Friday, 27 March 2015

Hallejuah! We've made it to 6 months!

Hallejuah!, we have made it to the six month mark.
Six months and everyone is still alive and well and fully functioning (just about)
I, the girl who would often forget to eat if I wasn't reminded, had alarm clocks set for 1pm at the weekends, who at times forgot whether her bedroom floor was carpet or wood with the sea of rubbish that covered it; have not only managed to care for a baby 24/7, but keep the house semi tidy (the spare room being an exception....) and put dinner on the table on the evenings. Who would have thought it?
Definitely not me
The first few months were downright hard. Lets not sugarcoat it.
No one could have prepared me enough. No book, no netmums forum, well meaning advice from customers at work.
Not even my own mother. But when you're pregnant for the first time, these things go in one ear and right out the other. In fact It really irritated me when people told me how hard it is.
'Ok lady,  it may be hard, but there's not a great deal  I can do about it now, is there?..'

What I can say is, it has/is getting remarkably easier.

Ok, so we are definitely not out of the woods, not just yet.
Eva still insists on putting up anti sleep protests. Every. Single. Night. 
In fact everyone from the staff in my local Spar to the poor Royal Mail courier guy have had to listen to me drone on about it at some point.
Sleep aside,
We're getting there. 
Slowly but surely.

Those first few months I truly believed I would never be able to dry my hair again or eat my dinner at the same time as Stuart, at the table and still hot. I didn't think i'd ever see the bottom of the ironing basket or ever be able to get out of the house before 9am without help. I wondered if Stuart and I would talk to each other again about anything other than baby things, if we'd ever get drunk together like we used to. I wondered if my life was going to be anything other than a vicious cycle of baby duties, washing and ironing.
Six months on and everything is falling into place, and these concerns feel (almost) like a distant memory. Isn't it funny how day by day it seems like nothing changes and when you look back, everything is different?

The First Few Months: Survival Tips
  • Accept help as hard as it is: Let someone take a basket of ironing, make you dinner, sit with baby while you get some shut eye. Your baby deserves the very best of you and you can't offer that when you could be carrying the shopping in those under eye bags you're sporting. Sleep deprivation feels like the mother of all hangovers, (Think mixing wine and vodka... and a few shots of Aftershock for good measure), it makes it incredibly hard to think straight and lets be honest, those Grandparents will want any excuse to see (spoil) the new little addition.
  • Savour every moment: Get home from hospital, get into your comfiest clothing for the next few weeks, invest in some dry shampoo and savour every minute as a new family unit! These precious moments are fleeting. Blink and you'll miss them. Never worry about the state of your house or what you look like. I  apologized to a midwife who made a home visit a few days after Eva had arrived for the state of our house. I was still in my pajamas with last nights dinner dishes stacked by the sink, with food packaging that hadn't quite made it to the bin yet. She said "Sarah, I would be worried if you had a full face of makeup and a spotless house. It means your time is being spent with your baby." 
  • Don't overload your brain with information: As long as your baby is well loved, fed and looked after, you're doing your job right. Don't let these so-called 'experts' tell you any different. Most of our fights in the early days began when we couldn't understand what it was Eva needed and one of us would pipe up with  'Well I read online that...' All these techniques and methods are excellent in theory and can be so helpful for first timers like myself, but when your baby is inconsolable at 3am after a nappy change, bottle and cuddle you can shove your self help book where the sun doesn't shine. You just do what you have to do.
  • Don't doubt yourself: The worst thing to do is compare yourself to other parents. Everyone has their own way of doing things, there's no right or wrong answers. If it works for your family, stick with it- excellent! New mums don't need these kinds of pressures on them. At times i'll find myself defending a decision i've made when talking to another mum, only to catch myself on. I shouldn't have to justify my choices to anyone else, I know my baby best, I am mum. I scroll through instagram in the mornings and see babies in gleaming white bodysuits with clean faces, while i'm over here wrestling with Eva to put on a vest which will no doubt be covered in food debris within minutes, I'm having a hard time keeping her away from the kitchen bin and the other week I caught her with a daffodil in her mouth, It was a two man job with me holding her down as Stuart removed a petal from her mouth. I've said it before, but people only post what they want others to see, not every day is picture perfect.... but that's what makes it interesting.
  • Spend time with your partner: Graphic nappy reports (i'm talking colours.. textures) are the norm now, so it's nice to have alone time to switch off from baby talk. Going out for dinner, having a few drinks watching Saturday night tv. Now that my hormones have finally settled down  and the sound of his breathing doesn't make me want to stab him in his sleep anymore, it's nice to fit some time in to ourselves. Over the past year he has been an amazing best friend, partner and dad to our baby and I try to let him know as much as possible how much he means to us. Dad's often get forgotten about (while everyone rallied around Eva and I in the hospital, I don't think many people asked Stuart how he was feeling.) While he may have not went through the same physical changes as me, his life has dramatically changed as well and hasn't once complained (whether that's because he doesn't feel the need to, or he knows he'd have to endure a long winded rant about how I never get a break, I do not know.)
  • Look after yourself: Think baths, paint your nails, ditch the maternity wear and buy something new. My cousin put a New Look gift card in a congratulations card for me which reduced me to tears! I had spent the last few months repeating my maternity outfits (if it wasn't the navy stripes it was the grey baggy tshirt) and wasn't feeling overly great about myself so this was a much needed pick me up. You have spent nearly the best part of year going through change after change after change. Treat yourself :)

A letter to Eva.

Little one,

You are now six months old, and what a six months it has been! We have gone through hundreds of nappies, johnstons wipes, countless tubes of Dentinox and kept SMA in business. We have been nocturnal the majority of our journey but not a day goes by that we don't laugh and smile together.

 I sometimes wish I could stop time, even just for a little while, to savour every sleepy morning smile, every belly laugh, every moment alone we have together when it seems like everyone else is asleep.

I am astounded at how quickly you have grown, it seems like every single week there is some kind of developmental leap. Your favourite song is The Grand Old Duke of York, nursery rhymes are your favourite. You love to roll over on to your tummy and often do it when I  attempt to put you down for a nap in your cot (and you like to stick your nosey head out the bars!)

You entertain us every single day, and keep us on our toes. Just as we begin to think we've sussed it all out, we hit the next curveball.
It can feel overwhelming and  challenging at times but we remind ourselves daily that

'Nothing in the world is worth having or worth doing unless it means effort, pain, difficulty…' 

And you little one are worth it all, and even more.
Happy six months xxx



  1. lovelovelove this! Happy six months little Eva! x

  2. Beautiful name! My middle daughter is called Eva. Congratulations on surviving 6 months.

    1. Lol thank you! I don't know how we've managed it but we have! and yes, beautiful name ;) xxx


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