x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

Weeks full of firsts

Why doesn't anybody tell you how hard the early days of motherhood are? The lack of sleep is an absolute killer and it's already taking a toll on my looks

My two favourite things in the world at the moment are my beautiful new baby son and my under-eye concealer. Not necessarily in that order. Why doesn't anybody tell you how hard the early days of motherhood are? The lack of sleep is an absolute killer and it's already taking a toll on my looks. My eyes have shrunk to a third of their normal size as they struggle to keep open and do their simple job of seeing. The bags underneath are a glorious purple grey and I've lost count of the amount of new ironically named "laughter lines" which have appeared. In fact, my baggy eyes look so bad that if I was to take a flight anywhere in the next couple of weeks I'd be facing a hefty excess luggage bill.

The exhaustion I'm suffering from is partly my fault, apparently. Little Charlie has been labelled by a paediatrician as a "very hungry baby" and as a result he wants to be fed at least every two hours. After his diagnosis the doctor asked whether I had eaten excessive amounts during my pregnancy. Erm. Oh dear. Spending nine months with a fridge like a cheesecake factory and continually gorging on it has clearly not paid off. There is now conclusive evidence that my son has developed my lack of willpower when it comes to food. His weight has increased by more than a pound and a half in just two weeks. That's an eighth of his body weight. The doctor's advice is to feed him less often and to try and make him go longer between feeds by giving him cooled boiled water. Guess what, it's not working. He may only be 15 days old but he knows the difference between an indulgent three course meal - aka a bottle of rich formula milk - and a bottle of H2O. After 20 seconds I get a little stare from his dark blue eyes followed by a piercing, protesting scream. I give up.

Ah well, it's all part of this new mummy learning curve. The last couple of weeks has been full of firsts for Charlie and I. First dirty nappy. Urrgh, hilarious. Without going into too much detail, why can't little boys go to the toilet when they're actually wearing their nappy? We've had more outfit changes this week than the runway models during fashion shows. Sadly, we're not as stylish. We've also had Charlie's first bath. I thought wrongly that he might find it relaxing. It took my husband and I at least eight attempts just to get the water temperature right. When we finally got him in, he slipped out of my husband's hands and head first into the water. Not quite the serene scene that I'd imagined. The bathroom looked like a water park afterwards and the baby was drenched, red and spluttering. As was his mother.

Next we had the baby's first outing. This was the most traumatic out of all of them. It took about five hours just to get out of the house, with unexpected nappy changes, packing changing bags and loading up the car. Then when we finally reached Marina Mall he cried continuously. We were there for just 20 minutes. I flew back to the car so quickly that if there was an Olympic event for pram pushing I would definitely would have picked up a gold. That's the last time we're going out. I'm destined to be housebound for the next 18 years. Welcome to motherhood.