So last night Josh and I had our first date night as new parents!! Which was amazing to have some quality time together (although a lot of our conversations did end up being Maddison related.. what can I say, we just love her so much!!) As much as it was lovely to have those few hours together not in pjs or covered in baby spew and poo... it was agonising leaving her!!
Being someone who panics and gets anxiety easily I knew that leaving Maddison, even just for a few hours, was going to be surreal and a struggle. Of course she was with family so I knew she was perfectly safe and in good hands, but that still didn't make it any easier!!
Our first week home with Maddison, I really couldn't even bare to not have her in the same room as me! During the day Josh normally has some daddy time with her, meaning I can go upstairs and grab a few hours snooze, as I'm normally the one up in the night so Josh has slept well enough to function for work! This routine works so well for us.. but the first time I went up for a nap, I woke up crying because I didn't have her with me or in my sight! I panicked and just remember shouting down to Josh getting completely worked up over nothing (as of course she was absolutely fine)! I mean, the amount of crazy hormones running around my body probably didn't help with the emotional outburst.. BUT if you think, after carrying her in my belly for 41 weeks and then her not leaving my side for her first 48 hours in the world, it was a shock to the system to not have her at least in the same room as me so I could see or hear her! This happened for a couple of days in our first week home with her. I'd go to have my nap, knowing she was 100% safe and content with Josh, yet every time I'd still wake up with tears in my eyes, feeling like I couldn't breathe properly till she was back in my arms or sight!! These were obviously nowhere near the sort of big dramatic panic attacks I've had before in my life (like in labour!), but it was that chilling anxiety of being apart from my baby. I think for me personally it goes back to the need of "being in control" that I mentioned in my labour story blog (CLICK HERE TO READ). As when I'm away from Maddison, I can't be in control, I can't feed her, or cuddle her, or change her. And that is why I get my anxiety. (God I'm making myself sound like a complete control freak! Promise I'm not a total nightmare to live with, or I reckon Josh would've run away when he could have - haha!)
Saturday 1st July, was my middle sisters birthday. Maddison was one week old, and the family were all going out to dinner to celebrate. Of course initially I had said yes I'll go, I couldn't miss my sisters birthday! My sisters and I are super close, they are basically my best friends and we tell each other everything!! (LOVE YOU GIRLS!) But as it got nearer and nearer to the evening on that day.. I started to freak out again, baring in mind this would also be my first time out of the house since arriving home from hospital!! I think I barely put her down most of that day and could feel my heart rate increase and getting wound up at the thought of leaving her. I genuinely didn't want to go, (sorry sis!) I just didn't want to leave my newborn baby!! I know there's the option of taking her with us, but the restaurant we were going to we knew was very noisy and in the middle of town, it wouldn't have worked for a newborn baby and just didn't feel right taking her. Again, I knew she would be perfectly safe and happy at home with Josh's mum and sister, but I still couldn't relax about it. In the end, I did go, but was so distracted and agitated I couldn't enjoy the evening properly. Think we only lasted an hour before racing home to get to Maddison.
Looking back, that evening probably wasn't helped by the fact I was still sore down below! So sitting on a hard restaurant chair was agonising!! (Thank god my mum had a cardigan I could borrow to roll up and 'cushion' my lady area haha!) And also my back was still very bruised and sore from my double epidural! For me personally, I know it was a bit too soon to be going out to dinner and leaving Maddison. The combination of anxiety, being a control freak, crazy hormones and killer lady bits.. should've been enough for me to realise, but I didn't want to bail on my sisters birthday, even though I know she would've understood.
I always had a feeling I'd be a mess the first time leaving Maddison. I just know what I'm like by now!! Maybe I would've been better if it hadn't been quite so soon? Who knows?! I guess there is no 'right time' for going out without your baby for the first time, and it completely depends on you and when you feel ready!! But fast forward a week later, having been discharged from Midwifery care, been out the house for a couple of walks with Josh and Maddison in the stroller, it just felt so much easier going out last night. Maybe it would've been harder if I hadn't had the bad experience the week before? Or maybe I'm just getting more confident and comfortable being a mummy?
I have to admit, it did feel good putting a dress and lipstick on again and not feeling like a whale now I'm not pregnant!! I felt like I could relax and enjoy myself again without worrying if I was eating right and drinking enough to help my baby grow strong and healthy in my tummy. And it was soooo nice being able to sit throughout a dinner without having a foot constantly kicking me in the ribs haha!! (can't say I miss that!!)
Although I'm getting used to the idea of going out and getting family to baby sit Maddison, I doubt it's going to become a regular thing for these first few months or even year!! Or at least till I find a way to cope with this "separation anxiety!" I just feel deep down I don't want to miss a single moment with her. And I know it's mainly a mental thing, but how can I be 100% sure she's safe and okay when not in my arms?! (I don't think it's helped by all the horrors that are happening in the world right now, and all we want to do is protect our children!) I know how everyone tells you that it goes so fast, but it really does! And I'd hate to miss any of those special first moments or bonding time with her!! I know it's a case of working out the best balance - having time for you and your relationship, as well as your baby - I'm sure I'll get there eventually!
So how soon did you guys get to go out as a couple and have some quality time without baby? How did you find it, did you struggle as much as I did?! Any ways to cope with separation anxiety?! Love to hear from you as always! Either comment below or message me via the social page! x
This section will all be focused on being pregnant, discovering motherhood and baby bits!