Rob had paternity leave for the first 2 weeks after we came out of hospital so we got to spend a lot of time together as a family which was great & it meant I could take things a bit easier to help me recover from giving birth, although I felt a hell of a lot better than I’d imagined I would!
Our first night at home we had a visit from my Mum & step-dad who’d driven all the way up from Wales the day he was born. They did visit us in hospital but didn’t get long with George so we suggested they come round, have a takeaway (saved us cooking!) & spend some time with us before they went back home. Once they’d gone, that was it. Just the three of us & the furries. It was definitely a surreal moment. George slept most of the time they were with us & he woke up as we went to get into bed at about 11pm, just as they’d left. Little did we know but we were in for one of the toughest nights we’ve had in the 4 months that George has been here. He had a good feed but just wouldn’t settle & he just cried. It didn’t matter what we tried but it’s so hard when you have no idea what’s wrong. We tried everything we could think of, we changed his nappy, we tried feeding him, we cuddled him, nothing worked. In the end we phoned the post-natal ward. They’d said that if we needed anything, had any problems or worries then we could always give them a ring. The midwife was amazing, she talked Rob through loads of different things to try, never once made us feel like a nuisance & reassured us that if there was anything to be seriously worried about then he’d probably not be making the amount of noise that he was (PLEASE NOTE: if you are ever worried about your little one then always seek medical advice). We finally got him settled by me getting completely naked from the waist up, getting George naked & letting him snuggle on my chest with a blanket around us both. Why it made any difference me taking my bra off & taking George’s nappy off I will never know but it did. It also made a hell of a lot of mess. George had decided to go into meltdown the same night that my milk decided it was going to come in properly which meant that the more upset he got, the more my boobs leaked. We both, as well as the bedding, ended up wet through but I actually didn’t care. I figured I was going to get covered in far worse over the future years so what was a bit of breastmilk! I ended up falling asleep propped up with him on my chest instead of in his cot which isn’t necessarily in line with current NHS guidance but it happened & I couldn’t care less how it doesn’t conform to guidance, especially in the early days when I was so tired & the only place he would settle sometimes was snuggled on my chest because sometimes you just need your sleep.
After the delights of the first night at home & getting drenched in breastmilk, we figured it was only appropriate that we all bathed/showered so I had a shower & then we gave George his first bath at home. Just like his mum, George was not a fan of having a bath & spent most of it telling us how much he didn’t want to be in there & writhing about so both me & Rob got a bit wet too (read as needed a change of clothes due to being wet through)! Then midwife came to do the necessary checks on us both. It was definitely nice to see someone after how rough a night we’d had who’d reassure us we were doing ok but in the grand scheme of things, it wasn’t that rough it was just a shock to the system especially after giving birth & having had very little sleep! We also had a visit from one of the midwifery & breastfeeding support workers on the 14th when George was 3 days old. They checked on his weight & how we were all doing. He’d dropped down to 7lb 14oz from his birth weight of 8lb 7oz which is within the acceptable percentage weight loss following birth. Nothing to worry about at all. All doing well. that afternoon we had a visit from one of my close friends & her little boy which was really nice.
Our first trip out for the day was on the Friday after George was born & we went into Center Parcs to visit Rob’s colleagues. It was lovely to get out in the fresh air & have a good walk albeit a little slower than usual! It was also my first time breastfeeding in public. The only thing that worried me about feeding in public was the possibility of George not latching on properly or fighting it but neither happened & all went well, he just fed & then went back to sleep. We also popped to Meadowhall to swap some of the baby clothes that we’d been given as gifts in the wrong size. Perhaps a bit much for one day but it was just so nice to be out & about, especially when people said how well I looked for having a 4-day-old baby!
On the Saturday we had more visitors with another of my closest friends & later in the afternoon we had some family come to visit. Its definitely nice to see everyone but I’m glad we spread out the visitors. Not just because of how tired & overwhelmed you get but because it’s nice to do a bit each day instead of cramming it all into one! And you can only take the well-meaning advice so many times in one day before you risk responding in a not so polite manner.
Then on the Sunday is was another midwife visit, he’d gained some more weight & was up to 8lb 3oz. And in the afternoon we went to visit another close friend locally & then Rob also got to play with his camera in another friends home studio who had recently set up a photography business, we even got him in front of the camera once or twice!
Monday brought another visit from a close friend & another midwife visit, this time to do George’s heel prick test. I wasn’t really worried about him having it done but he didn’t even flinch! To be honest, he probably doesn’t even remember it happening.
Tuesday was the day we went to make George official & register his birth. It didn’t take too long & the registrar was lovely, she didn’t even mind me needing to feed him half way through the appointment which was a good job as there’s not much you can do when George is hungry & at 8 days old we weren’t using a dummy or a bottle so we couldn’t even hold him off, when George wants boob he wants boob.
Wednesday & Thursday were spent as lazy, family time. Sometimes its nice to just not do anything. No tidying. No getting dressed. Just chilling out & spending time getting to know each other. Friday we had a midwife visit & a health visitor came too. It just so happened that the midwife turned up just after the health visitor so that was good fun but I was discharged by the midwifery team & that meant no more visits from then. I was a bit upset it wasn’t the community midwife I’d seen all the way through as it would have been nice to see her one last time but she was off sick so she was being covered by one of the other community midwives. We had another visit from my mum on the saturday & then we decided not to have any visitors or plans for Sunday, Monday & Tuesday as they were Rob’s last days of paternity leave so we wanted to make the most of it & do things as we felt like doing them, or not as the case was for some of that time 🙂
And that, in a nutshell, was our first two weeks as a family. Quite nice & chilled although I had a feeling that things were going to get a whole lot more interesting as I was going to have to learn to cope whilst Rob was at work & seen as he is a chef, that doesn’t necessarily mean 9-5.