It feels like it was just yesterday that we were bringing Grace home from the hospital when in fact it has been 12 weeks. My postpartum journey has been one filled with happy moments and some challenging ones.
Having a newborn is no small undertaking and if you have managed to survive the first few days at home then you’ll survive the next few weeks.
As I mentioned briefly in our birth story I had a bit of a wobbly after Grace was born. Nothing too serious but enough to throw me off my Mom game for a bit. This started in Theatre which I won’t go into details with what happened but also in the days that followed.
On Day 2 I started feeling a bit rough, overly exhausted and just unlike myself , however I put this down to being up for 24 hours straight and moved along. Later the day though my friend Crystal noticed that I looked oddly pale and I said I felt off, drained and overly tired. I felt off balance and just unlike myself. As the day went on with every check my angel Nurse (Sr Korf) noticed the same and contacted my Doctor who immediately requested bloods.
Turns out I have a Vitamin B + Vitamin D deficiency which with the help of medication and daily / weekly injections made me feel a whole lot better. Sucky side, Grace also has the Vitamin D issue and is on drops for this – ooh and sunlight.
But thats not all…
During the space of a week I needed to have my cesarean incision cauterized with silver nitrate not once but TWICE with no pain relief and it hurt like a mmmmm…. Following that I needed to clean it daily with iodine and apply betadine. NOT FUN!
Week 1 + 2
The first few weeks in a newborns life is so critical for setting the foundation for healthy habits which will be beneficial for you and your baby for months and years to come. For this reason we immediately worked on a routine with not only Grace but the other kids as well. Something that fitted our schedule and we’d be able to continue in months to come.
Grace was an absolute darling, she adjusted well to her new environment and us, her caregivers. She at first, confused days and nights but we quickly rectified this and thankfully its been good.
Don’t get me wrong, we also have had plenty of rough days and lots of baby tears but we’ve survived.
Breastfeeding was going well – she was a champion latcher and drinker BUT…
Week 3 – 4
With the start of week 3 reality sunk in and Gracey had out of the blue forgotten how to latch correctly which meant I was in a whole world of pain. I was suffering with cracked and bleeding nips and feeding time made me want to cry. At one stage Grace only nursed on one side while I expressed on the other side and stored my milk in Medela breastmilk storage bags and lathered my nips with Medela Purelan because I just couldn’t handle the pain anymore.
After many YouTube video’s and Pinterest posts to assist with correct latching techniques we found our flow again.
Also during this time of finding our feet we also packed up our home and moved, guys my tribe stepped up in so many wonderful ways and made this challenging time an amazing one. Thank you again everyone!
Month 1 – 2
As we approached the festive season and school ending and being able to drive again our world was turned a little bit upside down when Hubby ended up in hospital and we dealt with his health issues. Needless to say this time of the year didn’t go as planned and we spent many days sitting in his hospital room with all 3 kids visiting Dad.
NOT FUN but he’s doing so good now.
Did you know that by six to eight weeks, babies show clear signs that they can predict what will happen during feeding and sleep routines? Which means, your baby can easily identify pre-nap and bedtime routines when done consistently.
For the most part we are consistent when it comes to our routine with Grace and I think this is one of the reasons it’s been “easier” this time around.
- We always ensure that nap time happens in her / our room
- Curtains are left open (I need her to understand the difference between day and night)
- Nap time happens on our bed
- I feed Grace
- Lay her down drowsy but not sleeping – she then falls asleep without assistance
19:30 – 20:00
- Bath and clean nappy, if we miss this step we noticed she has a rough start to the night and sometimes has a rough nights sleep. Babies LOVE routine.
- Lotion / massage. This is incredibly soothing for babies, but it also helps give their brain important sensory input.
- Feed and burp
- Swaddle (we use the Love to Dream Swaddle UP – see my previous post)
20:00 – 21:00
- Say our bedtime prayers
- I hold her until she is drowsy and then lay her down in her cot for the night
Most nights she will sleep till 03:00 – 04:00 when she will wake up for a feed UNLESS she’s having a rough night then it can be every 2 hours.
On Monday my darling child will be a whole 12 weeks old and while I’m loving the little person she has become I long for those newborn days. I miss the cuddling and laying with her on my chest BUT I’m also enjoying this stage with all her babbling and laughing.
Tips that have helped me survive
- Give yourself a break and be comfortable knowing that things may not go according to plan
- Forget about baby weight – it took 9+ months to grow that human and your belly it won’t fall off after birth
- Tell your husband / partner / wife what they can do to help you out
- Don’t try and be a people pleaser or fake your reality for Instagram
- Split responsibilities / tasks / chores in the house with the kids
- Simple one is make up your bed every morning, you’d be amazed at how this can motivate you to do other house chores or shower
- Get some fresh air every day