28 days later

So it’s been 4 weeks since mini JenkinSunts was born. They feel like both the shortest and longest 4 weeks of my life!  Mini JenkinSunts has changed lots in 4 weeks – piling on the pounds, losing the David Dickinson jaundice, getting longer, opening his eyes more and making funny faces and sounds.

Mini JenkinSunts - One day old  Mini JenkinSunts - 14 days old

I’ve completely lost track of the days; partly through being tired and also because of a complete lack of routine!  In the first 7-10 days we had a steady stream of visitors and mini JenkinSunts slept a lot and fed only for about 5 minutes at a time as his tummy was so small. However, he fed frequently so managing to have one bath a day, let alone the recommended two, to help my stitches heal was a challenge. Getting dressed, brushing my hair and eating were also harder to squeeze in than I would have imagined before he was born.  Every day when I’ve finally got dressed I’ve felt that it was a significant achievement.

We had to take mini JS to be weighed at 3 days and again at 6 days. I think a midwife would usually visit you at home but my midwife was on holiday so we had to go to a clinic for the 3 day check and then to a children’s centre for the 6 day check so it meant we didn’t see the same midwife which wasn’t ideal. All of the checks were good though; he’d only lost 3% of his birth weight by day 3 and he was back to his birth weight by day 6. He had his heel prick test done at day 6 and although I’d expected him to scream blue murder, the midwife made him feed (she pretty much shoved him onto my boob!) and he didn’t bother at all.

With all the visitors, tiredness and the generally naff weather I didn’t leave the house for a few days at a time in the first 10 days other than the weigh ins and the walk to register at the library on day 3 (priorities!). Combining that with the ridiculous hormone changes I was going through meant I did get very weepy and emotional at times, especially in the evenings, but Mr.J was very supportive and caring. Getting out of the house and doing something made a big difference and although I was quite daunted, I went to WI with mini JS when he was 9 days old. It was just what I needed; it was great to do something more ‘normal’ and it gave me confidence that I could manage on my own too.  I’ve still had some weepy days after that but definitely feel less weepy on days when I’ve done something and left the house but on the whole I’m emotionally stable again thankfully (or more accurately,as stable as I was before anyway!).

We had another appointment for a weigh in at 13 days and as with the 6 day weigh in we had to change him to be weighed but this time he decided to wee on the scales. He was losing weight before our eyes!  However, the midwife was really pleased as he’d put on 12 ounces from his birth weight and she asked if he was eating steak and chips, to which I replied that I’d been eating a lot of chocolate!  Since everything was clearly going well we were discharged from the midwife and handed over to the Health Visitor, who came to see us the next day, on Christmas eve.  She was really nice and gave Lyra a big fuss which I think she appreciated.

We went to my Aunty’s for Christmas eve, our first longer trip in the car and mini JS slept all the way 🙂 Great Grandad Sunter got to meet his first great grandson and mini JS met his second cousins who all loved him found his little sheep and pig noises entertaining!  We had a lovely roast dinner and once again I got to practice eating single (left) handedly as it seems that when I eat is also when mini JS wants to eat. My cousin L had made lots of the meal, along with Aunty W, and she also made a delicious pavlova. I’m not a big meringue fan but it was awesome.

Great Grandad Family together on Christmas Eve

It was just the three of us for Christmas day. Mr.J made a lovely breakfast of smoked salmon, scrambled eggs and crumpets which we ate at about 10.30 – our new breakfast time! After that my sister, C, came through for present opening. We all got lots of lovely things from very generous family and friends. I think my favourite gift is either my new coffee flask or the spa vouchers, both of which were from Mr.J 🙂 After present opening Mr.J made a lovely duck roast dinner and we completely stuffed ourselves whilst mini JenkinSunts trumped and trumped!

Christmas lunch

Grandma and Grandad J came on boxing day with even more lovely gifts and we had another roast dinner (beef) and then we went back to Lancashire to see Grandad B, Grandma S, Nanna P and Uncle P and Aunty H.  We had a lot of stuff to take home even though we were only staying for 2 nights but we just about managed to squeeze everything in the car.  It has prompted Mr.J to look into a roof box though!  We mostly ate lots more lovely food, received lots more lovely gifts and saw relatives whilst we were at home.  We did have one very explosive nappy though which resulted in mini JS, me and Grandma Js chair all being covered in some ready meal chicken korma- coloured stains.  Being a parent is so glamorous! As per the previous two plus weeks we mostly did not sleep well on the whole either.  There was one miracle 5 hour sleep, after which we both deluded ourselves that things were on the up, only to have our sleep-deprived hopes crushed as this was followed by 3 hours of crying!  There were very few tears in the day when he met all his family though – cheeky thing!

Great Grandma Uncle Paul

The journey home was uneventful and once again he slept like a log in his car seat.  We had to go to the hospital on NYE for an ultrasound on mini JS’s hips, because I was born with a clicky hip.  It was very quick; he was laid on his side, his nappy opened and the scan done, with warm gooey stuff (unlike the cold stuff I had from the widwife!).  Mini Js then did an epic shart for us to deal with later before he was spun round and the process repeated.  Thankfully it was just the one shart and there were nappy changing facilities next door.  Everything was fine with the scan though which is good 🙂 We then went to see some friends for lunch and NYE and he met his first little friend whilst we (tried to) eat and play a board game or two (Alhambra and Cafe International).  This might not sound like a very exciting NYE but it’s pretty much what we’ve done for the previous 3 years, only this time we did it with different friends, and we enjoyed it!

We’ve not done anything particularly noteworthy since NYE though, unless you count watching all three Iron Man films and a trip to the dentist for me and neither of those are exactly noteworthy.  I did express some milk ahead of my trip to the dentist and whilst it wasn’t uncomfortable I did think it was a bit of a faff as I had to wash and then sterilise all the stuff and then sit and express for longer than a normal feed so I can definitely see the practical advantages of breastfeeding directly.  However, if I want to be able to go anywhere without mini JS I’ll need to do this and with two more dentist appointments to go (I need my crown replaced) it was comforting to know that mini JS was happy to guzzle away from a bottle.  Less good news is that sleep continues to elude us and the sleep deprivation is starting to take it’s toll a little.  It’s hard to stay awake during night feeds and it’s frustrating when he is awake and unhappy for 1-3 hours in the middle of the night for no apparent reason and nothing you do settles him but it’s all normal and we just have to adjust and deal with it.  I’ve struggled to sleep during the day when he’s slept but I think that will start to happen more soon if he keeps waking every 2-3 hours at night.  I went to a ‘breastfeeding cafe’ session yesterday and met a few other mums and it was comforting to know we weren’t the only ones suffering and that it will (at some point!!) get a bit better. Fingers crossed please everyone otherwise this will be my permanent expression!!!

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We’ve been incredibly lucky as Mr.J has had all this time off work thanks to mini JenkinSunts’ impeccable timing but he is back at work tomorrow… eeeek!  Before mini JS arrived, one of my biggest worries was that I wouldn’t have any intellectual stimulation.  That’s already the least of my worries as zombies don’t really need mental stimulation and my biggest worry now is how we, and especially Mr.J, are going to cope with lack of sleep and going to work.  So far, there’s not really much of a routine but the only thing which does seem fairly stable is that mini JenkinSunts does sleep from his 5-6am feed until 9-9.30am ish and that’s when we’ve definitely been sleeping so how on earth Mr.J is going to get up for work at 7am after only having 2 lots of 2-3 hours sleep is very daunting.  Wish us luck!

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4 Comments

  1. Hey you’re doing an amazing job! Having had three newborns, all I can say is that those first 6 weeks are mental regardless of whether it’s your first or your third. Don’t forget that breastfeeding at night induces sleepy hormone to allow for the mum to rest easily afterwards, so make the most of it. It’ll get easier, eventually you’ll get better sleep. Mine were all about 6-8 months (and fully breastfed apart from when I started baby-led weaning at 6 months) when they started sleeping through.

  2. Thanks Keri! I honestly don’t know how you manage with 3; Mr.J was poorly and I had to look after two of them and that was very hard. Last night was a bit better so I’ll keep my fingers crossed for another good one but if not we’ll manage 🙂

  3. Lol! It’s manic but there is such joy and immense satisfaction in watching the love grow. Over the weekend our eldest (Adam, aged 6) told us that him and his little brother (Ben, 3.5) crept into his bed together to watch the moon and stars. It’s just priceless. The nitty gritty is hard work, but eventually getting three kids out of the door for school at 8.45 becomes less of a frantic rush and more of an organised chaos! By Number 3 all those little things I worried about with Number 1 have paled into insignificance and we are now just more chilled with it all.

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