It’s been eight weeks since Hope tumbled into our lives. Only eight short weeks to turn our world completely upside down – that’s quite an achievement for someone so small! I am caught up in a whirlwind of feeding, burping, crying, sleeping and changing. And in between I am still sewing bibs – thank you to everyone for your amazing ongoing support.
I’m still awestruck by her. It’s amazing how much time you can spend simply gazing at your baby, watching her weird and wonderful expressions, listening to the squeaks and snuffles. But I am not going to pretend that at times it doesn’t feel overwhelming. Why is she crying when she’s been fed, changed and burped? And although everyone told me about the tiredness, I hadn’t appreciated the extent of the heaviness that envelops you.
Thank goodness for the men in my life. My husband, Robert, has taken up the offer of shared parental leave and is at home for the foreseeable future. He wanted to be here to spend time with his daughter but he is more help than he knows, especially with giving me a break in the evenings by feeding Hope. And my lovely Dad has come over from New Zealand for almost three months. He has been absolutely brilliant, often cradling Hope on his chest for two hours while she sleeps. Oh and he is king of scones – I have never had so many baked goods in my house!
One of the things I really couldn’t manage without them is a fundamental task of having a baby – nappy changing. I can hold Hope’s legs up with one hand but of course I don’t have use of the other to wipe her bottom. Somehow I am determined to master the art of one-armed nappy changing. My disability has brought other challenges too but it’s amazing what’s out there if you look for it – who knew that you could buy bras that allow you to fit an expressing pump inside, leaving you hands free? We did have a good laugh about those but they’ve been a brilliant find as has the My Best Friend nursing pillow for resting Hope on.
I feel utterly blessed to have my beautiful daughter and the two most important men in my life by my side. It feels like a thoroughly modern set up and one of my lasting memories of this time will be of my Dad soothing the tiny bundle peeping over his shoulder. That’s what it’s all about.
Love Allison x