You have done it! You have made it through the long nine months of pregnancy. You have got through labour, which you can read about here. You have got through the first 24 hours of mum life which you can also read about here and now it might be finally sinking in that your life has officially changed forever!
Some people love staying in maternity wards – others hate it. I wasn’t really either, I didn’t mind the first couple of days but I was definitely ready to go home by the end. I still class myself as lucky because I am not sure all maternity’s are like what we had. Our town is small so sometimes you are the only one in the ward, which means the midwives are more than helpful! They do not make you feel like you are a pain and always happy to come and assist you.
I was in the maternity ward for four nights, five days. This came down to the fact that breastfeeding was not happening for me and it was better I stayed until I had got feeding locked down because they did not want me to go home and struggle. However, we did turn to bottle feeding by the end but I will talk more about my experience in the future on the blog!
For me the second night was more of a realisation of what I was in for because my midwife took her for the first night to let me get some rest. This was the first night of the four hourly wake ups but I think I handled it okay. I learnt what the drill was going to be and made a plan of what I would do, so when we got home we had a better idea. I was super lucky that my midwife was on the night shift while I was in the ward! She would happily come and help me, stay, and just have a chat while Harlee would wake up. I think it definitely made me feel not so alone in there. I personally think that your partner has just as much right as you to stay with you. You are both new parents and it is a daunting feeling winging the whole mum gig by yourself for the first time. I think it would just be nice to have them there for support and reassurance but unfortunately, they are not allowed to stay.
If you do not personally like staying in the maternity ward I highly recommend allowing as many people as you like to visit! Visitors make you feel less lonely and make the days fly by a lot faster. Although, I was pretty cautious and overwhelmed as a new mum so I actually limited my visitors. Not to annoy anyone but because I was learning about the new person I had become as a mum and also learning about my new little baby. I had only family and my best friends visit – I was just more comfortable with this but everyone is different! Even though I limited who came to visit until we got home, I still felt like I always had people around.
Food, food, food. Pack yourself some snacks! I think a lot of us forget about ourselves and what to pack, I highly recommend that food is on your list. For one I hated the hospital food and I am sure that most people do. I don’t think I ate one dinner… Never fear though, it was not wasted because Ben will eat anything and always polished it off for me! I lived on takeaways and some home cooked meals on wheels from good old Mumsy! Snacks were
super helpful though, I’m not sure if I was just bored or actually hungry – hah, but it was good to have some back up snacks there!
Third day blues – it may hit you or it may not. I am not even sure it is a real thing, Hah! However, I have talked to a few people including my mum who have experienced this! Your hormones have taken a real hit over the whole being pregnant gig so I think it’s completely normal to have these days. On the third day, I got the so called blues. I think a lot of it came down to the fact that I couldn’t produce enough of my milk which was distressing my little baby and I was starting to feel like I was never going to be able to go home! This particular morning felt like forever before the visitors started to roll in and Harlee would not settle – most probably because she was still hungry! Finally Ben arrived and we decided to top her up with some formula and boom! Sleeping baby! Crazy how fed seems best right? I didn’t spend the day alone which meant I didn’t feel too bad. However, night time rolled around and the thought of Ben leaving was making me feel upset and uneasy so I pushed it out as long as possible. Obviously the time had to come eventually where he would have to go home. I remember getting pretty upset but not even having a real reason apart from me wanting to go with him. He left, I had a little cry but I got over it and fell asleep! Don’t feel like you have to hide your feelings once bubs is here. Have your go to person and talk to them. It will make you feel a lot better knowing you have someone to turn too.
Finally the day had come! We were allowed to go home and start our lives as a family and our fur-st(first) born fur baby was about to meet our baby girl! For me it was a mixture of emotions when leaving the maternity ward. I was so happy to be going home but being in the maternity ward with well-trained midwives gives you some sense of security that you don’t have at home.
As soon as Ben arrived, I was super ready to go! We started packing all the gifts and things we had accumulated over the last few days, so many gifts! I sorted myself out and got some make up on to take the token going home photo! My mum also came to help us with anything we had to take and to help us settle in at home. Around lunchtime, we were off. We were starting our new chapter and I was super excited but super nervous at the same time.
My mum had sorted us some lunch so we came home and sat down to eat but I had this weird feeling of what do I do with my baby when I want to do something – like eat? I guess it is just little things you over think because you have only ever had to worry about yourself and now there is a little human who solely relies on you taking care of them. It was definitely different coming home with her but she fit in just perfectly! All that long awaited baby stuff I had ready months was finally in use and it was a matter of just figure out where, what and when we would use it all. My advice for going home would be to not overthink it too much. It is not as bad as you can work yourself up to think it is and you will get through – even if it is hard. Do not hesitate to accept help. If someone’s offering, let them help! I know this is a lot easier said than done as I am not big on accepting help but have people you can trust and allow them in! I was very lucky to have my mum that I would always feel safe to leave Harlee with. It’s definitely easier having that trusted person!
The first night at home may sound scary but it is really not! You have done this for a few nights now and you know what you are doing. Pretty quickly we had a little middle of the night routine sorted. Once I would hear Harlee waking I would get up and flick the jug on, go back and grab her and do a quick bum change, go and quickly make the bottle then sit down and give her a bottle and bring up her wind. As soon as we done this it was straight back to bed and with minimal lighting as possible to try keep her nice and sleepy. Eventually I got faster and better and we could smash out night feeds pretty quickly!
Before you know it, you will learn the ropes of how you and your baby work. There will always be hard nights and hard days but there is always light at the end of the tunnel! I know all of these first days can be a rather daunting thought and it all seems really scary but you’ll be surprised how your body can adjust and will pull through. I hope this has been some helpful information and that it may ease some of those burning questions you have! Again, don’t hesitate to message me either by email, facebook or Instagram! I am always happy to listen and hopefully help with whatever you are wondering! Catch you all next week!!!