Today is the 21st April 2016. The Queen celebrates her 90th birthday and we, as parents, celebrate our son turning 6 months old. There have been many years when six months has simply skipped by- how is it June already? However this particular six months is hard to quantify.
In some respects, October seems years ago (perhaps because I have never seen so many hours of the day). Those fragile first few days seem a distant memory; the relief and love you feel when you finally meet your beautiful baby, those bonding, special moments as a couple and those first hours of recovery when you don’t know if you will ever feel like you again. Even basic tasks such as walking seemed the most ridiculous request from a stern midwife, less than 24 hours in.
However to see in front of our very eyes, a mere six months later that we have a jolly, eyebrow wiggling, sitting, high fiving, definitely not sleeping 16 pound baba- I can’t believe the months have whooshed by and as of tomorrow, he will be closer to his first birthday that he will be to his birth. This blows my mind.
Everyone has their own set of milestones that resonate with them. Perhaps it is getting to Christmas in one piece? Or when maternity leave comes to an end?
For me, six months seems to be a huge marker. Over the last few weeks, our baby’s world has expanded- an introduction of food, going swimming and moving our said ‘definitely not sleeping baba’ into his own room.
Big changes are happening which bring a mixed bag of feelings (a) a mega mum high five of ‘we made it this far’ and (b) how did we get here so quickly?
The first night we moved him into his own room punctuated this point. I seemed to step into a bad 80s' music video without the singing or the smoke. Just the pacing, the staring, the wanting to look… and then knowing I should give him space. I hadn’t anticipated the emotion of the move- we have been together since January 2015 (sounds dramatic, I know!) but it is just another change and he is ready. Turns out, the separation sadness didn’t last long, I was in there a short fifty three minutes later so I should have used the ‘landing time’ far more productively- like to have a bath or eat my dinner or brush my teeth.
I wanted to share a few thoughts from this important time in our lives- I hope you enjoy.
Food is central to everything. Food, water and sleep make up a triangle of joyful health, however once you have a baby, one third of the triangle quickly scarpers (unless you have a rare baby who ‘pretty much slept through the night from three weeks’ - by the way, I have NEVER met these babies!) so filling, hearty, nutritious grub is crucial for you and your partner to keep the other two sides of the triangle afloat. If you are reading this in the later stages of pregnancy- fill your freezer immediately. Do not delay. Don’t worry, you don’t have to get your Nigella on- a quick dash around M and S will have the same effect. Plus stock up on snacks and lots of them, as a new mum I was and still am always hungry. I liken the feeling to jet lag/being on a plane for a long period of time- you have no idea what time it is but you always want to eat. I have been known to make random rounds of toast at approximately 3:40am as it felt like breakfast time.
Life is kind of easier once the baby is here, as you know the baby you are going to parent (rather than the befuddled pregnancy anxiety). We didn’t know whether we were having a boy or a girl and once we met our baby and got to know him and his needs, life seemed smoother and more predictable, on one level. On another, we have no more sense than any other new parent. In those final few weeks of pregnancy, you have too many questions and the unknown is difficult to comprehend- no wonder, there is a tendency to feel a little b b b onkers.