The Days Are Long, But The Years Are Short
‘A baby fills a place in your heart that you never knew was empty’.
Since River was born over 5 weeks ago, the most popular question I have been asked was - “Is motherhood easier or harder than you had expected?”.
As much as I’m absolutely loving this new journey, my response is always “It’s so much harder than I ever could’ve imagined”.
I remember the nurse saying while we were still in hospital, “You’re living off adrenaline at the moment, but don’t be surprised of the struggle you’ll feel once the sleep deprivation has kicked in”. I really appreciated her honesty, because boy was she right!
Being someone that was usually able to catch at least 7-8 solid hours of sleep per night, I never really thought about the toll a lack of sleep could take on a person. I recently discovered it causes irritability (as I’m sure Mark can vouch for), and moodiness (which again I’m sure Mark couldn’t agree more with).
With an average of 3 hours sleep most nights, it’s hard to not take out your frustration on your other half - after all, they are convenient and there!
Having said this though, we’ve found the easiest way to overcome this is by tag teaming of an evening. Whatever time River chooses to fall asleep of an early evening, whether it be 7,8, 9 or 10pm, I will take this opportunity to hop into my warm bed (yes, our electric blanket has been a lifesaver this year), and catch as many winks as I can.
It’s quite funny actually, 5 weeks ago, a sleep in for me would be anywhere between 8-10 hours, now, I’m praising the baby gods if I get even 3 hours sleep in a row.
Five weeks in and I feel we are slowly getting the hang of this so called ‘parenting’ thing. Although he hasn’t really established a routine as yet, I have an idea of the gaps between feeds and generally, his hysterical cries mean he’s hungry.
I’ve also come to realise that while my main title is ‘Mummy’, my more commonly used nickname for the last few weeks has been ‘food truck’. I vowed to not take this personally, but can’t help being a tad jealous of Mark’s ability to settle the little tyke, without the smell of milk getting in the way!
Speaking of milk, if breastfeeding is meant to be such a natural thing, why on earth has it been so difficult? Unfortunately for me, I developed mastitis one week into breastfeeding.
For those that aren’t familiar with this condition, it’s the result of a blocked milk duct that hasn't cleared. Although this may not sound like anything serious, it causes infection and your upper chest to become red and inflamed. The pain is absolutely excruciating, and believe it or not, I’d rather go through childbirth again than experience that sort of torture.
I ended up back in hospital a few days after being discharged, thankfully not having to stay overnight. I was lucky enough to have caught it during the early stages, and only needed oral antibiotics. Since then, I’ve been trying my absolute hardest to persevere and keep at it.
I’d like to think I’m not a quitter, and I can honestly say, the struggle has paid off. The cuts, grazes and sores have slowly disappeared, and the supply on the side that was infected, is overflowing with goodness. I’d like to think River is proud of his mamma, because I’m so proud of how far we’ve come so far!
P.S. Sorry I've been a week late in announcing May's winner! Congratulations Steph Hall, you are last month's winner :-) Please contact us when you can, and we will provide you with your $100 1K Words voucher!
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