The original title of this post was one week on, but then another week past without me getting computer time to finish it. It’s amazing how quickly time flies and how moments last forever at the same time. Over the past week we have experienced both: The days just whizz past, yet I will find myself lost staring at the angelic little baby in my arms for what seems like hours.
We were discharged from the hospital 2 weeks ago just in time to get home before Little Miss and Little Man got home. There was huge excitement in the house as they came home to meet their little brother. Since then every morning we find Little Man and Little Miss snuggling in between us in bed, where Mini Man is also lying or feeding. They lie there and watch our new family member as he starts his day off, stroking his head and giving him lots of kisses. It is so adorable!
I keep on pinching myself how amazingly calm Mini Man is- he feeds and sleeps- and I joke that this baby has read the baby manuals on how to behave. (Little Miss was similar it just took her 2 weeks longer to be this settled)
It all makes me wonder how much of the calmness can be attributed to a stress-free birth, my quick recovery and especially the lack of external intervening hormones (as those that are normally administered to assist the delivery of the placenta). This time around, unlike the previous two times, I didn’t have the day 5 slump, nor the phenomenal watermelons to signal my milk coming in. It’s all been so much more relaxed and a more gradual transition. My SPD, did return with a vengeance following a brief 4-5 day amnesty after labour (this must be a remnant of our ancestry- giving us a highly alert state of mind and body in the first couple of days after baby is born.) This means that despite feeling otherwise a lot better I have been forced to take things easy and rest up as much as possible.
In the past two weeks Mini Man and I have spent most of our time together: we have clocked up 182 nursing sessions, spending a total of 2 days, 2 hours and 2 minutes breastfeeding, him attached to me and me to him. That’s a lot of time to sit and stare at your newborn! … and that’s not even counting the hours he has fallen asleep on me and I’ve just sat in silence watching him, listening to his soft breathing, or just fallen asleep myself with him. I sometimes think to use this time to browse the internet, check emails, get on the social networking sites I frequent, but then a force just pulls me back to the present with Mini Man.
I have been practising the Blossom Method with Mini Man- paying attention to his body language and mirroring it back. The greatest benefit thus far: it has honed my observation skills.
Gratitude to my parents who have helped an enormous amount (and put up with my crankiness)- my Mum doing all the washing and helping out loads with the cooking, getting Littlins ready in the morning for school and in the evening for bed, my Dad picking up and dropping off the Littlins at school and nursery. …I am yet to do a school run since having Mini Man. How lucky am I?!
Over the weekend I attended a blogging conference- Britmums Live!- with Mini Man. At the event I got lots of comments on how brave I was doing this and even got called me Supermum for embarking on this with a 10-11 day old. Far from!!! What made this possible was a spending the previous 9 days resting and getting to know Mini Man, sustaining the calm around him, paying attention to his queues. I was rested and had support before, during and after the conference.
Here’s my theory for a calm baby (based on a statistically “huge” sample of 3 babies- 2 calm and 1 more demanding 😉 ):
spend the first weeks cuddling and getting to know baby
rope in any help who can support you with cooking, housework and older children
rest and sleep as much as possible
try to have a balanced diet, drinking loads of fluids
I’d love to hear your experiences:
Did you have a calm and contented baby? Or the opposite? Were there any factors you could attribute to their temperament?