Motherhood hits like a tonne of bricks. In baby form. As I painted my nails last night my mind drifted back seven months. "They" are right when they say nobody can prepare you for motherhood. Words do not capture the emotional nature of the change. They can not capture the enormity of it, no matter how much you try. But the little daily changes to my life, I can try to describe.
Seven months ago, painting my nails was a memory of part of a life that no longer existed. A life where, in most recent memory, I sat on the sofa all day, with a huge belly, surrounded by all the things I might need (to ensure I didn't have to climb the stairs more than necessary), thinking I've had it hard because I was sick for almost seven months of the pregnancy, yet there I was, relaxed and chilled and my only worry was whether I might be snowed in when the time came to have the baby.
Then she arrived. I still spent my days on the sofa. But I no longer painted my nails. Or dried my hair. Or put on make-up. Or wore fresh clothes every day. Or had a leisurely bath. I speed-showered. I wore the same pair of shoes every day. A manicure was a splash of soap and water (just the one hand because the other was holding a baby), and I'm not even going to mention my feet. A sexy bra felt like a thing of the past. Along with sleep.
Desperation developed a taste, a smell in the air. And alongside that, everything smelt of "baby" (which is not, for the record, that Johnsons' smell that everyone associates with babies, it's a MILK smell... and usually regurgitated milk at that).
Then slowly and mostly without my noticing it, things began to change. As Emily and I got to know each other better, I learnt to do things at lightning speed while she slept. So the laundry was always under control. The dishes were mostly always done.
So seven months on, it may be encouraging for some new mummies out there to know that I sit here typing this with not-just-dried-but-also-straightened hair; trimmed, buffed and painted nails; a subtle amount of make-up on my face and dangly earrings adorning my earlobes (which Emily will later try to tear off, no doubt).
There are still some things that I suppose you lose, after all we are shaped by our experiences. My love for high heels, as much as it is still present, no longer translates to wearing them any chance I get. My perfumes sit mostly unused - I just haven't gotten into the habit of wearing them again.
In time I've begun to re-establish my identity. I've only mentioned superficial things here because as I said earlier, the emotional side has to be experienced to be understood. So yes, motherhood has changed me. But I'm a better person for it.
Happy 7 months to my beautiful baby: seven of the most challenging - yet happiest - months of my life x