One whole month with our sweet baby girl Macey! And what a roller coaster of a month it has been!
The first week was pretty much us getting to know Macey, settling in at home with Sadie and getting into the swing of things as a family of four. Although, to be honest I feel like we are still working on that!
The most amazing gift was having the first 2 nights at the birthing centre with just Josh, Macey & I. My mum had Sadie which gave us time to get to know Macey and to recover from the birth and last few weeks of the pregnancy which had been quite stressful with all the extra growth scans and worries about her. It was bliss, not having to cook, clean or take care of a toddler and just being able to relax and have a ton of snuggles with our new baby!
How is Macey doing?
Macey is doing AWESOME! Because she was born below the 10th percentile for body weight, we were on 3 hourly feeds for the first 2 weeks until she started gaining weight. Thankfully she has been an amazing feeder from day 1 so she only lost 30 grams in the first week and gained 110 grams by week 2. That meant we could drop back to every 4 hours overnight which was AMAZING -1 hour extra sleep is a whole lot!
Speaking of feeding, Macey is a great feeder but we are having the same problem with her as we had with Sadie - I have a really great supply of milk and a very fast flow so the poor babe is taking on board so much milk, so fast and isn't a great burper so we often end up with a big power chuck!
Also, I say this is a problem, but I am so aware of what a great problem it is to have too much milk! I feel very lucky that I am able to breastfeed my baby without too many problems. We decided (after speaking to our amazing midwife) that we would only let her have short (no more than 5 minutes at a time) feeds and burp in between which seems to be working well and minimising the spews. Any longer than 5 minutes and it's too much for her as she is apparently a very efficient feeder! The great thing about baby number 2 is that we have a much better idea of what we are doing this time and knowing what worked for Sadie, we are much more confident using the same techniques with Macey and feeling confident knowing that she is still getting enough milk.
The big and scary problem that came from this was that at 18 days old, Macey was on the floor and had a wee spew which she then choked on. She couldn't cough it up and was struggling with her breathing so we ended up getting an ambulance and spending the night in hospital while they kept an eye on her. Everything was ok and she's been fine since then - the doctor said it should just be a one off but wow did it give us a huge fright and totally shook my confidence. Since then I've been too scared to leave her for too long without checking on her and have been super vigilant about holding her upright after feeds, so it kind of feels like I never put her down! But I'd rather that than have to go through a scare like that again. It's been a couple of weeks now since that happened and I'm slowly starting to relax a bit, but I think I'm going to be a bit more of an overprotective parent with this one!
Since then Macey has been doing so well. She's gaining over 200 grams weekly and is now in size newborn clothes, yay! She is sleeping and feeding really well, other than the witching hours in the evening she is super content and we are almost getting smiles! She is just the perfect addition to our family.
How is Sadie doing?
I'm not going to sugar coat it - life with a toddler and a newborn hasn't been an easy adjustment. Sadie loves Macey and is really amazing at helping me change her and burp her and loves giving her cuddles and kisses, but she has been pushing the boundaries at every turn with me! There have been tears from both of us but we are slowly getting used to the new normal and life with a baby sister for Sadie. We've given her a bit of a grace period as it's a HUGE change for her but at the same time it only took me a couple of days to realise that I needed to stick with our rules and routines, otherwise we would be dealing with a rampant toddler!
How are we doing?
I can say for the most part, we are doing really well. Because the last few weeks of my pregnancy were quite stressful, we both found the labour and birth (and aftermath) very emotionally exhausting. That and not sleeping for 36 hours and it's safe to say I was a bit of a basket case! But as soon as we were discharged from the hospital and got to the birthing centre we were able to breathe a huge sigh of relief and relax for a couple of days and enjoy all the snuggles with our precious baby!
This time around, as I said above I feel so much more confident knowing what Macey needs and how to take care of her. It's so much easier to differentiate between when she is hungry and when she is tired rather than just thinking she is hungry all the time which is what I always assumed with Sadie, leaving me with a very overtired and overfull, spewy baby a lot of the time!
After our wee scare with Macey things took a turn in terms of how I was feeling. I lost confidence and was really pretty traumatised by the whole ordeal (me, Josh and her grandparents/aunties/uncles and our friends too!) These feelings paired with a tricky toddler and a couple of weeks of miserable weather made for a pretty tough time but I feel like we have come out the other side now and are starting to get into a bit of a groove. I still have moments where I feel like I'm not doing a particularly great job - mostly in terms of how much attention I'm giving Sadie - but we are getting there!
Things we are loving:
When it comes to newborns, we definitely go for the "as we need it we will get it" approach. We start with the basics - a carseat for travelling home, nappies, warm merino layers for underneath and warm hats, a few onesies, somewhere to sleep and something to eat! The absolute basics. Mostly because each baby is so different! There are so many gimmicky things that you can get and I'm sure some of them are amazing, but they're not always necessary. But in saying that, these are the "extra" things that we have loved in this first month.
Baby caterpillar merino swaddle - swaddling you baby makes them feel super cosy and secure and helps them transition into the big wide world. This merino swaddle is super easy to wrap around and keeps Macey really snug and warm. We use this one for the naps she takes in the bassinet during the day. We also have a gown, singlet and hat from them and they are so cosy!
Embe 2 way swaddle - this is the swaddle I use at night as it's Houdini proof! Macey may be small but she sure can wriggle and I know she won't get any material over her face with this baby straight jacket! Not only that, it's very simple to wrap her up in - feet in, zip up and velcro round. Easy to do in the middle of the night!
Prem onesies from Kmart - I bought a few just in case baby was tiny and I'm glad I did - these fit her perfectly with a little room to grow!
Our Boba wrap - I am a huge fan of babywearing, mostly because it allows me to get out and about with my hands free and without having a push a huge pram around! I used this a whole heap in the first 12 weeks with Sadie and so far Macey has been living in it too - especially as it allows me to go and do things outside with Sadie without having to leave Macey in the house.