Sunday, 28 July 2013

And Now What? Life With a New Baby

Our own little prince fresh out of hospital at 10 weeks of age
I thought it was premmie thing. When we took Joseph home, through the door, showed him around the flat, sat down and said "right well, now what?" We had no idea what to do with this tiny creature, now finally at home.  Until this week on Twitter watching Twitter watching the Prince and Princess taking the newest little Prince home I seriously thought it was a premmie thing. Many people said the same thing "wonder if they're sitting in their posh abode thinking "now what do we do" "

Dr Ranj Watching Twitter and Telly Simultaneously!

It isn't a premmie thing at all, all new parents have that sense of wonderment with a heavy tinge of bewilderment. It's normal. And its great, our experiences, whilst vastly different in some senses, are very similar in others.

This week I've been volunteering in units, getting to know parents and "new" babies. Many of these are much smaller than new baby Prince George but are already 3 months old. It never ceases to amaze me the diversity of parents walking these corridors, sitting by incubators, wondering what is to come, waiting for that "open the door, walk in the house, and then have that wonder what on earth we're meant to do now?" moment.

For a long time I felt so "other" from healthy baby parents, and isolated. I felt so very different, and sometimes a failure or guilty that I was so rubbish at motherhood. Of course I wasn't rubbish at all, just unlucky. In most cases preterm birth is extraordinarily bad luck, as are other pregnancy complications. It's not personal failure.

Today I spent sometime at an event at a baby store talking to parents about my charity and the work we do. I felt two things. A bit like the voice of doom on the edge of a cliff, fortunately Joseph was running around so I could say "here's one I prepared earlier" and lighten the message. I also felt a deep sense of loss. And for once, my husband shared that too.

We both felt sad we never did that, walked around baby shops together gazing, musing, wondering what to buy. We never went to a baby store together, and mused about prams, and cots, clothes and sleeping bags. We missed those moments of wondering, hoping, dreaming, pleasant expectation.

And so do a lot of parents. Sad fact is very few of us get the posh blackboard, town crier, photos on the steps of the hospital moment, beaming with pride, for lots of reasons.

And thats ok. Hooray to Princess Kate for having a lovely birth a brief hospital stay and most of all a happy and healthy baby.

But hooray to all of the rest of us too. Parents are amazing, whatever our journey. 

1 comment:

  1. I went to Kiddicare a while back, with my pregnant sister and her boyfriend. I had that same sort of feeling, because when I was pregnant I didn't get to do any stuff like that (for different reasons); all my shopping was done alone.

    I think with the coming home thing, it can be more compounded if you or baby have been kept in hospital for a while. For me, I spent my entire 2 weeks in hospital focusing on being allowed to go home; I never considered what would happen once I walked through that door.