Our post baby hibernation is over. We’ve been tucked up in the Cumbrian hills for the last ten days with three kids and a floppy, pink, womb-fresh girl.
It feels as though spring has seamlessly rolled into summer while we’ve been up here. The sun has been effortlessly pealing back my pasty white skin and attacking the ever spreading dark circles under my eyes.
Husband and I have once again stepped onto the baby treadmill of three hour feeds and feeling so tired it’s like a little man is sat upon our brow pushing our eyes closed. These are the things you forget when you contemplate holding a perfectly pink babe in your arms. The major lack of sleep. That and how long the ‘deflation’ process takes.
I’m in that awkward place of being too small for maternity clothes yet too big for my old wardrobe. I’ve taken to wearing my nightie all day because although highly unflattering its very comfortable. My boy and youngest girl are still questioning when the next baby is coming out of my “big tummy”. Kids give the biggest confidence boost.
For the first couple of days I felt on top of the maternal world. I was waking at 7 ready to take on the kids and didn’t feel I needed a lunchtime nap. Aah hormones. Yet as the days went by, and the relentless feeds progressed, the little man took up residence on my brow and had a song and dance. So heavy were my eyes and body after a few days the 7am wake up call completely passed me by.
The dreaded day three milk boob delivery came along as predicted and with gumption. Pamela Anderson called asking for her boobs back so harsh was the engorgement. I contemplated using the extra long sanitary towels I was quickly running through elsewhere for my boobs. I had the cabbage on ice and was wearing the tightest bra I could find. And before you ask, I couldn’t express because I can’t breastfeed. The anti-rejection drugs I’m on for my renal transplant mean doctors advised I didn’t breastfeed as they didn’t know what effects the drugs would have on my babies. So for the last five years I’ve had to strap down and ignore my newly sprouted bay watch bosom beauties beneath my chin.
Thankfully things are starting to dry up now as we’ve passed a whole week since Hope entered the world and she is as perfect and pink as I contemplated all those months ago. I haven’t had the mindset to look back on the labour, a story I’m sure I’ll get around to at some point, but from what I can recall it was awful. Possibly the worst yet but as it was my last ever labour perhaps I’ll donn some rose tinted glasses to remember it.
The kids adore baby Hope and even the cats have accepted their new tribe member. The one thing clouding my vision is the looming prospect of the back to school and work routine which is mere days away now and the big question; how am I going to cope with four kids on my own?
All this in good time, for now I’m going to enjoy the last few blissful hours of extra hands on during this paternity leave or ‘holiday’ as my husband calls it. (Can you feel my eye roll?)