I wont lie to you the past two weeks have been hard!
The first week we were pretty much in newborn bliss! Not saying it was easy – the first two nights were pretty much all nighters for me but at least Stuart was able to let me catch up on sleep at times. Millie slept all day except for feeds so daytimes were manageable. Callum was feeling under the weather so was quite clingy and whingey but didn’t seem to be too concerned by the new addition to the family!
Then Saturday, Stuart noticed he was starting to feel unwell. Sunday, Stuart felt awful but his parents were arriving that day to stay for a couple of nights before they went on their holiday so he struggled to get up and even ventured out to the shops for some supplies.
However, from Monday to Thursday, Stuart was bed bound with a virus resulting in tonsilitus! Stuart’s parents were staying until the Tuesday. This meant I had a newborn and a 4 year old to care for, a sick husband to look after and parents-in-law to entertain and cater for. On top of that, the baby blues had set in. Most days I was a spilt glass of milk away from a teary breakdown with the mornings being the biggest struggle and were often spent in tears!
Stuart’s parents kindly took Callum shopping one day and bought me some supplies, and they also collected a prescription for Stuart for us which was a big help. But I still had to organise meals and play the host to a certain extent and, to be honest, they just weren’t my parents!
I admit to feeling very sorry for myself – cheated out of Stuart’s paternity leave. This was meant to be one of those rare times when I got looked after, I got to rest, sleep, recover and it wasn’t happening. I felt sad that Stuart was missing out on bonding with his new daughter and the father & son time that I felt was long overdue with Callum.
Tuesday, I called my mum, burst into tears and asked if she could come and help. As soon as she arrived she immediately made tea and told me to sit down and rest then took care of the house, Callum & my niece who she was also looking after that day. She is my hero! I’ve never loved & appreciated my mum so much as at that point!
By this time, I had pulled myself together somewhat so I did feel bad for bursting into tears at her on the phone. As I said before – mornings were hard, I felt overwhelmed and unable to cope. The power of a shower is amazing – it is, most days, the difference between me feeling like I can cope or not. But having my mum there still meant so much.
My sister came over too, picking up some shopping for me on the way.
Both my mum and my sister have been my absolute life savers, calling and checking on me, letting me cry to them and making me feel normal for doing so!
By Friday, Stuart was still feeling rubbish but he forced himself out of bed. Friday, Saturday and Sunday, Stuart tried his hardest to make it up to me, cooking me dinner, looking after Callum, putting Callum to bed, even though he was still recovering himself. We even got out on Saturday to the airshow…eventually! Our first outing as a family of 4 involved leaving the house 2 hours after we were ‘ready to go’ as Stuart grappled with attaching the buggy board to the pushchair and I realised I could no longer leave the house without taking ‘luggage’ (a holdall similar to the size of those which you see passengers squeezing into the hand-luggage guide at airports) which contained ‘just the necessities’…and the kitchen sink!
Sunday was Callum’s birthday. I had gone through lots of guilt and worry during the week about whether we would be able to celebrate Callum’s birthday, whether we would have his present ready etc! Thankfully, my sister and mum picked up a cake, card and wrapping paper for me which instantly made me feel more relaxed about it. We had decided to take Callum to the Gruffalo Trail at Moors Valley and invited my Brother and family and my Sister and family to join us. My brother has a 5 year old son and my sister a 6 year old daughter so they provide good play mates for Callum.
Unfortunately, the weather didn’t conform and it chucked it down all morning meaning we had to have a change of plan. Instead we invited them to us for a birthday lunch and then headed off to the old faithful – softplay! Thankfully, we hadn’t actually told Callum what we had planned so he knew no different and seemed to have a great time regardless!
Now Stuart has returned to work and I’m surviving solo during the days again! I have down days and up days but its still ‘early days’ and we are surviving – Every day I try to have one thing planned and other than that, my only aim is to get up and showered and I’m even managing a few ‘chores’ too. I’m torn at the moment from wanting my wee girl to stay all diddy and newborn looking and being snuggled into my shoulder while she sleeps then on the other hand wanting it to be the next stage of establishing a routine. I really don’t want to hurry her life on I want to savour every moment!
On the breastfeeding front, again, its been tough! Why does Mother Nature make something that is meant to be so ‘natural’ so bloody painful and make the first week of feeding so difficult? You’d think She would make the first week a breeze so that you at least knew what it would be like if you kept at it – its a wonder that any woman makes it through the first week! I wont bore you with it now and make this post longer than it needs to be but expect another post soon!