3 months old

Today Fenn is 3 months and 3 days old. 

Where oh where has that time gone?! It seems like only yesterday that we were bringing her home from hospital and introducing her to everyone. Now she is smiling and cooing and a real little character.

The last 3 months have honestly been amazing. Fenn is still such a laid back baby, and she just slots into whatever we are doing with no issues. There have obviously been moments when she is grouchy and overtired, but I can count those times on one hand. 
At the moment she is getting over a mild case of conjunctivitis (pink eye), but that is the first problem she has had. 

Breastfeeding is still going really well… in fact, so well that she refuses a bottle. It looks like I will be breastfeeding until she is weaned…I just hope she doesn’t teethe too soon!

We are still using Little Lambs reusable nappies and Cheeky Wipes and Fenn never has poosplosions or nappy rash. I would recommend this combination to anyone!

I often look back over the photos and videos of Fenn from when she was first born, as I struggle to remember how tiny she was. I made the image below at 12 weeks old, showing how much she had grown. It is the same romper!

Fenn was 6lbs and a few days old in the first picture, and 12lbs and 12 weeks in the second. I don’t remember that romper being so baggy on tiny Fenn!

6 weeks old.

Today Fenn is 6 weeks and 5 days old.

Time is flying by so quickly! Is seems like only yesterday that she was a tiny newborn, and now she can support her own head and is on the brink of smiling.

At 4 weeks she had gained 2lbs, and at 6 weeks she is just shy of 4lbs total weight gain. We got her weighed last Monday at 5 weeks and 5 days and she was 9lbs 9oz! She is still feeding like a dream and as my flow is so good, she can get a full belly in 6 minutes. Yay, more sleep for me! 

One development is that she has started to be sick a little more. At 4 weeks, I was feeding her at night, changing her and then feeding her again. I have to change her first now, otherwise she will chuck up everything she has just eaten. It is good because I can get her back down to sleep a lot faster at night, but bad because the screams the house down if I don’t catch her early enough! 

On Monday my OH went back to work. He struggled badly, not only with the physical shock of having to get up at 6am and work to set hours without an afternoon nap, but also emotionally as he couldn’t see his little maggot during the day. Fenn and I have taken to walking the 20mins to the station in the evening to meet him so that he can have as much Fenn time as possible.

Things were going well and my OH was settling back into a routine and I was getting used to doing all the night feeds. Then on Wednesday evening he decided to go for a run and on his way home, only 50m from our house, face planted into the pavement. He was sprinting full pace when he went down and he was so tired from the broken nights, he couldn’t protect himself properly.

He came through the front door and I honestly thought he was having a stroke by the sounds he was making. Poor Fenn was ripped off the boob and plonked in her bouncy chair while I ran to take care of him. His hands and face were grazed and bloody, so I sorted some water and cotton wool to clean him up. He then pulled his trouser leg up, and oh my god, his kneecap was fully exposed! The skin and muscle on his knee has come away in a flap and you could see bone and tendons. Luckily I am not squeamish and I managed to calmly say “OK, I think we need to get you to A&E for some stitches.”

It is no longer possible to just jump in the car and whizz to the hospital as we have Fenn, so I had to ask my Mum to come over (she only lives 6 mins away) and we decided that she would drop him at A&E. It would only be a few stitches and a few hours and he would be home, right??

Wrong. He was told he needed to go to the other hospital (the one in which Fenn was born) as it has a 24hr x-ray department and that he would probably need surgery. We all jumped in the car and went to pick my OH up from one hospital and drop him off at the other one, half an hour away. 

It ended with him being in hospital for 2 nights and having 2 hrs of surgery under general anaesthetic to check that there was nothing in the knee joint and that all the tendons were OK. He finally came home on Friday night and has been hobbling around in a brace and on crutches since then. 

Sexy!

It is amazing to have him home, and he will be working from home for at least 2 weeks, which is lovely. Although I do now have a baby, a big baby and the cat to look after. No rest for the wicked…

4 weeks old.

Today Fenn is 4 weeks and 1 day old.

She is a dream. Possibly the most laid back, relaxed baby in history. We couldn’t have asked for an easier introduction to parenthood.

She has grown so much in 4 weeks, it is scary. She was 6lbs at birth and is now roughly 8lbs! She had recovered her birth weight within 3 days and is now packing on the podge like a trooper. 

She is mostly storing the podge in her cheeks and double chin!

Her head has grown massively. You can see in the photos above how her hairline has moved back with the growth. I just measured her head and it is 2cm bigger than it was at birth. 

The scary thing is, she could still be inside now. I would be 12 days overdue, and most likely would have been induced this morning. I struggled to get a 6lb baby out… An 8lb baby with a 37cm head circumference would have resulted in a C section, I am sure.

*(I know that she wouldn’t have grown at quite the same rate as an escaped booby monster, but an eye watering thought just the same.)

A booby monster she certainly is. She feeds all the time and has gained the nickname ‘the human bilge pump’ in my house as she gulps and guzzles like she has never been fed before. A greedy little pig beast indeed! 

The night feeds are a mixed bag at the moment, although she is starting to settle for slightly longer. Usually we will feed and change her and get her down at about 10.30pm. On a good night she will wake up at about 1am and will be back down again after a feed, a nappy change and another top up feed at 2am ish. She will then wake again at 3.45ish and again at about 7.30am. A tough cluster feeding night will see me being woken approx 30mins after putting her back down, every time, all through the night. Zzzzzz…

As I am exclusively breast feeding, I have to wake to feed her every time, and If I am feeling lively, I will do all of the night feeds and nappy changes, allowing my OH to sleep through. However, most nights I find that I struggle to stay awake as she feeds and I really can’t risk falling asleep with her on me in bed, so once she has fed, I pass her to my OH after the 3am feed, to change her, settle her and put her back down whilst I go back to sleep. 

My OH goes back to work in a week and a half, so I am going to have to do all the night feeds so that he can function during the day. Nooooo! 

As for me, my stitches have finally stopped hurting and feel like they are healing nicely. I have very nearly stopped bleeding and I am feeling really well. I was back to my pre pregnancy weight within two and a half weeks, and I can’t wait until I can start exercising again after my 6 week check up! 

My body – 2 weeks post partum.

Today our little girl is two weeks old. 
My previous post was all about her: how she was after the birth, her treatment and how she is settling in at home. I thought I would also write a post about how I am feeling and what I have been through, both physically and mentally in the last 2 weeks. 

Be warned, I will not be holding anything back. Read no further if you are squeamish or would just rather not know!

The placenta…

Straight after Fenn was born, I was given an injection to help me give birth to the placenta. In my birth plan, I wanted a natural third stage (placental birth) but due to it becoming a high risk birth, that went out the window along with almost everything else on my birth plan. To be honest, I didn’t even notice the injection or the placenta being born due to the epidural. It must have been out within minutes though as I was being stitched up almost immediately. During the stitching, I asked to see the placenta. I couldn’t see that closely as I was on my back in stirrups, but the midwife wheeled it over and lifted it up to show me. It was really amazing. She said it was small, but it had worked perfectly. 

The mum tum…

Once we were back in the room and I had given Fenn some skin to skin time and breastfed her, I could have a poke at my deflated belly. It felt like pizzza dough inside someone else’s dry skin! However, I didn’t seem to mind because I had my girl. Luckily my uterus has been shrinking back down quickly, and my skin seems to have escaped without much damage! No stretch marks, and only a little bit of a baby belly at this point. 

Bleeding (lochia)…

Everyone bleeds after birth, but some for longer than others. For me it was like a heavy period flow, and I have nearly stopped bleeding now at 14 days PP. You also pass a few blood clots in the first day or two. My most impressive one was about the size of a golf ball! I had to hand it over to the midwife to check… Lucky her!  

Because I am breastfeeding, the hormones produced whilst lactating trigger the uterus to contract back down. This is great for getting your pre-pregnancy belly back, but it really makes you bleed and I occasionally get afterpains, which feel like mild contractions. These apparently get worse after a second baby.

Episiotomy stitches…

For those who don’t know, an episiotomy is a cut made through the skin and muscle of the perineum to enlarge the opening for the baby to come out. Apart from a C section, it was my absolute worst nightmare. However, Fenn needed to come out quickly as she was in distress, and at the time I didn’t care how that needed to happen. She was the most important thing.

Before the doctor started stitching, I could have sworn I heard someone say “We had to cut you three times.” WHAAAAT! Three times!! Luckily it was just me hearing things, and it was just the once. Once is enough.

The first day after birth was OK pain wise. I felt like I had been kicked in the foof, but not too bad. On day two though, the pain started. Oh my. Having had your perineum cut with a pair of scissors is about as painful as it sounds, and it is a real challenge to keep the wound dry when you are bleeding heavily from the birth. I have been having a bath and a shower every day. I mix 5 drops of lavender oil into some milk and add that to my bath water, and once or twice a day I sploosh the wound with some slightly salty water, either whilst on the loo or in the shower. 

After a few days, I gathered enough courage to have a feel downstairs. Sob…I mourn the loss of my pre baby lady bits! 

Once or twice over the last 2 weeks I felt a tight pulling sensation and had a bit of fresh blood. I wasn’t even doing anything exciting, just shuffling about! I could feel that the stitches had come open slightly at the surface, so I got the midwife to look at them at my check up on day 12. Yep, the skin stitches have ruptured but the muscle stitches are still in place. The skin should start to mesh back on its own, but I might need to have some further ‘work’ done. Great. 

It took until day 13 for me to start forgetting I had a massacred lady garden every time I stood, sat or moved. Garden peas and pain killers are a life saver… Make sure you have plenty of each if you are about to give birth!

The first poo…

I had read that the first poo after giving birth can often be as traumatic as the labour itself. I prepared myself with a big bag of prunes in my hospital bag. I started munching them as soon as possible after labour, and they were brilliant! Nothing solid and traumatic for 4 days! 

The baby blues…

These are very real! Two days after Fenn was born, I was a mess. A well meaning but blunt midwife told me I had to start feeding the baby more. I wanted to shout  “I AM TRYING! I AM DOING MY VERY BEST AND YOU MAKING ME FEEL LIKE SHIT RIGHT NOW ISN’T HELPING!” But instead I just sat on my bed and bawled my eyes out. I cried a few more times that day, mostly from feeling overwhelmed and exhausted. 

It is around day 2-3 when all of your happy pregnancy hormones start to vanish, and the endorphins from birth are leaving your system. They leave you an emotional wreck. 

I knew that I might feel weepy and overwhelmed; I was ready for that. What I wasn’t prepared for was the anxiety. On day three, as the day progressed I could feel my heart starting to race. It felt like it was in my throat. I then started to think about Fenn dying of SIDS, and combined with a leaflet my OH passed me about meningitis, I went into panic mode. I was sat wringing my hands with worry and I planned not to sleep that night. I was going to sit and watch her, just in case she started suffocating. It was completely irrational and I knew it, but it completely took over me for about two days. I would sob in the shower for ages, worried that I would always feel like that. I was OK during the day, but as night approached, I could feel my heart rising up my throat again.

The most important thing I did was tell my OH how I was feeling. It really helped to know that he knew. He understands irrational anxiety, so he helped me get through it with reassurance and a lot of oxytocin building hugs and contact. It lasted 2 days, but it was awful; I never want to feel like that again. 

Pregnancy progression…

Over the last nine months, we have taken a picture of my baby bump every week. I wanted to record how my body changed over time, and I have been able to compile the following photo:

I love that I will be able to show Fenn how she looked in the womb when she is older.

Post pregnancy body…

Weight at 37 weeks pregnant: 10stones 1lb

Weight 2 days after birth: 9stones 1lb

Fenn’s birth weight: 6lbs

Weight 2 weeks Post Partum: 8stones 12lbs

Waist measurement at 37 weeks: 36.5″

Waist measurement at 2 weeks PP: 29″

So there you go, a full run down of the fun that comes after delivering a baby via ventouse. Add to those delights the broken sleep and it is no wonder people struggle in the first few weeks. However, every ache and pain is absolutely worth it because we have Fenn. I just won’t be in a rush to do it again just yet!