Henry turns six in September. It’s not even comprehendible to me that this child I carried for nine months, gave birth to and kept alive for the past years is turning six in a matter of months. I can remember those sleepless nights, the breastfeeding, each and every single milestone. I miss him being a baby – although I do remember at the time it was a worry.
Pre – Baby Worries
Before I had Henry, I had never held a new-born baby. Of course, I had experience with babies in general but by that stage they were usually months old and well past that fragile stage that a brand-new baby is at. I grew up in a small family as an only child so had no experience of younger siblings. I had planned to attend antenatal classes to at least help prepare me for the world of Motherhood. However, my employer was difficult to say the least and as I worked shifts it was difficult to negotiate the time off for the classes. Looking back now I realise I was young with no confidence and no real understanding of where I stood legally so I accepted that this was the way things were.
Naively at the time I remember thinking: ‘How hard can this be?’ I’d watched enough episodes of One Born Every Minute I could give birth without worry, right? The birth wasn’t the hard part though and I remember those first days of parenthood were terrifying.
Post Birth Worries
I always say that it felt like I was doing something illegal when I was left with Henry alone. Leaving a new-born baby with an unqualified, non-experienced woman who hasn’t slept for days seemed like the most ludicrous thing I had ever heard!
After a few days of being at home you get used to things and soon establish a routine but I often questioned everything I did. I remember once I fed him a bottle of formula and he felt really heavy when I put him down to sleep. Normally he was solely breastfed and I was convinced I had done something wrong and I spent hours googling and when I eventually spoke to the midwife centre she chuckled like I was losing the plot! Perhaps I was!! It’s just this new-born baby is the most precious cargo you will ever have possession of and you are solely responsible for its care and that’s a huge responsibility and worry – one I wasn’t sure I was ready for!
The Worry Never Ends
Once we established our routine I thought that the fear would subside but it never did. I was terrified he would suddenly stop breathing or something would happen to him. Even now at almost six I worry about him. I’ve come to realise that is part of being a parent – worrying. I worry regularly ‘Is he having a good day at school?’ ‘Is that cough lasting longer than it should?’ I guess my point is that no matter how prepared you are for parenthood or how experienced you become you will still worry about your children.
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