My First Week: A Week of Firsts

Just over a week ago I was still pregnant and now here I am a week on with a tiny little baby who relies entirely on me and I’m going to be honest it is terrifying.

Up until a week ago, apart from my daughter who was delivered asleep at 21 weeks I hadn’t held a baby, so when I delivered him and he was placed onto my chest I had expected a second of “what on earth do I do” but it didn’t come. As soon as he was there I knew exactly what to do. Almost straight away he was making feeding cues which I picked up on and within half an hour he was happily suckling at my breast. It was the most amazing feeling in the world and the maternal instinct hasn’t gone away.

Having never held a baby I had obviously never changed a nappy or breastfed or anything and the first time for each was terrifying. I was totally on my own for my first nappy change and talk about a baptism of fire, he had done a massive poo, as soon as I had cleaned that up he weed on the the new nappy I was just doing up and when he was finally clean and in yet another new nappy he puked on me, all the while screaming his little head off. Needless to say I had a moment of what the hell am I doing here, but as soon as he was cleaned up and happy again that feeling quickly went away.

Even the first time getting him dressed was scary, he seemed so delicate. What if I bent his arm and he cried or I got the baby grow stuck over his head or something, but what I have learnt is that babies are sturdier than they look. He hates me changing him, he cries the whole time, but as soon as he’s dressed and back in my arms he is docile as anything again.

Feeding on my own was scary, and even though I was on the postnatal ward, support was scarce. I had one lady come round who told me to hand express some. I got about 4 drips and he promtly puked it all up again anyway but other than that I was left entirely on my own. One midwife came round looked at him latched on and walked away again saying he was on ok. That was all the help I got, but atleast being told he was latched on ok gave me some confidence in my own abilities.
The first night was the worst. He was tired and struggled to latch on (something he still struggles with) but I, not knowing any better, let him latch badly, and my did I pay for that for the next few days (my nipples then bled everywhere each time he fed giving my baby the look of a baby vampire and when he threw up (which was after most feeds for the first few days) it was all bloody and stained his clothes really nicely!) Thankfully I now know that it is ok to wait 20minutes for him to open his mouth and latch properly, that as frustrated as he gets he won’t get what he needs if he doesn’t and that actually if he’s that tired he won’t open his mouth there isn’t much I can do to encourage him. Sometimes at 5am when we are both tired, waiting 20minutes for him to open his mouth only to take a couple of sucks and let go again gets pretty frustrating, but I have been assured he will learn, it’s just a lot for him to take in and learn.
I didn’t expect myself to be so comfortable feeding around people. I have always been quite body shy, not that I didn’t like my body, I just didn’t show it off, but I suppose after the indignity of labour, showing a boob isn’t a big deal. I find myself getting him latched on in a different room to guests – I think this may be a different story if he didn’t have such issues, but I find myself waving my nipple around for 20 minutes to be fairly embarrassing. But once he is latched on I am happy to come back and join the conversation. I even answered the door with him feeding – I did have a moment of should I, shouldn’t I as I didn’t know who it would be but I decided to give it a go and thankfully it was my friends mum. Having said this I’m not sure I would have been embarrassed whoever it was. Everything was covered and as I look at it, it’s the most natural thing in the world (if still a little painful)


Thankfully he is quite a contented baby, once he has been fed he will go back to sleep or just lay there looking around, he doesn’t complain for no reason, so if he is crying you just have to work out why. If he’s just been fed it will probably be wind, and if not then check his nappy. Sometimes he just wants cuddles and if that’s the case then just walking around bouncing him does the trick. I’m so glad he’s not a fussy baby who cries the whole time, if he was I think the tone of this post may be slightly different!

This first week has been made so much easier by my mum staying with me at my house. It’s just little things like she makes sure the cat is fed so I don’t have to worry, and also when he’s crying in the middle of the night she will suggest winding him or bouncing him, things that in my sleep deprived state haven’t even crossed my mind, it’s also nice to have someone else there for if we have tried everything and he is still crying (admittedly this is rare) just for them to take a turn bouncing him.

All in all I have loved every minute of this week, it has been hard, don’t get me wrong but the love I feel for this tiny little person who is going to (already is) grow and develop under my watchful eye is amazing and makes every hard moment totally worth while. I often find myself just sitting watching him sleep and marvelling at the fact that he came out of me, that I made him.

This has honestly been the most amazing week of my life.

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  • An 'Angel Baby' is a baby lost during pregnancy or early childhood, who sleeps in the clouds instead of our arms.

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