If you missed part one about the day I found I was pregnant, you can read it here.
If you love a birth story, you can read mine here.
We left the hospital within 24 hours of Alice arriving in the world, walking to the car or waddling in my case, knowing that we are now responsible for another person and we were now on our own. It didn’t feel real, I kept waiting for someone to pinch me and I would wake up.
But, of course they didn’t we were now parents to our beautiful Alice. I sat in the back of the car with Alice, just in case, what for I have no idea…but it felt natural that I wanted to be sat with her. I thought is this what being a mummy is like?
We got home at 10 o’clock at night and the house was just as we left it, the dining room chair was still in the lounge, which I was leaning on during a contraction. It already felt like a life time ago. We got everything ready to go to bed and maybe some sleep! I remember Andy and I lying in bed with Alice asleep next to me in the moses basket and whispering to each other, that we couldn’t believe there was another person in our room with us. Not just any person…our daughter.
The next few days were spent getting to know our baby girl, along with Health Visitor visits, but there was also another special day that I had to get ready for. It was Andy’s birthday five days after Alice was born, his first as a daddy and I couldn’t let that go by without celebrating it.
Anyone that knows me, knows how ridiculously organised I am and would think that I brought the presents already. Well, I had brought my presents and card for Andy, but I didn’t have a card and present from Alice to her daddy. This is where online card sites are amazing, I was able to order a card for Andy from Alice and use the picture of the first time he held Alice, which is now a lovely keepsake. Plus, my mum came to the rescue and went to the shop and brought a present for me.
Poor Andy had to spend the morning of his birthday at the hospital for Alice’s heel prick test, which was a lovely present to watch his new daughter be in pain. I remember being sat in the room and the midwife asking me if I wanted to breastfeed Alice while she did it. Thankfully I said ‘no’, only for the reason that she had just had a feed and wouldn’t be hungry.
Not really knowing what was about to happen, apart from that they were going to take blood from Alice’s heel. I am so glad I didn’t breastfeed her, because of course she cried when they did it and I can’t help but think that she would have associated that pain with breastfeeding and it could have led to problems. Of course, this may not have been the case, but something that I am glad we didn’t risk.
We also had a heat wave, which was just perfect as new parents. Like there wasn’t enough to worry about, we were now worrying about Alice being too hot. What should we dress her in? especially during the night. Swaddling went out the window, as she was so hot. Lots of pictures with family and friends holding her, Alice is in just a nappy!
When Alice was a week old, we went to register her birth, to make her official. I can remember on the drive there Andy asking me if I was definitely happy with the name we had chosen. This was an easy question to answer, because I had been carrying my daughter’s name around with me since I was about eight years old. A name that I never told anyone, a name that I fell in love in the first time I remember hearing it, a name that I only ever dreamt that I would be lucky enough to give my daughter. Thankfully it was a name that Andy loved too.
We registered the birth, another moment that made me start to feel like a mummy, there it was in black and white, my name in the box under ‘Mother’…
Andy’s paternally leave seemed to be over really quickly and I had to prepare myself for being on my own with Alice. To be honest, I kind of just got on with it, I knew it had to happen and I tried not to think to much about it.
Taking Alice out on my own, was something that I was determined to do from the start and I knew I needed to get out to the house every day, even if it was just for a couple of hours. I didn’t want it to become a thing that I had to overcome, so I just got on and did it.
I was the first mummy to have their baby in my antenatal group and I meet up with a couple of the mum’s to be for a coffee, it felt really strange seeing them still pregnant and there I was holding a baby.
The first few weeks as a new mummy went by in a bit of haze, so much to learn, so much to do and not much sleep happening. Yet, it was also a special time getting to know my daughter and her getting to know us.
I will be back next week to share the loneliness I felt as a new mummy…