Welcome back to my blog series Meet the Parents, where a different blogger each week gives their advice to new and expectant parents. This week we welcome Emma who blogs at A Few of my Favourite Things.
Tell me a bit about you, your blog and your family.
I work part-time in marketing and have been blogging in one way or another for over a decade. My current blog started out as a lifestyle blog but, as my son is obviously a big part of my life, I made the decision to feature my pregnancy and life as a mum too. My partner works part-time too so that we can both look after our son – Jenson is now 14 months old.
What one essential item would you insist on putting in your hospital bag (for you)?
Phone charger. I took one of those portable charger things that don’t need plugging in but then both that and my phone died on my last night in hospital and I hated not being able to contact Luke.
Our hospital told us we weren’t allowed to plug our own devices in – I ignored them and not once was I asked to unplug my charger. Definitely worth taking!
Was there anything unexpected that happened during labour, that you think first-time mums should be prepared for?
I had an emergency c-section and had no idea what was going to happen until it happened. It barely came up in the antenatal classes and they didn’t even explain the process or recovery to us – One Born Every Minute made it look so easy! Jenson went back to back during labour and I couldn’t push him out so they tried forceps and went for a c-section because he was in distress. So I’d say clue yourself up on assisted deliveries – even if you’re planning on a natural home/water birth. Anything can happen.
What a shame this wasn’t covered in your antenatal classes. Our NCT leader was great and mocked up a caesarean for us to show how many people we could expect to be in the room – she made it sound like the room would be full, so the reality was actually much better!
What would be your one essential product for a newborn that no new parent should live without?
Baby wipes. They’re good for everything. Even when Jenson’s all grown up we’re still going to keep some round the house! In terms of the more ‘optional’ products, our changing table has been a lifesaver, especially post-cesarean.
We put our changing mat on top of a standard IKEA chest of drawers in the nursery – it’s just the right height and has been fab for me post-cesarean, too.
What’s the best piece of advice you were given before your first child was born?
Try and relax and don’t worry about the things you can’t control.
What’s the worst piece of advice you were given?
Sleep when the baby sleeps. You have no idea how long they’re going to sleep for.
Oh yes, but I still find myself cursing myself when I don’t take the opportunity to sleep when I get the chance, especially when Little M has an extra-long nap!
What would be your top tip for a first time parent-to-be?
Be sure to take time for yourself wherever possible. It’s ok to need a break.
What’s the hardest thing about being a new parent?
Your life completely changes in an instant. There’s no more hot cups of coffee, lie-ins, date nights, Netflix binges…
What’s the best thing about being a new parent?
Having someone love and depend on you so completely and being able to be that caregiver.