Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Welcome, Baby C

My last post was pretty much all about your big sister, darling little C, and I will try to make this one all about you. That seems to be the focus of my days at the moment - trying to get the balance of my time and energy right and fair between you - but that is another post.

You were born on 16 April 2014, at St John of God Hospital, at 8:11am. You weighed 3.5kg, were 50cm long and you head was 37cm around. We named you after your line of grandmothers - your first name is the middle name of each of your paternal grandmother, great-grandmother and great-great grandmother. Your middle name is the first name of your maternal great-grandmother. Lots of lovely women for you to feel connected to and inspired by throughout your life.

You were born via elective caesarean, a decision which I dithered and deliberated over, but which I think ultimately was the right one. Your sister was a big baby with a big head, and almost got stuck coming out, doing all sorts of damage to your Mumma in the process. The obstetrician was worried about all of this for you, in particular about your shoulders getting stuck. I was scared about more tearing the second time around, and about how out of control E's birth felt. Of course I had no control over the process of the caesarean but at least I had faith that those who knew what they were doing did. It was still pretty scary, and the immediate aftermath was not very pleasant as I lay there shaking and shivering in response to the epidural, but it was over, you were here, you were safe. The few days afterward were also harder than I had anticipated; somewhat naively I had not realised how incapacitated, dare I say, crippled I would be. Getting out of bed for the first time was terrifying and excruciating and I nearly fainted in the bathroom. Despite all this, by the time you were several weeks old I was in better shape than I was when E was the same age - only taking paracetamol and anti-inflammatories instead of the strong stuff and moving more easily.

We stayed in the hospital with you for four nights. It was noisy there because our room was near the nurses' station, and we were keen to get home and start enjoying life as a family of four. You were a sleepy baby in those first few days at home, partly because you were slightly jaundiced. As a result, in your first few days at home you didn't put on much weight and the community nurse said I should feed you every three hours, day and night, for the next week or so. So I did, and my goodness that was hard work. You have never had any trouble feeding, but when you were tiny you were very slow. It would take me at least 45 minutes to feed you, and then another half hour or so to get you back to bed. Repeating the process day and night meant I was snatching sleep in one or two hour blocks at best. But it was worth it, because by the time you were 16 days old you had stacked on 500 grams, the jaundice had cleared, and we could stop worrying.

You looked very much like your big sister when you were born; the same dark hair in the same shape across your forehead, the same blue-grey eyes. But a sweet little mouth and double chin that are all your own, and ears and long fingers that we think might have come from Omo. You somehow also looked more like me and my side of the family than E ever has. We have all been speculating about whether your eyes will darken to the same lovely chocolate brown as Daddy's and E's and until recently it has been anyone's guess but as of the last few days they are definitely browner. Your hair is starting to get thin patches on the sides - I wonder if you will have the same funny landing strip down the middle of your head that E had at five months?

You sorted out night-sleeping pretty easily and by six weeks old you were sleeping for a six hour stretch at night. Day sleeps have been more problematic - your preference is sleeping upright or in someone's arms. Our first miracle was a borrowed Ergo carrier which meant that you could sleep upright and hands-free. The second was a borrowed sleeping bag with "wings" and press-studs from which your best Houdini-like attempts are unsuccessful - we can pat you to sleep on a shoulder and then sneak you into your basinette, where you will now remain for 30-60 minutes at a stretch. For the baby who, until last week, had not slept for longer than 15 minutes in her bed during the day, it does feel miraculous.

You have discovered that you have hands and it is very cute and amusing to watch you rotate a fat fist in front of your face, apparently amazed that it is yours. You were even more pleased to discover that you can shove your hand in your mouth. As of about a week ago you have also learned that you have a voice. In a good mood you will sit on my lap, and conduct a loud and earnest conversation entirely in coos and gurgles.

We are so happy to have you, lovely little C. Your early days and weeks have been an unmitigated pleasure. I didn't know my heart was this big.


MrsW said...

How lovely! Congratulations on the birth of your baby :)

Megan said...

Congratulations! It's been a while since I've read your blog (it somehow missed my move of blog roll over to bloglovin) so very exciting to read you have another member of the family. Hope those day sleeps keep getting a bit longer x

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