The first nine weeks
“How many weeks is he? “
“Seven, almost eight.”
Beee-buuummmm! wrong Jess, your baby is ten weeks! TEN weeks! Talk about baby brain and thank goodness baby brain was proven in the news the other day to back me up on this!
How embarrassing when three of your readers have to correct you on you babies actual age. I don’t know what happened here, I think because I was counting every second until his six-week immunisation and then it was Christmas and then I went away. From weeks six to ten was just all mushed together and I was still stuck somewhere in between.
I thought it would be really good for me to document my week by week. I actually wanted to do this during my pregnancy but there was no hope with the kids and work and everything else. So, I think every Sunday, I will recap the week gone by on the blog and those of you who are behind me in weeks, or in front, will hopefully relate to me at some point and perhaps give me advice? I might be a mother of three but I am no expert!
So, let’s make this blog post a quick recap of the last nine weeks and then my next blog post will be about my week 10.
Where do I start? As my baby brain is at its finest, I won’t be able to remember exactly what went on, on specific weeks but I can share some things I remember.
The week I was home was really tough for me. It was an anxious and stressful time for me, for several reasons, one from the drugs I was on for my caesarean which made me dizzy all the time and also because it was the first time I was faced with juggling three children, although I had my mum home with me and I wasn’t alone, I still had to work out how to not ignore the other two children I once upon a time gave birth to, whilst I feed, changed and put to sleep a newborn.
My middle child was hit hard with the change and he wasn’t (and still isn’t) coping that great. He is acting out, hitting and kicking and often tries to hurt the baby to see what I do. He has also, on numerous occasions, threatened to “find another mummy” and “find a new home”. This is heart breaking and the worst part is, he says it after he does something naughty, then I yell at him and then he says it, so then I feel guilty for yelling!
Speaking of yelling, I do a lot of this. I am forever breaking up fights and cuddling crying boys because of injuries from the other brother. One time, I think it was around the five-week mark, I just burst into tears. Let it be known that I am not a crier and I am pretty strong, but I just couldn’t yell anymore, I lost control of the kids and I had a hungry newborn. Josh came home from work not too long after, which was great timing because he took over and sorted the situation out. Let’s just say the situation involved poo on my freshly cleaned doona cover, and it wasn’t from the baby. Ok, I will tell you! One child shart his pants and it was on my bed, I found it, asked who did it and the guilty one blamed the innocent one, I yelled at the innocent one who had no idea what I was yelling at him about until I saw the guilty one walk away with poop on his pants. I felt so bad for yelling at the innocent one that I just burst into tears of pure mum-guilt.
I learned a little late that three kids is hard work and that the baby is the easy one out of the bunch, especially on school holidays. It is funny because I thought the holidays would be easier than having to pack all kids up in the car twice a day for the school runs. I was wrong, at home on holidays, I have to feed, entertain, keep my eyes on etc three kids all day long and it is hard, there is no down time.
My eldest son has adored his baby brother from the moment he met him in hospital. I have been a bit of a freak with not letting the boys touch Freddie and I would make them wash and Dettol their hands before ever touching him. In fact, that goes for any visitors- not that I actually had many visitors. I was so worried that the baby would get sick, I did my very best to protect him, I think because I just wouldn’t know how to juggle a sick baby as well as two older children in the early stages and it frightened me. Josh owns his own business and asking him to take a day off work just isn’t going to happen.
He has been amazing, from the birth (as I mentioned in the birth blog post) and right up until now, he has really taken the load off me with the other boys who need at least one parent’s attention, to be bathed, put into pjs , put into bed and fetch the glasses of water and sandwiches they demand right on bed time, all after he comes home from a big day at work. I truly think the three of them have bonded even more now that they spend so much time together because I am with the baby.
Now to Freddie:
He has been an absolute darling and I do truly believe it is because I am very relaxed with him and just roll with what he needs and wants. A far cry from my initial plans of a routine baby and making him be on ‘our time’. I did try and routine him super early and it kind of worked but to be honest, he was a sleepy double epidural baby, so of course he would feed and sleep as required. Then when a couple of weeks went by, I would try and get him on a three-hourly feed and sleep routine and it just wouldn’t happen. I would get hung up on it and it would get to me, but when I let it all go, things were happier and I accepted that he just was not going to be a routine kid, but he was happy and so was I, I will take that!
We did have the night routine as I mentioned in a previous blog post, we did the Midwife Cath Bath Bottle Bed from 10pm and this was great for several weeks from birth until around four weeks and then we pulled it earlier to six pm, and despite me having to feed several times at night because we pulled it earlier, it just worked better for us because of Josh’s work hours.
Week 2 we realised he was a very windy baby and would cry often due to the upset tummy.
Week 3 he started to develop the hormonal pimples on his face, tummy and groin.
Week 4 he cried a lot for no reason whatsoever.
Week 5 we changed his dummy from a big cherry one to a flat Avent one, he took it a lot better and it settled him better. We also stopped swaddling him in his tight little wrap and put him into the Love to Dream zip up swaddles. I also worked out he loved sleeping in the cocoonababy from around four/five weeks and still has all his sleeps in it today.
Week 6 he had his immunisations and was still windy but fed consistently at three hours around the clock. I ended up getting Freddie onto the Wilbys colic mix because I found he would cry for no reason around six weeks, it really helped him settle. He also had tummy pains and was a windy baby from early on. He was very hard to burp for many weeks, even up until the Wilby’s but then after a few days on Wilby’s he was easy to burp and still is!
Week 7 he started refusing the breast at some feeds, he also began to go a little longer overnight so 10:30pm, 2:30am but then again at 4am. I found that if I fed him lying down in bed at this 4am, he would fall asleep next to me and sometimes, I would co-sleep with him. I did this because always at this feed, he would never settle back into his bassinet. I am not an advocate for co-sleeping with an infant but I make it safe and it works for us- please be familiar with SIDS before thinking of doing the same.
Week 8 he started to smile at me which was so rewarding as Will, my second, was doing so earlier than this. Well, Will slept through from 7-7 at eight weeks also! Freddie started to stay awake a little longer in the day time as he was more alert, he was also harder to get to sleep in the day, but as long as the nights stayed the same, I didn’t mind.
Week 9 He still refused some breast feeds and preferred a bottle, his night feeds pushed from 10:30pm through to 2:30/3am and then 5am. Freddie has developed a flat spot on his right side of his head, his preferred side. We are working on this with our chiropractor to fix it. Aston had the flattest head I have ever seen and we were able to fix this with a few exercises.
He has had all sorts of poo colour (if we are going to talk babies, well we must talk poop) now it is green and sometimes he won’t poo for three days. Oh, man, one time it came out non-stop like a soft serve machine! I think the occasional top up of formula makes it green? I am not sure but his farts are ridiculous in smell! He is on Nan HA Opti Gold, as were all my boys. His dream feed is formula and all other feeds are BF plus an occasional top up.
I had help from my mum the first week I was home from hospital and then my in-laws the second week. After that from week three, it was all me and only me apart from when my mother in law would come over with dinner for us, which helped me so much as it was always time to feed the baby when the big boys needed dinner. I also have an amazing girl (Who was Will’s nanny when he was little) come over every Saturday to do all the washing for me. This has helped me more than you can imagine as it frees up one essential task that I would otherwise have to fit in myself. She was also there to help Josh with the kids the week I was in hospital.
Josh works in retail and his busiest time is December and in December, my baby was between three and seven weeks, this was a tricky time but I had to just deal with my new role as mum of three. I found that staying at home, was the only way to cope! I could let the two boys play together with toys or out on the trampoline for some ‘outdoor play’ while I could watch them from the lounge room and do what I needed to do for Freddie. I could also get on top of the house work and my work if I am home. I just have to keep the fridge stocked and kids active at home. Inviting people to come visit me is always the best option.
As for me:
I have kind of documented this on my Instagram over the weeks but in terms of PP recovery, I found it a lot harder this time after a second caesarean. I was sore for longer but also, I was having cabin fever from the moment I got home from hospital. I tried to go for a walk but the pain was terrible.
The night sweats were as yuck as ever, from week one, I would sweat all the fluid out of my body at night and wake up soaking, this went on for three weeks I think. My tummy started to go down early but I started to put on some weight from breastfeeding from around week 6 and onwards. My hair is as thick as ever on my head, however, I went to shave my underarms the other day and I hardly had any hair! I googled it and apparently when you breastfeed, your hair growth slows down. My mood has been on and off, I suppose I went from really tense after coming home from hospital and then getting cranky at the boys but then being so smitten by the baby. I am OCD about my house and keeping it clean, if it isn’t clean, I can’t function, my mornings are spent cleaning whilst the baby sleeps and if it means I don’t shower then so be it. I am yet to get a period and if we want to get really personal, and I think we are all friends, here right? I thought I was pregnant! Not a joke, I was even planning the ‘announcement’ blog post in my head starting with “I promise you, I am not a horn-dog, we just love each other combined with a whole lot of baby brain”. Mannnn can you just imagine falling pregnant when you have a six-week-old? I was freaking out! I am not (I think) pregnant by the way and if I am, well, you already know how the announcement will go.