Guest Post: Life with a Newborn – By Kerrie Owen

Life with a Newborn - Well baby Jack is 9 weeks old already and I cannot believe how quickly time is passing by!

You might remember Kerrie from the Pregnancy Diaries. Now she’s back to update us on life with a newborn!

Well baby Jack is 9 weeks old already and I cannot believe how quickly time is passing by!

I don’t know what I expecting having a 10 year age gap between my children but so far it’s been pure bliss. Thomas has been a huge help and is a very protective big brother. I’m not too sure how it will work when we have one toddling and one a teenager but I am enjoying it at the moment! There was no doubt in my mind that Paul would be the most amazing daddy. He’s always so brilliant with Thomas but I honestly cannot believe how amazing he is.

We brought Jack home on the Tuesday lunch time when he was less than a day old. We were so keen to get back to Thomas and start our lives as a family at home. Everything went so well in hospital and I thought I was invincible and would recover in a flash at our house. The one thing I didn’t think of was the pain, and lack of pain relief. I am allergic to paracetamol so all I could take was ibuprofen.

The anaesthetic from the operation can’t have worn off until after we left the hospital. Our first night at home made me realise how much pain I was in. The night times were so hard. Laying down and sitting up was so painful without the additional complication of feeding a baby. I tried so hard not to wake Paul in the night. Although sometimes I just needed him to pass Jack to me. He was right beside me in the Moses basket but I just couldn’t reach him

Adding to the discomfit was injecting myself twice a day with blood thinners. It was a complete pain and I was terrible at it. My arms were black and blue! I had a pico dressing for my wound which was brilliant at keeping it dry and clean. However the machine attached to it was difficult to conceal. I’d sometimes forget I had it on and lie on it, then it would wake me up!

Luckily Jack was a good sleeper from the start. I can only remember 2 nights where we struggled to get him back to sleep after feeds. I was getting much better sleep than when I was pregnant so my energy levels were through the roof!

We wanted to make sure we made the most of Paul being on paternity leave and Thomas being off for Easter.  So we were eager to get out and about! When Jack was only a few days old we took our first trip to the seaside. It was so nice.

I really enjoy being able to share having a newborn with someone else. I was on my own a lot with Thomas until I moved in with his dad. It’s lovely having someone to share the good times with, but it has also been so important for me to have that emotional support. So far I haven’t seen any signs of post natal depression. There have been times where I have doubted myself and my parenting skills. Not to mention feeling like I look horrendous all the time.

At times my confidence has been quite low. I looked so battered and bruised, I’d have give Frankenstein’s monster a run for his money! There’s obviously the main wound, which is sore. I feel like any sneeze, cough or laugh may result in my innards falling out! I had bruises on both arms from the injections. Multiple bruises on my lower arms from the several failed attempts at fitting a cannula! Along with bruises on my knees from fainting at 41 weeks pregnant.

Then there’s the bleeding which never seems to end! The fact that I now leak milk and feel like I resemble some sort of cow just adds to my woes! It’s understandable why you don’t feel like yourself. Your body isn’t your own! Paul has been my rock through this and has been trying to pick me up best he can. He keeps reminding me why my body is this way. He tells me it’s all worth it and it won’t be forever.

When Paul first went back to work, Thomas was still off school for Easter, so I had some help. But I was dreading the next week. When everyone left me alone with a baby who solely dependent on me! It was a bit daunting at first I’ll admit. Leaving the house seemed to take hours each time. Jack went through a clingy phase this week and wouldn’t let me put him down, at all! I got a lot of use out of the baby carrier. At least then I could get on with the housework. By the time Thomas and Paul were home, I’d realise that I hadn’t really eaten, or been for a wee all day! Things became easier when Jack was happy to take a nap. I think he realised I wasn’t going to leave him long and he’d sleep a couple of hours at a time.

I didn’t realise how busy I would make myself during maternity leave. We seem to have something planned most days. It’ s the ideal opportunity to visit people you never normally get time to. It’s lovely to catch up with everyone.

I’ve also been making an effort to keep active. I could feel my already fairly large ass growing even bigger so it was time to take drastic action! It was frustrating not being able to do much after the caesarean but I could do walking. So walking I did, every day. Thomas enjoy’s walking home from school and the fresh air is great for Jack.

Even after 10 years, been a new mum has been a bit like riding a bike. The things that flood back to you are the sloppy nappies, the endless feeding and the lack of ability to travel anywhere lightly. But also the amazement at your baby changing every day, the cuddles and your heart melting every time your baby sees you and smiles. I love every minute.

I feel like we have had a million visitors and Jack has loved the attention from everyone. All apart from the midwife. For some reason Jack hates to be naked so he was less than impressed when we had to strip him to weigh him! It must be vulnerability issue, but it breaks my heart to see him cry like that. Also the heel clip and jabs, makes you feel like you are so cruel! The plus side is Jack was 1.5oz over his birth weight after 10 days, what a chunk! He is now on breast and bottle feeds as I can’t seem to fill him on my own, he has a good appetite that boy. Takes after his parents. ?

It feels as though Jack has always been a part of our family and we are totally in love with him. I love that he is a little ginger version of Paul and is such a character. We’re all set for our little holidays with our family of 4 and cannot wait for our little adventures!

Nine weeks old and trying to roll over. Chatting gobbledegook at us, trying to sit up and laughing his little head off. I’m so proud of how we are doing so far.

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