6-8 Week Reviews

Last week our baby girl turned 6 weeks. 6 weeks!!! Where on earth did that time go.

This meant it brought about her 6-8 week reviews with both our GP and the HV. 

She saw our GP on Monday 22nd May at 3pm. Luckily OH was actually at home so I didn’t have to take both children with me and could just concentrate on Peanut which was ideal.

This check with the GP is to check for any physical developmental issues regarding Peanut. As you can see from the below photo there are no concerns and she’s scored a ‘Satisfactory’ for all points excluding hearing which of course was done at her Newborn review.


He also had a quick check with me. Asked about my mood, my ‘healing’ and any concerns I may have of which I mentioned the tenderness of my stomach. Did I mention this in previous posts? I think I did. During pregnancy I had a tenderness on my stomach, it was sore to the touch in a particular spot on my abdomen which hadn’t gone away yet and I was concerned I may have split my stomach muscles, a condition known as Diastasis Recti. I have noticed I have a ‘peak’ there and can’t explain how tender it is. Anyway he had a poke around and doesn’t seem to think there’s a problem so to go back in a month or so if it’s the same. 

Of course I forgot to mention the numbness in my hands, I’ve got so used to it now I don’t think about it so now I’ll have to go back again, a right royal pain in the rectum with two children in tow.

So all in all this appointment went like clockwork. No concerns for anyone.

The Health Visitor review was on Friday 26th May at our local Children’s Centre at 9.30am. The timing was perfect as DS was at school so again to focus purely on Peanut.

This visit took about 45 minutes. We discussed Peanut’s development and my own mental health. She also measured and weighed Peanut and I discovered that they do not measure at birth anymore (so my not finding her length wasn’t to do with me developing sudden blindness) as the stretching out of their legs could further aggravate any undiagnosed hip problems… who knew?!

We also discussed things that’ll happen between now and her next review at a year old. Such as weaning, safety when becoming mobile (the usual stairgates, hot liquids, hair straighteners, nappy sacks, rolling off high surfaces; sofas, changing tables and beds), sleep safety and any concerns I may have.

Anyway, developmentally and physically she is doing well.

Peanut:

  • Smiling – Yes
  • Making Eye Contact – Yes
  • Following Movements – Yes
  • Vocalising – Yes
  • Strong Limb Movements – Yes
  • Hands Gripping – Yes
  • Any Hearing Concerns – No
  • Weight – 4.80kg 10Ib 9oz (a nearly 2Ib gain in 3 weeks!) 50th centile 
  • Length – 54.5cm, 50th centile 
  • Head Circumference – 38.3cm, 75th centile 


Me:

No concerns, no low mood, no changes in personal circumstances, no domestic abuse (though I did joke that I was close to it due to usual ignorance 😂).

So there we have it no follow up until she’s a year old but to go to weigh in clinic once a month.

Does this mean she’s now no longer considered a newborn? When does that title change to baby? Hmmm, something to ponder once again 

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Manchester

Great Britain woke up to the most dreadful of news this morning. I read it at 3am when woken by Peanut demanding her latest feed.

I’m speechless about this latest, in a longline, of atrocities carried out in the name of one god or another but what makes this one particularly atrocious is that this one targeted an event which was predominantly filled with children.

Children.

Innocent children.

So with that in mind and that over the next few days more children will be named as the victims of this hateful crime I hug my two even tighter tonight, I hold them longer, I kiss them harder and love them deeper.

My heart, prayers and thoughts go to those victims, and their poor heartbroken families of the Manchester Arena bombing and weep for them.

Rest in Peace 

Birth Story (Day 0)

We have now welcomed our amazing, beautiful little girl into the world and here is how it happened…

I suppose I should start where my last post left off, where the induction is concerned…

Thanks to the lateness of the appointment we managed to get DS nicely settled before we had to go. G came round at 1900 to watch him and off we went.

We arrived at hospital at 2030 and waited in maternity triage. About 2130 we got called through onto triage and met Kirsty the MW who would be looking after me at this stage of the induction process. 

She explained that I’d have to be monitored for half an hour then have a VE, a scan to check Baby was head down and then I’d have a pessary inserted to soften cervix and that this would be in for 24 hours before being taken to labour ward and put on the hormone drip, Syntocinon if nothing happened beforehand!!!

24 hours?

We don’t have childcare for more than tonight and tomorrow!!!

Cue panic and begging to just go straight on drop. She said that unless I was ‘favourable‘ then I would have to have the pessary.

The next hour I spent pleading silently with my cervix that it would be favourable.

Thankfully I was, it was. I was 6cm dilated so given the news that I’d go straight down to labour ward and onto the hormone drip as soon as they were ready for me which should be an hour or so so we tried to grab an hour’s shut eye, it was gone midnight by this point.

A lovely MW called Georgie came and fetched us about 0130 and immediately we got on. Her little boy Charlie was born 5 days after DS so we instantly had plenty to talk about.

We were settled into birthing room  number 5 and brought teas and coffees to keep us going, we were both pretty exhausted by this point.

At about 0230 a doctor came to fit a cannula and the drip was fitted and activated by about 0300 and Georgie assured me baby would be here by 6!!

This wasn’t the case.

Despite having regular and strong (according to the machines) contractions everyone was amazed that I just couldn’t feel anything. All I can explain it as was a tightening of my outer stomach muscles like you get with a TENS machine, nothing deep within.

I went from 2ml/hour to 4, to 8, to 12 then back down to 8 to prevent too many.

At this point Georgie mentioned that she thought she had felt what could have been an ear when she examined me meaning that Peanut’s head could be slightly turned meaning it wasn’t properly engaged and pushing onto my cervix thus causing this stalled progress.

If this continued then I was aware that there was a very real possibility of me having to have a c-sec.

I continued to bounce on the birthing ball, walk around the room and when OH discovered a wireless speaker behind the curtain we put on some music so I started to dance quite vigorously to desperately try and shift baby’s head.

At approximately 0750 as Heorgie neared the end of her shift she told me she was going to crank up the hormone and upped it to 16 then her replacement, Lynne, turned up and she handed over to her.

We were so lucky with midwives as Lynne, too was a great laugh and we managed to have a bit of a chat about my birth plan and what my preferences were.

At 0840 the first proper contraction hit and boy it was a doozy. I literally went from 0-1000 in one contraction. Lynne asked what position I’d like to be in and I replied not on my back between pelvis cracking contraction pains. At this point she got me on the bed where I climbed up and onto my knees grabbing the handrails on the ‘back’ of the bed.

I heard her tell me to push when I felt the urge which I was amazed about as thought I can’t have dilated that quickly but within a contraction I heard her opening the delivery pack and I was pushing.

Within half an hour, at 0913 I birthed Peanut’s head and two minutes later, at 0915 I gave birth.

It took a few seconds for her to cry which felt like a lifetime then a sobbing OH told me it was a girl!!!

That moment will be etched on my brain forever. 

A girl. 

Our family is complete. 

No pain relief but yogic breathing and a natural (barring the hormone induction) birth with no intervention. I felt every single centimetre of her descent, of her crowning and of her being born, a sensation I didn’t have with DS due to having put myself in some zen like state for the labouring hours and having been deadened ‘down there’ due to an episiotomy. Although I never got to have the water birth I would have so liked I couldn’t have asked for a better outcome, all considered.

Although having another boy would have been absolutely fine with me I think I possibly would have felt the need to try for another and with our advancing years and the time it takes us to conceive and with the risks of more miscarriages and complications due to my age I think the risks of doing so far outweigh the benefits. We’ve successfully rolled the dice twice now with a perfect outcome each time, and even though in an ideal world I would have loved three children, it’s time I stopped tempting fate and now we have one of each I don’t feel a need to risk it. 

1 Month Old 

Yesterday our beautiful little girl turned a month old. Such a small amount of time but already I’m cursing time for going too quickly and can’t remember, nor imagine, life without her in it.

The last four weeks have been a whirlwind romance, from the moment I set eyes on her, before I set eyes on her, I was besotted and have fallen deeper and deeper in love with her.

I worried I wouldn’t have enough love to accommodate her aswell as her amazing older brother but I needn’t have worried. It’s true, your heart is like a tardis!

I worried that I would have to ‘borrow’ love from DS to give to Peanut and that my love for him would lessen, as it turns out watching how he dotes on his ‘baby sisty’ has made me love him even more, if that was at all possible.

We are currently settling in to not only life as a family of four, but also into a new family home now that we have finally left our stinky one bed flat. 

Peanut:

Weight: At last week’s weigh in clinic Peanut weighed 8Ib 11oz

After initial concerns about her weight gain we have no worries anymore, she is nicely following the 50th centile.

She has been plagued by a blocked nose pretty much since birth so saline nasal spray is a constant companion

Sleep: Now this is pretty good. DS used to sleep and eat, eat and sleep, ad nauseum pretty much in two hourly cycles. Peanut, on the other hand, since birth has had large amounts of wakeful time which I thought unheard of for a newborn, but also long stints of sleep, especially at night which is a result. The only problem being she can take up to two hours to resettle, whereas DS took half hour to feed and go back to sleep, it occurs to me that you can never win.

Feeding: After an initial wobble where she didn’t patch very well, didn’t seem interested and fed for a small amount of time she’s now come into her own. Her latch is excellent and she comes away when she’s done which DS never did. She clusters late afternoon which is far better for my sanity than late evening. All is well (fingers crossed) with our bfing journey.

Poos: We’ve just had a spate of no poos which isn’t concerning, especially for EBF babies. 4 days she went without going, if you get my drift and since she started going again it is a perfect Dijon mustard consistency and to the point of properly filling the nappy now. It’s lost that newborn flecked appearance.

Me:

Lochia: I am now at the pinky turning yellow part of this delightful stage of post partum recovery.

If you were wondering what the stages were…


Weight: I bit the bullet and went to Slimming World last week and I’m officially back at my starting weight again + 4Ibs… depressing! I also couldn’t have chosen a worst week to attempt to start as moving house has meant 3 nights of takeaways, no lunches, junky breakfasts and lots of sweets, chocolates and biscuits. This week however I’m on it having eaten all the crap that was in the fridge.

Boobs: Are the size of boulders but behaving, no blocked ducts as of yet.

**Posted a week late due to lack of internet.**

The Big Move

This Sunday DD is 4 whole weeks old and today is the day we FINALLY say goodbye to our beachside one bed flat.

I’m sat here feeding, its 3.30am and I’m watching Gilmore Girls whilst surrounded by boxes and wondering why I’m not in the least bit excited.

I have kind of put myself in a place to protect myself where this move is concerned. Why? Because the house was supposed to be ready in February/March and since then the goal posts have been constantly moved and to protect myself from the stress I’ve just ‘accepted’ that we’re NOT moving and focused on getting Peanut here.

So this has been pretty much the situation until Monday when OH did a site tour and agreed to ‘accept’ some minor snags to not further delay completion (we are close to our mortgage extension and don’t want to exceed that). On Tuesday they rang and said Friday we complete… Friday, three days time, Friday. On Wednesday they said it would be next week as they couldn’t organise removals (of course not, they kind of need more notice than that), 2 hours later it was all on again, they had contacted a different removal company. A removal company who did its survey using our sales pictures from Roght Move… really? These pictures don’t show the void of doom where half our life has been boxed since our sale fell through last year, the pictures don’t show the two MASSIVE cupboards literally full to bursting, the pictures don’t show the shed outside that’s packed to the rafters and it also doesn’t show all the stuff I obviously hid for the photos. Needless to say the packers arrived yesterday TOTALLY unprepared for the mammoth task thinking this was a small one bedder. This meant a couple of the ‘characters’ were far from warm in their presence.

To say I was embarrassed is an understatement and a little cross that these people were making me embarrassed as I’m sure they have more than just a couple of cartons of stuff in their own homes.

Anyway, we’re here. Removal day. DS has got school this morning and I’m hoping that we’ll have the keys before we have to pick him up and get the bulk done but if not I’m going to leave OH to sort them out, punishment for being on the Isle of Man all week and leaving me to deal with everything up until today on my own with a newborn and toddler.

So, am I excited yet? Not one bit, just stressed to the hilt and worried about where we’re going to put everything at the other end.

I’ll up date you later.

Wish me luck.

Gah

Not Forgotten

I haven’t forgotten this blog, I promise.

Life with a newborn and a toddler (and a partner at home for 2.5 weeks) has just taken up all of my time.

I’m still in the process of writing my birth story which I’ll upload in a couple of days, I just need to read it through and tweak it having written most in the middle of the night so spelling errors and gobbledegook are certain currently.

Needless to say, 3 Weeks to the day since we were blessed with our gorgeous little girl, we are still utterly besotted and still figuring out some sort of new routine that provides everyone with the time they need.

On a side note… we should be moving house next Friday!!!!! FINALLY!!!!

Happy Due Day

Today is the day our beautiful little girl should have been due but instead she has been part of our world for 12 whole days.

12 days we’ve loved her, 12 days we have all doted on her, only 12 days and yet already it feels like she’s never not been part of our lives.

Having said all that it’s also been 12 days of an incredible emotional rollercoaster.

Tiredness is crippling, not starting well with having been awake over 29 hours before she even entered the world and trying to establish a routine that suits everyone is really hard, not made any easier by the fact we are all still couped up in a one bedroom flat.

The guilt I feel where DS is concerned can be all consuming at times. I feel he’s constantly being told to be careful around DD, to not be too noisy, to not be too playful, to be more grown up than he is simply because he now has a baby sister and I’m desperate for him to not feel that she is the reason his life is now different.

Don’t get me wrong he is incredible with her. He dotes on her and regularly comes and sits next to her and tells her how much he loves her. He gently rubs her cheek and head when she cries or wakes up. He’s desperate to help in anyway and is fiercely protective of her. When she had her heel prick test he kept either telling the midwife to leave his sisty alone, or hiding under the desk, blocking his ears because he was concerned for her wellbeing and didn’t like to hear her cry.

He’s not once shown any animosity towards her, nor jealousy, just love and affection and I couldn’t be prouder of him. 

I thought I would struggle to find enough love to share between the two of them, I never thought for a moment I could love him any more than I already did but there it is, mounting up like a volcano ready to explode.

I’m hoping as I recover more fully, my hormones settle down and OH is back at work things will start slipping into place.

Sleep:

Barring the less than ideal sleeping arrangements if trying to get four of us asleep in the same room without one or the other waking the rest up she actually does good. 

Peanut and I sleep in the lounge and although settling her in her crib is hit or miss when she is asleep (what’s new) she has massive blocks of sleep throughout the night, waking between 2 and 3 times.

Feeding:

She was actually a bit slow on the uptake where feeding is concerned which was totally different to DS but she’s getting there. She doesn’t feed for as long as DS did and doesn’t tend to suckle for comfort either which is different too. That being said she didn’t gain any weight in the 3 days between heel prick test and MW sign off at 10 days but she didn’t seem overly concerned.

Me:

Barring hormones and tiredness I’m doing ok. I’m recovering well all the usual birthing aches and pains have now subsided. Stitches are still a little tender but not as painful. Grazing had now cleared up and piles have subsided greatly. Boobs are holding out ok so far and no real issues since when my milk first came in and DD wasn’t draining them properly.

I’ll be happier when we get some sort of routine established but I’m figuring that may take a little more time and won’t be able to properly do until OH is back at work and working away again which is next week. I’m not entirely sure as to whether I’m looking forward to it or dreading it, I wish I had some form of support network but then I’ve always wished that and it’s something that I can’t have so just need to ‘man-up’ and get on with it.

It won’t last forever and I know that it’ll be a blink of an eye before DD is DS’ age and he will be at school and I’ll be yearning for these early days once more and wishing I could do it all over again.



Day Six

Midwife rang this morning, finally, and asked that we go up to see her at midday for the Day 5 (go figure) heel prick test and other matters.

DD was feeding when the ‘deed’ was done and it didn’t go down too well. DS barely reacted but he bled well so minimal intervention was required, DD on the other hand wasn’t giving up her claret easily meaning lots of foot squeezing which just added insult to injury. DS wasn’t impressed at all that the MW had hurt his sisty and either put a protective hand on her head, told the MW to stop or hid under the table blocking his ears… he is such a caring little boy it makes my heart bleed.

After the appointment we went up to the Garden Centre for lunch and softplay. Afterwards we did their Easter Clue Hunt and DS won a Teddy and some chocolate eggs.

Baby:

She did good last night. Cluster fed from about 2030-2300 but then slept until 3 then from 4-6. I’d forgotten how draining cluster feeding is.

Umbilical site looks good.

Nappies still urite clear and she’s having plenty of wet nappies and passing plenty of stools.

Weight: 7Ib 15oz meaning she has dropped half of what they consider normal, this is good considering she barely fed for the first couple of days.

Me:

Woke with enormous feet again. Need to suss out this sleeping malarkey to prevent this.

Bleeding minimal now, turning watery and slowing down

MW checked stitches and all is knitting well down there, barring one small area hence the discomfort.

Usual questions were asked to assess for PND and a revelation hit… she asked whether I had a wobble when my milk came in to which I replied no, then it occurred to me that this was the same night I broke down because of my guilt over DS, so that explains that massive wobble.

On the subject of mood I am actually ok, despite being tired and sore I’m absolutely fine. Probably helped by the amazing weather we’ve been privvy too. It’s nice to get out and about for walks with the whole family.

Visitors: Granny and Grandad 

Day Five

It’s Good Friday today so we decided to have a family outing to a local(ish) Easter Egg Hunt at a garden centre in Lifton. Met up with Gemma and her family and Kate and hers so it was a fantastic day for the kids.

It was brilliant. DS had such an amazing time, he loved the tractor and trailer ride and excitedly ran around the woods collecting the eggs. DD spent the time sleeping in her carrier barring one woodland feed break. 

The journey home however was interesting as she decided that was the time to have a cluster feed, so three stops and 2 hours later we managed to travel the 40 minute journey home.

On arrival we had a visit from OHs work colleague who bought an Easter egg for DS and a cutie little dress and legging set for DD, her very first dress!

Baby: 
Normal poos at last 

Umbilical hanging on by a thread… came off by evening… yay! DS is so desperate to help change her nappy and we’re waiting for the cord to heal before letting him loose.

Cluster feeding has taken hold and I’d forgotten how exhausting it is.

Me:


The hunger has started, oh my word. To the point of the shakes and sweats and I NEED to eat.

Still moderate bleeding

Grazing appears to have gone, atleast it doesn’t sting to pee anymore, though stitches site still appears sore.

Piles, well let’s just say they’re still causing issues

Legs have finally stopped aching and the only residual ache I now have are in my shoulders and hand where the cannula had caused a significant bruise

Cold still going strong

Still thoroughly enjoying having thick hair and strong nails

I settled DS at bedtime tonight which was good for both us, I feel so guilty at the moment as he has been my main focus for 3.5 years and now suddenly I barely have time for a cuddle.

Visitors: Paul (OH’s work colleague), Granny and Grandad