There’s an old saying that in life, all good things come in threes. In other words, the big life events such as having a baby, moving home and job changes usually tend to happen at the same time. Well, that’s exactly what happened to our little family.
My husband and I had initially planned to move home before our baby was born. However, after discussions with our estate agent, not to mention a hold-up in our property chain, it meant that we were a couple of weeks late in signing all of the important documents.
It also meant that my husband had just finished his paternity leave and doing anything was a whole lot harder in the post-forceps-delivery haze and chaos. Trying to deal with the logistics of moving home, the documentation, solicitors and a property chain all with a two-week-old baby in tow is not for the faint-hearted.
Rest and avoid heavy lifting
I’d been told to take it easy by my midwife. I must rest, not get stressed and avoid lifting anything heavy. That was easier said than done. I found myself marching along to the solicitors’ office in the pouring rain, clutching my bundle of joy in one arm and a pile of important papers under the other. My heart was beating like crazy, my back hurt, my legs hurt, even my womb hurt.
Juggling the logistics
Hubby was left packing the whole house up in a day because I couldn’t lift anything heavy. Thankfully we also employed the help of a removals company which made the day of the move less nuts.
There were no friends or family to take C out of the equation for a little while. So as the removals guys worked, I was left holding the baby, perched on the only chair left in the house. Breastfeeding did not come easy. On arrival at our new home, my hormones got the better of me as I realised how much we had to do.
The house we were buying was empty and desperately needed an injection of TLC. The stress of packing, moving and unpacking overwhelmed me and I sat and cried on our first night. Ridiculous in hindsight as now it feels like the best move we ever made.
Nesting instinct at its peak
Now research shows that the nesting instinct peaks in the third trimester. Therefore my brain was telling me that I needed a nursery for my new arrival long before we actually moved. This was complicated because let’s face it, who’s going to invest in a nursery when they know they’re about to move home!
All the advice flooding my email inbox told me that I should be buying cots, soft toys and other furnishings. I wanted to desperately due to all my pregnancy hormones raging around. I was left fighting off the tears on more than one occasion though, as I knew my baby wouldn’t have the ready-made room he deserved.
Nursery was shocking shade of pink
I vowed that the first room to be decorated in the house was going to be his nursery. Especially since it was a rather shocking shade of pink!
All the beds needed to be assembled and the carpets needed to be taken up. We spent the first night in our new home sleeping on the sofas in the lounge.
And then the next night, and the next. We lived surrounded by boxes full of non-essentials for weeks while we cleaned the house room by room, inbetween naps.
Stretching the purse-strings
Now any woman who has been pregnant knows moving home and decorating the baby’s room is a very special moment. It also takes preparation and quite a lot of CASH. I was like any one else. I wanted my baby’s room to be just perfect. However being on maternity leave meant that the purse-strings were already being stretched.
We had been committed to sorting out his nursery before Christmas, but then our boiler broke down. This forced us to choose between soft furnishings and solvency. We knew our outgoings and what we had coming in, but we didn’t have a buffer to afford his nursery.
So since Christmas we’ve siphoned off savings into a special nursery fund. The room is clean, empty, has a fresh lick of paint and some wall stickers. Tomorrow it will have a carpet in it. A few payslips down the line we may even have a new cot and a dresser in there.
While I certainly didn’t plan to co-sleep with my six-month-old, I’ve actually had no option in doing it. But I admit that there isn’t anything sweeter than waking up to him all cuddled up next to me. I hope once his nursery is ready, he’ll want to sleep in it as much as we want him to.
Since we moved in, we have sanded down walls, painted inside and out and installed a new boiler. We have also replaced plug sockets, planted an oak tree and now have new carpets.
If I have one tip for anyone, it’s to spend quality time with your new baby when you’re moving home.
Don’t trouble-shoot the kinks
What had suddenly become important was not troubleshooting the kinks in our new house. It was spending time bonding with Cyrus, his gurgles and his smiles. He didn’t care what colour his walls were. He didn’t care how stylish his clothes were or if he was without a luxurious play pad. He was just happy lapping up some mummy love from the comfort of his bassinet in our bedroom.