Updated: Aug 20, 2021
November 21st, 2017
“The moment a child is born, a mother is born also.” - Rajneesh
Exactly three months and twenty-four days later we are still alive. I still smell weird, and although my boobs are nowhere near as engorged, and the changes of clothes less frequent throughout the day, my identity is still somewhat skewed, and I have discovered through Post Natal Recovery Pilates classes that trembling in the midst of core work is a real thing (a taste of my own medicine perhaps).
I can cry at the drop of a hat, or over spilled milk (Quite literally. With its yellowish tinge and value it feels like gold!). My husband has walked into the living room to find me sobbing, only to discover I’m watching a documentary on Dubbo Zoo where they were putting down a giraffe. I am currently banned from watching any wildlife, or discovery documentaries that involve bear cubs, or baby seals being eaten.
On the odd occasion that I roll out my yoga mat, the props I gather now go further than a cork block, and a strap. I am now equipped with an interactive butterfly, a singing owl called Ollie, and a divided attention span.
I make porridge in the mornings while simultaneously pumping a boob. I have learned to do many things with one hand/arm while holding my baby, like making cups of tea (and then drinking them cold), eating meals, turning on the gas cooker, vacuuming, putting on shoes, folding washing, going to the toilet (public toilets make this more challenging), among other things where you may take the use of two arms for granted.
I sprinkle fennel seeds on most meals (increase milk production), eat more meat than the most carnivorous animal, and have not had an alcoholic drink for a VERY long time. Some days I fantasise about standing at a bar all dressed up, downing espresso martinis and tequila shots and dancing the night away. Then I remember sleep is at a premium.
I reach seven in the evening, after placing my baby in her bassinet (with bated breath) and flop down on the sofa with a great sigh of relief, only to spend the next half hour, with my husband, flicking through photos of her, revisiting videos and talking about all the cute things she does.
My baby has a really classic way of looking at me, mid song and dance, as if to say, you're a dick and un-amusing. I’m serious. She's three months going on 13, and our teenage years are not looking promising. She already considers me an embarrassment.
I spend a lot of time pushing around an empty pram, while carrying my baby on my front. This makes me look like I’m attached to a phantom twin. People look at her, and then into my pram, trying to do the math. No people it is not possible to have babies three months apart, my child has just had yet another pram meltdown on the way into town.
Admittedly, I have caught myself out rocking an empty pram, swaying from side to side, or bouncing up and down while waiting in line or at the pedestrian crossing, forgetting that I’m not holding my baby, my husband has her.
I have woken countless nights, and countless times throughout a night, in a state of panic, feeling around the bed for my baby, with no recollection of having fed her or put her back into her basinet where she is sleeping soundly.
From the moment I became a mother, I have threatened to go into business designing more sensible baby gear. Prams etc that can be assembled with one hand perhaps, and don’t require any backbreaking work. My new obsession is having remote controls for Ollie the singing owl, and Glow Worm (who also sings my baby into a trance).
I’m basically pro anything that sends a baby into a trance, and the most effective way of achieving that turns out to be Bruce Springsteen. Think mouth organ, guitar, rhythm...bloody lifesaver.
I have challenged my own snobbery. Three and a half months down the line, on the tail end of two hourly wakes throughout the night for comfort boob sucking, and zero day naps, I have given into using a dummy. At the end of the day you do what you need to make life easier (I’d like a remote control for the dummy too).
It’s almost advisable not to ask for anyones opinion. Everyone swears by something different, which makes everything a lot more confusing, and dampens intuition. Challenging your intuition on a daily basis is exhausting. You have to do what feels right, which is tough as a first time Mumma.
There is no question that motherhood is challenging, and that alone time, and self-nourishment takes a seat right at the back of the bus with the trouble makers, even with a supportive partner at hand in the weekends. I have though had some beautiful epiphanies about women and mums. Tough to articulate in a sentence, but let's just say I appreciate mothers a lot more, including my own. I don't think you can understand the depth of it until you're in it, and although daddy’s play such a wonderful role, the mother really is the rock.
Needless to say more.
The responsibility and self sacrifice is immense, and it sure as hell puts life into perspective, which is a good thing I would argue.
Despite all the challenges, along with the poo explosions, and arduous wrestling at nap time, I am very aware that it is a blessing to have this fiery little half latin bubba in my life.