In the moment that I first held my baby in my arms, the hours of pain and trauma disappeared from around me as I marvelled at his tiny form and angry, flaky, winkled face. My own pain and (undignified and slightly worrying) situation dulled into insignifance as I examined the little creature I’d created and carried around with me for the last 9 months.
Just like that my priorities realigned and the things that seemed important in life shifted.
Whilst some of these changes are for the better, like the quelling of many superficial anxieties, others, like losing the time you used to spend persuing your interests, can leave you feeling a little less like yourself.
The first few months with a new baby are a blur of readjustment. Not just once, but over and over. In my experience there was no one moment where it all just fell into place, into one new routine. His needs were ever-changing from day-to-day as he swiftly grew and developed, and still are in many ways. If he didn’t have wind he had a blocked nose, if his nose was clear he’d be teething or going through a growth spurt, keeping up with his daily needs was all-consuming and exhausting. Hours of rocking, singing and feeding (so much feeding) blurred into days, weeks, and then months.
Whilst you’re in the midst of it, you don’t really realise the intensity of the relationship as you’re so caught up in getting the both of you through each day as best you can. It’s only months later that you realise how long it’s been since you did something just for you; spent a lazy afternoon alone with your partner, had an hour when you weren’t thinking about baby’s next meal or nap, or even spent an hour apart from baby, day or night.
Those first few months you fully give your self, body, and sometimes sanity, and for a while it can feel like you get very little back in return except baby’s full fury, mostly for no apparant reasonable reason.
But from the first glimmer of that elusive ‘real’ smile, you realise all you need to make every second worth it is their continued love, health and happiness.