Parenting after loss – The first 12 weeks

I hate that i’ve not been posting as much recently, but I guess I’ve had a VERY good reason; I’ve been getting to grips with motherhood. I was a mother before, I know, but this is different and I’d say it’s taken the best part of 12 weeks for me to find my feet and be ready to start blogging again,

The first two weeks

Where do I begin with the first two weeks of being a mother to our rainbow Hudson. They were a bit of a blur to be honest; a painful, teary, exhausting, confusing, anxious blur. After giving birth to Hudson I stayed in recovery overnight and for the most of the next day, I remember being terrified every time he was checked over, dreading they’d find something wrong. Unfortunately, Steven couldn’t stay overnight with me so I didn’t sleep a wink, poor Hudson was full of mucus like most c-section babies (the liquid in their lungs doesn’t get squeezed out like it does in natural birth) so every time he nodded off on his back, he started choking – I was hysterical every time it happened because I could jump up to help him. I ended up letting him sleep on my chest all night and just sitting and watching him in admiration. Everything had been so chaotic up until this point with visitors and learning that I felt that first night in hospital was the moment where we bonded, and its grown ever since.

Leaving the hospital was very scary for me and Steven, having a midwife at the click of a button is one of most comforting things a new scared parent can have, so choosing to leave that behind and go at it on your own is daunting … but you’ve got to do it at some point so we just decided to take the plunge. It’s funny looking back at our drive home, we was so scared of him having a mucus attack on the way that we drove the road way and had an exit strategy should we need to pull over and wind him at any point!

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The honest truth …

Contrary to these perfectly preened Instagram mums who portray life as a new mom to be a doddle, those first few days with him at home were (after losing Avery) some of the hardest days of my life! It’s taken me a long time to admit it because we all want to be perfect, but it really was relentless. Hudson was cluster feeding for 7 hours at a time, Steven couldn’t do anything to help as he just wanted to feed, we hadn’t slept in 3 days, when hudson was sleeping his mucus would wake him up and choke him, causing me and Steven to have a frenzy trying to help him to breathe … Fuck me it was SO hard! Stir the baby blues into the pot and the overwhelming notion that Hudson looks just like Avery and you have one giant hurricane of emotions! I remember on day 3 my mum came round, took a look at us and ordered us to go to bed and she would watch Hudson. We woke up after 3 hours in a different century, I ran upstairs and he was peacefully asleep, my mum had cooked and cleaned .. I pretty much fell to the floor in gratitude! We would not have gotten through them first few weeks without our mums and I have no shame in admitting that!

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What I came upstairs too after our first sleep in 3 days ❤

There was one defining moment which sums up how hard we were finding it, Hudson was crying in the night and very mucusy, me and Steven weren’t sleeping as we spent all night on edge listening to him breathe – we just looked at each other and said “What have we done” – I felt so guilty for saying it, we’d wanted a baby for so long, and in that moment of desperation and extreme exhaustion, we felt a sense of regret. If only i could just give 2 week mum Nicole a cuddle now and let her know how a few days later she would turn a corner. And I really did, I think it all clicked into place when Steven went back to work and I was thrown into the deep end. I’m not ashamed to admit I let Steven do everything but feed before he went back to work, I was finding breastfeeding so hard I resented doing anything else. Once he went to work I had to learn how to do it all by myself, without any safety blankets – and I found that the anxiety disappeared, I LOVED it and it just happened naturally – how awesome are mum instincts?

We’ve had some hurdles along the way; Hudson was born with tongie-tie so lost a lot of weight in the first few days but once we had it snipped he soon piled it back on (now nearly a stone!). Cluster feeding, cracked nipples and mastitis have been the biggest challenges, nothing quite prepares you for breastfeeding! Growth spurts – well you can only imagine what a challenge they can be! A very greedy baby, so we’re now combo-feeding as I just couldn’t keep up! Fighting naps, all the cuddles and sling times created a bit of a clingy baby meaning he would only nap on me or in the pram – but after 2 weeks training he’s now a little gem and naps in his nursery after self-soothing! The list of challenges goes on but the list of rewards sky rockets over them …

Becoming a pro parent

Looking back at the scared and tired mum I was, I feel such a sense of development and achievement because I am so far from that now. You really do grow in confidence every day and you learn more about your baby with every week that passes. I can’t quite believe Hudson is 12 weeks already, he’s come so far in that time and is growing into a little cheeky chap before my eyes. Every time I look at him I see his sister, and we spend a lot of time showing him her things and talking about her (never too early to start!). I genuinely can’t wait for him to grow a little older so he can understand how special his big sister in heaven is.

Cliche but true 

Honestly, motherhood is all I could have dreamt of and more. I adore every ounce of Avery after 2 days with her, so can you imagine what I feel after 12 weeks of Hudson – It’s enough to make you explode. Seeing him and Steven together is enough to make me die a happy woman because it’s all I’ve ever wanted to see – I’m officially complete.

I’m back to blogging full time

Next week, I’ll be posting about how I’ve found parenting and coping with the emotions of Avery after Hudson arrived.

One day at a time .. XO Nicole 

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