May 3, 2021

Newborn Life: Beautiful Chaos

Welcome to my blog!

It has taken me quite some time to decide on the original content for this first blog post. Everything that I have read online states you need to set the tone for your space and leave readers wanting more. I have given myself a mild form of anxiety over this (we love that for me), but I figured let's start by talking about the newest and most challenging chapter of my life to date and we can fill in the blanks as time goes on.

I'm not about sugar-coating anything (just ask my family and friends) and I'd like to think that the experiences you read about here are as authentic as it gets. Let me start by saying that newborn life is HARD. Not the type of hard you experience in isolated situations like sitting an exam or going for your first driving test; where once the main event is over, you can move on feeling like a cumbersome weight has lifted from your shoulders. It's the type of hard that is with you every moment of the day and night. It's there when you wake (or should I say when bub wakes up). It presents itself as a grizzling, warm baby burrito that's impatiently trying to feed, except they are so hysterical that they're also swatting you away with tiny mitten-bound fingers. It's the type of hard that follows you to bath time, where you're piloting a heated mess of expressions that say "I'm unimpressed that you took me out of my onesie for this", while you are burning pasta on the stove top. And it's the type of hard lingering when you're dragging your depleted body out of bed at 2 am, forgetting your glasses on the side table, and then feeling your way around the entire house for nappy change supplies. You might be thinking this is a gross over-exaggeration, but I have this deep-seated gut feeling that most of you will be reading this nodding furiously in agreeance or perhaps chuckling as you reflect on your own experiences. And for those who don't have babies yet or are still tossing up if babies are even on the cards, please don't be put off, keep reading.

My fiance and I were recently blessed with the most beautiful baby girl, Mia Grace, in April 2021. I had "prepared" myself as much as I could for motherhood. I read the old faithful book, 'What to expect when you're expecting'. I listened to podcasts on my way to work and fell down the YouTube rabbit hole almost nightly (especially in the third trimester when pregnancy insomnia hit me like a freight train). I honestly believed I had anticipated all of the trials and tribulations of newborn life, because how hard could a tiny human be right? Wrong. I significantly undervalued how tiring raising a newborn is. Little Mia wants to feed almost 24/7 (okay, I am exaggerating a little here but she does feed A LOT). I am talking 2-3 hourly during the daytime and 3-4 hourly at nighttime currently. It feels like by the time you complete the routine nappy change faster than a round of speed dating, feed, burp, swaddle and place bub back in the bassinet, you are doing it again 2.5 seconds later. And that is if they go straight back to sleep. Some nights (which is the case for us right now), Mia decides to have a party at 3 am. The next hour of our lives consists of playing womb music on Spotify while staring at our owl-eyed bundle of joy thinking, "Please God, I need some sleep". I have received so much parental advice already and one resounding comment is "sleep when the baby sleeps", but this is so much harder than it seems. If I followed this advice to a tee, I'd be stuck where the same pajamas on repeat and our newborn would be swaddle-less (which would be an absolute catastrophe).

I couldn't mention her and not include a picture. This is little Mia, the absolute light of our lives and reason for all things sleep deprivation.

I'll never forget how overly enthusiastic (and ambivalent) my fiance and I were four days into newborn life. We had a doctor's appointment to attend but had failed to line up the morning (rookie mistake). Fast forward to the waiting room and we have a very hangry infant and zero bottled milk supplies because our thought process was "Nah, we will be in and out quickly". Quick, does not equal waiting 45 minutes past your appointment time. We resorted to an emergency feeding session in the back of the car, which seemed to calm little Mia for a microsecond. By this point, Mum and Dad are starving and decide to hit up McDonald's; which was a terrible idea because it went stone cold as we changed a very full nappy on the passenger seat. We had so many glorious plans that day including going to Baby Bunting for a few supplies, but my goodness, when your doctor's appointment turns into an extended field trip only 10km from home.. you ditch Baby Bunting and high tail it home. We learned our lesson. One, do not be over-enthusiastic with outing planning. Two, if you forget the diaper bag or essential supplies, proceed at your own risk.

This past month has taught me so many new skills. I can change a dirty nappy at lightning speed while wrangling a pacifier in the other hand. I've learned to make the most of my very limited alone time (bless hot showers). Multi-tasking once seemed impossible, but it slowly finds a place in your life like all things you once did pre-baby. When Mia was born, I was not prepared for how much our life would evolve. The dynamic between your significant other and yourself shifts, it becomes centered around the life you have created and not so much about the two of you anymore. It's an adjustment, for sure. You always hear parents say "You never love anything as much as your child" or “There's no love quite like a mother's". I always undoubtedly knew that truth ran deep in these comments, but experiencing it first hand is a whole new crazy, exhausting and beautiful ball game. Yes, parenthood is hard but there are countless precious moments amongst all the chaos. Its tiny little hand grasping your pinky finger, it's watching them sleep peacefully and feeling your heart swell. It's sitting up at night looking through all the photos you have taken, reliving the cute sounds or faces they made when you took it. It's the way your owl-eyed bundle of joy stares at you in a way nobody has before. It is not just the look of pure love, but the look of complete dependence. Your little human needs you, and my god, do you need them too. So I might be editing this blog post eating a box of chicken crimpy's, in a milk-stained shirt on 4 hours sleep, but that's the beauty of it. I'm slowly navigating this thing called parenthood, each day feeling slightly more confident in my ability than I did the day before. I know one thing for certain is that I would not change this for the world. I plan on savoring the newborn phase for as long as I can; I know that my little one won't be a baby forever. 

Stay tuned and see you all soon!

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