I can’t believe it’s nearly 2 weeks since baby Reuben was born – what a blur of feeding, pooing (him rather than me), burping, sleeping, crying and feeding some more! We’ve just had a visit from the Health Visitor and happily Reuben has put on 5oz. I thought he must have as he’s been feeding like crazy and looks as though he’s filled out a wee bit but it’s nice to have that confirmed.
I’ve also forgotten what it felt like to be pregnant!
So what have the last 10 days been like with a newborn baby since we left the hospital? I’m not going to lie, the first night was a bit stressful. I’d been used to mini-Mike crying at night as he struggled to latch on but I’d been on the ward where the other babies were also crying and the midwives were just a button push away to help me if I couldn’t get Reuben to feed or for reassurance if I couldn’t work out why he was crying. At home we got into bed, he was sleeping his moses basket, and when he woke I tried to feed him but he then shouted at my boob for what felt like hours.
It turns out that doors are more useful than just to stop draughts – they also stop noise. Who knew?! So, in our doorless house I soon heard Gabriella downstairs starting to get agitated, huffing and puffing. This further stressed me out and in the end Reuben and I had to make our move downstairs so I could relax a bit while he continued to shout at my boob. I put Shrek on, as all the other films on demand were a bit too dark for my state of mind and somehow Reuben finally went to sleep on me. I dozed on and off, then happy that he was asleep went up to bed. No sooner had I put him down and then it all started again! That was my night, not knowing what he wanted so doing a merry-go-round of attempting to feed, attempting to wind, attempting to rock/sing/shh/kiss, and reverting to feeding again. It was hard work. By the morning I was beside myself because I hadn’t slept and when Gabby came downstairs, bless her, looking all sleepy and rested she happily signed and said ‘ahh, that baby kept me awake alllll night’…I had to remove myself from the room quick style before I cried in front of her!
And, that’s what I did for much of the rest of the day – cried! I knew it was coming. I had been warned that on day 3 or 4 when your milk starts to come in, you are going to cry. And, my milk had come – my boobs were like water melons that literally grew before my eyes! What made it worse was Mike was so exhausted from the birth and being kept awake, and probably because he didn’t have the same adrenaline rushing through him that I did, he couldn’t get up. He had mentioned feeling like he had Glandular Fever (he’s had it before) so I started to panic and ended up calling the midwife (who we had missed because we were all upstairs and Gabby didn’t bother to come and get us – we’ve now taught her not to ignore the door as some kind of nuisance that’s interrupting her telly viewing pleasure and to actually come and get us!) in floods of tears because I couldn’t get Mike up. She was understandably concerned about me but told me to throw water on him!
Trying to wake newborn Reuben for a feed, he was having none of it after keeping me up all night!
Thankfully Mike dragged himself up and set about doing a hundred jobs, including making me THE BEST poached eggs on the planet – man, how I had missed runny eggs! – all of which made me feel better. And, the next night? Reuben slept like a baby so in the morning I was a different person (although Gabby got into bed with me when Reuben had gone down and promptly threw up, which was a bit distressing!) and we even managed a trip out to the beach.
The sound track (i.e. the songs going through my head) to the first few nights were Beautiful Boy, by John Lennon and Summertime from Porgy and Bess…both made me cry when I sang them! soppy or what?!