First 6 weeks; in this post I’ll be covering all the things which effect that first 6 weeks. Breastfeeding, healing, sleep…..

This seems to be a golden milestone for women to reach. I’d advise this as your first goal to reach and honestly things do start to get better after this point. But lets cover those things first.

So we had to wait the whole day to get discharged from the hospital and we were itching to leave we’d been in there too long already. But I’m getting ahead of myself. Back to that first day. We spent it in the hospital and we were very much kind of left to our own devices knowing help was on hand if we needed it.

As I said unfortunately due to blood loss I was now suffering with low blood pressure because obviously they had been treating me for high blood pressure. So I was feeling rather shaky and delicate but have a whole new little person to look after so I was very conscious of this. Now for me during pregnancy we had spoken about breastfeeding a lot and it was just something which I was hoping to be able to do and Doug was pushing for a lot! He’s seen how important it is for calves to get colostrum and so he was adamant I was breastfeeding. (During pregnancy I was compared to a cows pregnancy a lot! We have the same gestation and there are other similarities but yeah you can imagine how this was. Good job I’ve got a fairly good sense of humor. Especially when Doug would continue to ask whether I would allow him to milk me in the parlor; this was met with a no and I can confirm I never let him)  We had be transferred to the ward and given toast, they love giving you toast but it was like the tastiest toast ever so that was well received by both myself and Doug. We decided for the first time of trying to get Hetty to latch we would ask for assistants with this so Doug went and asked the midwife if she would come and help as I was still rather wobbly on my feet. A few moments later she came back and asked about how we would like to go about it and I wasn’t really sure and she suggested as I was a bit wobbly we tried the lying down technique. We were very fortunate she latched and away we went. This helped me probably feel a bit over confident in a way.

We were finally discharged from the hospital on the afternoon and home we went. I was feeding on demand and muddling my way through and unfortunately had a few wrong latches and ended up with two bruised nipples. The services out there are fantastic and literally don’t worry about what others think and do just do what suites you. So with this in mind, I’d got to the stage where it was really painful to feed and I had lots (and I mean lots!!) of milk so when one of the women rang from the local breastfeeding support group and I had a little cry on the phone someone was out to see me. That’s when I had it confirmed nipples were just bruised nothing major so to speak and unfortunately only thing to do is power through, so with a little help from Doug at times. (On the one nipple it was particularly painful so he just sat next to me and supported my shoulder as I had a habit of pulling back when she latched on and this just helped me stop doing it and causing more harm.) So with powering through within a few days we started to get a bit of a technique down and then by the golden 6 week mark it was a doddle. I mean don’t get me wrong there was still times when I had frustration with her with incorrect latch and having to pop her off and back on and also although lovely at times and also hilarious when she would come off just as let down happened and so milk sprayed everywhere (everywhere!), and all it was for was for her to give me a little smile. But it was so much easier after this point, it is like they say you’re both learning something new and with learning anything sometimes it just takes a little bit of time. But once past that first bit to be honest I found it fairly straight forward.

Now another fairly big part for me after having Hetty was things being a bit delicate, uncomfortable and painful. As I mentioned in my birth post I had an episiotomy and therefore stitches. Now where I was cut wasn’t where I thought it would be, it was more along the side like towards my leg rather than where you think it would be. It was so uncomfortable for those first few weeks, I couldn’t sit for long periods of time, couldn’t stand for too long and sometimes it just ached and stung like a bitch! Obviously the midwife checked everything was healing ok on her couple of visits and when I mentioned that I was still really uncomfortable she gave it a check, took a swab and asked how I was caring for it. I explained I’d been advised at the hospital bath with salt, and she said that the amount of salt I’d have to add to a bath for it to actually benefit would be about two bottles of salt at a time. She suggested I used lavender oil and would only need 3-5 drops in a warm bath. I have to say I was very lucky that again Doug was rather sympathetic about this and very often when I said I need to get in the bath to help and hopefully sooth, he would either start running it or just let me get into action and would watch Hetty for that period of time so I could hop in even if it was just for a couple of minutes to help. And as this is the first 6 week post you can guess what I’m going to say next within 6 weeks it was all fully healed. Now when I say fully healed I’m not going to broach the sex topic yet so….yeah……….

Now sleep is obviously a big topic which gets spoken about in many platforms. Everyone knows this is one element which to begin with there isn’t a routine too. Anyone who is expecting one, take the pressure off yourself and little one. Go with the flow. That being said whatever anyone finds that works for them and little one good for you, stick with it and be happy with your decisions. For me I had decided I would go with the flow of baby. I was feeding on demand, so whenever she woke I would offer her and if she went back to sleep she did and so forth. Unfortunately Hetty didn’t really like the moses basket,

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we had that time old issue of as soon as you lowered her that was it she knew it was different and would wake back up. So after about two days/nights of trying this, Doug built us a shelf.

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Bit of backstory and explanation. Our bed is high, and I mean high it’s about level with the top of my leg, so we weren’t sure whether we were going to be able to use one of those next to me cots. Therefore we didn’t want to fork out a fair amount of money to not be able to use one, and also we weren’t sure whether this would suit Hetty or not and whether she’s accept it or whether it would be another moses basket situation. Hence, Doug built her a shelf much to the intrigue and caution of our health visitor. She didn’t quiet know what to make of it and was all about oh well your not sure what the toxins are etc etc Now obviously it was fair enough for her to voice her concerns and stuff, but we didn’t use any materials or anything unsafe. And it was working for Hetty and myself, meant I could be right next to her, roll over to feed her and roll away without waking her meaning that we were able to get the odd hour here or there of sleep. So we kept it and continued to use it until Hetty got too big for it. When she got close to growing out of it we managed to buy off a friend the Chicco Next to me and we managed to screw that onto the side of the bed and we used this until again she got to big and we moved her into a cot in her own room. I would like to say that 6 week is a golden mark with sleeping and for some it may be but for me it was not so this is a topic I’m sure will come up time and time again. But at this point I hadn’t quiet got to the point where I collapsed on the floor crying (that happened a little later)

As you can see Hetty was very happy in her next to me.

Hetty was born exactly 2 weeks before Christmas. In my mind this was a lovely time of year. I bloody love christmas! So we were able to go and buy the tree a couple of weeks before and have that up, I’d already got all the presents sorted and wrapped. However in saying this obviously there are certain activities which go along with Christmas. A couple of members of Doug’s family were going on their honeymoon over christmas so they wanted to organise a Christmas meal the week before so they could celebrate then. So this involved going up to Doug’s grans when Hetty was just a week old. Now on one side this was nice to do as we saw a lot of family, had amazing food but on the other side we probably could have done without it. As I said before with a new born your both just learning and getting used to things. And as I said my bits were uncomfortable! And I mean uncomfortable at this stage, there was part of the day I was really struggling. Doug was as helpful as he could be but as soon as we got home I literally jumped straight in the bath to try and help calm and sooth it. The guess what we did the following the next week on Christmas Day, this one was better though as there was less people there, things had had an extra week of healing so was slightly more comfortable. In hindsight I think that first week was too early for the both of us and we should have been a bit stronger and said sorry but we weren’t going to be able to go but it was nice seeing family. But yes I don’t plan on having anything planned in those first couple of weeks next time. But Christmas was lovely and I just love Christmas.

 

I always class this photo as being her first smile which she gave me bright and early on Boxing Day morning.

A side note as well didn’t want to do too much tmi but post natal bleeding, this is usually the golden mark as well for this finishing. 6 weeks mark that gem to get too.

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