I’ve been missing in action for good reason – the best reason in the world in fact. I welcomed Edan Jay Sanghani into the world on 14th August at 12.47 in the afternoon at St John of God Subiaco. I was 38 weeks 2 days along at the time. We suspect the foot reflexology I had on Sunday prompted the Wednesday delivery. All good since I was full term anyway. (You are full term at 37 weeks.)
Edan was 3010g and 49cm long. He is also the most beautiful thing in my life. I want to eat him.
I delivered naturally in 12 hours with Daddy by my side (who has continuously been amazing throughout). I am glad to report the baby is well and healthy. I am a little overwhelmed by how much love I feel for this little guy. I still look at him and cannot believe I pushed a baby out of me. Its surreal. I am now a week into motherhood and here are the 3 things I wish I knew beforehand about the the first week of motherhood.
1. I wish I knew how to power nap
Edan’s already teaching me what to do in motherhood. Breastfeeding was surprisingly natural with him. (Now I wonder what all the fuss was about.) Waking up for a 3 hourly feed however wasn’t natural. I thought the 3 hour clock started from the end of a feed. It actually starts from the start of a feed. By the time you establish a routine of feed boob 1, clean diaper, feed boob 2, burp, wrap, tuck bub in – you have about an hour to sleep before you awake for the next feed. Sounds like a power nap session (45 minute naps) to me. I struggled during the first 4 days – which I probably wouldn’t have if I KNEW HOW TO POWER NAP!
2. I wish I knew to try again
In the adult world, I would try out solutions and cross them off the list as I try them out. I never gave a second thought to a solution previously tried. After all, a genius once said ‘Insanity is repeating a mistake and expecting a different result.’. Turns out, there isn’t such a thing as insanity in the baby world. Knowing this would have saved me tears.
Edan was very unsettled one evening. He must have been over stimulated by all the sounds downstairs so I took him to his room to settle him. I offered him a feed but he wasn’t interested – shaking his head. I calmed him down by rocking him and that worked. So I wrapped him and put him to sleep. After a few minutes however, he was up again and crying so this time Daddy went upstairs and realised he had lots of gas. Daddy burped him for a long time and he would settle before erupting into a cry again. It sounded like Edan was in pain. I came up to help – trying to soothe him. He continued crying so hard, he was all red in the face and he felt a little heated to me. Mom came in as did Auntie Julie, and I passed Edan to them. He calmed a bit in their experienced arms and soothing voices while I frantically tried to find out why he was in so much pain. I took out the thermometer. No temperature. I looked at the box of infacol but decided against it since it stated a 1 month (age) start. He was wrapped up to warm up, checked for any buttons/string perhaps annoying his skin and various other possibilities. I thought it was the diet I had that must have been giving him all that gas (although studies state otherwise) and was feeling so guilty for eating all that chocolate earlier. I started tearing myself because it was heartbreaking watching my baby cry so hard and so much.
Only then did I check the time, after all the crying it was 4 hours past his last feed. So I took him to the breast and he fed FURIOUSLY. problem solved with the FIRST solution I offered and threw out. Still, I felt raw from being so vulnerable. Jay said it probably won’t be the last time Edan makes me cry. I am inclined to agree.
3. I wish I knew how to optimise the support I had
I knew support is important which is why I asked my mom to come over (unfortunately, her maid couldn’t). In times like in #2, having support or someone else a little more experienced is a mind saver. I wouldn’t have shaken the baby or thrown him down a drain but it wasn’t doing any good that I was getting distressed. I think it is safe to say a new mother is likely to get distressed about something. Jay has been fantastic as well – cleaning (also, thanks to my Papaji for helping to clean the house) and even cooking for the 2 days before mom (and more help) arrived. However, since I had gotten home from hospital, I’ve been trying to live like a normal person (being awake all day) and a new mother (being awake nearly all night). As a result, I am SUPER TIRED which may or may not have resulted in my mini melt down (see #2). I think it has also contributed to my blocked nose. Although a little sick while breastfeeding may be a bit of a pain, it might be beneficial to baby. (“Continuing to breastfeed will help protect your baby from the infection, because your body produces antibodies to the specific bug that is causing the infection, and you pass them on to the baby in your milk.” taken from here)
So new mother to new mother: SLEEP ALL YOU CAN when you have help. Your support know they are there so you can have some time off. Switch off your host mode. You can thank your support later on with premium chocolates and wine (and eternal gratitude). They will understand. If not, pay your support. Hire a part time cleaner. Hire somebody to take care of you during this period.