Thursday, 27 June 2013

The first two months

A snapshot of Ethan's first eight weeks in the world
My baby boy will be eight weeks old this coming Sunday and I'm coming to terms he's no longer a newborn. I know he's still very young but the time has already come to pack away some of his first sleepsuits, as he only fit tiny baby clothes until just recently.

Weighing in at a healthy 9lb 9oz last Thursday, my little boy is growing up and already I'm facing the conflicting emotions of a new mum who wants her baby to remain tiny forever but also can't wait for the next milestone. We've already reached quite a lovely one - Ethan gave us his first 'real' smiles last week! He's always looked like a smiley baby but these smiles were different, in response to seeing mummy or daddy's face up close and often accompanied with 'ga' and 'goo' noises. Heart melting.

It's crazy to think he's almost two months old and whilst I can remember labour day clearly, it also feels like he's been here for much longer. Perhaps that's the sleep deprivation talking or the fact that we have taken over 1,500 photos of our little man already, not to mention videos of his flailing arms and hiccup fits (everything he does is just so cute).

The first week we perhaps took on too much, with visitors every day. I think we were quite rattled by our new addition and after week one we were shattered, so buttoned down the hatches and kept it just us three pretty much for week two. This was the best thing we could do; we knew beforehand that we should take it easy and not do too much too soon but we hadn't counted on my recovery being quite so painful. I developed an infection in my episiotomy wound but once I managed to get hold of some antibiotics, things started getting better and I could sit normally again. It made such a difference and it was like I was a new woman. Not as well as before birth but getting there.

The whole sleep deprivation knocked us for six, particularly as little man wanted feeding every two hours, day and night. My top tip to anyone who has a pregnant friend or family member is never utter the words 'you best get plenty of rest now, you'll need it!' This phrase is said all too often and makes the whole thing seem like a joke and having gone through it, I can tell you losing as much sleep as you do once baby comes along is no laughing matter. I had hallucinations and we both felt ill, we were that tired.

But thankfully, things have got better and we have been able to establish feeds every three, and sometimes four, hours now. Not great but certainly much easier, as it means there's one less feed during the night. We've also got over our addiction to Google; our main source of information whenever we needed to check if something was normal or if we were doing something right, which was pretty much every other minute. Sadly, we felt that the midwife care we received before, during and after birth left much to be desired and honestly, if we weren't as savvy as we are, we don't know how new parents are expected to cope.

We've survived our first trip away - down to Hampshire to visit my parents - and we got through a week where it seemed after every feed, Ethan was sick. We've been out to meet other mums for coffee and we even visited Twycross Zoo - it's been quite an eventful time for little man. 

In between, I'm trying to find a balance between having quality time at home, having cuddles, appreciating every moment, and getting out and about so that we get some fresh air and don't get cabin fever.

I'm not sure if it's even sunk in yet that I am a mummy. I certainly felt our connection grow with Ethan's first real smiles and I commemorated that day by getting a new tattoo (it was something I had been planning, but I spontaneously got it done there and then when I went to make an appointment). I chose a swallow, which is a symbol of love, family and loyalty, as they always return home, and I had the tattooist form the tail feathers into the shape of an 'E'. It's not everyone's 'thing', but to me, it's a permanent tribute to my beautiful son (he really is gorgeous, I know I'm biased but just look at him!).

My latest body art, still healing

We're all doing well and every day just gets better and better.Sure, the washing up piles up and simple tasks like having a shower are much trickier these days, but Ethan is simply wonderful and I am very, very proud to be a mummy. It could just be the best thing I ever do.
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