I didn’t have a clue what life would be like after my third baby came along, and keeping an open mind was definitely the best thing I did. Here are some of my musings during those earliest days…
Recognising it was go time:
Everyone assumed I was a seasoned pro and would instinctively know when the baby was coming, but based on my previous experiences I didn’t want to get too excited until I knew for sure. I had an inkling the morning of the birth, and told hubby to work from home just in case. The contractions came and went and when I felt them picking up pace I downloaded a timer app and timed them for an hour. It confirmed they were only a few minutes apart and that it really was time to head to the hospital.
The birth itself:
I was originally hoping for a home birth, but Group B Strep put paid to that idea. A water birth at the midwife-led birthing centre was my backup plan, but wasn’t to be either though – the water didn’t relieve the pain and I wasn’t able to get into decent position. I ended up delivering on the chaise-lounge in the exact same room as I did last time, in almost the exact same position. No good would have come from me getting upset about my original plans going out of the window. I was just relieved to have had a straightforward delivery.
Unfortunately because my little one came out much quicker than his sisters, the IV antibiotics I had during labour (for the GBS) didn’t get to him in time, so he had to have them instead. Starting his tiny life with a canula in his hand, and drugs being pumped through him over a 48 hour period was not what I wanted, but faced with the potential alternative, I didn’t have much choice. If we had gone to hospital two hours earlier my antibiotics would have passed through to him, but again no good would have come from self-flagellation.
The hospital stay:
It is a well documented fact that the food provided by the NHS is appalling, and you are likely to get no sleep when you’re on a maternity ward. If they have them going spare a private room can be requested, and I feel it was £60 per night well spent! I also took a bag of healthy snacks in with me, along with lots of herbal tea. They kept me going between those ‘delightful’ meals.
Expectations of expertise:
Just because I’d already had two kids, didn’t mean I knew everything. Each chiId is completely different, and a new addition means there are extra members of the family that need to adapt. I’ve written several posts about how difficult our eldest was, and we had a fair bit of jealousy from 2yo too. Pre-birth I tried not to have any expectations, and am glad I took this stance. The first few weeks were hard enough, without feeling they weren’t living up to a pre-conceived fantasy of how I felt they should have been.
Read here for my insights on breastfeeding. Ensuring that my son drank enough milk during the day was definitely the key to him sleeping for a few hours at a time in the night. This meant waking him up for daytime feeds in the first few weeks, often stripping him off. As tempting as it was to let him sleep all day, I knew we’d pay for it that night if we did. By six weeks he was only having one night feed most nights, and this is still the case.
The R Word was a nightmare for us first time round, and second time I was determined for that to not be the case. Whether 2yo just didn’t have reflux or we prevented it I will never know. When our littlest started displaying symptoms at just a few days old, rather than wait it out and let it potentially get bad I did everything I could to stop it in its tracks. Here are the main things that worked for us:
– eliminating all dairy products from my diet
– burping baby really well mid feed and at the end
– keeping him upright for a few mins after feeds
– sleeping on his side not his back
– carrying him everywhere in an upright sling facing inwards instead of putting him in the buggy
– having tons of muslins everywhere just in case!
It feels like those days were a very long time ago already! Did your early days go super fast? Do you have any advice to share? I’d love to hear from you in the comments section if you do 🙂