The Hard Truth: The First Week At Home.
You close the door behind you and that’s when you realise, life will never be the same again. Now, don’t get me wrong, you wouldn’t want it any other way, but it’s the realisation that maybe you hadn’t anticipated.
You will still be exhausted from the birthing experience. It tires you physically and emotionally. Your baby will cry, a lot, but that feeling of unconditional love will make everything seem rosy. For the first two weeks at least 😉 before real sleep deprivation kicks in.
You know you will have to see people. You have received a million messages already asking to see you and the baby. However (and this is a big HOWEVER), don’t underestimate how emotional and tired you will be. It may take a few more days to hit you, as you may still be running on adrenalin, but it will eventually hit you like a brickwall!
I would suggest locking that door behind you, messaging your friends and ask them for a week at least, of your own family time. To give you a chance to laugh, cry, argue and cry some more, in between the million nappy changes and zero sleep you will be getting. A week will give you an insight into what your life will be like for the next few months and make plans on how you intend to tackle it.
It’s only really then that I would recommend letting your friends visit, because once you open those flood gates, it’s a whole new level of tiredness.
You actually have to start socialising again. Regardless of your friends saying to you, “You wont even know we are there,” I guarantee you will know they are there, and what’s more, you will be thinking, “Is it time for them to leave now!”
It is only really your own mother who you will want round to help you, or to offer you advice at this stage. You will find that you own mother is the only one that you truly trust with your baby (apart from your partner). You will be watching your friends with a critical eye when they are holding your angel, and you will be trying to resist suggesting they hold him a different way.
I didn’t have any visitors for two weeks after my baby was born and I still found it overwhelming then!
Don’t be afraid to say “no” to people. Your friends will understand why, and will wait patiently to be invited round.
You will feel emotionally drained. Take comfort in knowing that after the first eight weeks you will see a marked difference in your coping mechanisms and how your baby settles into life in the real world.
Your priorities will change, you will start living groundhog day.
It’s all worth it though!