If you had told me a year ago that in a mere years time I would have a 10 week old baby, I’d have laughed in your face and told you to jog on. I always knew that I wanted children “when I grew up,” and I also knew that I wanted to buy a house and get married. I never expected to have a child first, but here I am, sitting at my dining table watching Jack hold our baby on top of a birthing ball whilst singing the circus tune at him.
was the most surreal moment of my entire life. Even though I’d known for a solid 37 weeks that I was pregnant and growing a new, little(read huge)
human inside of me, that very first moment that the doctors held Tyler in front of me is something that is imprinted into my brain forever. Where did he come from?! Did they whip him out from underneath the table?! I can’t possibly have grown a real life baby in my womb, could I?!
Just a few of the thoughts running through my mind when I laid eyes on my baby boy for the first time.
Today I wanted to share with you an honest account of my first 10 weeks as a parent!
The Physical Recovery
If you read my birth story
, you’ll know that it was nothing short of traumatic. I didn’t write it to scare anyone, I just wanted to document my experience! Tyler was born at 3.19am
on Thursday, February 2nd
and due to my severe blood loss(approximately 2 litres)
, after being on the recovery ward, I was moved to a high dependency unit for the next 15 hours or so before being transferred to a ward room and having two blood transfusions. It’s safe to say that by the time Saturday came around, I was well and truly sick of being in the hospital.
I never thought I would talk about my downstairs area on my blog, so tmi alert buttttt, during my delivery I had an episiotomy and a further 2nd degree tear(upwards, cringe) which I had to have stitched with two continuous stitches. Ouch, yes ouch, it was pretty hard to walk around and even sit down for a couple of weeks! Truthfully, I didn’t begin to feel pain free or remotely “normal” down there until about 7 weeks after Tyler was born! If you’ve had a similar delivery and are struggling and thinking to yourself, “I’m never going to feel normal again“, my best advice is to just keep taking the pain killers and I promise you that the pain will stop eventually! Once I stopped taking the “hardcore” stuff that the hospital had given me, I found that ibuprofen was the next best thing.
The First Few Nights At Home #WhatIsSleep?
The first night that we spent at home in our flat as a family of 3 was interesting to say the least. I was so glad to have finally left the hospital after being in there for an entire week, but we were suddenly on our own with this tiny human being that now solely depended on us. Luckily, on the first evening at home my mum and my little brother, Joe, came to visit which I know a lot of people say they didn’t like(having family around the house so soon after they leave the hospital) but I actually loved it!
Once they left, Jack, Tyler and I stayed in the living room all night. Myself on the sofa, Tyler in his Moses basket and Jack on the floor. At just a few days old, Tyler was feeding every 2 hours or so which was absolutely exhausting. At around 2am, Jack insisted that I went to bed to get some real sleep as by this point I’d been awake for almost four entire days! So off I went to get some shut eye for a couple of hours. Luckily, we had moved on from breastfeeding to bottle feeding when Tyler was just two days old, so Jack was able to take over the feeding. If I hadn’t been able to have that proper couple of hours sleep, then I don’t think I’d have been able to stand up right the next day!
The next couple of nights were mostly the same, nobody really got any proper sleep! Thankfully, after just a couple of weeks, Tyler began to sleep from about 11pm-6/7am each night, which after a couple of weeks of running on caffeine and 1 or 2 hours shut eye, was like heaven! He’s since started going to bed a little earlier, sometimes even shortly after 7pm! Hopefully when the 4 month sleep regression decides to show up, we won’t suffer too badly!
Being pregnant and giving birth really does throw your hormones out of whack. Oh hormones, don’t you just love them! When Tyler was around 5 days old, the baby blues hit me hard. I began to get really emotional whenever I thought about Tyler’s birth and even found myself teary for no specific reason. As much as I was reassured that this baby blues period was normal in the first few weeks, I found that the overwhelming sense of feeling low seemed to persist and worsen as the weeks went by. I think I’d prefer to write a dedicated post on mental health and post natal depression, but for now, I’ll just say that mentally, looking after a newborn baby is hard work. It’s hard work without feeling like you’re a rubbish mum and a complete failure and so with the added pressure I was putting on myself to feel “normal,” it made the first eight weeks or so really emotionally draining and honestly? Pretty un-enjoyable. *Mum guilt, mum guilt, mum guilt*
Nobody can prepare you for a having a baby. I’m sure you’ve probably heard that one a million times by now but it’s so true. No amount of reading or group sessions can truly prepare you for the ways that your life is about to change. Sure, the research and the discussions help, but being that each baby is completely different, each parents journey is going to vary as well.
Thankfully I’m starting to feel a lot better about my parenting journey and life in general. Like I said, I’d prefer to go into the nitty gritty details of it all in a separate post just dedicated to the subject, so if that’s something you’d be interested in reading, keep your eyes peeled!
Getting Out + About
Taking a newborn baby out of the house for the first time is a) terrifying and b) terrifying. Did you pack everything you needed? Do we have enough nappies? Is he warm enough? Is he going to get too warm? What if he gets sick? What if a stranger wants to touch him? What if he decides to have a meltdown. The likelyhood is that yes, you have packed enough of everything and yes, he probably will have a meltdown in the middle of Tesco’s, so loudly in fact that multiple people will ask you the million dollar question, “Oh, is he hungry?” No he’s not f*ing hungry, we only fed him half an hour ago, but judging by your tone of voice you think I’ve never fed the poor child!
It’s safe to say that the first couple of times we ventured out, either just myself and Tyler or Jack, Tyler and I, it didn’t always go as smoothly as we would have hoped. Take the above photo for example, it looks like Tyler is comfortably and calmly just hanging on in there, but about five minutes after this photo was taken, he decided that he would scream bloody murder in aisle 5 of Tesco, oh the joys.
Thankfully, we’re all getting a bit more used to outings now. Tyler still isn’t the sling’s number one fan, but neither am I to be honest but I think that’s down to the fact that I have no core strength anymore and Tyler is a little chunk! But he does seem fairly fond of car rides and walking about whilst he’s cosied up in his pram. Whilst I’m on the subject of prams, I’ll just let you know that we have the Mothercare Roam travel system and I absolutely love it! It’s amazing value for money and I highly recommend it. #NotSponsoredJustHonest
I can’t lie, and I think it’s evident in this post, but I’ve found the first 10 weeks pretty tough going. I’m sure most women do and I’m sure it’s completely normal. On the other hand, I’m sure that are plenty of men and women that adjust to their new roles a lot more easily/smoothly and to those people, I salute you!
Despite the trauma of the birth and the stress, anxiety and pure panic I have felt since the day Tyler was born, it is all worth it, getting to watch this teeny, tiny human that I have created(I literally GREW him inside of me. Science = magic) with the man that I love, grow and grow, learn and discover new things each and every day. It really is magical and I feel so blessed to be able to call little Tyler John my son.
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