It’s been two weeks since we met the Little Miss. It’s safe to say we are totally in love. She’s growing bit by bit but I still can’t get over the fact that she is still too small for 0000 (newborn) sized clothes! While I want her to thrive and grow, I must admit her tiny size is bloody adorable. She is so good and staring at her is my new favourite hobby (coming in at a close second to holding her – although she thinks of me as a big milk machine and it makes me a little jealous of her father and his useless chest region because he gets more peaceful cuddles)! She struggles sometimes to have the stamina to feed as long as she needs to, which can leave her restless and hungry, but we’re working on it and it’s not her fault, bless her. Also, her tummy was measuring small before her birth and was one of the reasons she was delivered as early as she was at 37 weeks and 3 days into my pregnancy. I think she gets a little confused is what I’m saying. But we’ll make progress. We’re experimenting with expressed breast milk and formula in bottles for now (she can get through more of a bottle before she gets tired and doesn’t seem to splutter and cough and get air bubbles – leading to wind issues – like she does on the boob). It seems to be working after she weighed in right on target during her home visit from the community nurse. Yay!
Also, having a newborn means I now talk about my boobs. A lot. What the hell? I guess this is my life again now! But if anyone else tells me what to do with my boobs, Mr Unprepared can tell you the kinds of angry faces I can pull as soon as they’re not looking haha.
The Little Mister has been an awesome big brother. He’s so sweet and loves to stare at his sister too! He sings to her and he seems to feel really grown up when he gets to cuddle her. He asks thoughtful questions about her and babies in general. He doesn’t get mad when she cries. He does ask Mr Unprepared to lift him up for ‘big hugs’ sometimes – little bit envious of the ‘big hugs’ his sister gets maybe?
We try to give him one on one attention. Taking extra time to ask about his school day, Mr Unprepared making sure to play LEGO with him or take him for bike rides. His extended family tries to make him feel special too. If I had one criticism though? HE SPEAKS SO LOUDLY. ALL THE TIME. We have been working on this with him since the beginning of time (with very little progress made haha). If I had a dollar for every time I hear myself saying, “Indoor voice – please!” I would be a millionaire! It’s so much more obvious now that we have a baby in the house trying to sleep. Don’t get me wrong – she needs to be used to noise – especially during the day, but this kid likes to burst out the VERY LOUD WORDS like some kind of overly enthusiastic machine gun. It startles the Little Miss and it’s driving me batty!
I’m a bit stir crazy at the moment, but I’m trying to take my time to recover well from my C-section. I feel really lucky to have Mr Unprepared around a lot more so I can do this. I do miss hopping in the car and driving when I feel like it. And taking long walks. And having my body move as freely as it did before pregnancy! I can’t wait to get back out into the world again. I think my pregnancy rash really prolonged that feeling of isolation for me. I am counting down the time until I feel 100%!
It’s actually a weirdly good thing that I feel so excited to get out and about. Last time I had a newborn, I was so horribly anxious all the time. I didn’t want to leave home (but also felt like a failure when I didn’t). I found every social interaction really full on, draining and nerve wracking (although I tried really hard to hide it). I would overanalyse everything I did, everything somebody else said to me, and it would paralyse me. I was so happy to have my Little Mister, but everything would freak me out. I think maybe it started with my pregnancy being difficult and ramped up with my first experience of birth being scary and strange. Either way, it’s like a breath of fresh air to not be ridden with anxiety this time around. I am so grateful to have a clear mind (even if I am tired) and some confidence in myself as a parent. I hope I can maintain this feeling of sanity!
We’ve received so much love and support since we announced the Little Miss’ arrival into this world (thank you so much!) and we were surprised by how much people have responded to her name! I know people can be really polite and say, “that’s a lovely name” because they feel like they have to, but even some of our most bluntly honest people have gone out of their way to say something positive about it. Which is nice because it was the only name Mr Unprepared and I truly agreed on! In the dying days of my pregnancy – no joke – we’re talking LAST MINUTE haha. We had middle names picked out already (we’re a double barrelled middle name family for so many reasons haha). We just needed a first name!! It’s not really on any ‘most popular girls’ names’ lists but I guess it’s got that feel about it? The middle names are really meaningful to us. One is my late Nana’s maiden name (it also happens to be a fairly trendy name, currently). I really felt like she was with us in spirit on our fertility journey. I had the most vivid dreams about her in my toughest days. When I found out I was having a girl, I felt like maybe she had some part in that (sorry if that’s a bit woo woo for you). I was her only granddaughter and I felt like we bonded over it. She also had a fascinating past that made her a little bit famous during war time. I loved that she was a kick arse woman in her day. What a legacy. The Little Miss’ second middle name was a tribute to a middle name both my mum and mother in law share in common. A two for one! It’s not their exact name but a shortened derivative of them. A blend of old with new. There’s something about the feeling of accomplishment when you and your partner (who normally has quite different taste to you) come together to name a very special human!
These last two weeks have been emotional for me. I’ve been in awe of how this little person has graced us with her presence after all that we went through in our quest to have her. I hadn’t had many one on one moments with my mum (everything has been a blur) but the other day she finally stole a moment with me on a visit to her and dad’s house. She presented me with a handwritten card, and while I won’t share all that it said, let’s just say I was crying about one sentence in. The gist of it was about how she was giving me a beautiful gift – a paper crane that symbolises hope, peace and healing – and about how amazing it was that we shared the experience (and miracle) of being able to complete our families against so many rough odds (my brother and I were adopted as my parents struggled with infertility also). Oh how we bawled and how good it felt to talk to my mum and tell her in person all about how much my heart has healed since the Little Miss’ birth and share a hug.
In a nutshell, I am tired and it isn’t always easy with a newborn, but I am so happy. Genuinely. I can’t help but feel that everything is how it was meant to be. Something I would have got mad about if anyone had said it to me before I found out I was pregnant!
We feel very lucky.