Those first few weeks and months with Eloise were overwhelming, exciting yet filled with so much emotion (some good, some sad). I was just starting to process my birth story and what happened, while recovering from a caesarean and learning how to take care of our little girl who was so vulnerable and completely dependent on us.

That, paired with the stress of learning how to breastfeed and ensure my baby was getting enough milk, saw me get so swept up in my anxieties that those first few weeks and months were such a blur that I don't remember fully.

I was putting in so much mental energy to try and do what everyone says "you should do", like trying to get her to sleep anywhere that wasn't on me, that I was missing the sweetness of the newborn period.

If I could relieve that time again, I would slow right down.

I'd embrace the newborn cuddles.

I'd embrace the contact naps.

I'd embrace the quiet feeds where she'd fall asleep on me and make those sweet little smiles while she napped.

Instead of letting feelings of frustration bubble up inside of me and being unreasonably annoyed with her for my lack of productivity, I would be quicker to realise that sooner than I could expect, she would no longer want or need me to hold her to sleep and that I'd have time in my day to do it all.

I would give myself grace and not expect that the house will be spotless or as clean as it once was, and I'd acknowledge earlier that as she's my biggest priority, my days and expectations need to be different.

Because only now do I truly understand how fleeting those first few weeks and months are, and I wish I relished in and soaked up those moments more than I did.

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