby, I was alone most of the time feeling lost and helpless. Breastfeeding was horrendous and didn’t settle until 4 months so every feed (and there were a lot) was excruciating and took a lot of effort.
He also didn’t really sleep. I expected this to some small extent, but he really didn’t nap during the day at all. He was a pretty decent night sleeper, I had a few weeks of very warm weather when I would wake at 2 or 3 am and worry that he was dehydrated and wake him up for a change and feed…with hindsight I regret this. It was fueled by fear from his first night at home when the midwife told me off for leaving him to sleep as newborns are advised to be fed every 3 hours. At the stage when he was sleeping better he was a month or two and I feel had I been more confident I could safely have left him and he would have awoken for food. I needn’t have worried too much as any sleep routine was short lived, by the time we went to Turkey at 5 months he had been sleeping through, by the time we returned to the UK he was waking every hour and I was in pieces.
All in all it has been a challenge, but the birthday has made me look back to the good times from this past 12 months. Although I felt there were few and far between I will really miss feeding him to sleep in our bed, then lying next to him playing Bubble Witch Saga whilst he napped. I already miss our hours in the sun last summer with the rest of my NCT group. I will miss being the one there for him when he cries and chuckling when he does (as he is right now) something amusing like wearing a curtain on his head.
I won’t miss his chewing the walls or following me to the toilet, but I will miss the smile I get when I tell him off. I remind myself that I will still get to see these things, but less often so they will be even more special.
I could never understand how anyone would forget the bad things, the pain, the stress, the lack of sleep and the horror of childbirth. I still remember these things, and I dread the birth should I be fortunate enough to have another baby, but I finally understand why it’s all worthwhile.