When The Babymoon Is Infested With Winter Bugs

Playing on the bed

I had this idea that I was going to get lots of photos of our lovely, snuggly, lazy, snowy, festive family time together. The date of Alice's birth fell so well that Steve's only having to work three days in December - we've got almost a whole month in which to enjoy life as a family of four. Which, frankly, is still not enough. But it is a whole lot better than the statutory fortnight.

Some people call this quiet bonding period a "babymoon" (and some people use "babymoon" to mean a holiday you take while you're pregnant. And then the first lot of people tut about kids these days muddling up their terminology and living extravagant lifestyles. And so on). So: I was going to blog about my babymoon.

And then we let Matilda go to soft play where - as far as I can tell - they spray the kids with germs at the door. I should have known better. She's never not been ill after a visit to the ball pits.

Sure enough: a few days later, she was hit with the cold. And the next day, so was I. As it happened, this was the day of my 39th birthday. I would rather she had given me a cake.

Snowman decoration

So the babymoon hasn't quite gone to plan.

And I'll admit: I have shed tears about this.

I cried because we had to cancel our plan to take the kids to a preschoolers' Christmas show at the theatre on my birthday. And because I didn't get to have cake and mulled wine. And because I received some lovely presents but didn't have my hands free of snotty toddler long enough to look at them for almost a week.

I felt hard done by because we had to tell friends not to come and meet Alice, as planned. I felt awful for Matilda because she had to miss her special festive dance class and the family trip to the Christmas Village (helter-skelter! teacup ride! carousel!) we had promised we would combine with the registering of Alice's birth.

I felt exhausted because giving birth, bleeding every single day, having a horrible bug, dealing with newborn night wakings and dealing with a bored, miserable two year old who couldn't sleep for more than an hour without wailing for somebody to wipe her nose was a bit more than my body could handle.

But mostly I felt devastated because I was too scared to hold my newborn. The thought of a twelve day old baby being filled with the cold was just too awful to contemplate, so we decided Steve would enjoy all the Alice snuggles at one end of the living room, while Matilda and I slowly wound each other up at the other. When I did have to hold Alice - sometimes due to practical necessity and sometimes because SHE'S MY NEW BABY, DAMMIT, AND I NEED A CUDDLE - I did so whilst clad in a carefully constructed hazmat suit of muslins so her skin wouldn't come into contact with any of the same surfaces as Matilda's, or anywhere I might have coughed. I have never washed my hands so much.

Red tinsel in the sunlight

Well, we managed to hold it off for a week, but Alice has caught it now. I've still got a tickly cough. Matilda's still spluttering everywhere and falling to pieces by the middle of the afternoon. It's... yeah... not great.

But we still have two weeks of Steve's company left. And those two weeks include Christmas.

So it's time to wrench back a little enjoyment.

Tomorrow, Steve and I are toting Alice into town to register her birth (we have until Wednesday to do so) while his parents read book after book after book to Matilda; we will sneak in a hot drink while we're out.

If Matilda's perked up by the end of the week, we'll give the Christmas Village a go. If not... well... she'll surely be up to watching a festive film by then, won't she? She managed to sit through the CBeebies show on her fourth attempt.

My sister and her family will be passing through town.

We'll find the time to wrap presents whilst eating mince pies.

I'm having lunch with a friend on Christmas Eve.

And, for all her coughing and spluttering, Matilda's ever so excited for Christmas Day. Mostly because of the gifts, it must be said, but nevertheless: this is the first year she's understood that something exciting is going on and we're going to do our best to embrace that.

And, of course, it's our first Christmas with Alice who, at twenty-five days old, won't have a clue what's going on, but who is adding an extra festive (if slightly snotty) layer of joy for the rest of us.

Snowy Rooftops

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