Deneice - thanks for your message. Perhaps I overstated the problems - it's a minor issue, and was only that for the first couple of times. Given what you both say, I'm prepared to take "operator error" as the reason! I'd certainly also recommend the BB slings.
I found the complete change in how you socialise, which you mention here, was the most surprising. I knew how your career would suffer, and everyone warns you about sleep deprivation (though you can never be quite aware of how that feels until you experience it!). The social life changes by becoming lower key, cheaper, less adventurous, and ultimately less important a factor in life.
On the social life, I would also add - missed here - how you meet other people thourhg oyur children, almost immediately, who can become really true good friends very quickly. In my case, this was partly through NCT classes, which are life-savers, and through local activities where I have met and become friends with a handful of other mothers, all in exactly the same position. I can really see myself remaining close to some of them, and that's been a lovely bonus.
Good idea to be thinking ahead Sophie. What job do you do? A lot depends on the sort of job - a friend of mine who's a teacher had maternity leave that went into summer holiday, so she had about 9 months stright which suited her well. I work for myself, so basically got back to work quite quickly after my first, which was a bit of a mistake.