Fletcher is now 2 weeks old! What an experience it’s been so far. I can honestly say I wasn’t expecting to go through many of those experiences. By that I don’t mean looking after a newborn, I mean the postpartum shit I’ve had to deal with. The things no-one tells you about! Pre-warning you folks now that this is going to be a pretty TMI (too much information) blog.
Before I get gruesome about my vaginal bleeding and episiotomy pains, I’ll tell you about how I’ve felt about our new little bundle of poop. Then once I finish you can decide for yourself if you’d like to read on and know about my bodily fluids and the gross stuff.
So Fletcher has been an absolute dream! I can honestly say we are so lucky that he’s been such a chilled out baby – so far. He has been a little champ with breastfeeding. The first week he was latching instantly, like he’d done it before! I wasn’t expecting him to pick it up so quickly to be honest, as I am fully aware of how many women struggle to get breastfeeding established. I must give myself a fair bit of credit to be honest, because I did a HECK of a lot of research before he was born. Watching endless videos on ‘How to get the best latch’ and all sorts of pro-breastfeeding information that would help me to get all the knowledge possible, without having to attend an antenatal class of any kind, because I’m just too awkward for that social shit. So I did feel pretty clued up on what I had to do, how to position him, what to look out for and when to shove his face on my tit. This worked wonders and he was feeding like a trooper. I did experience extreme pain in my nipples for a week though. Every time he’d latch I would wince from the sharp, scratchy type of pain, but the pain eased as he would feed, it was always just the initial latch. Also getting in the shower was pretty tough. The feeling of the water hitting my nipples was pretty excruciating, so I’d have to cover them with my hands as unfortunately I do not own miniature umbrellas – which would have been ideal! After this first week however, a lot of the pain has gone. I still feel it a little in the shower, mainly because I shower in the mornings just before a feed so my boobs are raring to go to be honest, so not great timing on my part really. In the mornings my boobs are legit like rocks! I’ve never looked in the mirror and thought JESUS my boobs are big, ever in my entire life…. ITS GREAT! Coming from a lady with little boobs, this is the best part about breastfeeding! Nah, it’s all good, but they are proper tight and raring to feed him in the mornings, it’s not overly comfortable really. This is when he can really struggle to latch, because I got milk bursting out of me like some sort of jet spray. We’re both getting covered in milk and end up soaked by the end of the feed. S’all fun and games init! Scott was laughing his head off when he caught sight of milk dripping out of my boobs like a cow! It’s not a glamorous life at all. But well worth it when you look down at his happy milk drunk face after a feed, all thanks for this milky mumma! We were expressing and using a bottle in the first week so that Scott could help and so that I had milk in a bottle if we went out anywhere, so I wouldn’t have to get my boob out. But I think it’s given him a little nipple confusion because this week he’s been a right fuss pants trying to latch. Wobbling his head around like a crazy whilst sucking thin air, then getting stressed out because there’s no milk coming. He eventually gets there after a little winge and then he’s fine – but at 3am in the morning, when I’m feeling pretty shattered, the worst thing is watching him stress about it when the nipple is quite literally under his nose but he’s just being a twat.
On the subject of night feeds. I again have been pretty lucky with this little man. He has been a great sleeper. He has a 3 hour body clock for feeds so typically he wants feeding at like 12am, 3am and then around 6am. So it gives me a pretty good sleep either side of 3am really, as by 6am I feel ready to wake up anyway. I’d love it to stay this way, or even get better! But I wouldn’t like to jinx it. Whenever he wants to feed he will get it regardless of what I want, so mumma just gotta go with it. Scott on the other hand, he’s having a cracking sleep! I must say I have allowed this purely because I know he will be the one who has to work, so he needs his energy. Also, breastfeeding is so much easier at night than having to go prep a bottle! I haven’t gotta get out of bed then init – but I have got to be careful not to fall asleep as he is feeding, which I have felt like doing on occasions, but luckily haven’t. So overall, our little man is a easy sausage… so far. Must always say so far… so I don’t jinx it. He LOVES a cuddle. He’s a proper snuggly baby who just loves to be in someones arms. Research shows that a baby can never be cuddled too much and it can help their development or something… which is TOTALLY okay with me, because I just love to cuddle him!
I have had a few oops moments. 100% baby brain and also those dreaded baby blues. Nothing major, thankfully. Thanks to my amazing husband, I’ve got through it all very quickly. First breakdown was on night 3. Fletcher was going through a little cluster feeding and was not settling at all. This was our second night at home with him, and he didn’t like being put down in his cot. It was like he didn’t want to be out of my arms. I’d already lost a heck of a lot of sleep through the labour and being in hospital. Not being able to sleep properly on his first night home either. So I was EXHAUSTED. Fletcher was so needy on this night, and I honestly thought I wasn’t going to be able to put my boob away or put him down in the cot. Scott was asleep and I was just crying. I had to wake up Scott and get him to help in some way before I had a complete breakdown. Our cot for Fletcher is a Next To Me Chicco Crib, but we hadn’t set it up in the way we have now. Basically one side comes off completely and it can attach to the side of the bed so it’s like they are sleeping right beside you. Middle of the night Scott spend ages trying to figure out setting this up, both of us absolutely shattered and Fletcher very restless. As soon as he’d done it, we put Fletcher down in a swaddle (again, he just loves to be wrapped up/snuggled) and he settled almost immediately. I was stoking him gentle for a while as he was just staring at me, and he just knew I was there which was enough to keep him calm enough to fall asleep. From this night onward he’s been a dream! I cannot recommend the Next To Me Crib enough for either a needy baby or a overly worried mummy! (The kind who had to stop and stare at him to make sure he was still breathing because he was so quiet)
Day 3: The middle of the night feed featuring exhausted mummy & sleepy daddy.
So, the first 2 weeks with a newborn have been truly amazing so far. I am so happy to have the best little family ever! I cannot thank Scott enough for everything he’s helped with so far. He’s been the best husband/daddy ever! Reassuring me when I thought I wasn’t doing a good job at breastfeeding helped me to carry on when it felt really tough. Cooking the tea almost every night and bringing me lunch when I was sofa bound due to being in pain and having a baby attached to my breast every 2-3 hours. Remembering to look after me, bringing me my water and basically being a complete slave and not even complaining about it. I could go on… he’s honestly been the best! I better stop because I’m sure his head will be expanding as he reads this – and that’s already big enough as it is! Next week he goes back to work, and I think I’ll probably experience a little more baby blues when he isn’t around. I will legit have to get my ass in gear – thankfully I’m feeling a lot better recovery-wise so I’m sure I’ll get my organisation head back again in no time. I honestly have had the worst baby brain ever that it actually made me cry on one occasion. So Fletcher had been sick in the car and it got on his new personalised, peter rabbit dummy clip from my mum. I thought, oh it’s okay I can clean that – oh I know, I’ll sterilise it too… I only go and put it in the microwave steriliser! IT HAS METAL ON IT! The thing burnt and made the whole lot of baby stuff in the steriliser smell like fire. I felt like the worst mum ever and cried my eyes out about it. Bloody twat!
Anyway, baby brain is slowly diminishing and I’m becoming more human again as each day goes by. The first week was hard not only for the reasons I’ve already discussed but also the postpartum pains I was experiencing. If you don’t want to hear about the grossness a new mum has to go through after childbirth, stop reading now.
I quite literally felt like I had been kicked with a steel toe cap boot straight in the vag! Not only that, but I felt like I had a baby’s head stuck between my legs still. I was so swollen down there that even just sitting on my bum normally hurt so bad! Every move I’d make made me feel like I was going to rip wide open down there. I had an episiotomy (they cut me for the forceps) so I was stitched up. Nobody EVER talks about the after pains. How incredibly uncomfortable you will feel down below. How frightened you are to pee or poop. I had to be assisted to the bathroom the day after giving birth because I still had a dead leg from the epidural too – I couldn’t hold myself up properly. When I peed in the bedpan I was given it was literally like I was just pissing blood. I felt like I had to lean my weight onto only one butt cheek because of the pain between my legs for a solid week. Constipation isn’t even how I’d describe it either… I probably could have pooped, if I wanted to! But legit the thought of squeezing out a crap made my stitches twinge at the thought. Wow I’m really getting overly descriptive with this aren’t I – sorry not sorry, but I do have to physically experience this so you can just think yourself lucky if you haven’t. I did warn you! On various occasions I had to have a peek down there with a mirror to check that I hadn’t ripped open or anything, because as a first time mum I didn’t know what was normal! So all the blood and the pain was always a worry that it wasn’t right… but kudos to the doctor who stitched me up, I reckon he did a cracking job at making it look neat and tidy down there – cheers mate! Day 14 in and I’m only just starting to feel relatively normal down there, I can safely sit on my bottom comfortably without the sensation of sitting on a knife edge 24/7 and I can wipe myself after I pee rather than painfully pat myself with a cold wipe. I no longer need to lather gigantic maternity sanitary pads with aloe vera gel every time I use the bathroom. I was experiencing the after pain contractions too when I was breastfeeding – which I had absolutely NO idea happened. This is apparently the uterus contracting back to normal gradually. I am thankfully losing the baby belly very quickly – thank you again breastfeeding, I have a holiday in September, so plenty of time to get the relatively flat stomach back again.
The whole first 2 weeks, as I said, has been an experience. One that I am lucky to experience, despite it being uncomfortable and tough, I created and gave birth to a human being! That’s epic! There are women that aren’t as lucky and cannot have children, so despite all my moaning and groaning, I am SO grateful for the whole thing – I never would want to seem like I’m taking it all for granted. Having a baby is quite literally the best thing ever – he makes it all worthwhile!
Day 1: One of our Bounty hospital pictures