That first week, the start of the rest of my life, was what I thought to be the hardest week I’d ever experienced. It had topped all other milestones in my life – the embarrassing awkwardness of your first boyfriend, starting a new school without any friends, getting your first job. Even immigrating to a new country didn’t hold a candle to the life changing moment when I realised that this is it for the next 18 years.
It hit home on the first day it was just me and our baby. Our friends and family had gone back to their own lives and my partner had to get back to work and suddenly I was on my own with this precious little fragile baby. I knew it was coming, I thought I’d be fine as I had just spent the week before acing this new Mom thing! I kissed my man goodbye at the door and me and the boy went to the window and waved until Daddy was out of sight. Then suddenly this dark cloud descended and I could feel the panic rising. I tried to keep a level head – after all I had my milk now, I could change a nappy and I had somehow managed to keep this baby alive for the last week, so why would today be any different?
I’m a great believer in your baby sensing your stress and had spent my pregnancy with a ‘I don’t care’ mentality as I didn’t want anything to stress me, and subsequently my baby, out. So far he had been as cool as a cucumber, but today he must’ve sensed my panic and panicked himself. Shortly after Daddy had left he had developed hiccups. Nothing serious, but an hour later he was getting upset and therefore I was getting upset and then he was getting upset (you can see where this is going!)
I spent the day in almost tears (you know when you can feel them bubbling there under the surface and the smallest thing tips you over) until I rang the midwife (then the tears actually did spill out) and I explained that I didn’t know what to do and he had had hiccups for the last five hours and I was just a mess. They told me hiccups is actually a good thing and probably isn’t bothering him too much and to keep giving him Infacol with every feed to get the wind out. Eventually I pulled myself together and thought to myself ‘There’s no going back. If you have a hard day then you know what, tough, you have to get through it! You have to keep going. This is something that is non negotiable. YOU HAVE TO DO IT!’
Of course the minute my man walked through the door that evening I burst into tears. He found it hard to believe I was so upset over hiccups, but really it was more than that. It was the realisation that this was my life now. I was a Mom. And at that moment I wasn’t a high flying career woman, I was ‘just a mom’…and I wasn’t so sure how I felt about that…