Note : I tried to post the photos in chronological order so that you can notice Leia’s transformation over time…
We made it! We survived the first six weeks on our own! But boy, were they hard… Nobody really prepares you for this first few weeks with a newborn and no matter what everyone tells you, you can not imagine the amount of work, sleep deprivation and worrying you will experience. I honestly have a feeling that we will not sleep soundly again for the next 18 years at least… Baby Leia is the most important being in the house right now, this meaning that we are both very tired, because a baby needs constant attention and care and for the first part, we both wanted to be 100% involved in all the duper changes, feedings and everything else, but this is NOT the way to go!
Starting from the beginning…when we first got home with baby Leia we had our first shock – she just would not stop crying and we even thought that we got the wrong baby from the maternity as she seemed quite the little angel in her first four days of life, but now she was slowly changing into a small devil. We had no idea if she was hungry (but she had just eaten right before we left the hospital), if she needed her diaper changed (no) or what was bordering her. After desperate calls to our friends with kids (it is extremely important to have a support system consisting of friends that had recently gone through what you are going through now) we concluded that her fussiness was due to the fact that she changed the scenery once again in only a few days. Needless to say that we were clueless when it came to using the steriliser for the bottles and to actually making a bottle of formula milk – there was no way of nursing her in the amount of distress she was in. Quite frankly, for the first time in our lives we were both completely clueless and desperate which did not help baby Leia at all, as a matter of fact it made her more and more fussy as time went by. At some point, when we were at the edge of our patience, she just fell asleep on a big pillow and apparently that was the only thing that calmed her. Because I was just released from the hospital and needed to heal, D sent me to bed while he decided to sleep on the floor fearing that the little princess will suffocate on the big pillow, but not really wanting to take our chances and move her. This in short was the first day and night at home with the little one.
From that point on, things only got better, we got better at doing stuff for her, we did get a visit form a maternity consultant in the next few days that eased our worries and helped us learn how to care for her needs – this was included in the birth plan – that helped us tremendously, but things weren’t just right yet as our schedule was chaotic both when it came to feeding as well as sleeping. As I said earlier, we both wanted to be 100% involved in everything which meant that a week later we were both so sleep deprived that we couldn’t walk straight. Things had to change at that point otherwise we both would’ve grown extremely frustrated extremely quick. D decided that we should take turns, especially at night so that we both got at least 4 hours of sleep straight. This was a very hard and frustrating decision to make as the meant that each night one of us would sleep on the couch so that the other could get a sound sleep without any worries or baby monitors in the bedroom. This lasted for about two weeks and for me that was very hard as I was so used to sleeping next to him and I honestly missed him and at some point I was thinking that this is exactly how couples grow apart after having a baby. There was no way I was letting that happen!
This got resolved during the third week, when our paediatrician suggested we get her on a schedule of feeding her every three hours, no sooner nor later. Did I mention that baby Leia suffers from a condition called tongue-tie which prevents her from latching to my breast thus making it impossible for me to nurse her. At first I was affected by this, but later on I realised that this was a blessing in disguise, because it meant that I knew exactly how much milk she was getting and this allowed us to really put her on a feeding schedule and most importantly, it allowed D to feed her and really connect with her while I got some time to myself. So yes, I am pumping and I am loving it (I am using the Philips Avent pump and thus far I had no problems and as a matter of fact I love it but that is to be discussed in another post) and no, I do not think that I am missing out on anything!
There have been some adjustments needed because apparently baby Leia needs to be fed at four hours instead of three and with a larger quantity of milk, but that only means that we have more time between feeding and that our nights are much more manageable – she has a meal at 1 a.m and another one at 6 a.m. and thus far it worked wonderfully, but I have to say that I can’t wait for that moment when she will not need to be fed at night. Other than that, another issue that I can’t wait for her to outgrow it are colics. It is heartbreaking when we see her little face in so much pain and there is literally not much we can do about it. We were lucky enough thus far to not have such episodes during the night, apparently she prefers to have them between 6 p.m. and 9 p.m. and that is ok-ish or at least as ok-ish as colics can be.
D stayed at home for most of the first five weeks and that helped a lot and right now we have found the most amazing nanny, which allowed us to go about our lives (hence this blog post) and really focus on the important things about having a baby – education, learning through play, talking to her, taking care of ourselves etc. I am telling you – help is extremely important with a newborn it’s like we actually have a life again since we found her. She was recommended to us by the nanny agency called Synchronize Family. They are amazing as the managed to find her for us from the first try – she was our first interview!
Other than that, things have really been going perfectly and we couldn’t be happier despite the sleep deprivation (our nanny is not here 24 hours per day thus we still have to get up at night) and the fact that we still haven’t gone out with our friends yet, but I have a feeling that soon we will get there as well, it is just a matter of time. Being a parent is the hardest and the most beautiful job in the world and I think that we have never been happier in our lives. Baby Leia simply completes our little family and I have to be honest, I didn’t really understand the energy that children give us until I had one. She just fills our heart with joy and love every single second of every single day, despite the non-stop hard work we have to do.
P.S: Even our dog gets involved as often as she can (she even woke me up one night because baby Leia was having a tantrum and we both were soundly sleeping) and yes, she is also sleep deprived and snores every time she gets the chance to take a nap!