Is it ok that I have newborn baby envy right now? Its just that everywhere I look, other mums seem to be popping out perfect babies who sleep well, hardly cry and entered the world in a sea of rose-smelling confetti… Ok,so I made the last bit up, but thats how it feels at the moment.
Don’t get me wrong, I love newborn babies and I love that my friends are joining me in the baby game, either with their first, or with their second (some are even going the whole hog and are ready to deliver their fourth, eh @Chunkybums?) either newly born or on the way. I seem to be surrounded by newborn babies and I’m fine with that. What I am NOT fine with, however, is that these newborn babies are sleeping better than mine and crying less than mine. And he isn’t newborn anymore.
Take one new mum- let’s call her Mum A. She gave birth to her son a mere half an hour after arriving at the hospital, at 9am on a Sunday morning. She was on the phone to me at 10am and home that same day. Good for her, I was so pleased. I did, however, find myself thinking: Hmmm. 45 minutes after MY baby was born, I was still asleep and oblivious to the fact that he was even alive… That’s not her fault. It’s my fault I feel like that and when those thoughts enter my head, I verbalise them and they sound ridiculous and they seem to disappear in a puff of smoke almost as quickly as they appeared. But with Mum A, I do find myself hanging on to one aspect of newborn envy- the crying.
My son spent approximately eight solid months crying. Seriously. Ask anyone. Mum A’s baby only cries when he wants something, such as a nappy change or a bottle. A friend once told me that her midwife told her that a baby who never cries is one whose mother is perfectly fulfilling his every need. Thanks for that.
Newborn baby envy number two, the biggest, is the sleep. And let me introduce you to Mum B. ME.
My daughter slept through from five weeks old. FIVE WEEKS!! I thought that was normal. I had nothing to compare it to, so why wouldn’t I? I’ve since come to realise that my daughter was abnormal. My son still wakes a couple of times a night and nothing I do seems to make any difference. So Mum B envokes my envy in a big way. Come to think of it, Mum A was up the same number of times as me last night. Not fair. At five weeks, my son was every forty minutes.
SO you might be thinking that this newborn envy will get me nowhere and since I wouldn’t change my baby for the world, even writing about it is a pretty pointless exercise. The thing is, I haven’t admitted to you the real reason for my newborn baby envy. Take a guess. Yep- its the tiny fingers, the tiny smiles and the tiny squeals. Its the tiny moments of wondering who they will resemble when they grow into their faces, what things will make them laugh and what things will soothe them to sleep after a nightmare. Its the blank canvas; the innocence; the chance to get it right again.
I read a beautiful post yesterday over at Mummy From The Heart. It was her birth story, which has real echoes of my own. The part that stood out the most for me was the line about wanting to do it all again so that she could get it right. There’s not a day that goes by that I don’t feel the need to have another, so that I can get the birth right. For me, that’s not a ‘normal delivery’. It’s more an atmosphere. Its hard to explain. But that’s the crux of my newborn baby envy. Sorry. For now though, I’ll have to make do with secretly envying all the mums who look like they get a decent night’s sleep and have not more than once considered ear plugs for their own sanity. They do exist, right? Its not all in my head, I’m sure…