Sleeping peacefull in in his new outfit
– right before me managed to soak it with spraying wee during a nappy change!
This is it – I’ve officially graduated from “New Mum” to “Real Mum”. Why? I’ll tell you:
- I’m existing on approximately 4 broken hours of sleep in any given 24-hour period (if I’m lucky);
- I shoogle the shopping trolley in the supermarket even though Xander is in his pushchair and Dale is pushing it;
- I speak in high-pitched tones to grown-ups – even those I don’t actually know personally;
- I jiggle whatever I happen to be holding as if I’m soothing Xander;
- I have been sicked-up on, wee’d on and poo’d on;
- I spend my days trying to work out what any given cry means, whether it means Xander has a wet or dirty nappy (and I don’t even mind the stinkiest of those!), needs to be fed, needs to be burped, is tired, is too hot, too cold, or just plain cranky;
- My boobs constantly feel like watermelons – in size, shape and weight – and leak like crazy all the time;
- I permanently smell of breastmilk and baby;
- I have got my shower routine down to under 10 minutes (and that includes washing my hair) despite being someone who used to spend upwards of an hour soaking in the bathtub;
- I grab food as and when I can – usually hours after I initially feel hungry and always after seeing to Xander being fed first;
- I never know what day it is from one day to the next and never have five minutes to myself;
- And I’ve never been happier!
OK, so we’re still trying to get into a routine, but we’re getting there…
Sleepy “Bruce Willis” smile – I wonder what he’s dreaming!
I can’t believe it – Xander is now four whole weeks old – where on earth is the time going? We haven’t quite got a routine yet, but we’re approaching something that vaguely resembles it. Our days work something like this:
6.30am – feed Xander
7.45am – Have a quick shower and get dressed whilst Xander sleeps
9.30am – Xander wakes up and demands a top-up
10.15am – grab a little breakfast while Xander naps
11.00am – Feed Xander again and then play
1.30pm-ish – feed Xander again then he sleeps
4pm-ish – Feed Xander again, then he dozes
6pm-ish – Feed Xander while Dale has something to eat and then hand Xander to Dale while I eat, then entertain Xander
8.30pm-ish – Bath time
8.45pm – Feed Xander then put him down to bed (I also go to bed)
11.30pm-ish – Feed Xander and then put him back to bed
3.00am – feed Xander
Completely fail to get him to settle for longer than about 20 minutes at a time till about
5.00am-ish – when he’ll have a small top-up feed and then sleep
On alternate Thursday mornings I have to take him to the doctors’ surgery to see the Health Visitor and get weighed between 10am and 12pm, and roughly every other day or so we take a trip outside just to the shops or somewhere nearby after his lunchtime feed.
Xander is really coming along leaps and bounds now – he’s holding his head up for longer periods, especially when we have him on our shoulders for burping or for a cuddle, and he follows us with his eyes when we move in front of him.
Holding his head up at 3 weeks 5 days
Over the course of the last week or so, he’s found his thumb a couple of times and also held and shook his rattle a few times too. Also, as you can see from the photograph, we managed to capture a proper smile from him the other day too.
Big, cheesy grin!
His legs are so strong that he pushes himself up the changing mat and scoots backwards, and his grip is very strong too – he’ll get us in a strangle hold around the neck and refuse to let go of my necklace until I prise it from his fingers!
We get quite a few visitors too – afternoons are usually best as it gives me a chance to make sure I’m showered and dressed and have a chance of putting on some makeup to make myself presentable!
Today my new breast feeding pillow arrived and the feed we had directly after its arrival was far easier and more comfortable for my back. I might even be able to feed him cradle-fashion instead of having him under my arm like a little rugby ball at this rate! Xander’s thrush seems to be gone too, but I’m going to complete his course of medicine (I think it’ll be finished after today anyway) just to be sure. He’s been very good about not spitting it out despite the fact that it’s clear he doesn’t like how it tastes at all (it smells rather pleasantly of banana and marzipan). I think it has disagreed with his little tummy though, as we’ve had some very explosive nappies during the time since we started giving the medicine to him. I’m hoping that will settle down again once the course is finished. I also think I’ll nip along to get him weighed tomorrow morning (despite not having to till next week) just to see how he’s doing.
And I weighed myself the other day – I was pleased to discover I’m only about 11lbs off my pre-pregnancy weight, which is pretty good considering I haven’t been able to do any proper exercise yet due to the C-section (I’m supposed to wait till after my six week check before starting up a light exercise programme).
Overall, we’re tired but very happy. Dale has another week off work after this one, but then he’s back to his rounds again. Not sure how that’s going to affect our tentative routine – I’m used to having him around in the mornings to help out if Xander wakes up while I’m in the shower or to help get Xander settled after a feed when I still stink of milk and it agitates the little chap.
We’re getting there – slowly, but surely!
Xander and me at my computer this afternoon!
Today saw something of a major achievement – not only did we have a pretty good night with feeds only at around 11.30pm and 3am before sleeping right through till 6.30am, but I managed to get up, get showered, do my face and hair, and take Xander to the doctors’ surgery to see the Health Visitor all by myself! And it was a good visit as Xander now weighs 9lbs 5.5oz, so he’s gained half a pound in a week! If that’s not the sign of a healthy, growing boy, I don’t know what is! Unfortunately I noticed this morning that he’d picked up a touch of thrush. Fortunately, it’s only a little bit (we’ve caught it very early) and it’s easily treatable with drops.
Of course, while we were at the pharmacy picking up the prescription, Xander started complaining rather loudly that his mother was starving him! It’s a good job we live just around the corner – although he fell back to sleep in his buggy on the way home anyway, so I didn’t have to hear his pitiful cries all the way home after all!
This afternoon, my old boss, Sandra, will be coming to visit. Xander has just been fed again and is pretty much snoozing on my shoulder as I type, so she may well be able to get a little cuddle before I put him down…
PS Please forgive any typos – I’m typing one-handedly whilst cradling my adorable boy against me!
Well, I’ve gone and done it now – I’ve decided to take drastic action on my post-baby belly. No, I’m not getting a tummy tuck – the idea of further abdominal surgery after my C-section isn’t something that appeals to me – but I have heard of a non-surgical aid to reducing the swelling, giving support to the abdominal muscles and improving posture (which should help with the headaches!).
Despite Dale professing not to mind how my body looks now that I’ve carried our son to full-term and had him cut out of me (apparently he still finds me sexy, which is a relief!), I have persuaded him to buy me a Belly Bandit – a wrap that professes to help get your belly back down a bit in size. And I’m not alone in giving it a try – apparently all the celebrity Moms are giving it a try too – and if it’s good enough for Angelina Joli, it’s good enough for me!
I’ll let you all know how I get on with it, but seeing as how I have a wedding to attend in about a month’s time, I hope to have some positive results by then!
Xander in his buggy, yesterday
My Mam, Step-Dad, Step-Sister and Step-Niece were up visiting for the weekend, so our newly developing schedule was partially interrupted by lots of visiting and a trip into town with family (Leni came into town too). Xander was fed just before we left, giving us a good couple of hours before he was due to wake up and feed again, and he seemed to like being in the car as he fell right asleep.
We had a little bother, initially, getting the buggy all set up as Dale had done it previously and he was staying home on this occasion to get a little rest from our sleepless night the on Friday. Once we’d got everything worked out, however, we were off!
I ended up getting a matching keepsake box and album from Mothercare. The box isn’t huge but it’s a nice enough size and all but one of the cards we got fit into it nicely. It also has little boxes inside for baby’s hospital ID bracelet, first curl and first tooth. Also got a couple of lovely photo frames from Boots. I also got hold of some more breast pads (I get through them pretty fast with my milk flow!) and some Lansinoh cream for my nipples (which get a little dry and sore as Xander seems to feed an awful lot at the moment!).
Xander’s bath last night went very well – his first one without screaming the place down (although he cried a little at the end) and he actually had a little bit of a splash about in there and seemed to be getting the hang of enjoying it a little. This morning he briefly found his thumb and sucked at it heartily for about a minute before realising he wasn’t getting any milk from it and complaining loudly till he got the booby back a few seconds later!
I think Xander might be hitting a growth spurt as he’s spent all morning feeding until about 11.45am when he suddenly went to sleep. I’m hoping he’ll be down for a little while as I’ve had a headache all last night that has lasted into today. It looked like it might be turning into a migraine earlier on but it eased off a little bit and is more bearable now. All I’m taking is paracetamol, which isn’t a great deal of help, but I prefer to take as little as possible while I’m breast feeding (I prefer not to take pills if I can help it at the best of times anyway, but now I have even more of a reason to try and avoid them!). I had on one of those headache cool strips last night but it didn’t make any difference at all this time. Ah well, life goes on, eh? And when you’ve got a little’un to look after it kind of takes your mind off other things a little bit till he settles again and you feel the pain again – LOL!
Playing with Daddy this morning
Xander happily playing on his playmat yesterday
The midwife came to weigh Xander and I’m pleased to say he now weighs 8lbs 13.5oz, so in two days he’s gained 8.8oz! I’m amazed, but it does go some way towards explaining why Dales arms were so tired holding him for ages this morning!
On top of the spectacular weight gain, we’ve had two very good nights on the trot where Xander goes down to sleep around 11.30-ish and then only wakes to be fed and changed at around 2.30-ish and 6.00-ish and doesn’t really make much noise about it. He also goes back to sleep within about 10-15 minutes of finishing feeding, which is something of a relief as it means I can sleep too and Dale doesn’t get woken through the night (he takes the shift settling Xander down while I get an hour or so of shut-eye before the 11.30 feed).
So, it looks like things are looking up and settling down – it’s such a relief, especially since we were having trouble getting Xander to accept a bottle for the pumped breast milk as had been suggested – it turns out he’s fine without it after all!
Today I have a big, happy face on, despite wearing no make-up at all (one of my very rare make-up free days since Xander was born – I’ve been making the effort to put on just a little slap in order to feel more like “me” each day). And Dale’s happy because I’m happy and Xander is healthy. Good news all round!
Xander getting his routine hearing test at the hospital
the day before we were discharged
Well, things aren’t going so brilliantly after all. The midwife came round to weigh Xander yesterday and discovered he’d lost a little weight – he’s never quite got back up to his birth weight yet which it’s always hoped babies will do within 10 days or so of birth. The solution is to supplement his breast feeding with a bottle of a couple of ounces of either breast milk or formula, so I’ve been pumping like crazy with the breast pump my sister bought us, but the problem now is actually getting Xander to take it from the bottle! The poor wee mite has only ever been faced with my huge chesticles, and even though the bottle teats we have are the closest to breast/nipple shape as you can get, he’s not happy about having them in his mouth and it’s almost impossible to get anything into him that way.
It’s worrying and I’ll admit I’ve been in tears a few times out of sheer frustration and worry (even though it’s only a very small amount of weight he’s lost so far – we don’t want him to lose any more!). Dale has been marvellous – very supportive and ready with reassurances and lots of hugs and kisses, but sometimes it’s just impossible to fight the tears – I guess it’s part of the whole “baby blues” thing (don’t worry, I’m not feeling depressed or anything like that, just a bit tearful at times). It’s just so difficult knowing that Xander isn’t doing as well as we’d like to see. He just keeps falling asleep during a feed and we have to try and wake him up a little by tickling his feet, blowing on his face and changing his nappy part-way through, just to get him to keep sucking. The midwife will be back tomorrow to weigh him again and see if we’ve made any progress, but I still worry.
We knew things would be difficult at times, but it’s horrid to feel so out of control about things like your child’s health and progress.
On a more positive note, Xander is now “official” as we registered his birth yesterday afternoon and have his birth certificate, which is lovely.
Xander having his afternoon nap today
It’s been a tough few days since we got home from the hospital. Getting into the habit of sleeping when Xander sleeps is a big adjustment for both Dale and myself and it hasn’t helped that Xander seemed to be deciding that night-time is party-time!
The first two nights at home were pretty nightmarish, with both my devoted hubby and I resembling extras from a George A Romero film and almost collapsing with sheer exhaustion. However, the midwife came for a visit and offered a few suggestions. That night was a little better than the two preceding it, but we were still very tired. Last night, however, was wonderful – Xander only woke to feed and have his nappy changed, then went back to sleep again within about twenty minutes of finishing. Dale had a very peaceful night and I woke up this morning feeling more rested and refreshed than I have in several months – and this was despite going to bed with a stonker of a headache last night!
The only other difficulty, really, has been breast feeding. The first few feeds, whilst still in the hospital, were fine, as he wasn’t very well and didn’t have the strength to fight or wriggle about too much. By the third day, he was becoming impatient and fractious when it came time to feed and would have trouble getting latched on, so I ended up with very grazed, sore nipples for a couple of days. However, after expressing a little to give him via syringe, he calmed down a bit and was able to get onto the breast a little easier.
Once my milk came in, however, it was a different story (it was a little delayed due to the C-section), things happened much more easily (I woke up one morning with a nightie that was soaked all down the front where I’d had a leak of epic proportions – totally Niagara Falls!) and we hit on a good position (with Xander under my arm like a rugby ball) and he’s gone on like a dream ever since. He’s certainly a good feeder!
Since getting home, we’ve just been concentrating on trying to get into some kind of routine and accepting visits from family (all his grandparents adore him already – my Mam and Step-Dad came up with my Grom while I was in labour and saw Xander briefly after he was born, but had to head back to Northumberland; they’ll be coming back next weekend to visit again; Dale’s parents came round to visit yesterday afternoon; and my Dad gets sparkly-wet eyes whenever he looks at his grandson). Auntie Leni absolutely adores her wee nephew too! Then again, when a baby is this adorable, how can anyone possibly resist?