By Contributor Ash Pritchard (@the.sitch)
I nearly cried when I left the hospital…. Don’t get me wrong, I was excited to go home and all, but the harsh reality was setting in - that when I got home there was no one to wait on me.
Who would come to my room to apply cream to Al-anus Morrisette (my post birth hemorrhoid)? Who would deliver me a fresh plate of corned beef sandwiches every day? I enjoyed revelling in the luxury that I didn’t have to hang my towel back up on the towel rack and a freshly laundered one would miraculously appear in the afternoon.
I liked being a patient, although I was becoming increasingly impatient by the fact I hadn’t been outside for the past six days straight and I was starting to turn translucent.
They say becoming a mother changes you forever. But in my opinion the changes you have to adjust to in the first week post-partum are some of the most difficult to fine-tune altogether. If you’re interested to know what’s in store, I’ve gone to the liberty of detailing what to expect for each Sitch according to moi – Mrs Pritch. You’re welcome.
The UNDIES Sitch
I thought it’d be heaps cute to go out and buy some Bonds undies for the hospital. You know, the little boyleg ones with cute slogans and/or leopard print. Like totes cute right? WRONG. Don’t do that. Do yourself a favour and go to Kmart and get an 18 pack of black gunt gobblers. In 2 sizes bigger. You’re going to have to fit a king single mattress in there …. aka maternity pads.
Six weeks postpartum: I was still wearing black marquees. You could literally fit 300 guests, a dancefloor and a six piece band in there. Speaking of which, it kind of reminded me of a scene out of Game of Thrones… you know, at Rob Stark’s ‘Red Wedding’. If you have NFI what I’m talking about – Google it. Hmmm actually, probs best you don’t.
The GERM Sitch
You will literally become OBSESSED with hand sanitiser, and insist everyone who visits the baby slathers themselves in it before touching your baby. “Um, excuse me Gran – did you just blink? Yes? Do you mind sanitizing your hands please?” Before your baby gets their six week immunisation shots you can’t be too cautious. So bathe in the shit if need be.
The FOOD Sitch
When you get home you will undoubtedly have many friends and family wanting to come visit and meet the new bebe: and as common practice has it (and may I add at this point most gratefully received), you bring an abundance of pre-made meals and groceries for the newfound parents. But alas, as most first time parents we get caught up in the whirlwind of our newborn and forget about consuming the leftover beef strog that unfortunately ended up at the back of the fridge….. A very common scenario in our house:
*Opens fridge – sees leftovers in there but CBF cleaning the container. Closes fridge. Figures Matt will see it and tip it out *
*Opens fridge three days later. Leftovers still there.*
Fuck. Now due to my neglectfulness there’s a colony of bacteria that’s bred in there. They’ve built schools and hospitals. They’ve even appointed a Mayor. I feel so guilty. I can’t murder the poor bastards. So I leave it in there a few more days until Matt discovers it.
The CLOTHING Sitch
You’re in a transitional phase. You’re probs (actually pretty defs) still a bit too chub to fit in your pre-pregnancy clothes and there’s no way you’re going to be seen in that striped maxi you practically lived in during the 1st, 2nd and 3rd trimester. MY solution… gym clothes; or active wear if you will.
I wore it in public, and could give less than zero fucks. Yes, I’m that mum. Which is totally plausible because I’m always a little sweaty and more than likely have a tinge of B.O. which makes it even more acceptable, coz let’s face it (you’ve just had some sort of work out) or more likely you just forgot to put on deodorant when you left the house in the morning.
The SLEEP Sitch
I hate to state the bleeding obvious – but you are gonna be tired. Really. Fucking. Tired. A (my) newborn baby feeds approximately every 2 – 2.5 hours in the first six weeks. You wake up feeling delirious and totally confused numerous times a night. In the morning your eyes are like a 10 on a scale of 1 being normal and 10 being Steve Buscemi. You look in the mirror and find there’s enough crust in the corner of your eye to feed a large adult duck for an entire year #tasty.
The GOOD news is they sleep for large blocks of time during the day so you get the chance to do the things you used to do without interruption. So take the time to do whatever floats yer boat. Get a pedi. Put a movie on. Pick your nose. Enjoy the time out while you have it.
The BREASTFEEDING Sitch
Your poor norks have been feeling a tad on the tender side since the second trimester. Now the baby’s here it’s time to declare the Milk Bar ‘Open for Biz’. Babies aren’t the most resourceful of mammals within the first 24 hours. Which sucks – because they don’t suck. Well, not efficiently… just yet.
On the first night I was innocently trying to manoeuvre my bosom into Harley’s mouth when a nurse stopped me. She said he wasn’t going to get anything because he wasn’t ‘latching properly’. Said nurse got up and returned with a syringe. A milking syringe. I sat there in udder disbelief as she proceeded to squeeze colustrum into the syringe. (Yes I made a cow joke. I thought it was a-moo-zing. I’ll stop now). Suffice to say I got a WHOLE 1mL.
Three days later you’re starting to get the hang of this breastfeeding gig. It ain’t so bad! This is a breeze. And then… O SWEET LORD HAVE MERCY it’s like someone’s taken a blow torch to your baps. They use the term ‘milk coming in’…. I used whatever “cooling” objects I could lay my hands on in a feeble attempt to ease the pain …. Cabbage leaves, frozen nappies, a box of fuckin Frosty Fruits! OH THE AGONY.
Oh, and um… there’s also some post-birth contractions thrown in for good measure. As your uterus makes its way back up to her original dwelling, your stomach is in knots and your flaps are swelling. Noice!
The ABSOLUTELY-HEAD-OVER-HEELS-IN-LOVE Sitch
No exaggeration, you will spend a good 99% of your time just staring at your baby. Staring because you can’t believe you’ve actually created this perfect little being. You literally can’t take your eyes off them. But you know what – that’s so ok.
Stare a little longer. Hug them a little tighter. Enjoy THIS very moment as it happens and LOVE them like there’s no tomorrow.