How are you all going? I hope everyone is going well, and that your weeks have been plodding along as expected and hopefully not too eventful!
As you can tell by the title of this blog post, it’s been a whole month of parenting so far over here for me! Can you believe it’s been a month? I still can’t believe my baby girl Quinn has a month behind her. People aren’t joking when they say it goes fast. I can’t decide if it goes fast gradually, or because with the severe lack of sleep all your days roll into one and you can’t keep track.
The first week was quite interesting! It was mainly spent at the hospital. We had 3 nights at the hospital and we came home on the 4th day. The following days after that were spent with me bed ridden and trying to manage my insane pain from the surgery (c section). I struggled a lot with breast feeding, we had a bad latch that led to bleeding, cracking, scabbing and lots of tears. I could only breastfeed if I had taken my pain medication, something told us that this was not a good thing!
We decided to supplement going into the second week at home. I remember the night it happened, I was dreading Quinn waking up for her next feed so much so that I was in tears at the thought of it. My psyche was way, way off. I felt overwhelmed and I was just not mentally with it. I was dealing with being bed ridden, and every time I had to go pee I was in so much pain just walking to the toilet. I had to use the bathroom door to help me get up and down from the toilet. I couldn’t stand completely straight because my stitches were so insanely tight that it felt like I was tearing my incision open.
It was just horrible, and the breastfeeding was making all of this feel 10 times worse because of the pain and feeling like I was doing a bad job. I didn’t realise at the time, but Quinn was feeding for over an hour on both breasts. This apparently wasn’t normal! The midwife I spoke to said babies should only be breastfeeding for 15-20 minutes. I guess that the decision to exclusively breast pump and supplement with formula during the night was the best choice. Quinn also had mild jaundice at the time, which formula feeding is generally recommended to be digested throughout the recovery for! So everything appeared to be working out for the best. We exclusively formula feed now (insert the judgement from other mothers here), as breast pumping was not for me. I was unable to keep up with her demand, my supply was not enough so she always would have been fed formula for more than half of her feeds regardless. I will be sure to write up a post of our experience with the breastfeeding, breast pumping and formula feeding. I thought it was insanely interesting with the amount of information I found and the misleading opinions from mothers out there.
I got my stitches out at some point in the second week and dang did it feel good. The stitching was so tight, I had no idea how much better it felt with them getting taken out. I was terrified for the threading to be removed, I thought it would feel like flossing your teeth (ew) but it felt so relieving. The healing of my incision has gone really well surprisingly. I have been able to do all the things I used to since the end of the second week, and I truly think a lot of that had to do with just getting the damn stitching out because it was so tight and pulling on everything I was unable to stand up straight properly.
My mother and brothers came over by the end of the second week, which funnily enough fell on what was going to be her actual due date! It was amazing having them here and seeing them snuggle with Quinn. My mother is absolutely smitten with her. They have such a sweet, pure connection the two of them. It was so special to be able to share that moment with them. It was so cool to have 3 generations together.
As we fell into the third week, Quinn became unwell from a cold that my husband Myles had brought home (he works in IT for schools, damn school bugs!) and Quinn became incredibly needy for snuggles, unable to sleep because of her congestion, the works! It was really challenging, especially because we have never looked after an unwell newborn before. I was so stressed because I didn’t know how to help her straight away, I was unsure on how to be and what to do. There was one night where I did not sleep one bit, the next day I was an emotional wreck because I was so exhausted and she was unwell. Together we were a disaster. But you know what? The following night, she had her first 3-4 hour stretches in between feeds. It got better.
It’s been such a journey this first month. I’ve had nights where I’m in uncontrollable giggles listening to the noises she makes when she sleeps, Myles and I have decided her nickname is “Dino” because she sounds like a dinosaur. I discovered she loves being bounced, and when she is in the mood where she wants to be bounced if you stop bouncing her she will immediately be disappointed in you and cry until you bounce her again. She smiles, a lot. It makes my heart fill with so much happiness and love. She loves to poop immediately after you change her diaper, or pee as you are changing it to keep you on your toes.
What does Quinn love right now?
- Pram walks (The first few times I took her out in the pram, I couldn’t help but giggle when I went over bumpy parts on the concrete and it jiggled her, she was so confused with the motion!)
- Loud white noise sounds from YouTube overnight (Thank goodness for the YouTube video we play that has a 10 hour duration, it never stops!)
- Belly rubs
- Bouncing on my knee
- Baby carrying
- Heat lamps when she has a bath
- Eating her hands when she’s in her sleepsuit (She ends up just slobbering all over the sleepsuit because she can’t reach her hands obviously, it’s so cute)
The best part of this month was just gathering such a strong appreciation for parents. It’s challenging, it really is. My mum was a working single mother of 3 kids, and I cannot fathom the admiration I have for her to have gone through that on her own. I am truly lucky to have such a hands on husband who is excellent with Quinn, so when I have those harder than average days he is more than happy to take her off my hands for a bit so I can have a breather. It keeps me sane, and I can imagine it is really hard when you don’t have anyone to fall back on when you have those days.
Luckily the days aren’t so bad. I have gathered a great routine with Quinn, and when she gets unsettled and restless I can just take her for a walk in the pram/baby carrier which really helps get her out of the troubling mood. For Quinn, it has become the evening she decides she doesn’t like. From about 7PM until 10:30-11:00PM she will basically want your soul. Nothing works to settle her, and she will make sure you know it. Thankfully it’s become routine, so we can plan for it and expect it. It just so happens my favourite trashy TV show is on from 7PM, it’s like babies know these things! Just about to eat, nope I don’t think so! Oh – you need to pee? Well I’ll settle right now then!
It has been such an experience coming to terms with the realisation that Myles and I have a daughter. We have a daughter! Wow! You prepare yourself throughout your pregnancy that you will be having a baby, a child, a teenager, an adult in your future that is part of you and your partner but you can’t prepare yourself for the immense responsibility you feel and the strong urge to protect them from absolutely anything and everything. I would do anything and everything for Quinn.
I had a radiology appointment for my breasts two weeks ago. It was the first time I was leaving Quinn and Myles together and that I would be on my own. When I was sitting in the waiting room on my own, I felt absolutely empty. It felt wrong. I wasn’t ready to be away from Quinn. I had just spent 9 months with her always with me in my tummy, and she was in this world but not near me. I had always gone to appointments with Myles too, he and I do everything together so it was also strange in itself being away from Myles and actually doing something just on my own independently. It felt so, so strange. I felt so alone. I want them near me always!
The journey of going from being with your baby for 9 months, just the two of you, to them being in the world and being able to be away from you is the strangest feeling. It is so strange when you come to terms with the fact that you may have your body back to yourself, but your mind is always on your child. My thoughts and mind are always with her, so is my heart. I love her so unbelievably much.
I can’t wait to see her grow and develop further. I can’t wait to see her smile and recognise who is talking to her. I can’t wait to be able to distract her with toys and sounds properly where she can interact with them and learn. I just really am so excited for this whole journey in the future, but I also love the now. I’m trying to make the most of her being this small and snuggly. Whilst it’s exciting to think of her being older, I also love that it’s (sort of) easier now where it’s diaper, feed, snuggle, sleep. In the future there will be all other things thrown into the mix and it’ll be a lot busier. So, I need to make the most of our snuggle bear while I can! Soon she will be crawling about and up to no good. We are convinced she’s going to be a cheeky one!
Onto our second month with her now! I am so proud of Quinn, Myles and I. Our little family is doing their best as we figure this whole process out together.
I hope you all have a wonderful day!