The First Month of Motherhood

Thursday, 17 November 2016
It's been one month since Oliver arrived and our lives changed in the biggest possible way. Most new mums say how this time flies by but for me, so much has happened that it's hard to believe that my 'old life' was only four weeks ago. Just four weeks ago, I was waddling around with a huge bump, lying awake with heartburn every night and wondering when my little boy would show up. It sounds ridiculous, but I spent 9 months waiting to meet my baby and when I first set eyes on him, my first reaction was total shock. I've grown a new person in my tummy. And now I'm his mum. 

My first month as a mother has had it's ups and downs. It's been hard, there's no denying that but its also been absolutely amazing and even throughout the stressful times, there's always this constant feeling of love and happiness that I have him. I was on the verge of tears one night at 4am - Oliver was crying and I was so sleep deprived that I wasn't even sure if I was awake or dreaming, but even though I felt so worn out, I was just staring at his face and my heart was just melting at how much I love him.

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Oliver's First Month

When Oliver was first born, he latched on straight away and breastfed like a pro. I hadn't planned to breastfeed, I hadn't really planned anything. I just thought I'd see how it goes, give breastfeeding a go and if it doesn't work, give him a bottle. As it turned out, Oliver knew his stuff and we didn't really need any help at all. Everything was going well for the first 3/4 days - he lost 4 ounces after birth, but was back to his birth weight within 4 days (which is quicker than average) so we knew he was feeding well. Oliver was a hungry boy, and would want fed every hour but by day 6, he was constantly looking for milk and after three sleepless nights where he was attached to me all night, I was losing my mind. I was crying, he was crying if he wasn't feeding. I wasn't sleeping at all. After a mental breakdown or two, I decided that we'd all be happier if we switched to bottle feeding. I cried with guilt at giving up (the sleep deprivation didn't help) but after his first bottle, he was actually full. He stopped crying for more milk and seemed so content. We were able to go out for a walk without worrying that he'd cry for milk the whole time. It was a huge relief and I knew it was the right decision. He's now taking 3-5oz every 3 hours and has the cutest little double chin to show for it.

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Oliver still needs to be held or cuddled all the time. He falls asleep in my arms without any problem, but as soon as he gets put down he wakes up and cries until he's picked up again. In the first couple of weeks, I'd spend the whole night repeating this process until morning when we'd both be exhausted. He'd fall straight into a deep sleep as soon as he lay on my chest, so one night I gave in. I wedged cushions and pillows under each side of me so I'd be unable to move if I tried, sat almost upright with my pillows behind me and let him sleep on my chest while I dozed. He slept for 4 hours straight before waking up for a bottle and we've been co-sleeping since then. I'm a really light sleeper and wake up with every little grunt that he makes, but I'd rather that than the alternative. I know it can't last forever, and I know there's lots of warnings about bed-sharing but at the moment, it's getting us through the first few weeks. I felt so guilty about it at first, but after speaking to other mums about it, I was surprised to find how many of them had done the exact same for the first few weeks. I'm trying to phase it out by getting him used to lying himself during the day and hope he'll be in his crib in the next couple of weeks. So far, we've managed 15 minutes straight in the bouncy chair - progress!

My First Month

It took a good two weeks to get over the physical effects of child birth. I won't go into too much detail as that might be a whole other post but let's just say stitches are hell on earth and I had no idea how sore they would be afterwards. In the first two weeks, I also developed PUPPS rash. Normally this appears in the last trimester and disappears after the birth. For me, it started the day after. It started with itching on my belly and behind my knees, and within two days I was covered in a red, raised rash that made me want to scratch my skin off. It was all over my legs, bum, belly and arms. I ended sleeping with wet toilet paper over my skin to try and soothe it. The doctor gave me steroid cream which did little to help. I did some research on line and found a link between the rash and the hormones released when breastfeeding and when I did eventually phase out the breastfeeding, the rash started to clear up. 

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The last two weeks have been much better. I'm physically recovered. My belly is back to 'normal' although I definitely need to get to the gym after Christmas. I've lost just over two stone since the day before I had Oliver which, other than baby and placenta, was mostly water I think. I was really swollen in the last few weeks of pregnancy - my feet were huge, my hands were huge and my face resembled the sarcastic moon emoji. A few days after the birth, I looked in the mirror and it actually looked like my face again! I still have weight to lose to get back into my pre-pregnancy jeans - I'm hoping all the long walks with the pram will help with that and I'm not stressing about it too much. 

Everything else aside, I absolutely love not being pregnant anymore. I'm now appreciating the little things like being able to get up from the couch unassisted and not having constant heartburn. 

Overall, it's been a difficult but amazing month for my new little family and we're excited to see what next month has in store for us! 

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Remember you can follow my life with Oliver over on my instagram @maisymeowblog 

Do you have any tips for getting a newborn to sleep in his crib?

5 comments on "The First Month of Motherhood"
  1. This is such a lovely post and the photos you have (and on Instagram) are just perfect! Congratulations again <3

    Gisforgingers xx

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  2. I had a little cry at this post pal. The co-sleeping is so normal, we did it with Ella for a few weeks taking turns each and I dare say Oliver's bestie will be doing the same when he makes an appearance. I think you should do a post on the effects of birth on your body because there's not enough out there as a gentle warning to new mums to prepare for the acid pee *winces in remembrance*..... xxx

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    1. I have a post like this in my drafts but wasn't sure whether to keep writing it or not, it was so negative ha! Might be worthwhile doing it though cos personally I would have preferred to have known what to expect! Although nothing could have prepared me for the acid pee :|

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  3. Month #1 is always the hardest. It takes adjustment from both the baby and you. You are both getting to know each other, so it's perfectly normal for things not to go as perfectly as we thought they would. Being in peace with yourself as a mother is what matters because you know that you're trying your very best. Congratulations on your baby boy!

    https://mommymornings.com

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