Our first week with a newborn baby has just been so crazy! It’s so hard to believe that Felix is already one week old. As he was delivered by c-section we spent the first few days in hospital together and came home on the Sunday night. Since then it’s been all about recovery. I’ve now had my staples removed and have started getting a little more mobile. Adam and I have been trying to catch up on sleep as and when we can and we’ve made the decision to move from Breastfeeding to bottle feeding. I think I was just becoming way to overwhelmed as I was struggling with positioning without so many pillows, he was fussy with latching and this would make him so angry and hard to feed. I don’t think it helped that he just wouldn’t latch on in the first 24 hours after birth despite lots of skin to skin, nipple shields and positioning support from the nursery nurses at hospital. He had so much mucus just laying on his tummy that eventually after 24 hours of a couple of cup feeds mixed with a few drops of hand expressed colostrum I gave him a bottle of formula. This, thankfully, brought up the mucus with a big vomit and he did feed a bit better from me at that point with a few 30ml top ups of formula here and there.
Getting home with a newborn though where you don’t have through the night support, you have another child to look after and trying to recover from major surgery plus all the problems with my boobs and positioning it was just making us all very stressed. Now we seem to have a bit more of a system which means Adam and I are both getting some sleep and Evangeline doesn’t feel like I’m completely ignoring her. The mum guilt was getting really strong with that. I’m not having any issues either which makes me think my milk was just not going to fully come in because of the initial formula feeds. I am, however, really glad that he got a few good feeds from me and now feel we can just move on with life as a family of four.
We’ve of course had some unsettled periods, especially at night, which you forget when there is such a big age gap between children. Newborn babies just don’t have any structure or routine so we are trying to be lead by him and meet his needs as quickly as we can. His fussy period is usually around 10pm-2am which has been hard to deal with but we are getting there. I know it will be hard when Adam goes back to work as he will be working from 11pm-7am however, he will be on a four on, four off shift pattern which does make me feel a bit better, knowing that there will be an end in sight and we can take it in turns a bit more. I haven’t really been out yet apart from our first check at the birth centre on Day 5 which took a lot out of me. However, now all of my staples are removed I am going to start getting out for some little walks to build up my stamina, help with recovery and eventually prepare me for that first school run that I’ll be attempting after half term. It won’t be easy but I know gentle walks are going to be the best way to start me feeling a bit more human again.
Evangeline has been so maternal and lovely. She is constantly checking on him, giving him little kisses and loves a cuddle. She’s given him a couple of bottle feeds too which she has enjoyed and is always looking out for a little milk spit up and quick with a muslin cloth. She is always telling me how cute he is and that she loves him which is so nice to hear. I can’t explain just how emotional it makes me feel seeing my two children bond. I had a few tears when she first met him and gave him a cuddle because she looked so proud. She did have a little panic when he was sick on her pillow though and I feel now she will only give him a cuddle if it’s my pillows in the splash zone.
We’ve had some really lovely newborn gifts from friends and family too which has been so generous and lots of help with getting Evie to and from school. She’s heading off to her dads this weekend and whilst I know she will miss us I think it will be nice for her to have a bit of fuss and time out of the weird bubble our flat has become. I know Adam is planning to take Felix to visit his nan soon so he’s gradually getting around meeting the family and everyone has commented on how cute he is. He is very cute, I have to say. But I made him so I’m going to say that!
Adam has been amazing. He’s been throw a complete rollercoaster of going back and fourth to home and hospital, trying to rest, University, being a dad and helping me recover from a c-section which isn’t always pleasant. He’s dealt with a lot of tears from me and alongside his own sleep deprived state he has just been the most amazing dad. I love seeing him and Felix bond together, it’s just so beautiful because he is handling everything so well, will jump in ready to change, wipe down and feed whenever I need some help and has been providing us all with dinner. Felix thanked him by attempting to pee all over him. Now, I knew the pee showers were going to happen but what I wasn’t expecting was quite how forceful that fountain of wee would be.
What a week it’s been! I know the next five are going to be the most testing as we all adjust to family life as a four and whilst we learn Felix’s cues and learn how he likes to be soothed especially whilst we are working on around four hours sleep at the moment but it’s all worth it isn’t it. Soon it will be just like he was always with us.