Week 1 – Aug 20 – 27
We spent most of the first week in hospital due to my recovery from the labour and surgery. Recovering from this double whammy was tough. My body felt like it has been hit by a truck, with the added exhaustion of a newborn on top. Learning to feed E was really tough – I struggled, gave in to formula a few times when my body couldn’t cope, and ended up renting a pump to take home and express when it all got too painful.
First moments of life.
It was also hard seeing Alec bond with E so easily and quickly while I was stuck in bed. For the first several days, my only interaction would be to feed her, which was excruciating, then hand her back to Alec as it was too painful for me to get in and out of bed to do anything else. Due to this, it took me a lot longer to bond with my little girl. It really helped going home, as by this stage I had recovered enough to be more mobile, and because I was expressing to give my body a chance to recover from the botched feedings, I was able to spend time with her that wasn’t just a painful experience.
Our first week was filled with wonder that we had created such an amazing, perfect little person. Everything she did was just amazing. “Did you see that burp?” “Awww what a cute fluff!”. Typical new parents in awe of their perfect offspring.
Despite being a bit early, Eloise was in great health. The only drawback was a little bit of jaundice, requiring her to be placed in the photobooth for half a day, and to have some extra follow-up doctor appointments after coming out of hospital to monitor her jaundice levels.
Sleep deprivation hit this week! Eloise started to get bad wind during the night, and hated being put on her back to sleep in her crib. She would go down peacefully, only to wake herself every 10 – 20 minutes, writhing in pain from the gas. This also equals no sleep for mum and dad … My routine this week consisted of napping from about 10:30pm – 2am, when I would get up and relieve Alec from duty, then feeding and calming the baby from 2am – 5am, where she might fall asleep on my chest for a few hours. 8am – hand over baby to my mum and go back to sleep for an hour or two, until E needed to be fed again. Gah. So exhausted. I spend the days feeding her, changing her, going back to sleep for an hour or two, then repeating. The end of week two the amazing initial feeling of awe has worn off, replaced with bone-shattering tiredness. “When will she sleep?” Will she EVER sleep?” “Will I ever sleep again?”.
This week we had a bunch of firsts – first sponge bath, first real bath after her umbilical cord fell off, first tummy time, first go in the bouncer. She also started to notice her surroundings and try to lift her head. She also tries to roll herself over in the crib so she can be on her tummy. She is much more alert this week, looking around with her big blue eyes. She is the cutest thing I have ever seen, even when she’s working herself up into a major hissy fit.
Briefly amused by the bouncer.
Hating her sponge bath.
Exactly two weeks after she was born, we had her newborn photos taken. They were fun but exhausting for us all, particularly E, who pooped on me twice, and peed all over Alec. Babies minus nappies = disaster.
Week 3 – Sept 4 – Sept 10
This week got even harder! E suddenly turned into a fussy baby. Crying for no reason, her gas getting even worse, cluster feeds every hour for 8 hour stretches, less sleep. I think she had a growth spurt that made everything worse during this week. She also had a sonogram on her hips to make sure they were all looking ok (when she was born the pediatrician noticed she had a clicky hip that slipped in and out of its socket). The sonogram was very traumatic for us both. She screamed like she was being murdered for over an hour, and was unsettled for the rest of the day and night.We bought a great new sling this week – a Sakura Bloom swing, that I love to take her out in. She had outings for the first time this week both in the Baby Bjorn (which Alec prefers) and the sling (which I prefer). It’s so much easier to take her out in the sling than in the pram (what were we thinking buying a huge Bugaboo stroller when we live in a 2nd floor walk-up??).
First outing in the sling.
On Saturday we took her out for her first big outing – lunch and a long walk down to Brooklyn Bridge Park. I fed her outside for the first time (victory!) and she slept most of the time happily in the Baby Bjorn.
At Brooklyn Bridge Park.
We are getting no sleep at night due to E not wanting to be put on her back, so we are sleeping in shifts to let the other one get a few hours of sleep while the one on baby-duty sits upright on the couch, holding the baby and watching Netflix to stay awake.
While she won’t sleep in her crib, she will tolerate lying in it briefly her back in her crib briefly while she is awake as she loves to stare at her crib gallery and black and white picture books. She will only tolerate this for 10 minutes however.
Mesmerised by the crib gallery.
E is getting more and more alert – trying to see things around her, trying to touch things already. Her eyes are still blue, but are changing already – getting lighter.
Week 4 – Sept 11 – Sept 16
She’s starting to enjoy the bath more – still screams when it’s over, but she seems to like the warm water.
Enjoying being bathed.
We had a tough week this week. Eloise started to get more and more grisly as well as the not sleeping on her back. What seems to be gas pains are bothering her a lot, and she will writhe in pain for hours sometimes, looking like she’s trying to get the gas out.
Much of the week looked like this …
I also found out this week that she has sub luxation in her left hip, which means the leg joint is still really lose. I have to book her in to see an orthopedic specialist to be checked out further. Hopefully it will only be a minor thing she can grow out of without needing treatment.
I managed to get out on my own with E to mother’s group for the first time this week – a total win! It was wonderful to meet up with other women with newborns – they mostly seemed to be calm, sleepy little babies though, not screaming balls of anger like mine.
We also visited a great place called Brooklyn Farmacy on the weekend, where we managed to eat our entire lunch while E slept in the baby carrier. Afterwards we took her to get her passport photos taken, which made her cranky for the rest of the day. She seems to get really worked up easily into a state where she can’t easily calm down from. This leads to us being extra careful not to do things that will upset her. Unfortunately we can’t avoid things like doctors visits, which make her furious!
Brief moment of calm.