Thing 2 has arrived, at 9:37 on 21st May, and we have decided to call her Matilda Jane. With that and James, I guess people could be forgiven for thinking that we’re Roald Dahl fanatics, though that thought only occurred to me later.
Suddenly my little microbe looks like a giant – and I’m reminded once again that newborn babies’ heads smell like toasted nuts.
Here’s a pic from this morning. Imagine spending your days like this…
Suffice to say I have already pic-spammed Facebook with this sort of thing…
Her Hawaiian Tropics colouring is due to the fact that she has jaundice. Apparently this will go away by itself as a result of breastfeeding and daylight so there’s every possibility she’ll take on her mother’s deathly pallor in a few weeks’ time.
Meanwhile we’re all busy playing the ‘who does she look like?‘ game, which comes up with varied answers depending on what face she’s pulling. In repose, she occasionally looks like James as a baby – other times not at all. Sometimes when she’s awake I see a resemblance to her daddy, albeit without the ears – but others have suggested a newborn resemblance to Natalie, Helena and Uncle Alistair. Lets face it, the honest truth is that a lot of the time she looks like the unholy love child of Ena Sharples and Mrs Overall. (We’re just a tad less inclined to get the camera out for those gurning faces.)
This week has passed in a sort of surreal baby-fug. Mostly spent trapped under the girlbot while trying to enjoy a 3-day weekend with James, without him feeling overlooked or ignored. That’s easier said than done. By the bank holiday, it felt like we were descending into a stir-crazy domestic chaos, with James getting out toys, books, stickers and mess at 3x the speed and frequency with which G and I could put it all away. Thank god for a blessed play date yesterday, which he really enjoyed. Now he’s back at nursery and it’s amazing how much calmer and easier everything is. I’ve actually been able to tidy up a bit and write this blog post, for a start.
As for the op, I felt oddly nervous on the day but all went well – and the first day/night in hospital felt very similar to last time. You really lose all sense of time. I think it’s a combination of being unable to leave the bed in a searingly hot ward where the lights are on all day and night – and where something medical apparently needs to happen every hour on the hour… hence you’re either feeding the baby or someone is giving you pills or checking your blood pressure or taking a blood sample (at 3am? Why?). The rest of the time I dozed, on and off, amid the moans and whimpers of fellow patients begging for painkillers. Of the four ladies on my ward, I think I must have got off lightly. (Any doubts I had about my birth plan went out of the window when I had to listen to the woman next to me being counselled about her 3rd degree tearing – gargh!)
The next morning G brought James in to meet his sister, and it was just lovely to see him. He’s really in love with the baby and has been an absolute sweetheart about the whole thing.
Afterwards I had to hang around in bed for quite a few hours before we ticked enough boxes to be discharged – but we made it home in the afternoon, which was great.
As for the baby, she is now 5 days old and I’m waiting for a midwife visit, where I expect she’ll be prodded, pricked and weighed. Hopefully all will be well on the weight front. She was 6lb 13oz at birth, and seems to be a good eater (though there is easily as much coming out of the other end as there is going in).
Last night was the first time since her birth that I was able to put her down to sleep in her bedside crib. She actually slept for a blessed 5 hours – hallelujah! Prior to that, she’s been feeding every 1-2 hours and has objected within seconds every time I put her down, even when she was already fast asleep. Hence I’ve had to cuddle her all night long with me propped up in bed against the pillows.
Oh, the joys of breastfeeding. Seriously – how come none of the how-to articles ever depict the mother biting down on a twig? It would be far more realistic than the dreamy depictions of mother and baby in boob-related bliss.
As I recall, James was fed largely to a soundtrack of groaning and shrieking. I suppose if I’m honest it’s not quite that bad with Matilda. This time around I don’t have any visible war wounds but, dear god, the first week has had its moments. On the positive side, I think it’s already starting to get a bit easier, and some credit may be due to these silver hub caps, which I’ve been wearing since day one. Unfortunately they’re obscenely moulded and make me look like I’m wearing a pair of giant comedy fake boobs under my clothing but… after last time, I reckoned that anything was worth a try.
I showed them to the midwife on day 2 and she was not disparaging about them and, as I say, things seem to be a bit better than with James, so I shall keep on with them and see how we go. Apologies, as ever, for the TMI.
Other than that I feel generally pretty good. My painkillers run out today, but I think that’s ok. Also (I’m afraid to type it without touching wood) but I seem to have escaped the despairing descent into day-3 baby blues this time around. Last time I was a mess… I wonder why this one is different? Hmmm…
Well that’s all I can think of right now but I’m sure there are a hundred more rambles on their way imminently – and I’m getting quite adept at typing one-handed.
PS – I need to come up with a new blog name. Suggestions on a postcard, please…