Wow I missed an entire month! Where did September go? It's now October and my little cherub is 9 weeks old tomorrow.
We have settled into as close to a routine as can be expected. Basically Kayla calls the shots and I respond. She has some quite unsettled periods during the day but thankfully sleeps quite well overnight. She has started to smile and coo which has us all falling under her spell. She is just so special and unique and lovely that I count my lucky stars every day and just drink her in.
The first couple of weeks were harder than I ever expected. My room at the hospital was opposite the staff amenities and the cleaners store room. It was incredibly noisy all hours of the day and night with staff walking past but I found it difficult to get any of them to actually come into the room. My anxiety levels were through the roof. Lack of sleep, pain, a screaming hungry baby and extremely high blood pressure really took their toll and I had a major anxiety attack on the last day. I couldn't believe they were sending me home with this tiny baby whose very life was in my hands when my milk hadn't come in and they hadn't even bothered to show me how to bath her (despite repeated requests).
Naively, I had expected breastfeeding would just happen and so was not prepared for anything else. Poor DH had to race down to the pharmacy to buy formula, bottles and a steriliser before I would leave the hospital. So much emphasis is put on breastfeeding and the world is full of experts on the subject. I did not expect it to be so difficult, but I put up with the screaming, and the disappointment and the bleeding nipples to prove to all the naysayers that feeding my starving baby formula until my milk came in was not the end of the breastfeeding world! My milk didn't come in until around day 10-12, and even now is still quite inconsistent. Thank the Lord for Blessed Thistle herbal capsules!
My parents came to stay for the first couple of weeks which was great because it allowed me to just focus on Kayla without having to worry about dinner or housework. But it was also lovely when they went home!
It has taken a long time for me to shed the feeling that all of this is temporary and one day will be gone. I've felt this since the beginning of the pregnancy and thought it would go once bub was born, but I think it just got worse. Once, around week 2 or 3, I was making a mess out of changing Kayla's nappy and she was starting to cry so I apologised to her and said "Aunty Lou is not very good at this". Ha! Seriously! DH thought it was very sad. Every day now I tell her that I am her mama, trying to make it real more for me I think than her. At times it is still surreal, but I'm trying to relax and just let it sink in that this is forever.
I. Am. A. Mother!
It finally worked! How amazing is that? This little creature who stares intently at me while I feed her, who smiles at me when I talk to her, and gets frustrated with me when I take too long getting her onto the breast. Who grunts and snuffles and farts all night long beside my bed, who stops crying when I hold her close. Who makes me laugh and makes me cry. This tiny creature is mine and I love her with all of my heart and soul.