In some ways the last two and a half weeks have flown by and I'm already getting sentimental that my tiny newborn has surpassed her birth weight and continues to grow every day. I'm trying to make the most of her tiny fingers and toes and every milk-drunk snuggle going because I know it won't last long.
On the other hand the days also seem to drag past. If I'm being totally honest I haven't enjoyed the weeks directly following birth for either Ivy or Alys. I dislike the raging hormones, pain and discomfort from birth and breastfeeding and that my body no longer feels like my own. When you've got a new person to look after and you're battling sleep deprivation you just want to feel normal and yet you feel anything but! When I read that recovering from a C-section and establishing breastfeeding can take six weeks it still seems like we have a long way to go.
So how have these first days gone?
Alys is a very contented baby, and like Ivy was at this age sleeps a lot and rarely cries unless she needs something. I feel like I'm a lot more confident this time around and the general day-to-day hasn't been as overwhelming as it was with our first-born. Having said that I did have a freak out when Josh was out at work all day on Wednesday and I had them both to look after by myself for the first time. I realised how physically fragile I still am following the C-section and how much of a toll it took on me being on my own all day. I would like to carry on as usual - especially getting out of the house for Ivy - but even just light housework and nappy changes caused me pain.
I'm dealing with sleep deprivation so much better this time around as I think I'm used to surviving on only a few hours without it completely wiping me out. After Ivy was born I felt like I was wading through treacle for weeks - I just couldn't function - but this time around it hasn't felt too bad (there is still plenty of time for this to strike I'm sure!). I'm resting and sleeping as much as I can as I want to recover physically as soon as possible. My mum stayed with us for a week after coming out of hospital which was amazing as I didn't have to do any cooking or cleaning and now we're relying on pre-cooked freezer meals!
Having a C-section hasn't been as bad as I thought and the pain has been very manageable. As already mentioned I'm starting to realise that recovery time is going to be weeks rather than days but as long as I keep up with my pain killers things aren't too bad and I much prefer it to what I went through following Ivy's birth.
My main difficulty this time around has been breastfeeding and to be honest the pain I have experienced from that has far out passed the pain from the C-section so that's probably why I haven't thought it so bad!
I was fairly confident in the first few days (I thought hey, I've done this before how hard can it be?!) but soon began to experience terrible pain when feeding which hasn't really gone away. I remember finding things hard with Ivy but I can't remember if it was for this long. I know there is something wrong with the way that Alys is latching on but I can't seem to correct it however many videos I watch or people I talk to. I think you have to experience it for yourself to understand how hard it is when you know you're going to experience toe-curling, scream inducing pain every two or three hours during the day and night - it's like torture! I have been so close to giving up multiple times as it would be so much easier to go onto formula but it's got a little better now and I am stubborn and want to give it a few more days/weeks...plus formula is really expensive so I want to avoid it if I can!
We have only left the house a few times (to visit a café with my mum, to go to the hospital and doctors, to church and to vote) but I haven't really been up to much and have found being around people quite overwhelming. Although I would like to be up and around I am so aware that I need to rest, rest, rest as I don't want to set back my recovery. Our sofa is my new best friend, although I guess that will change when Josh goes back to work full time next week - HOW AM I GOING TO SURVIVE?! Hold me.
So, in summary - Alys' first weeks have been good but also HARD at times. I've heard people say that a C-section can prevent proper bonding between a mother and baby but I haven't found a problem at all and have found it a lot easier than when I was so shocked and out of my depth following Ivy's birth. I already know how to be a mum and our lives are already child orientated so it's made it so much easier to feel like she belongs. It feels so natural to have two children and I love seeing them together. Ivy loves her little sister and actually it's slightly overwhelming because she wants to cuddle and stroke her all the time! She is so kind and hasn't really showed any jealousy that I have to spend so much time feeding and looking after Alys. I am very proud of her.
I know that it's still early days and I'm trying to embrace the experience and capture the memories that I'll be able to focus on in a few months time when rose-tinted glasses allow me to forget the pain of toe-curling 2.30am feeds! She is worth every second.
Linking with The Week That Was