Mabel is now one month old. She is doing fantastically. The final piece of our family jigsaw. We assumed Elsie would be our last baby (or so my husband hoped) but along came Mabel and now we’d not be without her.
The last month has been one long blur of bottles, nappies and sterilising. Managing two under two, let alone the two over two as well, has been hard work. Very hard work. The first week following Mabel’s home birth was mostly spent sitting and cuddling our little lady. I was sore, trying to breastfeed and Matt was running around like a blue ass fly tending to the other kids. I seemed to skip the day four blues which was good but I felt like I’d been hit by a bus. The high of giving birth had worn off and I was left feeling sore, sweaty (thanks postpartum night sweats) and exhausted. Like I’d run two marathons back to back.
The second week came and Matt went back to work. All the emotions that I thought I’d side stepped suddenly came flooding over me and I spent the week as a weepy mess. I was feeling overwhelmed, lost and a little like I was looking down on a situation I had no control over. I knew what I was feeling was normal. I was tired and I was barely a week postpartum. I just tried to hold it together and soldier on – I’d be no good to the kids if I fell apart.
By this point the sleep deprivation was getting to us and we needed a new tactic to manage the night feeds. We decided to split the night in to two shifts; 10-2am and 1-6am. One of us would sleep downstairs with Mabel and tend to her during the first shift and the other would sleep, undisturbed, in our bed upstairs. Two weeks on from starting this and it still seems to be working for us – although I do miss my husband (but it’s great contraception). Mabel has two feeds a night, one during each shift, but she has been hard to settle after the last feed. Until last night. She slept from around 9pm-7am with only two feeds and was easy to put down after each feed. Is this the start of a routine?
Mabel’s been a lot more awake in the day and we’re starting to spend a little time each day looking at some of the ten gazillion toys we have and listening to different sounds. I’m hoping some day time stimulation will also help her to sleep better at night.
I was reading Elsie’s one month update last week and she was still feeding 3-4 times a night at this stage. We’d noticed from almost day one how much more relaxed Mabel seemed compared to Elsie. Fingers crossed we’ve finally got a good sleeper on our hands.
Mabel’s third week was largely similar to her second. We were counting down the seconds until the end of the week as that signified Matt having nine days off. It felt like I’d reached the end of a long race after two weeks of stumbling through life. We spent the following week getting out and about. I think I really needed it after spending the best part of three weeks housebound. Actually I’d not really left the house in months thanks to pregnancy so a few days out was just what the doctor ordered. The pain in my hips and back had begun to fade and the postpartum bleeding was diminishing. Slowly.
During that week we visited the Cotswold Wildlife Park, the local splash pad, Weston Super Mare, All Things Wild and squeezed in much needed housework. We had some down time and good food too.
Mabel is definitely becoming more aware of her surroundings. Four weeks ago she could barely open her eyes and now she’s beginning to smile at mine or Matts face when we hold her close and speak to her. One thing Mabel hates is the bath. She’s probably only had four or five since she was born but we’ve never managed a bath without a lot of tears. I’m hopeful that will change as I recollect Elsie being the same to begin with.
That just about sums up where we’re at. I’m a little late posting this but most things I do these days are a little late with four kids in tow!