These days, they kick you out of the hospital pretty quickly, after only two nights it was time to go home. I couldn’t stay overnight, so my wife had to fend for herself, with a bit of help from the midwives.
On the morning of the inevitable day of reckoning, I received a text from my wife at about 6am saying – ‘come asap’. When I arrived, it appeared things had not gone well. She looked like an extra from The Walking Dead.
Frankie was hating Planet Earth and had spent the entire night screaming, even at one point having to be dragged away for an hour and put into solitary confinement so my wife could attempt achieving any semblance of sleep.
And now we got to take her home.
There’s no real way to prepare for that first night. They only have two modes, sleeping and screaming, tending to prefer the latter.
I only got a run of 30, maybe 45, minutes of sleep at a time. I tried holding her in various positions, pacing around, rocking her, patting her. You’ll have all sorts of thoughts cycling through your head, which will inevitably include ‘What the fuck have I done?’. And when you do finally get them to calm down and close their eyes, placing them back into the bassinet is reminiscent of that scene from Indiana Jones and the Lost Ark.
One false move, and everything comes tumbling down around you.
Not only are they no longer in the womb, but they are suddenly thrust into yet another strange place, filled with all kinds of new smells and sounds. The best way to tackle it, and come out victorious, is to tag team throughout the night.
Until the milk comes in, the struggle is real. They’re frustrated, you’re frustrated, and aint nobody getting any sleep. But hang in there, because when it does come, they suddenly become a whole new baby, and it will feel like a gift from the gods.