Zigs is 5 weeks old today. I stated this blog a week ago when he was 28 days old. Ironically, the blog was all about how the last month hasn’t been quite the horror show I’d been expecting. Then we spent 5 out of the last 6 days in hospital…
First there was a Brompton check up for me. This went really well and I’m doing well heart wise. I certainly feel great compared to 5/6 weeks ago!
Then there was an emergency trip to hospital, via the GP for Zigs. They thought he had an infection. Turns out it’s a dairy allergy. Easily fixed!
Then on the weekend we had a full blown ambulance trip to A&E for me, after calling 111. I had sudden, heavy blood loss – concerning anyway but particularly dangerous with my heart. A few tests (and days!) later and it turns out the c section wasn’t ‘tidied up’ properly and I’ve got ‘residual products’ in my uterus. I’m on anti b’s and we’re hoping they’ll just come out naturally…
But the main thing is, we’re absolutely fine. Just fed up of going to body hospitals…!
So, back to my previous point: how having a baby and being a mum really isn’t as scary as I thought it was going to be. Even with various recent hospital trips.
I chose not to read too much about looking after a baby, nor buy too much before having Zigs. This is unlike me. Usually I’d read everything I could and plan it to a T with the very little experience that I had. Instead, I decided to inform myself to a very minimal level and do the rest ‘on the job’ so to speak. Given our pre birth dramas and my acceptance of the lack of control I have over pretty much anything in life, it seemed fitting to apply this to post birth too.
I did also find that when I started to read, I started to get very overwhelmed. It felt like I needed to seriously study this new topic. I also found the reading disheartening and noticed it impacted my confidence un being a ‘good’ mum (whatever that is). Every blog, article etc. tries to help but it made me feel like everything could potentially go wrong. Every angle was that x is hard and then what to do if it doesn’t work. When you read that about absolutely everything from sleep to breastfeeding it can really begin to weigh you down. I wanted a realistic view of everything but felt this was too pessimistic. So I stopped for my own health!
So, given my limited mum prep…we’re doing ok! After getting back from hospital we’ve had 2 weeks with daddy (seems to be my perm new name for ben – awkwardly even in public!). And we’ve now come to the end of the second week just the two of us.
We’ve been lucky to see so many of our friends and family in this time. Highlights have been the countless pub trips – including a quick one on the way home from hospital. Going up to Chelsea to register Zigs birth, getting him a passport, the 2 Brompton trips to see all our doctors. Going out for lovely walks and even to an amazing wedding! It’s just been so fun getting to know each other. It’s definitely taken that time for us to understand Zigs and what he needs and for him to get to know us too.
Luckily Zigs is chilled out and (at the moment), let’s us do what we want. I don’t expect this to last forever. Thanks to a great initial (!) c section experience, I have recovered well. By day 6 I was out and about. And week 2 I was back to driving.
In hindsight, I’m glad I didn’t read and read. Everything is so brand new and I couldn’t have read how to do it all – you just do it! I’d never changed a nappy, held a brand new baby, breastfed, clothes a teeny baby, had such little sleep and juggled a million things I didn’t even know existed before – but we’re all still alive and pretty happy with it!
How? TEAMWORK. Ben’s truly a great partner and dad. So are our families and friends. It’s a real team effort. Things that have been particularly helpful and I’d recommend:
1. Sleep shifts. Ben takes Zigs from 8-12 while I sleep. I then take him from 12-7 so Ben gets a good sleep ahead of work.
2. Baby meals. A local community thing that may not exist everywhere, but you should seriously consider founding in your own community… New parents get meals delivered every evening by a member of the community for 2 weeks. This was incredible and saved us shopping and washing up as well as cooking!
3. ‘The New Mum’s Notebook’. A great place to write how you’re feeling, record moments and offers a pep talk to remind you how awesome you are for keeping a baby alive everyday.
4. Cocoonababy. Not for everyone I’m sure but a great, secure place for Zigs to sleep at night, instead of a Moses Basket perhaps. Also transportable.
5. Ewan the sheep / White noise app. Just try it.
6. Talking. Just being completely honest with Ben about everything. What’s working or not working for both of us and supporting each other to make changes that help.
Now don’t get me wrong, we’ve certainly faced our challenges. Sleep deprivation, constant learning, a complete life change and a crying baby can really add up. I’ve had one spectacular melt down over a crying Zigs. But after a good chat with Ben, it’s all been on the up.
So what’s coming up in month 2 of life with Zigs?
Exercise! I’m attempting my first workout today. I am expecting to ache and I’m not even going to do too much.
Italy! A quick trip for 2 weddings, some venue viewings and some relaxation.
Bottle feeding. Getting Zigs used to taking a bottle so I can think about going out for a short while or just having a breastfeeding break.
More development for Zigs. Starting some classes once he’s had his jabs.
Starting weddings again. Aiming to juggle a bit of work with everything else…not expecting too much here!
Let’s see how this goes…
(As with all my blogs, just here for general comment and discussion. I know that everyone’s different and each to their own!)