Rosie’s First Two Weeks and My Postpartum Journey

I was going to start off this blog post by writing dear diary, but then I decided that was far too naff.  In a sense, that is what I want this to be though, a regular diary entry with all my newborn and post postpartum thoughts.  Everything from Rosie’s weekly routine, my postpartum weight loss journey, hormones, and life as a family of five will all be documented here.  My plan is to write an updated blog post every two weeks or so. I don’t claim to be any sort of baby expert, and even after three children I learn something new every day, but I hope that this regular blog post entry is insightful for you.  If you every have any questions, please feel free to reach out to me on Instagram. Or if there is something that you can recommend to me that I could do differently, or perhaps a product that might work for Rosie and I would love to hear from you.

The first few days –
So, with that said let’s delve into what the last 20 days has looked like with baby Rosie. I think that the best place to start would be for you to read our birth story if you haven’t already done so. After Rosie was born, we left hospital four hours later and came home to a comfortable bed for a good night’s sleep. Often babies will sleep well the first night after they are born, and it’s no wonder after everything they’ve been through to get here. I was told to wake Rosie at the very least every five hours to feed her but preferably every three.  However, this proved to be very difficult and she had a huge sleep of seven hours with me unable to wake her. The following night she did the same and didn’t wake for six hours. I naïvely thought that this would last! Not that she has been a terrible sleeper or anything, in fact she has been great, and waking about every 3 hours.  Rosie spent her first few days in our bedroom sleeping in the bassinet beside us, I kept the room extremely dark and we had barely any visitors. I am positive that this is one of the reasons why we had such successful and relaxing first few days.  Everything was kept very clam for Rosie and I really had her cry, a stark contrast to when Ari was born, and we had a longer hospital stay.    

The night that she came home Ryan convinced me to have the children sleep at his parents’ house and they didn’t return until 3:30pm the next day.  So, I had a full 24 hours of just Rosie. Ryan returned to work in the morning after she was born which made me feel quite sad that he didn’t have much bonding time with her, although he honestly didn’t seem too worried and his priority was just to make sure that we were comfortable and resting.

His parents came to spend some time with Rosie when they bought the children home. It was lovely for them to get to have some cuddles with her, and we even enjoyed a glass of Moet each to celebrate her arrival! My beautiful friend Nicola also came over and took some lovely photographs of Rosie, which I posted on Instagram that night. Nicola documented so much of the pregnancy and I thought it was so lovely that she was the first friend to meet Rosie.

Two days after Rosie was born, I had to do my first kindy drop off. Ryan was already in Brisbane for work again, and I was quite anxious about getting in the car and driving them all there.  This was probably my most tired and stressful moment of the past 20 days.  I contemplated having someone else take them, but I knew how much the children wanted me to be there.  Kindy very kindly had one of the teachers meet me at the car so that I didn’t have to take Rosie into the centre.

For the next few days that followed we spent most of our time at home. In fact, I’ve been home quite a bit since she was born, more than when any of my other children were born. I’ve really embraced a slower life with Rosie even though it might always seem like it from Instagram. The week after Rosie was born was Ari’s birthday so we had a slightly busier time celebrating him, and I manage to plan a party for him in 8 days which was quite incredible.

During Rosie’s second week of life I dedicated that to staying home and starting a routine for her, as well as getting on top of work when she was sleeping. I use the same routine that I have used with the other two children and follow the book Contented Baby by Gina Ford as a guide.

How I avoided a night of cluster feeding –
When Ari was born, I remember one horrific night where he was up the whole thing cluster feeding.  He had slept so much that day and was on my boob all night, I was exhausted.  When Chloe was born, I decided to try and avoid this by putting her on to feed all day, as much as I could in the first few days after birth.  I did the same with Rosie too.  It could be a coincidence, but for the girls I did not experience any all-night feeding, and my milk came in rather quickly. 

What Ari and Chloe think of Rosie –
They are much more ‘into’ Rosie then I ever could have imagined.  I was really concerned that they would be negatively affected by having a newborn baby but that isn’t the case at all.  If anything, Rosie has brought us all closer and this slower life has made us focus on being home as a family more.  I have certainly experienced a little guilt over the past two weeks, as I have taken up the offer of help from other people having them for me.  However, I have tried to remind myself that they have had my full attention for years now, particularly considering we were just in isolation for 7 weeks, and now it is Rosie’s time to bond with me and settle into life.  Ari and Chloe are both so helpful with the baby, however we have not pushed Rosie onto them at all.  I had no firm expectations of how they would be with her, but I am blown away by their love and enthusiasm. 

My postpartum blood loss and healing –
At two weeks my blood loss has pretty much completely dried up.  This has been the same for all three of my births.  I have been taking baths with and drinking tea from Maternitea.  I also had my placenta encapsulated with Placenta Vitality and have been taking those tablets every morning now.  Placenta encapsulation is something I did after all three births. 

I had something interesting happen at 9 days post birth which worried me but turned out not to be a concern.  I lost a large blood clot which seemed to come out of nowhere.  I was in the kitchen washing my hands and I felt what seemed like a gush of blood leave my body.  However, it wasn’t a gush of blood, it was the large blood clot.  I sent a photo to my midwife; she came to check my uterus and there was no issue.  After talking, we worked out that most likely the blood clot had formed after a busy few days on my feet.  I had also experienced increased cramping for two days prior to the blood clot loss and that would have been my uterus traying to expel it.  Of course, it needed to come out or else you could get quite sick from it sitting in there.  There were no issues though and all was fine. 


Postpartum body –
I have had lots of lovely ladies’ message me and say that I seem to have ‘bounced back’ after Rosie was born.  I weighed myself today and I am currently at my pre pregnancy weight but seem to have less muscle tone and more added fat pockets.  I am not worried about this at all and understand it comes partly from pregnancy and partly the fact that I couldn’t exercise at a gym due to corona virus.  I was as active as I could be in pregnancy, having the children at home and only able to go for long walks.  It is important for me to stay healthy for my body and mind, so today I started to take light walks which I absolutely loved.  My favourite active wear brand for pregnancy and post-delivery is Active Truth.  I am in no rush to lose the fat I have put on but am looking forward to feeling healthier and fitter soon.  Honestly, I care most about my health in terms of living a long life than anything else. 

What I’m wearing –
So far winter in Queensland seems very mild and I have mostly been wearing dresses with a tie at the waist, to bring it in, and buttons for feeding.  I pop boots and a jacket with it when the weather is a little cooler.  For this I love Proud Poppy and have a discount code sweetlife15 for 15% off.  Legoe Heritage is another great brand that is specifically breastfeeding friendly, as well as Maive and Bo.  I haven’t been able to button up my jeans yet and I don’t want to buy any new ones, so hopefully that’s not too far off. 

I have been asked which is the most supportive feeding bra I have and that would be Bravado, which I get from The Stork Nest and you can use the code thissweetlife for 15% off.

I have also been trying to remember to wear my recovery pants as well, which are really great because they act as spanks as well! 

How I’m coping –
I feel like I am coping really well.  When I was pregnant, I got worried at times that I had ‘bitten off more then I could chew’ as a Mother of three.  I am proud of myself.  A lot of you have messaged me telling me how well you think I am doing which is really lovely.  I do want to remind you though that I have had quite a bit of outside help since Rosie was born.  I don’t want anyone to compare themselves to me especially when you don’t see the whole picture.  My parents returned from UK and got out of isolation three days after Rosie was born, and they have loved spending lots of them with Ari and Chloe.  My mother in law is also very supportive and has them once a week.  So, in fact I haven’t had a full day with all three children yet.  I have done lots of morning by myself and a night, as Ryan works early, but no complete days. 

I didn’t really get the ‘baby blues’ this time… well not yet anyway.  There was one night where I had a bath with Rosie and I was crying because I as so happy, then those tears quickly changed to ‘I’m so tired tears.’  I am not immune to this though and when Ari was born, I tried a lot! 

How I am found the transition from two to three –
Personally I have found the transition from two to three children the easiest.  Perhaps because I found having my first child a little shocking at times, and when I had my second they were only 19months apart.  When I say shocking I mean things like getting used to waking up in the night, which I have of course done a lot of now.   

Rosie’s Routine –
As mentioned before I have used Contented Baby by Gina Ford as a routine guide for all three children.  A routine is not for everyone, but for me is enables me to plan my day, whether that be looking after the older two or slipping in some work.  It also means that Rosie is rarely upset as she isn’t getting overtired or over hungry when I follow the routine.  In general, I have always felt much more in control of my days when I follow a routine and this makes me a happier mum. 

Here is a little look at what Rosie’s routine looks like at 1 to 2 weeks old –

7am – I wake her for the day.  I sometimes push this to 7.30am if I haven’t organised breakfast for Ari and Chloe yet and made kindy lunches.  I feed Rosie on waking then express any remaining milk. 
8.30am to 10am – Rosie has a nap.  If I have kindy drop off some of this is in the car, which so far has been ok as she transitions but I know this won’t work forever.
10am – I wake her and feed.
11.15am – I feed her before putting her down for bed.
11.30am to 2pm – She has her biggest nap of the day.
2pm – I wake and feed her.
3.30pm to 5pm – She has her afternoon nap.  Sometime this partially needs to be done in the car like in the morning nap. 
5pm – I wake and feed her.
5.45pm – I give Rosie a bath.
6.10pm – I make sure she is dressed for bed and I am feeding her.
6.30pm to 7pm – I make sure that Rosie is asleep during this time.
10pm – I completely wake Rosie up to feed her before I go to bed.  I will sometimes so this earlier if I am tired, or I have a nap myself beforehand.  Ryan has also done this feed for me with a bottle.  When Ari was born, he exactly did all the 10pm feeds and I went to bed at 8pm. 
In the night – Rosie normally wakes about 1.30am and 5am to feed.   

The above is all a guide to what we do, and I do remain flexible where needed.  I am just about to adjust her routine slightly now that she is over two weeks old and more alert.  I will share that in my next blog.  As a rule, I find she starts to get overtired if she is awake for more than one and half hours.   
 
Rosie and the bottle –
With all the children I started doing a bottle of expressed milk once a day from 7-14 days old.  I do this so that they can be used to the bottle should I ever need or want to leave them with someone.  It’s also great because Ryan can do the last feed of the night if I am feeling particularly exhausted, and I can go to bed earlier.  Not all baby’s love the bottle, and I remember Ryan complaining about Chloe being slow to drink hers.  Rosie took to the bottle straight away and drinks 80-100mls of expressed breastmilk during her 10pm feed. 

Expressing –
I personally express milk twice a day.  I do this after her first feed of the day and at 9pm at night before I go to bed.  I freeze the morning milk in storage bags from One Eco Step.  The night milk makes up her 10pm bottle.  I drain both breasts at each session.  There is conflicting advice on whether you should or should express, all I can say is this is what has always worked for me.  If I ever have to much milk in my freezer, I donate it to Mum’s who can’t feed their baby but want to give them breastmilk. 

If you have any questions or what me to cover anything in particular in the next blog update please send me a message on Instagram.

Thank you for reading,

Small-Signature-Nat