Well somehow almost 8 weeks has gone by since I last wrote on this space. I think that’s the longest I’ve gone between posts in a good few years. I even blogged during our 4 week honeymoon and I usually always have some scheduled content waiting if I know I’ll be away for a while. But this time felt different, this time I didn’t want to schedule anything or try and juggle, I just wanted to step away. Take a break from blogging, relieve myself of any pressure surrounding my social channels and be honest about it. Enjoy the adventure that was ahead of me and come back whenever I was ready. Having said that I had always imagined I wouldn’t be able to stay away for very long, but it turns out dealing with a newborn baby takes up so much of your brain capacity that there isn’t much room for anything else.
Anyway I’m not going to say ‘I’m back’ because I’ve been trying and failing to write this post for three weeks and it took me a week and a half of writing a few sentences during various nightly feeds/ baby sleeping in my arms moments before I managed it. So when the opportunity may arise again I don’t know. As sod’s law would have it, I’ve thought of a million great ideas for content in the last 8 weeks and have a long list of things I want to write and create yet absolutely no time to sit down and do so.
Right now it feels as if my brain can’t possibly accommodate anything more than caring for Evie and the ability to do any of the things that used to make up my pre- Evie life seems to have left me. Strangely this hasn’t bothered me nearly as much as I expected it to and filling my days with an endless cycle of feeding, changing, playing, snuggling and soothing is absolutely all I want to concentrate on at the moment. It’s made me realise how much utter nonsense I allowed to fill my head before this. I honestly can’t even imagine life without her in it now and so many of the worries and stresses that held so much importance before she was born now just seem utterly ridiculous.
After a good few weeks of total zombie like existence, I’m slowly coming back to myself (I’m doing my first afternoon away from her next week for a few press days in London – eek) and hopefully I’ll be able to update the blog sporadically for now before I relaunch properly in the summer and get back to something resembling a schedule again (thanks for sticking with me!).
So onto what’s been keeping me away – our gorgeous, sleep thieving, chomp monstering little girl! Evie is now 7 weeks old (8 tomorrow) and even though I’m well aware how the passing of time occurs, I can honestly say I have NO idea how we’ve reached this point. I mean seriously – how has 2 months happened?!! It’s such a cliche to say it but she is growing and changing so fast, I feel like I can’t possibly keep up or take note of every special moment. Again another cliche but she really is the best thing that’s ever happened to us, and despite how unbelievably tough the last two months have been, how much they’ve tested us emotionally and physically and how exhausted we feel, there is absolutely nothing that compares to the overwhelming love we feel for our tiny human. When people say it’s like having a piece of your heart living outside of your body it’s absolutely true. I only wish I could somehow bottle these moments – that sweet milky baby smell, those adorable little grunts and noises she makes, the way her arms reach around your back to give you a little hug when you’re holding her, the cheeky gummy smiles that face you each morning, that soft head nuzzling into your chest after a feed – and come back and enjoy them again when I’m not fighting sleep deprivation and stumbling through the postpartum haze, as I just know that before we know it we’ll be onto the next phase and this early stage will seem like a lifetime ago.
The days since she was born have been totally crazy. On the one hand wonderful and so full of joy and memorable moments that make your heart sing. On the other hand exhausting, emotionally draining and filled with stress, anxiety and worry, at least one emotional breakdown a day a given. Overall I can claim these weeks as some of the hardest of my life (and to think I thought the pregnancy was the hard part!). Being a parent is truly wonderful and hugely rewarding but so far I’ve found that I’ve barely had the time or energy to really stop and appreciate those aspects as the days go by in a blur of exhaustion, survival the only goal. I read Rosie’s post on the postpartum fog the other day and was nodding along with every part of it, it absolutely feels like we’ve been living in our own strange little bubble lately, reality a separate state that we can’t quite see through the cloud around us.
But every day brings us a step further on, and I’m slowly learning that everything does pass, and things do get easier with time. Even the worst of days and the hardest of weeks, where you feel like you might never make it through alive, come to an end as quick as they arrived and you’re already onto the next hurdle before you’ve had time to process the last, looking back and thinking ‘how did we cope?’.
Our little one has dealt with a lot in her first few weeks of life from colic and colds to thrush, nappy rash, and various issues with feeding and we’ve stumbled through the hurdles bleary eyed and constantly panicking we are doing a terrible job. But the rewards are plentiful and it brings us so much happiness to see our girl grow and thrive. Each day brings a new milestone and we are already getting such a sense of Evie’s personality even so early on – she is so full of character!
She’s a strong and feisty little girl with a streak of independence, a bit of a temper, and yet such a kind and sweet nature. She knows what she likes and she knows exactly how to tell us about it. I’ve no doubt she’s going to be a confident little so and so who gives her Mum and Dad the run around in the future. I guess coming from a long line of strong fiery females I shouldn’t have expected anything less! But despite her independence she loves a cuddle and is such a snuggly baby. She would happily be smothered with hugs and kisses all day (and she gets her wish as she always is!) and always prefers a snooze on Mum or Dads chest to her crib.
She’s cheeky beyond belief and makes us laugh constantly with her expressions and antics, her face is so full of character and the way she rolls her eyes, winks, kicks her legs and makes shapes with her hands is so expressive (It now makes total sense why she was kicking and punching me so much on the inside – the girl never stops moving!).
She’s a total flirt, loves being the centre of attention and is constantly on the go, demanding non stop interaction. She wants to play, cuddle and chat all day long – sleep it seems is boring and may mean missing out on some serious fun (much to Mum and Dads dismay).
And she’s also sweet and gentle and has moments of sleepy contentment where she smiles and giggles away to herself holding my hand tight, while I sit and look at her wondering whether my heart might just burst.
I could honestly stare at her perfect little face with it’s button nose, pouty lips and dimple chin, all day long (well until she starts screaming that is!) and can’t stop kissing those soft soft cheeks of hers. Of course like every parent we’re convinced our child is a genius and have marvelled at her ability to hold her own head up by week two and praised her for her super strong legs which see her practically standing on her own with us barely holding her already. Hashtag #geniusbaby.
In the last couple of weeks, she’s really come on leaps and bounds and like everyone assured us (although it’s hard to believe them when your living through the cluster feeds and 40 mins of sleep a night in week 3) around week 5/6 things really started to make sense and the days became less about survival and tending to a screaming baby and more about enjoying the interactive and funny little person in front of us. Although we did have a few crazy nights during the 6 week growth spurt that made me feel like I’d ventured back in time to those early few days (and reminded me just how far we’d come) that point also brought huge developmental leaps and we were rewarded with proper smiles for the first time, a baby who talks back to us when we chat to her and happily plays with all the toys in her activity mat. Almost over night she has become amazingly alert and wide eyed, constantly taking in everything around her and truly interacting with everyone she meets. Thankfully this busy lifestyle of hers with so much to see and do does seem to also (touch wood) be lending itself to longer sleeps and more regular naps (which means Mum and Dad are slowly returning from zombie status to something resembling normal human beings again) and we can all start enjoying spending time together as a family rather than just taking shifts on staying awake. Because the days blur into one another it’s easy to forget that things are getting better and appreciate how much you can all come on in even one day. When I think back only a few weeks I realise just how much has changed already, how much we’ve learned and how much we’ve all achieved, and I want to give us a massive pat on the back for getting this far and staying strong.
Of course the fun is really only beginning and we are so enjoying spending time with our funny, clever, adorable little pixie, watching her grow and learn, and showing her the world as best we can. In short we are totally in love with her.
But I promise I didn’t actually plan this post to be purely gushing about my daughter (I’ve become one of those annoying parents haven’t I?) I just wanted to check in on this neglected space, say hello and keep you updated on how things are going to pan out from here on in on the blog.
A few of you have asked how my content will change now that Evie is around (‘are you going to become a mummy blogger now?’ being the main response from friends) but the simple answer is that I hope things won’t have to change too much. If anything now that I have to be a little more structured about my time, I’m hoping I’ll be able to stay more organised with this space and dedicate the time to making it even better. Once I get back on track I’m planning to do a small relaunch with a bit of a revamp of the site, a few changes to the look and a more professional approach to the way I work. I’ll be aiming to cover the same topics I’ve always covered but I also do want to take things back to basics a little and use this space for personal reflection and honest posts as much as possible.
Obviously as a lifestyle blog, this space has always served primarily as an online journal for me, and documented the various stages of my life. Becoming a parent is such a huge part of my life now that it would be impossible for me not to reference it from time to time and talk about my experiences along the way. However we also feel hugely protective of Evie already and don’t necessarily want to subject her to a life online before she is truly ready to understand what that means. I’ve chosen to document my life on the internet but I don’t want to take that choice away from her. It’s a decision I guess every parent has to make and I have no issue whatsoever with those who decide otherwise but, for now at least, we want to protect her internet presence as much as we can and therefore I’m going to be considered about the type of imagery and content I put up here when it comes to Evie. It’s not that I’ll never share, but when I do I want it to be a worthy update along with beautiful images she’d be happy to look back on when she’s older. I do however, have plenty to say on my experiences of parenting so far, so I think I’ll interject my usual content with the odd motherhood update on how we are coping and what’s helping us through. I hope it won’t be too much of a departure from my usual style and perhaps useful for those going through the same journey.
Anyway it seems I haven’t lost my ability to ramble on for longer than necessary so I’ll stop here and once again thank you all for your kind words and messages towards Evie and for sticking with me during this crazy yet wonderful time in my life.
Now to get back to soaking up these fun moments with my little family – hopefully I’ll be back soon with another post from that long list I’ve accumulated!
Bye for now!