Everyone tells you that the first six weeks are the hardest (which I always imagine being sung to the tune of ‘The First Cut Is The Deepest’. And yeah, I linked to the Sheryl Crow version. So what?) I’m not going to lie to you, it has been a steep learning curve.
It’s been a hard day’s night…
Crying: Before having a baby, I’d not really come into contact with that many tiny babies. When my own arrived, I felt (and still do) like a buffoon in a dressing gown who had to try really hard to understand what D wanted. I am getting better at this, slowly, but sometimes it’s quite tricky. For example, babies have growth spurts at around three and six weeks of age and during this time, they get very cranky and very hungry. We’re currently going through one now and I feel like I’m constantly sterilising and preparing. It’s also not helped that D has had colic too, which also causes cranky babies. Also, I learnt that babies don’t make tears for the first few days; the first time he cried with real tears I was slightly beside myself. It’s hard watching your baby cry and be at a complete loss as to how to make things better. Thankfully, D has a bit of a thing for Gangnam Style. Yes, really- it seems to soothe him. If you don’t believe me, look at this video to witness its powers of baby-coddling:
However, I have had the song on a loop today. I swear either the baby or I will be fluent in Korean, I’m just not sure who’s going to get there first.
Sleep: The sleep deprivation thing is hard, but we’ve sort of got used to it. D has a sort of routine, but I doubt he’ll sleep through the night at six weeks (as everyone else’s babies seem to.) The health visitor reckons it’ll be a good few months before he settles enough for this, especially as he’s a big baby; he’s already wearing clothes for 3 month olds.
Also, the thing about new mums sleeping when their babies sleep? Yeah, rubbish in my case. I’ve managed maybe 35 minutes in total and those have been scrunched up on the sofa in an uncomfortable position; either D sleeps fitfully or I have too much I need to do. I’ve found it MUCH easier to leave Benn with the baby and have a bath and early night.
Other stuff: I was really nervous when I started taking D out by myself, although now I have using the buggy down to a fine art and I’m probably walking, on average, about twelve miles a week with him. This has been very good for my psyche and is great for him when he’s being Grinch-like (even if I did sort of buy him a snow suit from eBay that makes him look like Brian Harvey in the Stay Another Day video.)
Bathing D= traumatic for all concerned. That’s all I’m saying about that at the moment.
It’s taken this long for me to feel vaguely human as well. For me, giving birth was the easy bit- it’s been all the physical aftershocks that have been hard to bear. A dodgy tooth aside, it’s nice to finally feel a bit more like my actual self again.
But what of the good stuff? I try not to be too soppy about my baby- it’s not my style to do so in public! But I will tell you that the following things have been pretty cool:
- First proper smile. Yes, I may have been singing a song about how he smelt at that particular moment, but still.
- D seeing the Christmas lights for the first time. I know he would have pulled the same face looking a tinsel-decked turnip, but that’s not the point.
- He makes a lot of noise (takes after me, obv), but there are some that are cute and some that are weird, particularly the one I like to call ‘strangled pterodactyl’.
- He’s ever so slightly ginger and has my nose- which means my genes have trumped Benn’s in those regards. Which is nice.
- Did I mention he’s cute?