I never had any interest in these small, noisy, loud creatures and to be honest, could not understand what anyone else saw in them either. So the way in which my life had completely changed course by actually having just had a baby was set to become one of the most difficult, stressful and confusing times of my life.
So there I was in the hospital after the birth of my first child wondering what the hell comes next. I had never changed a nappy, I had never bathed a baby, I had never felt so exhausted. People say (and I don't know what people, but you do hear this about the place) that when you have a baby you will instantly fall in love with it. You will feel so full of bliss and endorphins that you will immediately bond with this strange little person and wonder how you ever lived without it. Well, that didn't happen. I didn't feel like that. I felt overwhelmed, confused and seriously out of my depth.
People are very well meaning. They tell you things about your baby with the best of intentions. But all that does is make it more confusing and to be honest made me feel more like a failure. I didn't love this small noisy person more than life itself, I looked at it and wondered why on earth I had wanted to join the mummy club in the first place. After all, I didn't know what I was doing, I didn't even know where my life was headed. How could I now be responsible for someone else's?? Who thought this was a good idea and what the hell was I doing here in someone else's life?
Nobody tells you, you might feel like that. They say you will love it, they say it is magical, they say it is a miracle of life. So what was wrong with me that I was not revelling in that magic and rejoicing in the miracle of life? Nothing. Everyone feels different and that's ok. (I will skip ahead just for a moment and say things did get better...... eventually).
We named him Drew because I had always liked that name (in fact he was going to be Drew whether he was a boy or a girl) and it was an uncommon yet it wasn't odd (being a school teacher I am so over the oddly spelt, same sounding names and the just out there names - not cute and clever. Just annoying. Yep Millica - Oh, it's Mellissa .. I'm talking to you) and I held my little guy, like you are supposed to and people came to visit with flowers, toys, clothes and fruit (cause after that experience you really need the extra fibre to kick things off - if you get my drift) and I just felt weird and lost and a little bit like a fraud.
The nurses came in and out of the room, demonstrating how to bath him, how to wrap him and telling me how to take care of my stitches (somewhere you should never have stitches) and how to look after myself and then we were ready to go home. As the doctor came into our room to check and to sign everything off and the nurses picked Drew up and handed him to us and wished us well, I thought to myself, I can't believe they are letting us take a small person home with us, we don't even know what we're doing!! When you buy a dog at the pet store they suggest further reading and equipment you may need to purchase before you leave the store, where's the manual? How does this thing work?
I felt so unprepared for the journey we were about to embark on.... and I was.
I hope you are enjoying the Friday Flashback series Starting from Scratch and I would love to hear from you with any comments you would like to contribute.