Jessica Kate or “Le Foetus” as she was known in utero (to allow us an additional entry in a Tour de France tipping competition – in which she promptly beat both her parents might I add) arrived on July 27th – 6 days past her due date.
We’ve had an exciting but also overwhelming month since bringing her home and both Dave and I have at times wondered why babies don’t come equipped with instruction manuals!
As a new parent I discovered a mix of emotions – anxiety, fear, joy and disbelief – that I had never experienced before. In hospital, Jessica had been swaddled tightly, placed between us on a comfy double bed and we had all together as a family caught up on 3 hours of valuable shut eye after an exhausting few days before/during the labour. (I’ll save you all from that story!)
On arriving home for our first night, we expected to just replicate that same scene. Swaddle baby tightly, place in bassinet next to parents’ bed and everyone would go to sleep. Bzzzt! Wrong!
The next 2 weeks were all a bit of a blur as we took turns doing night shifts to settle a screaming baby. Jessica would sleep fine for some intervals in the night – as long as she was comfortably snuggled on her parents’ chest whilst they were suitably uncomfortable. This was a tough time because neither Dave nor I are able to sleep sitting up or on our back. I was prepared for interrupted sleep but several days of no sleep each night were wearing me very thin. Sort of put the Giro Donna in perspective – at least I got to sleep between stages there.
In the end, bringing Jess into our big family bed (which prior to her arrival was not part of my plans) was the only way to survive the madness and allow us a few hours of rest.
Fortunately things have improved dramatically in the last 2 weeks as we as parents grow in confidence and receive invaluable support and assistance from family and friends. We are all much better rested, able to enjoy couple time and both Dave and I are back into a (rather modified) exercise routine. I managed a very cruisy mountain bike ride the other day and have been enjoying lifting weights back in the gym.
Life is certainly different with a little one (duh!) but it is one that I am very much enjoying and muddling through.
We reached a milestone a couple of weeks back… we realised we had gone a whole day without taking a picture of Jessica!?! Even though the photo taking has slowed down lately we are still very glad to be in the age of digital photography – otherwise I think we would be broke after paying for all the film development. Without posting our entire family album here, I have added a few photos of Jess. I think she is kind of cute, but readily admit that I might just be a little biased.
Until next time I emerge from my sleepless daze…