Harrison is one month old today. I’ve started every single one of these updates off saying how terrifying it is that we’re another week down, and this week is no different. It is terrifying. It’s terrifying that I no longer have a baby that I can describe as weeks old; from here on out we’re into the months, and I can only imagine how fast time will fly from here. I keep on wishing away the days – I can’t wait for him to smile, to laugh, to roll over and to crawl, but I can’t bear the thought of losing the newborn days. Everyone said it would go quickly, but I didn’t quite imagine it would go this quickly. He’s doing well, I can’t say that enough. Sleeps not great, but it never was going to be, he’s a newborn, he doesn’t know the difference between night and day. I’ve gotten used to being tired, if that’s the only struggle we have to face in these first few weeks then I’ll be forever grateful. Babies aren’t easy, I expected it to be difficult, not easy, but worth it in the end. He definitely is worth it.
What The Midwife Says
Well the midwife didn’t bother to turn up this week, so I’ve not really got much to say here. I say midwife, it’s not, it’s the Health Visitor, but she’s been just as useless as my midwife was all along. I’m sorry, but I won’t sugar coat it. The NHS has been a massive let-down from the very get go. From having to wait 3 weeks for an initial scan (after finding out about my pregnancy at 26 weeks), to having pretty much no support and a less than knowledgable midwife, ante-natal classes that had no space for me despite it being my first child, and then midwives and health visitors who can’t even turn up when they say they will, I’m pretty much sick to the back teeth of it. I’d never expected to have my hand held and walked through the process, but surely turning up to a weekly appointment is a given. Rant over. As far as I can tell, chunk is doing brilliantly. His skin is clearing up after his hormone surge, and his growth is still progressing at a ridiculous pace. When do they stop growing so quickly? He already looks so grown up compared to last week – it has to stop!
Slow and steady wins the race, I’m just trying to keep on telling myself that. He’s a baby, he doesn’t come pre-programmed with a routine and therefore he’s not going to be sleeping through the night now, or for a while for that matter. We’ve had our good nights and bad nights, generally though, he’s doing better, and I’m getting a good 3 hours here and there. Some night’s he’s done a solid four/five hour stretch, and I’ve woke up feeling ridiculously refreshed. It’s amazing what four hours sleep can do for a new mum.
During the day had became a bit of a struggle in the last week – but we had a breakthrough, a mini victory in the world of new parents. Recently, he would not be put down, especially not during the day. He could be out for the count in my arms and the minute I placed him in his moses, or his nest, he’d squeal. My mum suggested we try him on his front and it was the best thing we’ve done yet. He’ll now settle during the day for a good hour or two at a time, which is making all the difference for my sanity. Prior to, I literally couldn’t set him down to go to the toilet, or eat. He was on my chest from Jordan leaving for work at 6.30am until he got home at 7.30pm, and I was drained. This little breakthrough should make a huge difference.
Feeding is not a problem any more – he’s keeping his milk down, and guzzling down 5oz every 3 hours or so. I’m still worried he’s taking too much, last night he took 6oz before bed and still woke 2 hours later squealing for another bottle, I don’t know whether it would be worth moving up to Hungry Baby milk, or whether I’m jumping the gun. I’ll wait it out, as I think it may be part of a 4 week growth spurt, but for now I’m just happy he’s settled on Aptamil and his wind is getting better slowly but surely. He still gets Infacol before bed, but during the day we do without, so coming off of it gradually, on the off chance that is what is helping him settle more.
His sight and awareness has improved ten-fold. Going from the first week, where he literally did not open his eyes for the most part, to now, when he is visibly reacting to voices and shadows. I’ve always said this is the part I cannot wait for – when he can properly see and react to us, and although we still have a good few more weeks to wait, slowly but surely it’s improving. He also has started grabbing what’s in front of him, when giving him a bottle, he’ll now grab the bottle to pull it closer to him, which is a new development. He’s definitely going to be trouble, that much is for sure.
The newborn clothes are gone. I never thought that would happen quite so quickly, I was told I was having a tiny baby after all, yet my little boy is already out of his first lot of clothes. It’s sad, these were all of the clothes I picked so carefully while I was pregnant – these were the ones that I envisioned him in for months, and now, they’re already packed away. He’s growing well obviously, but it’s still sad. My newborn won’t be newborn for long.
His leg strength is amazing. I wish I didn’t know this, because I’ve only found out due to his kicking when we try and wind him. He’s a little fighter when it comes to wind, but the strength he has in those tiny little legs to kick off with is unbelievable. He’ll be squatting more than me at this rate…
What About Mum?
I have my up and down days. I mentioned in last weeks update how much better I was doing than the week before after tuning down the visitors, but I think I’ve now managed to go the other way. I’ve not seen an adult human other than Jordan and immediate family in a week; Jordan works 12 hour shifts Monday-Saturday essentially, and I’ve found myself cutting myself off from everyone else during that time. It’s a habit I need to get out of very quickly, but the thought of leaving the house by myself right now makes me a little anxious, so I’ve taken to spending the majority of my day on my couch. Right now, it’s not a problem, I’m still getting used to having a baby and it is daunting to go out, but letting it continue wouldn’t be good for me, or for Harrison, so in the next month I’m going to make a proper effort to get the both of us out of the house everyday, no matter how mundane the task is.
I don’t really have anything else to say on recovery from childbirth, I was pretty much completely recovered from the second week, I all but danced out of the hospital, and I was grateful for that at the time, but now looking back, I think that may have made it more difficult, but in a different way. (Anyone reading this who’s gone through childbirth and had a difficult labour will be kicking themselves at the fact I’m managing to complain about an easy birth, I’m not complaining at all, just bear with me here…). Physically, I had nothing to overcome, I had a jelly belly and bleeding, but no pain. I came home from the hospital completely back to normal physically, but with a baby in tow. I’m not sure if I ever had to come to terms with having had a child, as it didn’t really feel as though I had. I’m not explaining this well and I know that, but it’s not really something I can put into words well. I had all of the emotional and mental symptoms from labour, but none of the physical, and the fact that these didn’t match up did have it’s own consequences. By no means am I suggesting I wanted to tear, or the pain of recovery from a section, I thank heavens every day that I lucked out and managed had such a pain free recovery, but I did still struggle, and I still am, if not with the physical but the mental.
Despite having my little moan, my life truly is amazing right now. I’m sleep deprived, exhausted, I smell like the end of a 14-hour hard labour shift, I couldn’t tell you the last time I brushed my hair, and I wouldn’t change it for the world. Every little new thing Harrison does makes it all very much worth it, he’s a little character already and I can’t wait to see the little boy he’ll grow up to be. It’s been an adjustment, and it’s only been a month – I have the next 18 years to adjust to having a child after all…
This will be the last weekly update – from here on out it’ll be monthly, which is a sad, but positive thing at the same time. I don’t want to focus on the week’s gone by, and dissect every single little detail that happens in his life, it’s probably time I start living more in the moment. Monthly is enough.
If you’ve not already, read our previous updates here Birth | Week 1 | Week 2 | Week 3.