This time last week I’d just had a baby. It’s been seven days of life with a newborn – a life full of things that have slipped my memory since last time. I’ve been shocked at how much I’ve forgotten about these first few days of new motherhood.
Time takes on a new quality
While the night hours can stretch on into an interminable length until you crave the daylight, the daylight hours can pass in a blink of the eye. The effect is that time kind of blurs into one until you forget what day it is and have no idea if it’s morning, afternoon or evening. It’s disconcerting, especially when you realise your baby is already a week old and has changed so much already. It probably answers why I can’t stop taking photos of her, I want to freeze every image before it speeds on by and she’s at school already.
Breastfeeding a newborn is hard work
My memories of breastfeeding Frog are mainly happy ones. It was relatively easy and hassle-free for us. I fed her for just over a year and by the end of it any early day niggles had long since been forgotten.
I’m quickly remembering how tough the early days of breastfeeding are though – both physically and mentally. It’s exhausting breastfeeding a newborn, from when they’re suckling for colostrum, to when the milk comes in (bowling ball boobs, anyone?) to the constant night feeds and that overwhelming feeling of responsibility that you’re the one keeping this little creature alive. And second time around the after-birth pains were pretty intense for a good few days – especially during breastfeeding.
But it’s pretty amazing too. Aside from the fact you get an excuse to sit around doing nothing much other than cuddling a baby, you also get a huge sense of satisfaction. At her first weigh in at three days old we discovered our baby girl had only lost 10 grams of her body weight. Today, at a week old, we’ve found out she’s gone from 6lb 13oz to 7lb 5oz – my midwife tells me that level of weight gain is quite unusual for a breastfed baby. Explains why I’m so knackered then!
Days pass without getting anything done
My main achievement today has been to sit on the sofa breastfeeding my beautiful baby and gazing at her tiny nails. I probably spent a good half hour looking at her fingernails and another hour after that soaking in the curve of her ears. I’m not sure how many hours have been spent over the past week just looking at my baby, but I’m pretty sure it’s a lot.
It can be frustrating though, especially when you’re a bit of a neat freak like I am. I see washing that needs to be done and toys that need to be cleared away and I want to do it, but then the baby will fill her nappy or need feeding. I’m trying to channel my inner zen and ignore the mess – and, of course, “sleep when the baby sleeps” (I wish I had a pound for every time I’ve been told to do that this week!).
The washing basket has no bottom
You know that fairytale where the porridge pot goes mad and keeps on spewing out porridge? I can’t remember the name (another side effect of life with a newborn – my brain has stopped working) but that’s what my washing basket is like. From muslin squares to newborn garments that got the wrong side of a game of nappy roulette, the wash basket is full to the brim, no matter how much washing we do. Of course Frog does her bit by adding grubby spaghetti covered school uniform and mud-soaked weekend clothes.
Getting dressed properly is a big deal
I’ve spent most of the past week in my pyjamas. Occasionally I’ve got dolled up for a trip out of the house (I wore proper clothes – actual maternity leggings!) but my wardrobe is still very much of the lounge-wear variety. And you know what? That’s OK. There’s plenty of time to wear proper clothes. I’m embracing the new mum look at the moment and dreading the end of the (self-proclaimed) Northern Love Machine’s paternity leave where I’ll have to leave the house at least twice a day to do the school run.
Unless… can I do the school run in my pyjamas? Is that a thing?
Tell me, what can you remember about the newborn days? Have I missed anything?
Jane @ northernmum says
I want one
Ha – you can cuddle mine instead?! x
Ah such a cutie. You too Mama! I forgot the breastfeeding munchies. I’m still getting them! Afternoons weren’t so bad second time around although I did ask why my insides were feeling so sore since I had a section and the recollection of forceps gradually came back….ouchie!
Further down the line I am so up for hiring a cleaner again….
The Breastest News says
Aww she’s so cute and well done for such a great breastfeeding weight gain 😀
I remember having to constantly walk up and down the living room to try to get my son to sleep at night then waking almost every hour to breastfeed! Hard times but it was worth it. Wonder what it’ll be like second time round!? I always hope I’ll be more relaxed but I’m such a stress head and like to tidy everything up, fat chance I’ll have time though like you say. Other things are more important 🙂
Grandma from the north says
Go for it on the school run…onesies look like normal dress these days!
I remember feeling sore in all the wrong places, top and bottom if you know what I mean!
and… first trip out allowed was to the post box after 14 days!
Think I was a wimp compared to modern mums..
Being afraid to poo!! TMI? Too bad 😉 I thought my stitches would burst and my whole innards would fall out. This was made worse by having a catheter fitted. Oh those were fun days 😉
Baby is looking gorgeous and I’m so happy you’re enjoying being a mummy of two xxx
Oh I’m SO with you on the poo thing. I couldn’t go for ages after having Frog (TMI!). Not been as bad this time though… (again.. TMI!).
Bex @ The Mummy Adventure says
I forgot all about the afterpains, apparently they are worse with each consecutive baby, eek! There is so much I have forgotten about life with a newborn even though it really wasn’t that long ago. Enjoy it x
My midwife said they get worse with each baby – they took me by surprise as I wasn’t expecting them!
Oh that’s all so very true – especially the hours of just gazing at their tiny selves. I’ll admit I rather like the night hours just because I get to stare at Pip in peace!
There is something pretty special about those quiet feeds. I think having gone through it before helps with the keeping calm thing – I know this phase will be over so quickly I just want to drink it up and enjoy every moment. Even if I am exhausted! x
Gorgeous little squish! I remember those days well – mine were 6 months ago! You are doing a fab job 😀
Thank you! I’m enjoying every moment – even through the tiredness. Having done it before and knowing how quickly it all passes makes it much easier! x
Hannah Budding Smiles says
She’s so gorgeous! I remember sitting on the sofa all night for the first week because Toby wouldn’t settle in his moses basket (I now know it was due to reflux!) and just spending entire nights sat with him latching and unlatching, eating cereal bars and drinking water. How do we do it?!xx
Mmmmm cereal bars are the best. They’ve been keeping me nourished this week too! I forgot how flipping starving I get breastfeeding!