Yes, Finally The Day Arrives… Bringing Your Newborn Home!
| 2nd June 2015
After waiting for what seemed like forever, finally the day arrived and I got to bring my newborn baby home. It was the most exciting feeling for me getting my tiny little Olive, dressed in her cute outfit – specially selected for this very moment – with her all wrapped up, so snug, sweet and innocent and ready to face the world.
It’s so strange, I didn’t enjoy being pregnant at all and I moaned a lot of the time because I felt fat, bored and tired but when I see women about to have their baby I am strangely jealous and envious. I know that they are about to experience the most beautiful feeling of excitement that they will ever encounter in their lifetime. The feeling that comes with meeting their baby for the very first time.
So where do I start? You have this tiny little thing whose survival depends utterly on you! Go ahead, freak out! It’s scary and hard work. The crying alone goes straight through you and it’s a cry no mother can ignore. It must be hard-wired into our genes, as your baby’s cry will alert you no matter what you are doing and to ignore it is almost impossible. Seriously, your brain goes to mush, you cannot concentrate on anything other than the fact that your baby is crying and wants you. There’s also the sleepless nights. If you feel exhausted after a two day festival bender, forget that. You’re talking months of no sleep, making you feel like a zombie from the Walking Dead, aimlessly going from A to B without really knowing how you managed it.
The most challenging task of motherhood was breast-feeding which shocked me as this seems to be so natural. I’m not alone here as this affects many mothers but is rarely talked about and not even mentioned in the breastfeeding literature or even by the midwives at your pre-natal check ups. So it’s no wonder mothers (including me) have said they felt like failures as it is drilled into your head from very early on that ‘breast is best.’ Yes, it is true that your breast milk does give your baby your antibodies which protect and build up their immune system but truthfully breast milk substitute is still a very good source of food for your baby. Luckily, in the VIVA February edition I had been sent a Medela double breast pump (Swing Maxi) so I was well equipped when the problems started.
Unfortunately Olive has never latched properly and, after a week of breast-feeding, (as my midwife joked, “we call this child abuse”) I was advised to give my rather swollen, bruised and scabby nipples a seventy-two hour rest. After seven days I was given the all clear to take her back to my breast but, as she would not latch again, the stress caused my body to go into shutdown mode. The milk reduced and I got a huge lump in my breast – a sign of the early stages of Mastitis – so, for fear of causing myself anymore harm and upset, I decided that I would only express my milk to feed her.
I need to talk a little about Medela again as this fantastic product was a lifesaver. Had I not had the Swing Maxi breastpump on hand I would have given up. Luckily, this pump allowed me to express my milk throughout the first few critical weeks of Olive’s life. Medela breastpumps are highly recognised and are used in many UK hospitals but, as the Swing Maxi wasn’t designed for continuous use, I was advised (by the very helpful customer care advisor) to hire the Medela Symphony. This being the most advanced breastpump on the market and ideal for high demands and needs and it works out at less than one pound fifty a day which is cheaper than most formula brands. Renting a Symphony couldn’t be easier for Mums. You just call Medela (on 0161 776 0400) who will then deliver the pump straight to you. I cannot warn you enough to be prepared, as breastfeeding difficulties cannot be foreseen unless you have experienced it before.
I leave on a much happier note as being a Mum is the most incredible
experience and this tremendous love just rushes right through you, even looking at your newborn can bring a tears to your eyes and, after all the hard work you endured over the first six weeks, there is nothing more rewarding than that very first ‘thank you’ smile. Now I just can’t wait to see her grow.
Mine & Olive’s top baby buys…
Like me, you can probably go a little over the top when shopping for your newborn baby. You can’t resist all those beautiful outfits and get sucked into the clever marketing as you are not quite sure what you need. I certainly bought too much stuff for Olive but here are the items that I could not live without and which were essential for my first nine weeks as a mother.
The Joolz Tailor. This is an Ultimate Pram, not only does it turn heads but it’s great for city or country walks and, ideally, the carry-cot converts into a bed whenever you’re away from home. www.myjoolz.co.uk
Bambeano Baby Bean Bag. This is great if you need to do a few things like putting your make-up on or cooking a meal. It’s easy to carry around the house and Olive can just watch me from afar. www.bambeano.co.uk
Shnuggle Cosy Baby Bath. This bath is lightweight and Olive loves it. I also feel that she is safe as it is designed well with a seat that holds her upright – even from her first bath at two weeks old. www.shnuggle.com
Medela Symphony Breast Pump. What more can I possibly say about this – lifesaver! www.medela.com
Photo: Lisa Moore Photography