It's about time I wrote something! As you might have guessed, the baby arrived and is doing well 😊 We named him Paul Özcan after Tom's late uncle and my late maternal grandfather.
I had a pretty tough time with breastfeeding in the first few weeks so I told myself that I would restart my newsletter once I had things "under control". Well, it's been several weeks now and, while breastfeeding has improved, I'm still dealing with a couple issues...but I've realised that setting myself a standard of "must have X sorted before doing Y" is not helpful. I like putting my thoughts into writing and I like sharing this newsletter so here I am.
Also, I'm writing this on my phone! Another reason I kept putting off writing was because I was waiting until I had some time behind a computer without baby. I realise now how naive that was... I spend so many hours with him dozing on my lap, it would be silly not to use that time to write. (and yes, I tried balancing a laptop on my knees at the same time, it didn't work)
So, where to start? I could write about the birth, about those blurry first days of Paul's life, about my first impressions of motherhood or about the trashy reality TV that saved me on those days when my nipples were very sore and it took all my strength to keep feeding Paul through the pain (#thth anyone??).
First things first, let's start with the birth. Even though things didn't go as planned (do they ever?!), the hypnobirthing course made all the difference. It gave both Tom and me the confidence and the knowledge to not follow all the doctors' recommendations in the lead up to the birth (they were keen to induce me on his due date, we decided that we wanted to wait) and, once Paul was born, to push to be released from hospital that same night instead of me staying on an extra 2-3 days by myself (because of Covid, Tom wouldn't have been allowed to visit at all during that time period).
If you'd told me a year ago that Tom and I would have the confidence to walk out of hospital less than five hours after the birth with a newborn in a car seat, I would have laughed! But the taxi ride back through Berlin's empty roads at midnight on a Saturday night was magical (and so were the warm pieces of toast once we got home!).
While life has definitely changed for Tom and me, in the past week I've finally been able to do things that "old Alicia" would do: I made a large batch of hummus (from scratch, obviously), I Zwifted three times (how long until the verb to Zwift enters the dictionary?) and I managed to take Paul out on multiple walks of more than hour. These may seem like small things, but they feel huge when you've spent weeks nailed to the couch with a baby stuck to your breast.
One habit I've “lost” though is reading... Most nights I fall asleep -before 10pm- after about three pages. And during the day, the tiredness and many small interruptions make it difficult to do anything that requires more than ten minutes of focused attention. Fortunately, Paul doesn't seem to mind his parents' (temporarily?) limited mental capabilities ;)
That's about all I can muster for now…