As I sit here at the cafe at David Jones amongst the designer women’s wear, I’m reminded of how much department stores can be a refuge for new mums. In the half hour I’ve been here working on my laptop enjoying my coffee and almond croissant (you must try one) I’ve seen at least four prams go past pushed by mums with a relaxed smile and a sleeping newborn.
I remember how hard it was, in those first few weeks after having a baby, to get out of the house. The preparation required to leave the house usually outweighed any requirement to go out.
Our first time taking Eva out was to a specialist appointment when she was a couple of weeks old. We allowed so much extra drive time in case we needed to pull over and change a nappy, and I expressed enough milk to feed her for three days! I was so nervous about breast feeding in public as I found it so difficult. When we finally found a park and made our way to the appointment we realised she needed an urgent nappy change and panic ensued. Where do we change her? Do we put her on the grass in the park?
My anxiety only increased when I asked at a cafe if they had anywhere to change a baby and they told me I could do it on the toilet floor!
We made it to the appointment and thankfully they had a baby change table. This seems trivial now but it was a sweat inducing drama at the time.
When Eva was eight weeks old I took her on a shopping trip to Highpoint, as I needed an outfit for an upcoming party and none of my pre-prenancy clothes were fitting me yet. This was my first adventure on my own with Eva and I was both nervous and excited. A few stops on the drive to find her dummy but we arrived safely and content. That is, until I discovered that I had not brought any bottles with me. I was no longer breastfeeding (that’s another story) and I would pre-fill sterilised bottles with boiled water and then add the baby formula as she needed it. On this particular day I had forgotten the bottles. I knew she would be needing a feed within half an hour, and the drive home was one hour so I had no chance of getting home in time. I went into the centre and to the first pharmacy I saw. In between tears I explained my dilemma to the sales assistant. She assured me that it was ok, took me to the baby section where the same brand of bottle was stocked and pointed me in the direction of the parents room where I could wash, sterilise and fill Eva’s bottle. Coincidentally, I walked past that same pharmacy only last week and had a little chuckle to myself as I remembered this event.
To the women pushing their prams through David Jones, well done! I know the effort it took you to get out of the house. I promise you, it gets easier.