Your Firsts are My Lastsby Ellie Thompson
We packed up Billy’s bedside crib this week, and off it went to pastures new. As I pushed it out of the bedroom I felt an overwhelming sense of sadness. It was the end of an era. It was also a beautiful crib, probably one of my favourite pieces of baby stuff, the Snuz. I was sad to see it go.
[Read more: Newborn UTI: How we Almost Lost Our Baby]
I’m not going to lie, I also marvelled at the huge amount of space it created in the bedroom. No more ninja moves in the night just to get out of bed. Mind you, since its departure, even though there’s plenty of bedside clearance, I still seem to insist on swinging my legs over an invisible cot just to get out of bed to get to the toilet at three o’clock in the morning. Old habits really do die-hard.
But Bill’s in his big bed now, in his bedroom next door. All safe and snug and loving the extra room in his big cot to roll over. He sleeps much better by himself, busily doing his 7pm to 7am stint (with a bottle at 10.30pm and a quick resettle usually around 6am). He no longer wakes for a boob feed at random times of the night, or at 5am for a cuddle back to sleep. He’s happy on his own to settle himself for both his daytime naps and his nighttime sleeps.
Just like that.
We were out the other side. We had gotten through the hard part; the absolute shite of the first three months was over. Long gone, actually… Don’t get me wrong, I’m relieved to get back my full night’s kip and with it a degree of normality, but a small part of me is already missing those first few weeks in some weird sadist way. Who likes to cluster feed all night? Apparently me, with my rose-tinted glasses on.
And then there’s the baby rocker. It’s still clinging on to its spot in the living room, although we barely use it anymore. It has served us well, through some terrible reflux episodes with both children. It was a sanity saver with Maddie, she was always in so much pain with her gut; it was the go-to that soothed her when nothing else could. At almost seven months, Billy doesn’t care for it too much now. It’s used as a stalling technique when he’s grumpy too early for a nap or waiting for our childminder to arrive in the morning.
The truth is, we’re living on top of ourselves downstairs at the moment as we’re in between baby kit, and our dear old rocker probably needs to find itself a new home. There’s no reason for us to put it back in the attic this time around. It’s all so… final.
He’s growing up so fast.
The newborn baby set for the high chair has gone. The changer for the cot has been recycled, and the car seat for the pushchair has been swapped for one that sits stationary in the car. His little life is moving by at breakneck speed and it then it hits me: Billy’s firsts really are my lasts.
I heard somebody say it, and it resonated immediately because it’s so true.
The reality is I’ll probably never have a newborn baby sleeping next to me in the bedroom ever again.
I’ll never be awake all night cluster feeding while wondering if I’ll ever see the inside of my eyelids without having to immediately prise my eyes back open to stay awake FOR THE LOVE OF GOD… And don’t drop the baby on the floor!
No more rock hard boobs that held so much promise, and looked the best they’d ever looked in their entire life. Hey guys, I have tits! CHECK. THEM. OUT.
Who else really thought they’d stay that way? DELUDED! Our survey says ‘uh-oh’. Nope, sorry love, enjoy your spaniel’s ears, because YOU earned them. What a prize.
But then again, no more nipple shields or nipple cream… Or those damn pumps. God… here’s a shout out to the posh ones, the hospital ones, the battery ones, the plug-in ones… I hate you all! And how my nipples rejoiced on their collective departure from my life.
If nipples could sing, mine would be nailing the soprano and the alto parts of the Messiah’s Hallelujah chorus over that goodbye. Yep – if nipples could sing, mine would be in harmony over that one.
I’ll never have to put a pump to my boob, suck the life out of it and shake my fist up at the sky in wonder as to exactly why my damn milk supply never bothered to show up properly – BOTH times. Drip, drip, drip, half an hour passes; you’ve won yourself 20ml! Cue fanfare.
No more brewers yeast lactation cookies! Hey, they tasted pretty damn good with 200 grams worth of Bourneville thrown in.
No more crawling out of the hospital, crippled by a C-section wound and walking half bent over for days around the house feeling like I’d been sawn in two. No more post-C-section jabs! No more sodding lactulose.
The excitement of a new arrival: gestational diabetes, the nesting, the birth, the bringing them home for the first time… the good and the bad now both have exactly the same thing in common – they’re gone forever.
So many things we thought we might never get to experience before our IVF journey have already passed us by.
It seems as though each week I’m charity shopping the latest size clothes. Even his poos have changed now he’s eating food. He can sit up unaided most of the time, and he’s no longer a baby-baby, he’s a little boy. He has a wicked sense of humour – always looking to laugh and smile, even when he’s not feeling his best.
I’ve been trying to keep a journal each for both of my children. I want to keep a note of the things they say and the funny things they do, as they grow older. Even if I don’t have time to write in it very often, I’ve promised myself to keep track of what I can. I can’t tell how quickly and easily you forget, and Maddie’s only two and a half.
I just came here to say, hold on to every great moment as it passes. Yep, we all know that not every moment is great, and at first, the majority of life feels like absolute unabated shit. To those mums especially, who are probably reading this with the baby on red-raw tit, black bloodshot eyes, unwashed hair with your phone telling you it’s quarter past fucking three IN THE MORNING and you’ve had no sleep yet - this time will pass, and it will pass quickly. Hang on in there, sister.
Treasure it. And if you can’t treasure, don’t worry – one day you kind of will, whether you intend to or not, in a fond, rose-tinted glasses sort of way.