Oh hey – it’s ya fave new mama with another post *waves*. So – as promised in my birth story, I have an update on the first 2 weeks of motherhood and how it’s been for me. Now – the fact that I’m putting this up when baby Shah is 3 weeks old rather than 2 should be a little bit of an insight into how it’s been, ha. But hey – I have a 3 week old baby that I haven’t broken – yet. That’s a plus right? I’m going to be 100% honest too and not sugarcoat anything – personally I love reading about how other mothers first weeks went – so I really hope you enjoy this little insight into how my life was straight after giving life to a tiny human.
So, our first 2 days were spent together in the hospital, monitoring baby for any signs of infection that he may have picked up due to being born early. My experience in hospital was a pretty pleasant one – thankfully. All the midwives – despite being so busy – were so helpful and kind. I felt pretty happy on the first day as I had managed to eat a lot, wasn’t in a lot of pain, I’d managed to poo (pretty easily might I add!!!), and my baby was pretty content AND had breastfed well! I couldn’t imagine my first night alone with him though – so had my mum stay with me. She was an absolute legend – I was too scared to change his nappy & clothes so she would do that for me too! The first night was spent just watching him sleep & crying happy tears at the lovely little angel that I’d given birth to. The rest of the days in hospital were just nurses/doctors checking all his vitals, me eating jacket potatoes twice a day because the other hospital food was rank, and having to deal with numerous wee accidents every time I changed his nappy. Oh and I had to have my dad pick up some tiny baby clothes because the newborn stuff was WAY too big on him. We were finally allowed to go home 2 days after he was born and I was SO excited. I was pretty confident that I could breastfeed him well, and I’d honestly just missed home so much and couldn’t wait to sleep in my own bed again.
This is where it went slightly downhill. The first three nights at home with him were so hard. I must have had a few hours sleep during that whole time, and for some daft reason I just didn’t take the advice of ‘sleep when baby sleeps.’ I had in my mind that I had to get stuff done, and couldn’t relax until it had been. I’d like to add that this approach has now changed and I am much more relaxed – but only after several episodes of crying & all my family knocking some sense into me. Lack of sleep is such a hard thing to deal with – I just had to keep telling myself it was only temporary!
I count myself as so lucky because I’ve never had to struggle with my mental health, but having a baby really tested me and I struggled with the ‘baby blues’. I’d have a few hours of being so happy, then the next crying my eyes out because I couldn’t deal with having a tiny human who relied solely on me for everything, was scared that I wasn’t doing enough for him, and just not coping with how my life had now changed. I remember one particular evening which was the worst for me – I cried so much because I felt like everything had just hit me like a ton of bricks. I was physically & mentally exhausted, my body was so sore from bad posture when trying to breastfeed, and I just felt so alone despite having my whole family & Saj around me. I was so lucky to have Saj there for me that night. We also had a few issues with his weight going up, down & then remaining static. He was weeing and pooing enough so I just didn’t understand what the issue was. The midwife recommend I add in some additional expressed breast milk after every feed – which itself was tiring. I am just so glad I’d brought an electric pump. I spent a few days feeling really disheartened – and felt like feeding him was taking so much out of me. I was even considering giving him formula because I found breastfeeding so physically demanding. I spent around 3 – 4 hours each night constantly feeding him (thanks cluster feeding!). I felt like such a bad mum though because I didn’t feel like I was doing the best that I could for him – but I just told myself to keep at it – a few days of struggle would be worth it. I then started to notice a difference in how he was latching on – he seemed to get the hang of it, was staying on for longer & was much more content after feeds. I also went to a breastfeeding clinic where the midwife showed me a few different ways of getting him to latch on – and that seemed to really help me. In fact – in a day he put on 70 grams! After that – his weight just carried on increasing. This was such a massive weight off my shoulders and I started to feel so much more relaxed about everything. He is now weighing 6 pounds 8 ounces (birth weight of 5 pounds 12 ounces), so is still pretty small but I can see the definite growth in him already!
I didn’t actually leave the house until 2 weeks after – we had a brief walk with him 2 days after I’d brought him home as he developed jaundice and I wanted to get him in some daylight. He literally screamed the whole way (we were out for 5 minutes) – I think this must have scarred me slightly! After 2 weeks I drove us to the hospital for the breastfeeding clinic, and I cannot even tell you how amazing it felt to be driving again – I felt like my normal self even if it was for only an hour. After that – I’ve taken him out a few times and am finally feeling confident enough to take him on my own (my mum or Saj has always been with me before).
I think the longest I went without a shower was 3 days – and I felt grim. Showering was literally the last thing on my mind though – I was surprised I managed to brush my teeth in the first few days (LOL). Now – I always get myself up & ready for the day even though I might not be doing anything – it really does make all the difference to how I feel.
It’s amazing seeing my little boy grow in the few weeks he’s been a part of my life – I still spend any spare time staring at him, and occasionally get pretty teary because of how happy he makes me. There really is no feeling that compares to becoming a mother – it is the most demanding, yet rewarding thing ever. I am so thankful that I have had amazing support from my family, husband & midwives. I really struggled in the first 2 weeks – lack of sleep, grasping breastfeeding, dealing with crazy hormones, not feeling like I’m doing enough, having a tiny, helpless baby to look after – it’s a massive whirlwind! I think I have finally adjusted to it though, and am enjoying being a mum so much – it is the best feeling in the world and I would go through pregnancy, birth & the first few weeks all over again because my little baby is worth it all.
Can you believe he’ll be a month old in a week?! He is finally fitting into the tiny baby clothes properly ! We may need to move up to newborn soon.
Not sure if you guys are sick of the baby posts yet – promise the next one will be something else ! I’ve just loved updating you all and hope you’ve enjoyed these posts !