Sunday, 4 May 2014

Week 137- skinny jeans, Chinese burns and Asda baked beans...

Week one as a family of four. Done.

I’d like to say I took it in my stride, but, in reality, I don’t think I would have survived the last seven days without the support of female friends. Or more specifically, other mums.

They just know what to do.

I’d forgotten what a car crash your body is, post-labour.  

Even without stitches, the thought of having to go to the loo in the first couple of days is enough to make you want a permanent colostomy bag.

Your stomach is like a human stress ball. What had been a taut, baby-filled orb the size of a yoga ball for months is suddenly empty. Like a half-deflated water balloon.

Nancy takes great pleasure in kneading her hands into my tummy and telling me how wobbly it is. 

Lovely stuff.

And when you think you can’t burst into any more unprompted tears, your milk comes in. Your boobs triple in size and you feel like someone is giving them a Primary-School-style Chinese burn.

We’ve already gone through one Savoy cabbage.

Now that’s something they didn’t teach me in Double Science at school.

That cabbage breaks down the enzymes and reduces the milk production, and so helps prevent mastitis.

You shove two leaves straight from the fridge down your bra.

It’s basically like vegetable porn.

The super-grim part is that it works best when they’re wilted so you end up smelling a bit like a kitchen composter.

I’d obviously been in total denial about how immobile you can be after birth and how small your world becomes.

I’d visions of us all going out in the first couple of days to the park.

Of slipping effortlessly into my old skinny jeans with my newborn baby strapped to my front.

In reality, a mooch to the shop round the corner in my pyjama bottoms felt like a trip up Kilimanjaro.

And, although I’d had great plans to cook lots of homemade stuff to put in the freezer, this hadn’t happened.

So when friends started popping by with meals for us, it felt like a food version of DIY SOS.

We live miles from our families.

Our choice, of course, but it's at times like this that I question what we thought we were doing. 

How much easier life would be if you could just get your mum to pop round to put a wash on or give you 20 minutes to have a bath without a two-year-old sticking foam letters to your legs?

And then brilliant women come to your rescue with homemade lasagne. 

Leaving you free to cuddle a tiny, mewing newborn as he snuffles like a small pig and opens his eyes for the first time.

So, for fear of sounding like a total fromage - here’s to the brilliant women who touch our lives.

Without whom we’d live on Asda beans for breakfast, lunch and tea.

* My blog has been shortlisted for the Britmums Brilliance in Blogging award in the LAUGH category. The shortlist is 16 blogs and it is now down to the public vote to get it down to the six finalists.  

The link is:,  the LAUGH category is question 13, and my blog is ‘You can take her home now...’ if you fancy voting for it. 


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