I couldn’t keep my eyes off Adeline in the car on our way home. This was it.. i’ve been waiting 9 and a bit months for this. I’d always imagined what it would be like, or how it would feel to travel back from the hospital with our new precious little cargo. It felt wonderful. And also weirdly normal? It felt like she was a piece of the puzzle missing in our lives, she fit perfectly into place.
I don’t think I’ve ever known Thom drive so slow as he did on the way home that day. As we pulled up to our drive all I was thinking was- I hope our nosey neighbours don’t come out because 1. I couldn’t walk properly and 2. I didn’t want this special moment for the 3 of us to ever end. As we pushed open the door and walked in, we put down Adeline in the car seat and just stared at her. And from that moment I haven’t stopped taking pictures #babyspam she really was the perfect, most beautiful baby I ever saw and she was ours!
Now in our NCT classes we covered and discussed visitors and what our personal views were on this. Everyone knows when you have a baby you’re going to be in-undated with phone calls and everyone wanting to come over and meet the new addition (which is understandable), Thom had 4 weeks paternity (we did some shared leave – so worth it) so he was taking 2 at the beginning and 2 later on, it was precious time for all of us.
First it was the parents to visit. (My mum & Dad did visit at the hospital as well). You can always count on your parents/in-laws to bring you tasty food and snacks. Finally I wasn’t pregnant I could eat what I wanted without throwing up 5 minutes after eating it.
Then the best friends came.. and then the stragglers once Thom’s leave was up! It was an exciting time for everyone and also exhausting. The funny thing was I never had the ‘depressing day 4’ where your hormones are regulating and you can take a big dip where apparently you cry and feel very low. Thom was waiting for it with open arms but it never came. I was just SO happy and content. I felt like I stepped into being a mother like a duck to water.
When I imagined being a mum I didn’t see any other way of feeding my baby, mainly because my mum breastfed both me and my brother and it felt like the most natural thing to do. I know there’s a huge stigma about breastfeeding vs formula and trust me I don’t see anything wrong with people feeding there baby formula, it’s a choice and your choice.
I was really worried about starting to breastfeed as I’d heard it was hard, your nipples will hurt, you’ll leak, it’s painful and a lot of my friends who did try, didn’t manage it and it was heartbreaking for them. So what went through my head was; what if I fail at this?
Thom was extremely supportive, always telling me what a great job I was doing. Helped me throughout the whole process which was incredible (Yes the nipples hurt and yes you leak). There has even been times recently when Adeline has been fussing at the breast and I could easily at the drop of a hat give in, but with my supportive husband and parents constantly at my side, it made it a lot easier to keep going.
In the hospital I got support from the midwives who seemed pleased with how we were doing. The cluster feeding was probably the hardest part- this is where your baby is basically on the breast constantly. Adeline would feed for 40 mins a breast- yes 40 minutes, are you wondering how an earth I got anything done? Well that was it, I didn’t.. but it was special and what else did I need to do except look after my shiny newborn baby.
Thom was incredible, he made sure I had drinks and food at arms length, books and the remote.
He was crowed the ‘nappy king’ that week, he did all the nappies in the first 2 weeks, I think I only did 2 or 3. He said because he couldn’t feed her it made him feel like he was doing something helpful (he even had the cheek to point out my nappy skills needed improving).
Now I know Thom won’t mind me saying this, but he did feel pretty useless in those first few weeks. What could he do if Adeline was constantly feeding from me and sleeping on me?
When I look back at the beginning, it must have been really difficult for him. I kept having to reassure Thom telling him how amazing he was doing looking after me and that it was a HUGE help, which it was!
I think men can be pushed into the corner slightly during pregnancy and postpartum. Thom pointed out whenever the health visitor and midwifes come to visit they mostly addressed me and not him. I can imagine it feels pretty rubbish to be honest.
Tip: make sure you and your partner communicate with each other. Openly discuss how you are both feeling. It isn’t all about the women when there’s a new baby. Us mums have to look out for our partners as well.
Paternity leave over
I was really worried about Thom going back to work, not because I didn’t know what I was doing, but because I didn’t want our special family time to end. I didn’t want Thom to have to go back to the reality of work- (early starts, late nights & trips to London). Thom has a pretty intense job and is always on the go, working silly hours, so I was afraid of how this was going to work with a family and how we would manage it. The first few weeks returning to work was rubbish as expected.
Thom only a few days ago expressed how hard this was for him and how guilty he felt leaving us. But at the same time he said he felt like he wasn’t doing anything right at home. Adeline wouldn’t settle for him, she didn’t respond to him like she does with me. “Why doesn’t my baby like me” … “ Is this how I’m supposed to feel?”. I imagine this is common for new dads. I may go into more detail about this in a future post.
Tip: TALK ABOUT YOUR FEELINGS
“The hardest part of having a newborn is the sleep deprivation”.
Now as I was exclusively breastfeeding, I was the one getting up every hour to feed baby A and Thom would carry on snoozing (really annoying).
Throughout pregnancy I never slept from the constant sickness and being so damn uncomfortable, so this was never an issue for me and I never felt deprived of sleep. I honestly don’t think I felt more energised throughout my whole pregnancy than I did when she was here, in my arms , at last!
We did a lot of co-sleeping in the first 4 weeks and she slept wonderfully that way. She didn’t like her Moses basket and didn’t like her snuz pod! So it was co-sleeping (done safely of course). This was magical for me , I loved her on my skin, constantly bonding and connecting with each-other. And so much easier when I was feeding her every hour anyway.
When I look back at those first few weeks I’ll never forget the precious moments of getting to know my baby and getting to grips with being a mum. I think everyday you learn something new about yourself, your baby, your partner and each other and it’s truly magnificent.
#newparents #parenthood #motherhood #mumblog #dadslife #newmum #postpartum #maternityleave