Just as I thought it would, Elowen’s first week ‘earthside’ has passed us by in a blur. I kept a few notes about each day on my phone so I could remember the little things that I would probably otherwise forget.
Elowen’s first week:
Sunday – Elowen was born at 7.55pm – she was so alert and awake for several hours before finally falling asleep for the night. I breastfed her soon after the birth as per my birth plan and she latched on and fed well. Stephen and I ate crisps and watched I’m a Celeb whilst cuddling our newest member of the family. Homebirths rock!
Monday – Day 1:
Jasmine woke up at the normal time of around 7.30am and came into our bedroom to meet Elowen (more on that below).
We were hoping to have a midwife come out to the house and do our Newborn Check but I got a call in the morning to say nobody was available so could we go to the hospital and have the check done there. When we arrived we were seen straightaway and Elowen passed her hearing test. Another midwife came in and did the rest of the health check. She was worried that she felt a ‘clicky hip’ but couldn’t diagnose it herself, she needed a pediatrician to take a look. We spent the next four hours waiting around in a (uncomfortably hot) birthing unit room until a pediatrician came to see us. As it wasn’t urgent, we were constantly put to the back of the queue (understandably). It wasn’t quite how I envisaged our first full day as a family of four. Anyway, we finally got seen and E’s legs/hips were perfectly fine.
Whilst we were at the hospital the midwife took a look at E’s latch because I told her I was finding it painful. She pointed out that her lips weren’t flanged and she was just sucking on my nipple, rather than taking a full mouth of breast. The Midwife said I needed to take E off and get her re-latch until she got it right. Her latch is still a bit of a problem now (Sunday 27th) but it’s improving all the time.
Tuesday – Day 2:
By Day 2 my nipples incredibly painful, cracked and bruised. I spoke to a midwife on the phone and she asked me if I’d tried nipple shields. I had bought some whilst pregnant but hadn’t tried them yet. I used them for the next few feeds along with my trusty ol’ Lansinoh cream and it helped a lot.
I walked to nursery (with Stephen and Heidi) to pick up Jasmine. I used the Close Caboo carrier for the first time. Found it a bit tricky to put on but should get easier with practice. I felt a bit tender and needed to sit down for a bit. Probably getting a bit ahead of myself.
E woke up every 4 hours or so for a feed that night.
Wednesday – Day 3:
Had midwife come out in the morning and weigh E – she’d only lost 5% of her birth weight so well within the limit.
Stephen took Jasmine to a toddlers gymnastics club so I had a couple of hours of peace and quiet at home. I hoovered the living room. I know, I know! *slaps own wrist*
It was a rough evening. My milk came in that night and my boobs were so engorged that E had even more trouble latching than before. She was fussing all night, on and off the boob and screaming at me. I caved in and tried to give her a ready-made bottle of formula. She spat it out so I persisted with boob. I got a grand total of 10 minutes sleep all night.
After having ‘after pains’ for the last few days since E was born, they finally seemed to peter out. They weren’t as bad as I feared they would be – just like mild period pains. My bleeding also started to slow down too.
I had my first post-partum poop – it was pathetic.
Thursday – Day 4:
Jasmine was back in nursery for the morning so I decided just to stay in bed with E. Do nothing else but watch TV, sleep, eat and feed my baby on demand. I needed to express a little milk off each side to help with the engorgement pain – used my MAM manual pump which arrived the day before.
Stephen was particularly awesome today – doing the nursery runs, walking the dog, tidying the house, getting in the food shopping. He’s a good egg.
Friday – Day 5:
Slept well last night and only woke for feeds. E has been co-sleeping next to me so I’m awake and feeding her before she even gets the chance to make too much noise. Nappy changes are a bit trickier though! Jasmine woke up at 4am and came into our bed (she never does this but I was tired and weak-willed). She cuddled up to me, stroked my face and said “I love you, mummy.” It made me cry. How did I get so lucky?
Elowen’s cord stump dropped off this morning.
We had another Midwife appointment to have E’s Heel Prick test done. E slept through it and didn’t even flinch. She’s such a tough cookie.
I’m booked in for a group discharge from the midwives care on Day 10 (Wednesday 7th Dec)
We went out for our first family walk in the woods and then to visit the local Christmas Shop. Ate a big slice of Victoria Sponge in the cafe. YESS!
Boobs were still very tender in the evening, especially around under arms.
I stepped on the bathroom scales (what was I thinking?) – I weighed 9 stone 10lbs. Must stop eating cake.
Saturday – Day 6:
E woke up for about 3 feeds throughout the night last night. Slept contently next to me the rest of the night. Boobs are like a tap when feeding! I kept soaking my bedsheets with my non-feeding boob!
I spent the morning building blanket forts with Jasmine. She’s been so good this week. I’m unbelievably proud of my big girl.
I left the house by myself to walk the dog after getting a touch of cabin fever – it felt weird!
Sunday – Day 7:
The night feeds are catching up with me and I felt exhausted this morning. I fed E and went back to bed until 10am. Didn’t do much all day except lounge around at home.
WE SURVIVED THE FIRST WEEK!!!!!!
And how’s the big sister?
One of the things that people have asked me about most since having Elowen is “How has Jasmine been?” And honestly? She has been amazing. Jasmine woke up her usual time on Monday morning, after sleeping through my labour the night before, and Stephen brought her into our bedroom to meet Elowen. She didn’t spot her at first and was too busy saying “Good morning, Mummy” to notice the extra person on the bed! As soon as she noticed, she gasped and said “Awwww, baby – pass him me!” (A whole week on and she’s still referring to her baby sister as “him” and “he”) Jasmine’s eyes were the widest I’d ever seen them – you could see that she was just soaking up every inch of this tiny, new person.
Jasmine had her first cuddle with Elowen and was instinctively gentle with her – lightly patting her back. She tilted her head whilst gazing at E and said “Awww, so cute”. My heart felt so full, watching them together. We gave Jasmine her two presents “from baby” (A Paw Patrol plate, bowl and beaker set and a Paw Patrol onesie!) – as you can imagine, they went down very well!)
In short – the first week has gone really well. Jasmine treats E like she’s always been here and knows that she is part of our family and is very much here to stay. She’s very caring and gets upset if E is crying – she’ll stroke her head or hold her little sister’s hand and say “Shush, shush baby” (She can’t say Elowen).
There has been a noticeable change in Jasmine’s behaviour though in that she gets incredibly emotional, very quickly, and seemingly over nothing. If Stephen or I leave the room for a minute and then come back in, Jasmine will run over to us, on the brink of tears, telling us how much she’s missed us. It’s sweet but very, very over the top!
I’ve also noticed when Jasmine’s been playing with her toys that she will act out scenarios with them – yesterday her dinosaurs were ‘fighting with eachother’ with yells of “NO, my mummy” and “That’s my daddy”. It seems there’s definitely some elements of jealousy going on, but she’s hiding it well. (So far.)
I think things will become a bit more challenging when Stephen returns to work and I have to split my attention between two little people – we shall see!
Regardless of what happens, I’m so proud of my big girl and how well she’s taken to our newest arrival.