So, we are three weeks in. I am in the thick of newborn life with Holly and I have come to realise there are several things I would not have got through these last few weeks without.
Now of course, the number one thing I’d like to be getting plenty of is sleep. But no; sleep deprivation is the pits and the top of the list of stresses of new Mums. I love Holly to death don’t get me wrong, but oh I miss the sleep so much.
When I had that first week at home after having Holly I was pretty up and down. I remember the first couple of days I said to my Husband I just wanted one of the pains I was experiencing to let up, so I only had to deal with one thing at a time. My scar hurt of course and I was popping painkillers at regular intervals (something I feel no shame in and that I have been told was exactly what I needed to be doing – don’t try and be a hero when you’ve had major surgery), and my boobs were in agony. Absolute blistered ruined agony.
Oh the boob situation. This is something I really must write an entirely separate blog post on, because the reason for my pain was that Holly had tongue tie, and having gone through this pain yet again (Josh had it too) I am determined to raise some awareness on this being picked up in new babies and to educate new Mums about it so they don’t end up in agonising pain whilst feeding. Insanely enough it’s not something routinely checked in new babies…. Grr! But I will hang fire on ranting about that and as I say, I will write another post on this.
Whilst waiting for Hollys tongue to be snipped, I relied heavily on some absolute wonder products. I think it’s a safe bet that most new Mums have invested in the wonderful Lansinoh Lanolin Cream This stuff is incredible and I put gallons of it on my poor nipples. It’s completely natural and soothes cracked nipples. The added bonus was that you don’t have to remove it prior to feeding. I took to applying it after I’d done a feed and, if I’m being totally honest, I just had my boobs out the whole time that first week! I kid you not – I just didn’t wear a top cause I couldn’t cope with fabric rubbing against the blisters that had formed. My visiting midwives didn’t bat an eyelid – they’d seen it all before and understand more than anyone the importance of doing what you can to survive!
Whilst enduring the feeding week of hell, one of my gorgeous friends sent me another survival essential in the post. These are Multi Mam Compresses and they were little bits of heaven! You place them on your nipples and the gel is the most soothing things ever. I don’t know how I ever survived feeding with Josh without these and they totally managed to get me through that awful pain I was in before the tongue tie was resolved.
Another important part of those first few weeks is looking after yourself. Eating well, drinking gallons of water (which you don’t need encouragement with particularly if you’re breastfeeding – when Holly latches it’s like I am immediately dying of thirst), and taking vitamins. I took Pregnacare vitamins throughout both my pregnancies but when Holly arrived I switched to Pregnacare Breastfeeding Vitamins These include a multi vitamin and an Omega 3 DHA supplement and I just felt it would be good for me to take these alongside a good diet. I feel so strongly about breastfeeding so I just want to get everything good inside Holly as possible. Plus it takes away some of the guilt when I am devouring Mini Eggs (night feed fuel – what can I say it’s necessary)! And of course any new Mum wouldn’t be without approximately 2736 muslins! “Can you pass me a mussy” has become my catchphrase! There are so many to choose from but my absolute favourite for their softness and beautiful designs are Aden and Anais Jungle Muslins
A vast part of your time in those early days revolve around feeding! Meaning you have no choice but to sit with your feet up, relax and bond with your baby. But you need entertainment right; it’s a great opportunity to watch some boxsets (I’ve already indulged in Peaky Blinders and re-watched all of Gavin and Stacey). But I also ordered myself some new books. I had initially panicked and bought a couple of “coping with two children” books but then I got distracted by some new amazing fiction books including the brilliant Baby Boom from the wonderful Helen Wallen. You need a bit of a giggle especially during those relentless night feeds! Comfort is also key at the moment. I am stuck in such a weird clothes phase; I have lost a lot of my pregnancy weight but because I had a C Section I have to keep my scar comfortable; I can’t put on normal jeans or trousers so I am wearing soft lounge trousers like Super Soft Joggers.
Now of course, when Holly arrived and I discovered I had a little girl it did not take me long to realise I’d need some baby girl clothes! Obviously all of Josh’s stuff was for boys although I did have a few neutral bits I’d got during my pregnancy. So my first port of call was Next. Oh my goodness the baby girl collection of clothes there are beyond beautiful and it would be VERY easy to get carried away. However in keeping with my decision to make life easy on myself at this stage, Holly is pretty much living in baby grows at the moment. They are adorable, cosy and easy to change her in. I quickly took to nicknaming Holly, Bunny, for some unknown reason. But it gave me a great excuse to dress her in these bunny sleepsuits! I also fell in love with these floral sleep suits and I am sure you can agree, Holly will look so cute in them.
We also got her this lovely pink cardigan to keep her warm in this chilly weather. It is so handy because you can’t put a baby in a snowsuit or a thick coat in the car but you definitely can’t just let them out in a sleep suit so this worked out perfectly! And Holly looks adorable in it!
My final point is that you need to take care of you. Your body and mind have gone through a lot – you’ve had a baby, you have hormones going insane and your life has changed forever. There is a lot to get your head around. For me, having a little pamper when I can gives me a boost. I know some may find it vain or silly but having a long hot shower with my favourite shower gel, or taking ten minutes to paint my nails or slap on a face mask gives me a little bit of me back. It makes me feel good and it is just a little something for me. So do what makes you feel good; eat cake, watch Gossip Girl, have a mini pamper. Whatever makes you smile and takes your mind off feeding, nipples and lack of sleep for a few minutes. Do it for you and your mindset and enjoy it. You’re allowed a treat now and then – you’ve made a human!