It’s been a whole week since little baby Ivy joined us and I simply cannot believe where the time has gone. Having spent two days in hospital for various recovery reasons, our time at home has gone by like a flash and I have enjoyed every. single. minute.
It’s been tough, that was always an absolute given, but when you feel like you’re at your most tired, irritable and basically your whits end, everything is flipped on its head with one beautiful little smile, or the cutest sneeze you ever heard and the tiniest yawns that bring you right back to a state of absolute gratitude and delight that you have a little human in your life that you are going to protect and love like no other. It’s been emotional to say the least.
So long, sleep
Everyone we spoke to prior to having Ivy was right. A comfortable night sleep becomes a distant memory and if you’re those parents out there that gave birth to some child prodigy that sleeps all the way through, teach us your ways! Whatever routine you had going for you ‘pre-baby’, goes flying out the window. You see, you’re now no longer in charge, that is firmly in the hands of your child and it really is (forgive me) a wake up call! With the bumpy start to recovery, my fiance had spent 2 nights on her own at hospital as I wasn’t allowed to stay and therefore had to manage a newborn night shift on her own. So upon her arrival home I took nights.
I made big plans to watch Netflix, maybe catch up on a new boxset in the early hours of the morning. But between prepping bottles, changing nappies and generally soothing baby, the moment you have a second to yourself the only focus is catching some z’s. I look at Ivy some days in the hope that she looks at me in my haggered state and thinks ‘OK, I’ll let you sleep tonight Dad’, but considering she can’t even recognise facial features yet, I don’t have much hope. They say sleep when the baby does, but we’re on a bit of a backwards schedule at the moment so her deep sleeps during the day give us the chance to get ‘stuff’ done. So for the time being we’re riding out this zombie state, luckily she’s cute enough that it’s worth it ;).
Can I have some more?
I thought I had an appetite, but I have been trumped by my daughter. She doesn’t stop. We’re glad because she’s healthy and growing, but my GOD does that baby put food away. We’re on formula and bottle feeding and I love it. There is a lot of pressure for women to breast feed, and that’s a topic of discussion for another day, but through the use of formula, it gives me the ability to get involved and really build that relationship with Ivy, it also gives us flexibility on night feeds as mum doesn’t need to be present. When Ivy’s hungry, you know about it. But the best part is it always brings some peace to the house when her stomach’s full!
It’s the inevitable. What goes in, must come out. And when what goes in is a funky smelling milk, what comes out isn’t pretty. We were tested in antenatal class with dolls and nappies full of mustard and I thought that was a challenge. Now, throw in flailing limbs, crying and the addition of even more surprise wee and poo and what you’re left with is a stressful situation.
When it comes to wet nappies, I’m like a soldier changing his rifle. Dirty nappies are a different story and usually a two man job. But like every aspect of parenting, it’s a team effort and we’re there for each other when things kick off. Just make sure you’re prepared for their first dirty nappy, it’s one hell of an experience that might leave you looking like the above.
‘We can’t wait to meet her…’
Ivy’s arrival has been a positive shake up to our family. She is one of the first babies to arrive within our families, and our friendships groups, so the excitement for her arrival has been amazing. With that, comes the desire for everyone to meet her, of which we completely understand and of course love. It was important for us to really focus on our daughter and really enjoy the early days with as little interruption as possible, so we kept meetings to immediate family and close friends to allow us to get used to life as new parents and allow Ivy to get used to the new world she’s been brought into. These meetings have reinforced the fact that this is such an incredible part of our lives and seeing the joy on everyone’s face when they meet her is the icing on the cake. Don’t feel like you have to make introductions straight away, make the most of your early days with your baby as you don’t get them again!
Pets At Home
I’d mentioned in a previous blog that we have animals in the house and this was something we were conscious of when bringing Ivy home. We sent a couple of baby grows home with my in laws that Ivy had worn, to allow the Indi (cat) and Archie (dog) to familiarise themselves with her. Upon our return, Archie was inquisitive up until the point Ivy sneezed to which he proceeded to run upstairs and avoid her at all costs over the following few days. But as time has passed, Archie has slowly built his confidence and will now sit within feet of her with no issue and genuinely has some concern if she’s crying. The cat? He couldn’t care less, he’s mostly bothered about food.
Ivy goes through baby grows and muslin cloths almost as quickly as she goes through food. If she isn’t spitting up, we’re wiping her mouth and it creates a mountain of washing, a lot more than anticipated anyway. So my advice is you can never have enough baby grows, cloths and vests. I thought we were over stocked but we ended up buying more!
This week has been the best week of my life. I’m trying not to think about the fact I have to go back to work next week and focusing on enjoying every little change we see in Ivy on a daily basis. I just wish time would slow down!