On November 14, 2017 my life changed forever. At 6:10pm, I became a mother. At 41 weeks 3 days pregnant, after 36 hours of induced labour and an eventual c-section, my beautiful daughter Cerys was born.
I decided to start this blog as a way of sharing my experiences as a first-time-mom with others who are also navigating motherhood and maybe going through the same things as me. I don’t know where I would be without the advice and guidance of the countless mummy Vloggers and Bloggers I subscribed to during my pregnancy. Tips, routines, must haves – so much wisdom passed down to me from mamas around the world. I’ve learned so much already and have even started building up tips and must-haves of my own.
My sweet baby girl is now a month old and these last 4 weeks have been quite a journey. The first couple of weeks in particular were quite a struggle.
Firstly, Crying. Cerys cried far more than we expected. Aside from when she was nursing or the little time she spent asleep, Cerys screamed and cried. There was literally no awake time where she was settled. I am going to do a separate post about the things we tried that did and didn’t work to soothe her, but for now just know that while Cerys was spending all her time crying, so was I.
Secondly, feeding. I was instilled very early on with worry and doubt about the baby’s weight loss and my plan to breastfeed on demand. Cerys was born 9lbs 8oz and had lost 10% of her body weight when she was discharged from the hospital. The pediatrician at the hospital told me this amount of weight loss was worrying and that I would need to supplement my breastfeeding with either pumped breast milk or formula and wake her every 2 hours to feed. I decided not to supplement and it turned out to be the right thing as I was able to establish good breastfeeding and Cerys has been gaining weight rapidly. In the beginning though, going against the advice of the doctor really had me second guessing my mothering instincts and almost had me going against them.
I did however follow the advice of waking to feed every two hours which I wasn’t really onboard with. I was noticing that night feeds were long, difficult and always ended in Cerys screaming and crying. It would take at least an hour to calm her down which meant she only got an hour of sleep before she had to feed again. At around 2 weeks, I decided to stop waking her to feed and instead feed on demand as I had always planned. In the last couple of weeks, I’ve seen a massive difference. She tends to wake on her own every 3 hours during the night to feed and the feeds are much better. She’s also a lot less fussy and rarely has a crying fit that lasts more than 30 minutes. Lesson learned – always trust your mother’s intuition!
Lastly, sleep. Sleep has by far been the greatest challenge. Not only our own sleep deprivation, but the challenge of getting her to sleep on her own. We have a crib set up in our bedroom but she would only sleep in it for 10 minutes before having a screaming fit. The only way Cerys would sleep for long chucks would be to literally sleep on one of our chests. This meant my husband or I would have to sleep sitting up with one eye open and Cerys asleep on our chest. We tried a bassinete next to the bed, co-sleeping with a mesh guard rail, I even ordered a handmade baby nest from Etsy but it has yet to arrive. Since stopping the wake-to-feeds, she has been able to sleep in her crib for much longer and we’ve been able to phase-out the co-sleeping. I will do a separate blog post on the details of our sleeping struggles. Even though sleeping is still a challenge, getting her to sleep in the crib for 2 hours is definitely a victory.
My first month as a mom has been tough but also extremely rewarding. Nothing beats the feeling of unconditional love.
I’m really excited for all the milestones that lay ahead for Cerys and I on this journey, and I hope you’ll enjoy coming along with us!
Lots of love,