Today I sat and thought about Mia’s first week on this earth. As very organised people, we thought we ‘had this’, how wrong could we have been?! Before Mia was born, plenty of people told me “get your sleep in now as soon as baby comes, you can forget sleep” but what everyone neglected to tell us was just how hard and draining it would be when baby actually arrived. You can just about manage in the hospital in the first 24 hours, your baby wakes up other babies on the ward, other babies wake up your baby but you just cope with it there and then and think it’s going to be different at home. I think if someone had of told me that we would get absolutely no sleep for the first 4-5 days and not even know if it’s 2 in the morning or 2 in the afternoon; I may have been a bit more prepared! It’s all pretty much a blur, but what I can remember from the first 2 weeks is the feeling of never being so tired in my whole life, being jolted awake realising your holding baby and feeding them and had actually fallen asleep through the sheer exhaustion! Then there is the fact that baby needs feeding every 2 hours so by the time you have fed her, burped her and let her stay upright long enough to keep her milk down, the 2 hours is up and it’s almost time to start the process all over again! It’s utterly relentless!
It took me a about a week to realise that the only way I was going to manage (I was on my own with my partner away monday-friday at work) was by filling up all 6 bottles with boiling water and leaving them to cool on the side so as soon as baby needed feeding, I just had to add the powder. She also always had her milk at room temperature (it’s just the way we started it off), so her milk was ready when she needed it wherever we were. Now, before you all start shouting that “you can’t do it like that”, “baby will be ill”, “the midwives say never to do that”, etc…etc… We did it from Mia being a week old because it was just impossible to do it any other way, and she was never ill from it and it has not affected her health or development at all! Now, I’m not saying it will work for everyone by any means but I just know that if someone had of told me to try it from the outset, it would have made the first week a lot, lot easier!!!
So, now that Mia is almost 3 years old! If I can give any new mummies or mummies-to-be any advice, it would be to give this method a go. Go with your gut and do what you feel is right, you have been carrying your baby for 9 months, you know what’s best and don’t be afraid to go against advice from others.
The first 2 weeks is hard work (and to be honest at times you feel like you just can’t do it) but it is more than worth it in the end!