Well. Here we are. Ten days in. I have been discharged from midwifery care. We're officially on our own. Flying solo, just me, B, the children (it's very odd not being able to say "the girls" any more) and the tummy bug.
Oh? Did I not mention the tummy bug? It came to visit about five days ago and has cut a swathe through the girls (see, I can use it, but only in very specific circumstances), though so far has avoided B, me and, thank everything, M. While I'm grateful for that particular small mercy, I will confess that the clearing up of midnight vomit is not made better by the knowledge that you'll be up again at least once more before morning, whether anyone's sick or not.
Other low moments:
Tantrums. Lots of them. Not sure if it's being 2 1/2 or being a big sister or being ill, but the combination of all three has resulted in a lot of screaming. And that's just me.
The new shower screen shattering into a million pieces all over the plumber (who is fine, but shocked), meaning we can't move back into our bedroom this weekend after all.
The discovery by A and S that they can get out of bed. On their own. Whenever they like.
And the discovery that this gets more and more fun the later you do it.
The discovery by A and S that this skill is also useful during the afternoon nap.
Losing S's Piggy. Admittedly it was the spare Piggy and we have now found it, but it was a moment of sheer panic. For both of us.
B and I, both very tired, both fed up of clearing up sick and forcing recalcitrant toddlers back into bed, both at the end of our tether with being shouted at, nearly, but not quite, reducing each other to tears through sheer rattiness.
And the highs:
Paternity leave. Thank you, thank you, thank you Tony Blair. I could not have got through the last ten days without B who has been utterly utterly fabulous in every way. I never expected to have luxurious lie-ins with just my baby asleep in his crib beside me, but I have had them, every day since he was born, while B gets up with the lark (and the girls), gets them dressed, gets them breakfasted, even does their hair... It's six years tomorrow that we said "I do" and I couldn't be happier that I did.
Sleep. I know, that sounds ridiculous, but when the girls let us, we are actually getting some sleep. I realise that I am dooming myself by even admitting this, but M is letting us have six hours between feeds at night which at 10 days old I couldn't have hoped for and am more than happy with.
Breast feeding. And breast feeding just one. Don't get me wrong, I am delighted for both me and the (little) girls (see, it gets confusing, doesn't it?) that I fed them myself, but it was rarely anything other than functional: strap on cushion, lower self heavily onto sofa, roll baby up arm onto cushion, repeat on other side, feed... With just one you get all that lovely post-feed cuddling, the incredible lightness of a newborn against your shoulder as you wind him, the weird lopsidedness of having one full and one empty. I'm loving all that, I really am. And even better, he's regained his birthweight so I feel like I'm doing a good job too.
Big sisters. We've had our moments (see above), but there is something so incredibly heart-warmingly magical about how they want to stroke his head, or change his nappies (aka hold the nappy bag), or choose his clothes. I know there will be fights, and arguments, and tantrums, to come, but when it works, it's amazing.
And us. We are complete now. This is our family, and there hasn't been a day since he was born that I haven't, if only for thirty seconds, looked at the six of us, walking down the lane, or transfixed by Octonauts (well, maybe not all of us) and felt a glow of pride, and luck, and joy.