The First Week of Motherhood

Monday, 13 June 2016

I wanted to share with you all how my first week of being a new mummy was like day by day. I thought this would be nice to show you all how things progressed along with some of the things that I have learnt about motherhood in this time. Since this is the initial shock stage as everything changes before you even get a chance to blink I just thought this would be interesting to give an insight into this stage in your life. I will not be doing weekly baby updates (like how I did with my pregnancy posts) but I will be sharing a monthly post on Rinoa's development and some of the fun things we got up to as a family! So I hope you enjoy reading this post and feel free to share with me, your own experience!

I will mention briefly before I start this post that I had an emergency c section following a failed induction of labour. I will go more into that when I talk about my birth fully but that is the only necessary information just now really and puts some points of this post into perspective. 
Monday 6th June

Rinoa's birthday! This day felt a bit like two days for me as I gave birth at 12:21am and was taken to the maternity ward and I was initially put in an open room shared with 3 other people. I was given the usual checks over when I got out and was given a chance to breastfeed my little girl. She took to it with some assistance from one of the nurses and this left me feeling incredibly hopeful for breastfeeding for her from here on. We had a little cuddle and due to me not being able to get off the bed, one of the midwives got Rinoa dressed for bed and put her in for me. I couldn't help but just lie there staring at her but I decided due to the lack of sleep I had had that I was going to sleep. 

Woke up 3 hours later at 5.30am and was told to give her another feed, she managed once again to latch on and take her milk but I was so exhausted I was struggling to stay awake while I was feeding her. I ended up not being able to get back to sleep so played about on my phone for the rest of the morning until I was seen to. I didn't have much of an appetite but I tried eating the breakfast given but I just wasn't feeling it. I also still hadn't got feeling back in my legs. I wanted to try and mobilize myself but I couldn't and had to wait for my catheter to be taken out, Once I was able to I was straight in that shower as I felt disgusting! I was paranoid the whole time that the dressing on my stritching was going to come away because of the water and the heat of the water. Of course, this wasn't going to happen but I was terrified it would! 

I found the following feeds this day impossible, she wouldn't latch or she would latch too hard, I tried hand expressing and got nothing coming out and I was getting really upset and disheartened and worried that she wasn't getting enough, so ended up asking to put her on formula feeding instead. Something I wasn't keen to do but I knew for my own peace of mind and for the health of my baby girl that I needed to do this if not she wouldn't be eating. The hospital wasn't the happiest with me for this decision but I know what is right for myself and for my baby.

Coming out of the shower I was informed I would be getting a side room, aka a room to myself! I thought this was great as I'm a very private person but at the same time I liked knowing there were people there to help if needed. The day continued with a large amount of visitors wanting to come and see her along with Stuart and I spending the evening with a KFC boneless bucket as I had wanted one the day before but couldn't due to being in induced labor from 6am! Even then I didn't eat much of it as my appetite hadn't come back.

 There was one point in the evening that my c section cut was causing me a massive amount of pain and I asked if I could have some oramorph (liquid morphine) as I knew it would help, I got told the medication trolley would be round in half an hour if I could wait until then and I just said I would wait. An hour and a half later, the trolley came round and I was given paracetamol and ibuprofen, I again asked for oramorph and was told to "see how I get on with the P&I instead of just diving into the strong stuff", which I knew I needed but it's not in my nature to argue so I didn't. A hour later I was lying in bed and Rinoa started crying and I was in so much pain that I wasn't physically able to get out of bed so I was getting highly distressed and I had to buzz for someone to go and get the pain relief I initially asked for and she took Rinoa over to me to have a cuddle with me. Quite frankly, I wasn't impressed with this whole ordeal and I wish I had kept a note of the woman's name because her not fulfilling my pain relief request ended up in me getting extremely distressed and in even more pain.

So this was a night I was in a room completely by myself with her. This ended up being one of the most distressing nights I have had in a long time. She wouldn't sleep, or she would fall asleep and wake up as soon as she went back into the crib. All night. I kept crying because nothing I was doing was getting her to sleep and I just felt like I was doing a crap job of being a mummy because I couldn't get her to settle. I eventually had to buzz for a midwife to come and help me as I was just breaking down. It didn't help that my abdomen was in agony and getting up and off the bed constantly was agonising me. I had to call her back another 2 times and eventually they took her out of the room for half an hour in order to let me try and get some sleep. It was horrendous and I was in complete distress. I wanted Stuart to get to the hospital as soon as he could (which was going to be 11 due to visiting rules). She eventually fell asleep at about 8am and decided to stay asleep all day, how typical. 

Tuesday 7th June

Following my night of no sleep and having a little one who decided day time was sleep time instead, I was quite drained and didn't have the energy to do anything. People were wanting to visit and since they were driving through to see her and they were family I couldn't really say no so I had to put up with it. Not that I didn't want to see the people that were visiting nor did not want them to see her, I just didn't have the energy to entertain people or participate in conversation with them. They seemed to understand though which I appreciated. 

I was still feeling distressed and there was one time she wouldn't stop crying and I couldn't get her to stop that I just started crying my eyes out saying I wasn't good enough to be a mum. It was so upsetting for me. I eventually did get her settled but my partner said I should see about getting discharged that night so I could get a decent night's sleep as he would do the night feeds and let me just sleep. They weren't too keen on doing so but they didn't decline my wishes and let me go home that evening which I was so thankful for as I was terrified of being left on my own again and not being able to handle how she was being. 

We were going to my mum's anyway so we got everything all packed up in the car and got ready to leave, we still had a few things to go and sort out and pick up from home so after having a Chinese that my mum ordered we went home, picked up some more clothes for us, bibs and socks for Rinoa and popped to Tesco and got some formula milk along with the starter set that already had it in bottles with teats to use for that night. We hoped she would be quite settled this night and would do 3 feeds one at 3am, 6am and 9am. Something that completely did not happen at all.

Stuart wanted me to sleep so he would do everything that night. But she wasn't settling at all again. She just cried and cried all night and both of us were getting really upset and disheartened that she was being like this. It's difficult to remain positive when your wee one is not responding well to everything you are doing! So we go no sleep this night. 

Wednesday 8th June

Thankfully we are staying at my mum's so in the morning after I had fed and changed her so she offered to just watch over her for a while as Stuart and I attempted to get a couple of hours of sleep. I managed two hours before I went down to make breakfast for Stuart and I. Of course, as before, she was completely content and settled for the entire day. 

This was the first time I decided to put a put together little outfit for her but it's so difficult due to so many of her clothes not fitting her due to her size! But I managed to put together a cute mint, pink and yellow combo. She's gradually began to feed in higher volumes as she wasn't taking very much at first but she's drinking lots now which is reassuring to me as I want her to grow up big and strong! 

We also had our first visit from the midwife today. She was absolutely lovely and was doing all her checks on myself and Rinoa. She was impressed with how mobile I am seeing as I had just had major surgery two days prior and even though I was in pain, I wasn't letting myself stay down. She showed Stuart how to inject my anticoagulants as I have a week prescription of them simply due to my c section. Rinoa is slightly slightly jaundiced but it's not to an extent that she had any worries about.

One of the major things about today was trying methods to get her to sleep at night. I intended on just giving her a dummy when it came to bedtime. We learnt that when we change her nappy (which really, really distresses her) giving her the dummy soothes her a lot so we decided times that she gets distressed quite badly we would give her one (i.e. sleeping, bathing etc). However, my friend suggested white noise and I decided to just download an app with some white noise on it and played it to her as she slept. This worked an absolute treat! She slept right through until my alarm at 3am to give her another feed and even then I struggled to actually wake her up! After the usual feed and change, I put her in the cot and while she didn't sleep she remained quite calm and content for the next hour. I fell asleep on the couch and woke up to the sound of her crying, went to get up and noticed that Stuart had already gotten himself up to see to her and started getting her bottle done for feeding. It was after this she spent about an hour being restless and wouldn't go back to sleep, so I took her on the couch for a cuddle and we both fell asleep for about 3 and a half hours! So this night was a lot more successful than the two previous. 

Thursday 9th June

Feeling so much more positive about things, I got up and got everything prepared for the day. Got her bottles made up and got ready for a trip to town. We were getting our little Rinoa registered as an official little human today! We had a couple of things to do in town and we stopped by my work and everyone was so happy to see myself and her and the usual, were impressed I was up and about. I'm a toughie, I won't be kept down! Rinoa seemed to enjoy the noises outside and she barely stirred at all the whole time. We went to the Archie Cafe, a local cafe that uses an amount of the income they get to help with supporting hospitals' children's wards and raises funds for better equipment to look after sick children. A great idea behind the place and great food to boot! We just went for a hot chocolate and a piece, both of which were enjoyable and it was Rinoa's first little feed out and about. 

We eventually got to the registary office to get our little girl registered and it just felt so amazing having a document with her name on it along with myself and Stuart's! It was exciting just thinking about getting it done!

We had a fairly chilled night that night and ended up getting a Domino's (which of course, left me pizza for breakfast!) which we got after I decided to have a 2 hour long nap. As the night time came I started getting panicky thinking that last night was a fluke and she was going to be a terror throughout the night but oh how wrong was I! I decided to let her fall asleep on me and then I would put her in her cot afterwards but this didn't happen as I fell asleep along with her, only waking up when she woke me up because she wanted fed. A feed and a change and back on the couch and she was zonked out so quickly. The combination of being cuddled and the sound must have made her feel like she was still in the womb so it must be the most relaxing for her. It's something I would like to do every so often safely.

Friday 10th June

Another relaxed day for all of us and a surprise haircut for myself! I was moaning about the ends of my hair and how dry and matted they were so my mum just told me to phone the local salons and ask for an appointment and I managed to get one for an hour after the call! From bleaching my hair so much, my hair has been needing a damn good trim so it was good to get a good two inches taken off! 
Rinoa had a day of being fairly sleepy but she would wake up in time for her 3 hourly feeds which was fantastic! As soon as she started stirring I would go and get her nappy changing stuff, put the bottle warmer on to heat up. Taking the advice of my friend, I decided to change her before feeding her instead of the other way around and this seems to have made a difference because she doesn't get disturbed when she's almost sleeping from having a feed. Because she's still sleepy while she's getting her nappy changed as well, she doesn't get as distressed and has had much less need for a dummy when getting changed. So that's a bonus!

We had another visit from the midwife today, she did the heel prick test on Rinoa and I got Stuart to hold her as I was a bit anxious about it. She didn't like it at all and it didn't help the midwife that my wee girl has strong legs! Everything again seemed to be fine, I did mention her falling asleep on me and me falling asleep as well and safe to say she wasn't impressed at all that I had done that. 

We had another horrendous night of her not sleeping at all. She eventually got to sleep at 10.30am. Yes. 10.30am.

Saturday 11th June

After that horrendous night of no sleep, I was feeling grouchy and tired. That mood stayed with me all day for some reason. Since this was our last night staying at my mum's, Stuart spent most of the day at the house cleaning everything and making sure it was all ready for us going home. He wanted me to be able to go home after not being there for nearly two weeks for it to be tidy and clean, which was lovely of him! I ended up spending the day just chilling out with the family with the football on as I sat typing away on my laptop. 

I decided, as another way of trial and error, before dinner time to have an hour or so of time when Rinoa is really stimulated and awake. So I was playing with her giving her kisses and such. My thoughts behind this was if I keep her awake now, she's less likely to have a period of time tonight when she stays awake for ages like she had done previously. This was about 2 hours of playing she got and I think it's something I'm going to try and do everyday. 

We got an Indian for dinner which I didn't actually eat that much of. My appetite has decreased a wee bit since the c section so I could only eat about 1/2 of what I had ordered when normally I would have been able to plough through all of it! What didn't help was the fact I was absolutely knackered and wanted to nap, so that's exactly what I did. A nice wee mama nap! 

My idea of keeping Rinoa awake for a while worked well in my favour as throughout the night she woke up only twice for food. She slept in her cot and didn't need any white noise to keep her asleep. She does seem to want her feeds a little more regularly in the night though. During the day she gets fed every 3 hours and she usually wakes herself up for these, however at night time she seems to want to have them every 2 hours, which is fine as I'm usually so tired it's easy for me to go back to sleep after. 

Sunday 12th June

Today is actually Rinoa's due date and it's amazing that she's just a day under being a week old already. I don't know what I would be doing if she actually did come on time or any later than the due date. This is the last day we are spending at my mum's and we are going home tonight which I can't wait for! I haven't slept in my own bed for just under two weeks and I miss it so much! It'll also be great to be able to get into our own little routine in our own home and get Rinoa familiar with her surroundings. Plus, there's nowhere better than home! 

My mum's boyfriend's mum is came through from Elgin to see Rinoa which was lovely. We plan on eating ridiculously healthy now as we promised ourselves after she was born we would be eating well and trying to actively lose some weight. I currently have about 3 stone (3&1/2 ideally) to lose which is going to take a lot of work and it's a little frustrating I'm not going to be able to do some of the exercises I want to for a while but diet is the start of things! So after Stuart took all of our stuff from my mum's to our house, we went for a quick food shop of essentials to tide us over until the next day.

Had a bit of an issue with my dressing for my incision and it started to leak, was assured since it wasn't pus like or green that it was fine and to just keep a sanitary pad over it as the midwife is coming to change it on Monday anyway. Baby blues seem to be kicking in and seem to kick in the worst when I'm tired, I doubt my competence as a mother and I'm terrified of messing things up. So I had a nap and felt a lot better, that was me all ready and prepared for if it was a bad night for Rinoa sleeping. It wasn't! She wants fed more regularly it seems but other than that she stays asleep in her cot for the time between the feeds she wants. She quite happily sits and watches tv with me until she falls asleep again. 

So that is my first week of being a mother. If anything, all I can say is parenthood is definitely a lot of trial and error and learning new things every single day. I'm so in love with our daughter and I couldn't be more thankful to have her. This parenting stuff isn't the easiest but as long as I do my best, I know everything will just be fine. I also have to sing praises to Stuart as he has been fantastic the whole time. He shows our daughter so much love and although he's never really done much in regards to looking after babies, he has taken things on and given everything a try and has done things perfectly. He's genuinely been so amazing and has been so supportive of myself when I'm feeling disheartened about things. 

Follow me on: twitter | instagram | facebook | bloglovin'