January this year took forever to come… it was like waiting for Christmas as a child. As the days become closer they also become longer. I’d eagerly go to sleep each night, willing the next day to approach. I was waiting for the ultimate gift. The birth of my first child. Her eventual arrival was surreal and to be honest, I still feel like I’m in a dream – a dream I’d rather not wake up from incase it turned out not to be my reality.
My daughter’s birth was probably the easiest part of the whole deal. I can hear many a parent chuckling in acknowledgement right now. Looking back, like many women I suspect, I was so nervous about the delivery that I didn’t want to think about the days, weeks and years that were to come after. I was worried about jinxing it all! That it might be like ‘counting my chickens before they hatched’, almost literally! I have learnt more about myself in these first few months after her birth that I’ve learnt in a life time… well maybe a slight exaggeration but not far from it!
Here are some of the things I’ve learnt:
1. I have an utterly brilliant husband who is very caring and willing try to be whatever my daughter and I need him to be.
2. Lack of sleep makes me very emotional – extremely emotional… of the teary kind.
3. I have unlimited patience where my daughter is concerned (because normally I’m very impatient).
4. It’s easy to go a whole day without food when your life revolves around somebody else.
5. Changing countless nappies doesn’t bother me as much as I thought it would.
6. I don’t stick up for myself with authority figures, such as doctors and midwives, like I thought I would – I tend to become meek and submissive… so not who I thought I was!!
7. I will obey authority figures without thinking… and get really frustrated afterwards for not trusting my own instincts or questioning when I had doubts.
8. I not only want my husband but I need my husband. I need his love, I need his reassurance, I need his hugs and I need the big smiles he gives me when he comes home after work. I have never felt more dependent on anyone – I always thought I could do things alone if I wanted to. Even when he frustrates me, I wouldn’t swap him away.
9. Lack of sleep and a complete sense of having no idea what to do can make you argue with each other, but it can also bring you much closer.
10. You are not alone.
The idea that I am responsible for this little human doesn’t freak me out. It amazes me and I am in awe of this wonderful new life I have. I can feel so positive because I know it’s not just me. I know that it still is a community that will raise my child – the proverb ‘it takes a village to raise a child‘ is very true. I have an incredible husband, utterly brilliant parents who I am still just beginning to understand how great they really are, a wonderful extended family, lovely ‘old’ friends and all these new friends, made because of this blessed little daughter that has come into out lives. I had suspicions but I didn’t truly know how lucky I was, until my little girl came along.