Now that my baby was finally here I just wanted to get out of the hospital and home to start our new life together as a family! I knew I hadn’t a clue what I was supposed to do with this little person but as soon as I had given birth high on adrenaline (and diamorphine!) I was feeling up for the challenge and told my consultant that I would be good to go home later that day! He made agreeable sounds but as it was 4 in the morning I think he was just humouring me so he could go home to his bed! Sure enough my ashen face in the cold light of day a few hours later was enough for him to confirm I would need to stay another day before they released me into the big wide world of motherhood! By that stage exhaustion had kicked in so I was happy enough not to have to drag my stitched up nether region out of bed! The next 24 hours flew by in a blur of feeds and changing nappies, my baby barely uttered a cry the whole day so by the next morning I figured I had got the hang of this mummy thing and was raring to go!
I assured the doctor I was good to go, hassled the midwife to sort out my discharge and had my husband get into hospital ASAP with the car seat. Somewhere in my new mummy haze I had forgotten how in the real world there isn’t a nurse coming round with a trolley every few hours handing out meals and cups of tea. I also hadn’t calculated into the equation that my docile baby might have been due to the diamorphine that had been injected into my bum a few hours before he was born rather than my ninja mummy skills! So it was with a false sense of confidence that I set off out of the maternity ward to start my new life! I hadn’t even got half way down the corridor when reality kicked in, my husband was striding ahead baby seat in hand and I was needed to sit down already! Other than shuffling back and forward to the bathroom I hadn’t moved too far in the past day and it turned out swollen, stitched together lady parts along with with piles as big as a bunch of grapes didn’t really lend themselves making the trek out to a hospital car park! However I somehow managed to get to the car and made the short journey home to settle our baby into his new home. I have to admit this was one of the most surreal experiences in my life. Before my son was born I didn’t read up too much on parenting or how to look after a newborn. Part of me was superstitious and didn’t want to jinx my pregnancy by getting too ahead of myself, I just hoped once my baby arrived healthy that my mothering skills would kick in and I would figure it out as I went along! So other than figuring out the essentials that I really needed to have ready for coming home from hospital I was pretty much walking into the whole baby experience blind! As a result arriving home from hospital with this tiny human I had been entrusted with I felt totally unprepared. I had left this home a mere two days earlier an entirely different person, responsibility free, I could go to the toilet when I wanted, eat when I wanted, sleep when I wanted. Even though at that moment when I arrived home I badly wanted to do all of the above I was very aware that my baby also had all these requirements and it was my job to tend to them! So I figured I would sort him out first and then I could get some time to sort myself out, how naive was I?! Little did I realise I was never going to have time to myself again and any basic requirements I needed to do would be carried out with another human attached to me!
I know for me the first few days and weeks of motherhood were a total blur of exhaustion and feeling overwhelmed but above all a feeling of love that I have never experienced in my life. I know that even if I had read every baby book there was nothing could possibility have prepared me for motherhood but it is the love that we have for our children and the little family that we have created that keeps us going and we manage to muddle through together!