Eat. Shit. Sleep. Repeat. – By @katiebcreates
By Katie Burrell
Eat. Shit. Sleep. Repeat.
Last week my sister gave birth to my niece after a hardcore 24 hour labour. Twenty. Four. Hours. I asked her if she could remember the pain of her contractions and what any of it had felt like. She said that it’s pretty much gone from her memory already. I guess that’s how anyone manages to have more than one baby – your mind makes you forget the agony.
I’ve just got back from spending time with my sister, her husband and little Evie. After working with babies and pre-school children for the last few years I thought I had a real understanding of how it might feel to bring home your first baby and settle into a very new routine, but there’s something about seeing my sister go through it that’s made me realise the magnitude of responsibility that hits you full pelt just days after you’ve been enveloped in that warm, fuzzy, cosy baby bubble.
You’re exhausted like you’ve never been before and you don’t even realise because you’re so high on adrenaline. Your body has been through something unbelievably hard, it’s all torn up inside, you’re still bleeding, but there’s a tiny helpless human completely relying on you and you have to keep going. Every ounce of you hurts but simultaneously you’re elated. You’re incredibly anxious. You feel like you’re coping one minute and the next you’re in bits. You flit from one extreme to the other, over and over again. A multitude of emotions whir around inside your head and it just feels relentless but ultimately you’re so in love with this beautiful, precious baby. It’s all worth it.
Eat. Shit. Sleep. Repeat. Four words that describe the life of a newborn. You feed them, burp them, feed and burp them some more, then it’s a nappy change, or two, or three before settling them to sleep. Repeat. Something that used to be an easy task, like getting ready to leave the house, instantly becomes a massive feat with a baby in the equation. Suddenly you’re faced with an enormous milky poo explosion. It’s everywhere. It’s in places that make you wonder in utter bewilderment at just how it got there.
This is your life now. Things that used to take you fifteen minutes now take upwards of an hour. Again, that enormous feeling of responsibility rears its head and you feel daunted, terrified even. Little things go wrong – spilled juice on the floor or a cracked plate in the dishwasher – and you burst into tears in a second. But you look at that small, beautiful face and your heart fills with happiness and love. Those tiny fingers that cling to yours and those deep, dark eyes that look to you for reassurance. That little person who curls up into a squishy ball and settles in as you hold her in your arms. It’s all worth it.
My sister is a wonderful Mum. I know she’ll get through this and begin to feel more at ease as the days go by. Having a baby has got to be one of the most emotional rides of your life, but you can do it Hannah! You’re already doing it.