3 Sep 2014
Six weeks ago I got a new job that I wasn't meant to start until September and that I've never been more eager to start. The job? Being a mammy. Apparently baby was eager too and surprised us six weeks early! As my husband and I don't really know very many other people with babies or children that we see very often, it's been a case of learning on the job in our new role as parents.
Thinking back over the last month or so, the biggest thing I've come to realise is the lesson we've been taught about human kindness. Family, friends, hospital staff and even strangers have rallied round, cooking us boat loads of meals for the freezer, offering help in numerous guises, sending far too many (much appreciated) cards and gifts and everyone giving smiles and well wishes. Until we had Toby, we didn't realise how much babies bring out the best in most people. We've also giggled about how much female attention fellas get holding a new born.
For a couple of weeks, Toby had to stay in the Neonatal unit to get strong enough to come home. Although he was fairly robust in comparison to many of the other little babies in the ward, his birth and subsequent stay in the unit came as a huge surprise to us. After all, despite being first-time parents, our textbook pregnancy had led us to believe little man would appear around forty weeks and be able to go home after a day or two. The last thing we expected was to have to leave hospital still as a duo, but I'll forever be thankful that this was only a temporary measure. When I was staying in the hospital with Toby, I got up at 3am to help with changing and feeding him. I was cuddling him afterwards and in a moment I'll remember for the rest of my life, he opened his eyes and looked right at me. It was in that instant I was overwhelmed by my love for my beautiful son and I knew my life would never be the same. Before July, we knew nothing about the neonatal unit, but we found it to be a place full of positivity and we'll always be grateful to the numerous nurses who cared for Toby (and gave us so much support and advice) during those weeks. They are truly inspirational.
Something that's been invaluable since we got home has been a saline spray and a nasal aspirator for Toby's nose. Poor little sniffly thing has been getting used to the big dusty world and these two things have helped him and us get relief and some sleep rather than fall victim to congestion. I would fully recommend them (I love you Boots) and I've included links to them.
Another thing we've come to realise is that there's no such thing as too many photographs. Even in the few weeks Toby has been with us, we've noticed so much of a change which we've been fortunate enough to chronicle to enjoy (and use to embarrass him) at a later date. I'm already imagining Toby's life when he's older...his first words, his first steps, what music he'll like, the first time we can surprise him with a trip to Disney World...I JUST CAN'T WAIT!!! He's got bags of character already and both my husband and I are excited to see the person he'll become. Whoever that is, I can't imagine loving anything more in my entire life. I guess to sum it up, becoming a parent is the best thing I've ever done and although the hours are long and the pay is appalling, I'll never want another job.