I’ve come to realise that the reason no one tells you about how hard the first few weeks of motherhood are is because they forget. They are so darn tired that they forget what happened yesterday, let alone the week before. The first few weeks are now a distant blur and the only difference between now and then is I can remember now because it’s now. No one can warn you for the tiredness that comes after days, and then weeks of sleepless nights. At times I’ve felt so tired, I actually felt slightly delusional or like I’m about to throw up. Amy sent me this Buzzfeed article a few weeks back, it literally made me LOL. If you have nothing better to do on this sunny afternoon then I suggest you have a peek… it’s funny.
I’m going to be honest. I absolutely love being a mummy. I’ve wanted this for so long and I’m smitten with my daughter Adeline but it’s hard. I feel bad for admitting it’s hard. I feel like I’m failing for admitting that some days it’s so hard that I would rather sit in my pjs all day with her in my arms than attempt to leave the house because I’m not ready to battle the tears or the unexpected. Maybe the word coward is better than failing? The thought of her crying in public makes me sweat. It’s happened a few times and I suddenly feel like every other human around me is judging me because my baby is crying and she won’t stop. When she cries she’s hungry and when I’m in Spinneys I can’t just stop and bring out the milk supply. I’m breastfeeding so it’s not going to happen in Spinneys unless I whip out my cape and take a seat down in the cereal aisle. It’s these little things that I didn’t expect would be so hard. But as the weeks go on I’m finding these small hurdles much easier to battle.
I’m so tired my eyes hurt.
I wrote the first part of this blog about 3 weeks ago when Adeline was 6 weeks old. She’s now 10 weeks and is weighing in at just over 4.2 kgs. Her photos don’t really demonstrate how small she really is, in comparison to other babies but she’s healthy, growing and I guess that’s all that matters. Everyone thinks she’ll be nice and tall because her fingers are so long. Nathan and I are both tall so it’s likely she will be too. It’s good to know that constantly feeding is obviously what she needs right now.
So whats been hard? Let me break it down for you.
The lack of sleep.
I mentioned this before but it really is hard, it’s getting easier as the weeks go on but that’s probably because I’m used to the feeling now. Before baby I was the kinda gal that got a healthy 8-9 hours sleep a night, but now I’m happy if I get a solid 4 hours. With a solid 4 hours you feel you rejuvenated, but without the 4 hours I’m a walking zombie. For the first 8 weeks Adeline slept on my chest every night. I would feed her, cuddle her and she would drift off into a peaceful deep sleep. After a few minutes I’d lift her up and place her on my chest. I’d slowly slide back and we’d both sleep for a solid 3-4 hours. I’d wake again and feed, and change her and then from around 4am it was feeds every 2 hours. This all ended last week. I started putting her in a brilliant thing called a sleepyhead. It’s a small bed that goes into a bassinet or a crib, or you can put it on your own bed, which is what I’ve been doing until last weekend when Nathan attached our snuz pod to the side of the bed. She can’t roll over and it’s very supportive. I also started a bed and bath routine, and so far it’s going well. We bath, cuddle, feed and by around 8.30-9.30pm she’s sleeping in her bed. This finally gives me a little ‘me’ time and last week I indulged in a glass of wine while watching The Kardashians on E! I felt like I was winning, until I realised that by the time I go to bed, she’s half way through her solid 4 hour sleep and all I get is 1.5 hour slots of sleep for the rest of the night. By the time I’ve picked her up, fed her, watched her go back to sleep and then watched her again (I wonder if other mums obsess over this too?), gone to the bathroom, and then finally got myself off to sleep, it’s literally time to get back up again. Last night I was too tired to even check FB or browse Flipboard. So yeah, right now I’m in zombie land but as she gets bigger I’m hoping she’ll sleep for longer slots. Any mums out there with advice please feel free to hit me up. Googling can be so overwhelming.
Breastfeeding. Until now I didn’t now how valuable my boobs were.
OK so all of my friends who have babies have all had different experiences, but heres mine so far…
Ever wondered what I do all day long? I feed, it’s like a non-stop feeding frenzy all day long. Adeline eats about every 45 minutes or so and it’s been this way from the beginning. It’s amazing, but also exhausting. Some days are really relaxing because I sit on the sofa with my little human, a few bottles of water, some healthy snacks and settle in for the day. A few weeks back I binge watched the first 2 seasons of Orange is the New Black, it was amazing. I call these my lazy PJ days. I’m happy because I have no expectations of leaving the house or getting anything done, all I’m doing is feeding my baby and that’s ok. Thats my main job right now. When I do need to leave the house, the anxiety kicks in. It’s a mission to get dressed, shower, put on some makeup, find something to wear that covers my flabby post-baby tummy and leave the house. This whole process can take a few hours because I’m feeding so much, and there is only so much you can do with one hand and a baby on your boob. No one ever told me it would be this demanding. It’s so demanding, but if and when it gets too much I could always add a few bottles of formula to the mix, if I really needed to. Pumping? Well, that’s hard too because I don’t get long enough breaks to pump. Now she’s sleeping at 8-9pm I can pump for 20 minutes before bed an hour after she sleeps. Yeah, pretty demanding right.
BUT it will change, and maybe this week I’ll start looking into ways to stretch out feeds. I’ll keep you posted. I’ve decided to break my blogs down into two parts. I have a whole other rant on baby weight and the anxiety to drive, not to mention the fear. OMG the fear is real.
OK lovelies, I better go… baby needs feeding. again!
P.S Images of baby Adeline by Liesl Cheney Photography. Keep a look out for my newborn shoot coming next week!