With the new Baby Sparks section of the website I will file everything mum & bub, as I realise it’s not everyone’s cup of tea, and perhaps not the reason why you started reading my blog in the first place. It’s insane to think I’ve been in this blogging game for 15 years now (I started on a platform called Live Journal when I was 17), and though I’m sure you can appreciate the evolution of my platform, I’d like to keep it’s core the same. So hopefully expanding categories instead of completely changing tone, will help.
I’m writing this whilst our little Rosie is fast asleep in her DockATot, on the couch next to me. I’ve decided to start documenting our month-by-month for her first year, for two reasons:
- Things are happening way too quickly. As soon as you think you have a grip on things, change hits you in the face, seemingly out of nowhere. I want to remember the milestones and ups and downs with her. If you’re a new mum – remember that this too shall pass, so make the most of every moment, if you can.
- The first six weeks with a newborn really are a blur. You gravitate towards articles and tips from other mums when in doubt, or even just to compare notes sometimes, because it can get lonely, and as a first time mum you just never really know if “you’re doing it right”. First of all, you are, but second of all, sharing your experiences with other people may help someone.
So here goes, the first episode of the Baby Sparks series. I thought I’d split these posts into four points for comparison every month, but if there is anything else you’d like to see covered, send me a DM on Instagram!
Rose. My Rose. It’s insane to think that she’s here. As I think I mentioned on here and through social media, throughout my pregnancy I never felt maternal. I’ve never been a “baby person”, and I was worried that I wasn’t going to be a good mother because of it. The second that I had Rosie on my chest in hospital, something changed in me.
She was born at 3.25kg and we stayed in hospital for two nights after she was born. I don’t plan on sharing my labour story, but if it’s something you’d like to see on here, let me know. Rosie is perfect to me. She’s spent the last four weeks sleeping a lot, eating a lot and whinging occasionally. I wonder if I’ve hit the baby lottery. We’ve even managed to have friends over for dinner, and she snoozes away in her DockATot (which is so handy by the way, you can just transport her anywhere with you in the house, without having to wake her). She’s feeding every 2 hours, and packing on the weight like a champ. We were even rewarded the “gold star” in the hospital ward as we didn’t buzz the nurses much. When Rosie was unsettled in hospital, instead of calling for help I wanted to try to figure things out myself, and she would settle back down after 10 minutes or so. She would either be hungry, wet or just wanting a cuddle.
Holy roller coaster of emotions. And let me tell you, recovery from birth is no joke. Sleep is a thing of the past, but strangely I don’t mind. It’s like I’ve tapped into some reserve that I had sitting somewhere, as getting up 6-8 times a night is just not a chore. I love every minute with her, and more than anything I just want to make sure she is safe and feels loved. It’s a feeling I have never, in my life experience before, and it’s force is just something else. There is literally nothing in this world that matters more now.
Recovery is a little less glamorous, to say the least. I feel like I’ve been hit by a bus, and sitting down is just something I’d rather not do. My boobs are incredibly sore but again, it’s something you just ignore and look past because she needs to be fed. I’ve just used the miracle cure of breastmilk after every feed (seriously, the stuff is incredible), and Ice Ice Booby packs if I need.
My body is different, but I don’t care. My belly has gone down and I can fit into my old clothes, but I’m squishy in places I haven’t been squishy in before! I’m using coconut oil around my waist and hips, but I can’t seem to see any stretch marks which has me baffled. I’m not sure how I pulled that off?
I try to get as much down-time as I can when Rosie is asleep. The third day home I decided to attempt my old domestic goddess role and cleaned the whole house, changed everyone’s sheets, did 6 loads of washing, meal prepped and more. Needless to say, I was exhausted by the end of it, and I even think my milk supply was affected because Rosie was unsettled that night. Lesson learned. Be kind to yourself.
The sleep deprivation is something you look past in the moment, but it absolutely affects you after a while. I now understand why it is a form of torture.
I don’t feel like I got the “baby blues” on the 3rd day, but I’m definitely more emotional. It can be hard to deal with when you’re alone, but just remember to talk to someone – anyone, and if you don’t want to do that, write things down if that works for you. This is actually the reason why I started blogging in the first place. It really does help.
Though I wouldn’t say I struggle with anxiety, it’s definitely affecting my day to day at the moment. I worry about things that I know I probably don’t need to, I check on her breathing, I worry about her in the car seat, and won’t take my eye off her, really. It makes for a difficult “day to day” sometimes, but I just blame motherly instincts. Sometimes though, it helps to have a partner who tells you that everything is fine, and will give you 10 minutes to have a shower, a hot cup of tea or a lie down.
- The newborn bubble is real, and if you can prepare yourself for it you’ll be much more at ease. I made sure we stocked up the house with long shelf life snacks, toilet paper, frozen meals and an endless supply of nappies. I didn’t leave the house for the first 10 days or so, and I didn’t want to. Being prepared really let me settle into my new role.
- If you’re breastfeeding, forget the whole “expressing” thing for now. Let your body figure out on it’s own what it needs to do, and your bub will help you with that by telling you when and how hungry he or she is.
- Embedding a routine is also something you need to set aside for now. We started introducing elements of a routine at about 2 weeks, which just meant a bath every night before bed at a similar time. Don’t worry about embedding a feed or a sleep schedule just yet – if you’re even thinking of it at all.
- Take it all in. Soak up all the newborn time you have. Yes there are times when you feel like you’re doing everything wrong and your boobs hurt and you just want a god damned nap. And a hot shower. But this time goes by incredibly fast, and I’ve never felt a more special bond with a human than I am during this time. Lean on your partner when you need to gather your strength, but make the most of getting to know your little human. It’s so special.