06 September 2013

The first four weeks

It’s hard to believe that four weeks has passed since little Ned entered our world. What a whirlwind it has been. Although we were told to enjoy our last few weeks before he was born as our lives would change dramatically, I know I didn’t take people’s advice too seriously. It seems I definitely should have listened.

No words could ever truly describe what it is like having a newborn in your life. 
Yes, it is joyful and it is such a miracle to have a mini human being in your life but whoa, it’s hard. Actually, scrap that - it’s demanding; emotionally and physically and is a true test of your relationship – with your partner and your new baby.

We spent two nights in hospital and came home late on Sunday afternoon after his birth on Friday. It was kind of an unreal feeling when we got home. We had to introduce him to our first born Rocky and then attempt to settle into life as a new family. The first week or more was just a blur of sleeplessness, confusion, worry and adaptation. Ned had a mild case of jaundice equalling a very sleepy baby who wasn’t feeding properly who in turn was not pooing or weeing enough. We had four separate home visits from the midwives to sort out the feeding issue and subsequently have been mixed feeding since about day five. I’ve had some somewhat mixed reactions from people about introducing formula but it’s what we had to do to feed our man to make him grow.

By far the hardest thing though, forgetting about the stress of my pathetic milk supply is the lack of sleep. Ask any new parent what the hardest thing about having a newborn and I’d be surprised if nine out of ten (if not ten) didn’t answer sleep deprivation. Not even the best author in the world could possibly put into words the unbelievable feeling of having basically no sleep. Trainee daddy and I initially tried to do shifts to look after the baby who didn’t want to sleep unless he was held. Obviously more of the burden was on me given I was breastfeeding but there was obvious strain on both of us. So much strain that the man who doesn’t ever drink tea or coffee decided that a cup of coffee would enable him to stay awake, determined and certain that we didn’t need help (more on that in another post.) Things have improved and I’m feeling fairly energised and ready to take on the day most mornings. Ned is currently going down for his big sleep about nine o’clock for about four or five hours and then wakes for another feed around four/five am where I feed him lying down in bed. He usually naps once or twice a day so I think I’ve got it pretty lucky. He does like to be cuddled though while he’s awake which means I get very little done. I had some very positive reaction on facebook when I asked the trainee mama community whether getting a cleaner made me a failure. It seems it makes me smart. Trainee daddy is also very supportive which is a bonus.  

What did you find the hardest about having a newborn?

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