The day we left the hospital with our small bundle of joy is etched in my memory as one of the most frightening moments of my life. I know how that sounds - Drama Queen - but I cannot think of a better way to describe it.

I was scared, clueless, overwhelmed, exhausted, sore, anxious and maybe a little bit excited (but that feeling was low down on the list). I have never felt so out of my depth in my life! Which is something I wasn't really expecting to feel at this stage of the having a baby game. Whilst I was pregnant (in between vomiting bouts) I had set up the room, washed all those cute little clothes and taken photos of them on the line (because they were so cute - look I'm bringing a little dolly home!). I'd read all the books, as far as I was concerned I was as ready as I was ever going to be.

From what I hear, it's a bit like learning a new language. You download the lessons, you walk around repeating phrases to yourself as you listen to some suave native speaker on your ipod telling you how to say, hello, goodbye, why I would love a drink and where are the toilets. You do your research and you feel prepared. That is until you head across to the country of your choice and the natives speak so quickly you think they are speaking a different language to the one you've been studying and the only conversation you've been having is with your smiley face luggage tag at the end of the day because you're exhausted and nobody "gets" you. (Before you scoff - I know someone who just had this very experience).

When I brought my little dolly home from the hospital he was small and lovely (to me). As a side note to that,  not all babies are lovely. I know people who say "oh all babies are beautiful!" but that is one of life's great crocks of crap given by people who are seeing life through mummy coloured glasses. This was brought home to me in a big way one day when a friend gazed down at her scrawny little baby, who was way too small for the skin God had given him (no he was not premmie - so get off your soapbox) and she said "Isn't he lovely?" which he clearly was not!. He looked like one of those ugly little birds before their feathers grown in, all wrinkly and sharp. She really thought he was beautiful.... which just goes to show how the saying "A face only a mother could love" came about.

Anyway, back to the story... lovely little dolly, cute little dolly clothes on the line, beautiful baby room ... ahh how lovely. Well the reality of bringing a baby home was the opposite of that. It was loud and smelly and not lovely at all (except when he was asleep - which is when they really are all lovely). Not just because he was quiet but because he just looked so small and peaceful like a little angel. Which must have been my thinking process on what being a mum would be like in some weird demented way.

I didn't sleep well when I was pregnant but it was nothing like the sleep deprivation I was suffering from once we brought this angry, demanding little house guest home.... and I began to wonder if our lives would ever be the same again and why I had thought being a mother would be just a great idea in the first place.


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