We felt so lucky with how David's paternity leave fell.. As Sylvie was born on the 2nd January, David's leave started on the 3rd and went on (with him working here and there at home) for the next three weeks.. meaning he actually got a solid five weeks off including Christmas. We spent his leave getting settled as a family of four.
I napped here and there, I tried to get David to do the same in the first few days, we tried to get into a rough bottle feeding routine (every three hours), we were up alternate nights with the baby, we walked as much as I could in those first few days, but also took it easy, we practised getting out with the pram and baby bag together, (remembering everything we need and more!) and even ended up in the pub one or two days for a bite to eat and a sneaky gin and tonic.
It's worth acknowledging that we are incredibly lucky in that Sylvie has been a good sleeper from day one. Vivienne was too, and I don't believe it's anything necessarily that we've done, and it's just happened to be that way. Sylvie was born at 8.50pm, and was up twice the following night, and has only been up once each night for a small feed since. I'm fully aware this may not last but so far we are taking it as it comes and appreciating the situation for what it is. I love this shot of her below, snoozing away, while we popped out for a bite just after registering her.
One of the less-than-pleasant moments during David's paternity leave was five days after she was born. We'd been out with the pram and baby bag, and fed her 'out' while at the shops, we came home and brought the shopping and the girls in and settled in for the night. The car had only just been emptied of all the hospital bags, it was early days with the little one. The next morning David discovered that his car had been broken into, glass smashed all over the drive, and someone had stolen our changing bag (of all things..). It was the first thing that knocked me out of the honeymoon period and I ended up crying a fair bit about 'it all going wrong'. In the grand scheme of things we got off lightly, but it was a shitty thing for someone to do nonetheless. The next day I sulkily paid out for another identical bag so we could pretend that it had never happened.
During this period it also hit home about what it means to juggle two kids.. when feeding times clash with picking up time, when the baby need changing just as you need to be at tennis, when it takes 25 minutes to leave the house (seriously? how?! it just does..) and then you remember about the project work due in and the money needed for this trip and to put a wash on so there's clean uniform... it's all fun and games.
Anyway. I'd love to do the paternity leave period all over again.. it was lovely to have company during the day, for it all to be new and fresh and exciting, to relive the moments of looking at each other saying 'she's here!' over and over again.. Such busy and chaotic bliss. I guess that's family life.