close up of baby Freddy's feet

Experiencing parenthood for the first time

On Monday 2nd August, our beautiful baby boy, Freddy, was born. This will now be a special date for the rest of our lives. Danny is coming to the end of his paternity leave which makes me feel sad but I also think about how happy I’ll be once he gets home each night, giving me something to look forward to later in the day. Freddy knows when is dad is near so he will be excited too.

How are you finding the whole parenting experience?

Parenting for the first time can be hard but as soon as your newborn baby’s eyes look into yours, you realise that everything is and will be okay. There’s no love like looking into your baby’s eyes and saying, “I’m your mummy!” or “I’m your daddy!”

Before Freddy entered the outside world, I never knew how challenging it would be to adjust to a different sleeping pattern. I almost thought that because I had been up at 2am, 3am, 4am etc. in the night during pregnancy that my body was preparing me for what was to come. Oh, it was a completely different story once it hit. Due to the lack of sleep at first and the heightened hormone levels, I cried and then cried some more the next day. I also had to be reminded that my body was recovering and will be for the next 4 weeks or so. Unfortunately I got the results that I have an infection following a swab on my perineal tear. It didn’t help that that it took 5 days to get the results then the rest of that day to get some antibiotics but hopefully they will do their job and get me feeling better in at least one way or another. I have finally discovered the benefits of sleeping as much as I can when baby does. It has made a huge difference in how I feel along with eating a little more throughout the day.

Do you worry about your baby?

I mean, would we really be parents if we didn’t worry? Those mum and dad instincts kicked in right away. It’s all new and there are things we question but having the midwife attend for the first 5 days after giving birth was really helpful. She came each of those days to check on my blood pressure and to explain how important it is to rest. Rest? It wasn’t easy at first. The first few nights, if we did get any sleep, I’m pretty sure we slept with one eye open. We even took it in turns sleeping at each side of the bed.

We have got to know what his “I’m ready to be fed” cry is. He doesn’t cry heavily for long periods of time but he has his moments. And in those moments I have worried if I’ve done something wrong or if I am missing something. You really do learn something new every day – every day is a learning experience. I’m glad Danny has been able to spend 2 weeks at home with me. It’s helped us to pick up our own ways of doing things and we have both done our bit with changing, feeding, settling baby and most of all, giving him lots of love. If anything, Danny has probably worried more about me at times when I have felt low as he just wants us both to be happy. One thing we promised each other before Freddy was born was to never niggle at each other in front of our baby and always talk through things if something is on our mind. And that is working really well.

How do you feel now you are parents?

In one word? I’m not sure how to pick one but I will say that it is very surreal at first. You are holding a little human you have both brought into the world and you have to let it in sink in that the tiny little human is really yours. Freddy makes us smile multiple times a day and we know what people mean when they say, “There’s no love like it!” because there isn’t. It’s such a special bond the 3 of us share. It’s like we have fell in love all over again with our new addition beside us.

When we hold our baby boy, even if he is crying, it’s the most amazing feeling on earth. It’s only been 2 weeks and time is going so quick already which reminds us that we need to cherish every single moment. Those smiles might only be wind at the moment but they light up our day. When he holds our finger, looks into our eyes and looks contented, our hearts feel so full. There’s nothing more heartwarming than growing more and more love for our newborn each day.

Do you have advice for parents to be?

As one of the midwives said last week, “Go with the flow.” Honestly, she is right. Do things step by step and learn as you go along. If you need help, ask for it. As long as your baby is fed, changed, clean and loved, he or she will be very happy. Try not to be afraid to leave your baby with family, friend, or support network. It can do you the world of good even if it’s for only half an hour. Go outside for walks as much as you can with baby in their pram. They will most likely sleep and we have found it can settle Freddy for longer periods of time between his feeds. Another thing I would say is, no question is stupid. I’ve asked plenty and will no doubt continue to ask more.

Enjoy every moment. There are many firsts, even in the first couple of weeks e.g. first walk out in their pram, first time in their Moses basket/crib/cot, relaxing in their bouncer or on a play mat etc. You will have plenty of cuddles which are just are the sweetest. Your little one’s face will make you feel better no matter how your day is going.

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