Monday 25 January 2016

Having a baby the first few weeks

Having a baby
One thing you're always guaranteed on this blog is total honesty. Whilst being pregnant I was selective with what I read, the websites I visited, apps I used and vlogs I watched as a source of guidance and support. 

The information out there is overwhelming and is often contradictory. When looking for information on becoming a parent I went for resources that gave me the facts, research and information but the conclusions and decisions I came to were my own. 
Pregnancy websites
What I now realise post birth is that much of the information available gave me the essentials, but very little about the true realities of the first few weeks with a newborn.

I guess there is a distinct difference between reading about parenthood and living it first hand. The other consideration is that babies are not all the same; so someone might give you suggestions of what the first six weeks might be like, but it is unlikely your baby will follow that path.

I'm sitting writing this post with Noah perched in my arms, he's just been fed so is currently quite content. 
Having a baby
The aim of me writing this post is to help those considering having a baby, those who are soon to be parents and those that have often wondered what parenthood is like. This is a long post, so if you're sticking around grab a cup of tea and a slice of cake (It would be great if someone could make me one too!).Parenthood
I like to consider myself a strong person both mentally and emotionally. Over the last ten years I have had to deal with quite a lot and let's just say that life doesn't always play fairly; so I've had to learn to be strong, deal with some challenging situations and find a way to bounce back. 

But nothing could have prepared me for the first few weeks of motherhood with a new born. A new baby turns your world upside down and it's absolutely gruelling. 

Becoming a parent
Firstly your body has been through a battering, your emotions are heightened through fluctuating hormones which are rebalancing post birth and you're sleep deprived beyond belief. There is of course the additional pressure that you have a small person that relies on you whilst your learning on the job. There is absolutely no let up, you're constantly on the go and your only option is to hold on for the ride. It's like SAS training in hyper speed. 

Did friends share with me how hard it was? Yes a little but to be honest I really could have done with a survival manual for the first few weeks and some serious reassurance that it is a phase and it will get easier with time. 

The first few weeks had additional challenges for us, as I was recovering from labour, my C-section (which developed an infection), not having slept for well over a week,  and Noah having a tongue tie, which made breast feeding a real challenge. In between breast feeding we were topping up with finger feeds (a bottle with special tubing that fits to a finger to mimic breastfeeding so that a baby can have combined feeding with expressed breast milk). 

During the day not so much of a challenge but at night trying to make a bottle up, by performing Blue Peter surgery, by cutting a feeding tube and teat, sticking the feeding tube to my finger whilst holding a baby in pitch black bloody hard work.

Our first few weeks passed by in a absolute blur of feeding, winding and changing, on repeat.
A new baby
In between that I seriously spent hours fretting. Was Noah getting enough milk/sleep, too much milk/sleep? Was he too hot or cold? Was he putting on enough weight? Was he weeing and pooing enough? etc... you get the picture.

You realise quickly that the simplest of tasks becomes a military operation in which you have to consider and plan out all possibilities. 
Having a baby
Why on earth it is named maternity leave in the UK I seriously have no idea, actually I find it quite insulting. Leave implies that you are having a break, going away from it all and motherhood couldn't be further from the truth. There is no leave at all, it is a full time job and as I said before unrelenting. 

Leaving the house takes hours. Yes you might be sitting there thinking why? It's got to be easy to pack up and organise a little baby. A baby requires things to happen at particular times especially feeding and having their nappy changed. Otherwise you will be negotiating these whilst out and with a screaming baby who doesn't really care what social situation you are in. Imagine being delayed on a packed commuter train and the little one decides they have had enough and wants a feed. 

There is no me time any more (not that I really expected it), no pulling the covers over your head for a lay in, no relaxing baths and you can forget about catching up on your favourite programme unless this is watched in 10 min slots. However, Youtube on my phone has been a blessing for late night feeds.

Evenings are spent comforting, feeding, expressing and winding. This also means that you and your other half are passing ships in the night. 

You will become the juggler, feeding a baby one handed, removing the washing from the machine with the other, emptying the dishwasher, folding clothes and unpacking the shopping.

Going to the toilet is no longer a single pursuit as a little person is attached at all times; they go where you go.

Will I ever get to complete a meal without a screaming baby in tow, eat with both hands and whilst it is still hot?

The battle is real, having a baby turns your world upside down. So your probably thinking would I trade places with my old life?

Absolutely not! We are besotted and in love with our little man. We can't imagine our lives without him and we are blessed to have him in our lives. With each day we get to know each other a little bit better and it becomes easier.

The trick to remember is nothing lasts forever and as soon as a phase starts, it is very quickly passed and replaced by something else. So if you hit a rough spot try and remember this.

Yesterday we had our first smile; it's moments like these that make it all worthwhile.
having a baby
Survival tips:
  • Cook and store food in the freezer before the birth; make these easy meals that can be reheated and taste delicious.
  • Have a food shop order on standby.
  • Every mother worries but stop, you are doing a great job. Stop fretting. Googling everything is a waste of your energy. 
  • You will need another pair of hands so make sure your partner, husband has at least three weeks off to support you.
  • If you don't want to be totally sleep deprived you have to sleep when the baby sleeps which means heading to bed at all hours and early evening. 
  • The sleeping baby trade off. You have a moment of peace, what will you do, options run through your head: sleep, breakfast, shower, hair washing etc. You can't do them all so choose very wisely.
  • Get dressed and get out of the house. Yes it might well take you a good few hours but it will do wonders for your sanity.
  • Look for groups to meet other mums, sharing your worlds and tips will mean a lot.
  • Set up a WhatsApp group so you can keep in touch with new mums. Especially important for the early morning feeds.

The baby bump website has loads of additional ideas on surviving the first few weeks here.

As a family we're really looking forward to the next adventures to come and sharing them with you as we go. If you have any questions do ask.

Have a great week.

 photo foodieforce_32.jpg


  1. It must be so hard at first, I'm pretty sure its one of those thats that you can't really prepare for! He's so cute though :)

    Corinne x

    1. To some extent definitely right you can't prepare, but I think being ready for the realities or at least having some awareness is important. Most posts and articles are all rosy tinted which I think does new mummies a disservice because your left thinking what am I doing wrong and the reality is your doing everything right it's just bloody hard work Lucy x

  2. these are great words.. as much as I'm not planning on having a child soon, i enjoyed going through your practical advise and tips here! :D

    Have a great day!
    Animated Confessions

  3. It sounds like you have been super busy Lucy! You're little one looks gorgeous, love seeing photos of him!

    Ash | Liakada

    1. Thanks Liakada, it's very busy but all very enjoyable. Glad you enjoyed the pics promise
      I will share more in the coming weeks Lucy x

  4. Thanks for such an honest post Lucy! I really enjoy reading your pregnancy/baby posts (even though I can't see it happening for me for another 5 years minimum!) - it's really good to actually read the unbridled truth and see both the ups and the downs! Also, congrats on finding time to write this post!! :) Loads of love to you all, he's absolutely gorgeous xxx
    Lucy @ La Lingua | Travel, Food, Italy

    1. Thanks Lucy, since having Noah I now see that lots of what I read was edited truths. I know I'm not alone in having found it hard as I have met other mothers who have experienced exactly the same. It's important to have all the facts and then you can be ready Lucy x

  5. I see what you mean, it's hardly maternity "leave" at all! I have two friends with young babies and I know they find it tough at times

    1. The name is slightly deceptive it suggests that we are all sitting at home with our feet up. If only I was here with my feet up. But as much as it is hard work I am throughly enjoying it Lucy x

  6. It sounds like you're insanely busy to say the least but I'm glad everything is okay! Have a lovely week and lots of love to you and your family :) xx


  7. Ahhh how I could miss this post??? Amazing tips and thank you for them. I like this one the most: "Cook and store food in the freezer before the birth; make these easy meals that can be reheated and taste delicious." You are amazing and your little man too. Kisses and hugs from us. Liuba x