My baby was born 7 weeks ago today. On the 7th of the 7th. All those sevens! So, being the kind of person I am, I feel like I want to mark the occasion with a reflective blog post. I might do another one of these in another 7 weeks or I might just wait until 7 months.
As I’m a first time mother, it seems fitting that I explore “Expectations versus Reality”. So here are my outpourings.
I fully expected the onslaught of bodily fluids to be expelled from my child onto my person. I did not expect to take incredible joy from it!
Babies wee, poo and spew…and all of it in large quantities and great frequency. I expected that I would be doused in whatever was coming my way and I had no problem with that. What I didn’t anticipate was the extent to which I would wear these stains as a badge of honour!
Feeling the gentle warmth of fresh baby vomit on my face and not being at all perturbed by the experience was when I first felt “I’m a mother”.
I’ve changed nappies before…but only the old-style terry towelling type. I expected I would struggle more with adjusting to either modern cloth nappies or disposables. The reality is that I’ve found it much easier. I guess having had the experience of doing it the hard way was good preparation for me…even if it was 20 years ago!
After some research into the various types of nappies I decided I wanted to use modern cloth nappies. I recognised that this was going to mean a lot of washing and I actually expected that I would give up fairly early on in the proceedings. However, I have found that the task is not that onerous. I even really enjoy the process of washing, drying, folding and putting them away. There’s great satisfaction to be derived.
I also opted to use eco-disposables when we are out and about. The expectation was that they’d be nice and simple but still environmentally friendly. The reality is that they aren’t that simple after all. They are a two-part nappy. The inner part of the nappy is disposable and it is adhered to a non-disposable waterproof “shell”. Great in theory. However, the shape doesn’t quite fit our little girl and I find them a bit too complex for an “out and about” nappy. It did feel good to be all environmentally responsible though.
I expected to experience some level of disturbance in regard to my mental wellbeing but the reality is that I’m experiencing it in a different manifestation to when I expected. I’m still coming to grips with just where I sit with my mental health in any case so it’s no real surprise that I get the odd curveball now and again.
What I will say is that my expectation was that I would have to go through all sorts of difficult processes and red tape to access support services. The reality is that all kinds of people and agencies have been only too willing to help me through what I’m going through. Instead of the process being initiated by me and the support services reacting, I’ve found that these agencies have been proactive and have intervened very early on…before I had lost hope. I am so grateful for all the support I’ve been given. It doesn’t make my depression and anxiety go away but I sure feel better able to cope.
So that’s it for my 7 week musings. I might reflect again in another 7 weeks or wait until 7 months. Who knows!