Are you getting any sleep?
I expected to get NO sleep. Seriously. I prepared myself to be like the walking dead so I have been pleasantly surprised with how much sleep I am able to get. Right now Camilla ends up going to sleep at midnight or there abouts, will sleep for 4 hours, wake up for a feed and some times a change, and then go back to sleep for another 3 hours. The trouble is just getting her to sleep pre midnight - by then I'm exhausted myself and my patience wains. Then I realise how tired I really am. It takes every last ounce of energy I have left to continue to be loving and patient.
Lately Camilla has been refusing to sleep in her basinet at night so she has been sharing the bed with us and only going to sleep while nursing. I've realised that this is just creating habits that we will need to break later on. I am really missing my own space in my bed and I wake up sore and cranky but she seems to love it. For some reason, just at night, she doesn't want to be in the basinet. Any ideas?
How Is Feeding Going?
First of all, I never expected to use the term "Just had a feed" or "put down" (when referring to sleep) but I do both of those now. Feeding has gone surprisingly well. My midwife said I should be the poster girl for breastfeeding! Woohoo!! Seriously, its mostly been Camillas awesomeness. She latched on straight away after birth and hasn't had any trouble since. I did get a minor breast infection due to a blocked duct, but I was able to clear it out myself using tried and tested midwife advice (heat the area, rest and empty the breast) and it cleared up quickly. Phew. Camilla is really spilly though which is my main hesitation when feeding in public. Sometimes she does huuuuuge projectile vomits that go every.where. Its really funny when we are at home and I can change both of our clothes, but its not funny when you're on someone elses couch etc. Camilla is packing on weight. She put on a whole pound in the last week and is gaining twice the expected amount. Despite the projectile vomits she's still getting more than enough nutrition.
I expected there to be a lot of milk and there is. There's heaps. I have no idea where it comes from! Actually, I would really like to learn. Does anyone have any good articles on milk production? It leaks at the most inconvenient times and when I go out I mostly always have a spare top with me to change into. Some days I just really need another shower because I feel like I'm covered in breast milk and vomit. I normally can't take a second shower though, that's a luxury I often can't afford!
Does breastfeeding hurt?
No. Not if it's being done right. It feels like tugging, pulling or flicking and will only hurt if the baby isn't latched on correctly or if you are damaged from previously not being latched on correctly (crackled or blistered nipples). Don't worry about it, its nothing to fear and is something you both have to figure out in those first few days.
I am really grateful that I am able to feed our daughter.
Don't you get grossed out by all the baby fluid?
There is so much fluid!! It comes from everwhere! Once while I was changing her and she had her nappy off she pooed, peed and vomited everywhere. It was hilarious... and gross. I thought I would be disgusted by changing nappies and had never changed a single one in my life. The first two were amazing and Graeme and I did them together. They stunk and I dry retched a little. Now I'm 10x faster at changing and don't even stop to think about what I'm doing. And yes, Graeme changes her whenever I ask him, a few people have asked me that.
I can understand how other people would be grossed out by her spilling on them - it is my breastmilk on their shoulder after all, but I barely think about it. Unless its curdled and has chunks in it ;)
How has your relationship with Graeme changed?
I wasn't really prepared for the change in our marriage. All of a sudden both of our attentions are on this little one and it takes an intentional effort to focus on each other. For now most of what we have to talk about is about her and for me especially, I struggle to come up with any other talking topics. Graemes a bit different though - he still goes to work, does music, hangs out with people so life hasn't really changed, its just been added to, but for me everything has been changed. Such is the role of a primary care giver I suppose. In the first week when it was just Graeme and I alone and the baby slept all day I was SO bored, we made a list of things we could do together with a baby so we can work through them. If you have any ideas let me know. Some nights it feels like I don't even see Graeme because I feel so preoccupied. I'm sure that will change soonish though.
Have I thought about immunisations yet?
I have done no research into this area yet and so far just going with how I feel (which is generally my tactic for most topics (such as "crying it out"). Immunisations make me feel a little uncomfortable at first thought. I'm kind of a nature nurture kind of girl, I think we were made a certain way and that's messing with our bios (although I'm not really hugely opinionated on it. That's just the first feeling that hits me). But then "what if". What if something happened and I could have had the power to stop it? The Meningitis outbreak in Northland for example. Tried and tested immunisations seem to be okay, but the new ones? Hmmmm....
Life is different now but still the same. I really have no idea how we will have a "routine" with a baby because our life is so unroutine. Most nights we have people over or we go out. We are very extraverted and social and staying at home to bath a baby and have her in bed by 8pm just isn't us. Going out right now during the day is quite tiring for me, mostly because I have to get her and myself all ready by ourselves and its usually during her sleep time - which could potentially be my sleep time (who am I kidding. I very rarely nap when she does). Some days the thought of just getting the pram out of her room is enough. Other days I jam pack everything in and can't wait to get out of the house.
At the weekend I was out shopping for nappies and I put down her capsule so I could look at the shelves. Suddenly I looked down the aisle and I realised she was 15m away. Seriously. I internally freaked. I had wandered down the aisle without realising I was leaving her behind. What if someone had tripped over her? Bashed their trolley into her capsule? Or worse, earthquake and shelf items had fallen into her? ARGH. Even just thinking about it now I feel like such a terrible Mum. What was I thinking? Well, I obviously wasn't. Suddenly I have this new person in my life and its taking some adjusting to get used to. Doh.
I still haven't cooked a dinner for us yet (if you dont count boiling pasta) - I dont really know how I'm going to. Time is just so messed up. I'll start a pot boiling and she'll want to be fed - or I'll heat a frozen dinner and she'll wake up just as we start eating. It's sooo frustrating. I am super duper thankful to the amazing ladies at C3 Church for cooking and delivering meals for 3 weeks after her birth. If you're pregnant, join a church, seriously.
Being A Good Mum
I'm sort of relying off everyones praise right now. You will have no idea how much it means to be told some one is proud of you and that you're doing a good job because you will have no idea how much you can doubt yourself and put yourself down when you are raising a little one. In the first week of her life when Graeme was home we made all of the decisions together "do you think she's hungry?" "Do you think we should turn the heater on" "Do you think thats normal?" but now Graeme doesn't see the day to day, its left up to me so when he comes home from work and I ask "why isn't she going to sleep" mostly he would have no idea. Purely because of time and attention I end up having to decide such little things and some times I don't feel qualified to make them. It means SO much to hear that I am doing well (even if the person doesn't know if I am or not) and that someone is proud of me.
Just so you know, I put Camillas top on back to front yesterday. I accidentally left her down a supermarket aisle when I wasn't within reach and one time we realised we didn't do up her capsule in the car properly. Things like that stay in my mind and I beat myself up about it, but at the end of the day its all a learning process. We've never had a baby before! Everything is new and we will learn.
I'm learning to leave my own expectations at the door along with everyone elses and maybe some day I will confidently be able make our own decisions, I know that no Mum is perfect.
Where Antenatal Classes Helpful?
In the first day of Camillas life Graeme said "Hey! She's doing the mouth thing that Pam said! Maybe she wants food?" Oh yeah. Doh. My Baby needs to be fed. And she did, she did it exactly like our instructor showed us.
Also, we would have no idea how to bath her had it not been for the final class, and during labour Graeme reminded me how to breathe like Pam showed us and I remembered to keep my lips relaxed!
Thank you Antenatal!