Today my little Iris is 7 whole weeks old.
I find it hard to believe that the whole childbirth bit was only 7 weeks ago. It feels like a lifetime, and I feel pretty good, physically. I had a rough time with the labour and birth (more on that soon) and expected a much longer recovery time, but I was out and about doing stuff within days. Which is good because the dog turns into an evil house-destroying monster when he hasn’t had a walk.
I find it incredibly hard to believe that I looked like this just 7 weeks ago.
Now I’ve got an entirely different body. It produces milk that makes Iris gain weight at an incredible speed. It has stretch marks and saggy bits that weren’t there before. It doesn’t fit in any of the clothes, too small for maternity clothes, too big for the pre-pregnancy stuff. It makes me have an identity crisis regularly because it just doesn’t look like the body I think of as being my body.
Mostly I look at my body in awe. It MADE Iris. It grew her from too small to be seen by the naked eye, to a 7lb pink wrinkly newborn, and continues to grow her, even on the outside. Since her birth, I’ve kept her alive and healthy with my boobies! For 7 whole weeks! Isn’t that magic? It amazes me every single day!
Everything has changed. Not one thing is the same. I’m an entirely different person inside this different body too.
I’m her mum. I’ve never been her mum before. It’s a pretty amazing thing to be.
As for Iris, she’s just incredible. She smiles now, sometimes, and it makes me feel totally overwhelmed with love over and over again. She’s wise. She looks wise, don’t you think? When she looks at me I can see already that she’ll teach me far more than I’ll ever be able to teach her.
My favourite thing to do is watch her sleep. She snores gently and its the most beautiful sound in the world. Sometimes she sleeps on me, like she is as I type this, and I love this even more. She makes funny faces in her sleep. Little frowns. Little grins.
Every evening at bedtime she screams and screams and nothing I do will help her to calm down. It drives me mad and makes me sad all at the same time, and I wish I could help her feel better. Then all of a sudden it’s gone and she’s happy again, and she nods off to sleep. Sometimes I’m so tired that I wonder how I’ll cope with the evening’s screaming, but I always do.
I love co sleeping. I thought I’d be terrified of rolling onto her. But putting her in a crib, away from me, feels all wrong. Being next to her, ready with the boobies as soon as she needs them, feels RIGHT.
We’re getting out of the house every single day now, even if its just a walk with Seb. Some days we go to a breastfeeding support group. Other days we go shopping or just walk around town. People tell me I’m doing well for being out of the house, but I don’t understand why. It’s easier when we go out. Yes, getting out is hard work and timing leaving home for when I think Iris has a full tummy and will be settled for a while is practically impossible. But when we get out its fine and Iris seems happier. I’m happier too.
Me and her daddy, we’re a real team. I just keep loving him more and more since the arrival of Iris. He’s such an amazing dad, with endless patience and love. When he rocks her and sings to her my heart just melts.
The whole world has changed. You did that, Iris. Thank you.