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Drew's first bath (not my hairy arms - in case you were wondering)
Some people are born to be mothers. They dream of a day when they will have a little person to care for and love and they feel that their lives will be complete when this happens. I am not one of those people.

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.

Cheers,

Lee


 


10/26/2012 12:33am

My first born was a massive shock to the system. The first night home from hospital we got a total of 1 hour of sleep. I said to my husband "What have we done!" and assumed I was never going to sleep again.

But we learn. Scary at first, then magical.

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10/26/2012 1:47am

You are so right about the instruction book for a new puppy but a child is whole different ballgame.

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10/27/2012 2:44am

I agree. I didn't feel the mythical instantaneous bond with my eldest daughter. I had always wanted a child but when she arrived I did not feel like the earth mother I had imagined. Every day we spent together our bond grew and we learned a little more. She's a bright, confident happy five year old now. I think we did OK.

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Lee
10/27/2012 8:08pm

I think that feeling of being out of your depth and not be instantly in love with that small person is even harder for people who have always wanted a baby and felt they would love it more than life the moment it arrived. For me I didn't know what I was doing anyway, so it was just one more thing to add to the list. Having said that, I do love both my children more than life now.

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10/27/2012 8:28pm

Whether you've always had maternal instincts or not, I don't think anything can prepare you for motherhood. It's probably the biggest process of "trial and error" that you will ever encounter in life.
Love the name Drew, by the way.

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Lee
10/28/2012 5:39pm

Thanks so do I - but funnily enough he doesn't. I don't think I've ever met someone who loved their own name.

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10/27/2012 11:13pm

I know it wasn't the point of the post, but I'm pretty passionate about the oddly spelled names, and Milica?! Haven't seen that before, ridiculous!

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Lee
10/28/2012 5:41pm

I know exactly what you mean. They do my head in. I am just loathing the "new" way of spelling Olivia. Aaahliviah.

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