What is there to tell you about Bridget’s first month? To be honest, I didn’t think there was a lot but I’m going to journey back to her birth and try and remember everything because while it seems like only yesterday that she was born, it also feels like she’s always been here. Like we were never without her. She just fits perfectly into the Bridget shaped hole that we never realised we had.
She was born on the 15th of June during a very hot week. The hospital windows were like a green house so I really struggled with the heat. Constantly sweating and feeling gross and feeling irritated. Our hospital stay was hard. Bridget’s blood sugars were fluctuating so we failed to get the 3 consecutive good readings that the hospital staff wanted. They pushed formula on us and I’m sad to say we just took it to shut them up in the hope that it would get us home quicker. It didn’t. So we refused any more. We argued with the nursery nurse, fought the midwife in charge and complained to the doctor. Nobody fought us on it any more after that. I was fierce and I was proud. I’d stood up to them for not just me but my baby and (eventually) they backed down. YES! Once we had breastfeeding sorted and Bridget’s sugars were stable, she developed jaundice. Another reason/excuse for them to hold us hostage. I entered that hospital on the Tuesday and it was Sunday before we left. Father’s Day. A lovely Father’s Day gift for Liam though.
Once home, we were all instantly more relaxed. Breastfeeding got easier, we had a few visitors, and I felt so much better.
Carrying Bridget was hard and it was nice to feel like me again. To be able to eat and walk and move without feeling so rough and tired. I’d almost forgotten what energy felt like and I’d missed playing with Dexter and Paisley.
For her first week she was known as Bridget Rowan but when it came to registering her, we had a last minute change of heart and named her Bridget Iris after Liam’s Grandma. It suits her. I have a niece with my Nan’s middle name and a brother with my Grandad’s name so it’s nice to have some of Liam’s side of the family honoured. Especially as he doesn’t talk to a lot of them.
She sleeps next to us in her bedside crib. It’s so easy to feed her but more often than not, once I’ve fed her she stays close by my side. She settles there and she is calm. Who am I to argue? When she cries and I pick her up, she is soothed instantly. She knows her mum, thats for sure.
Her eyes are are steel grey at the moment but I have a feeling they will turn brown. I hope they do. Or hazel. Liam, Dexter and Paisley all have blue eyes. I’d like to see some of my side in this one. Her hair is soft and it’s so beautiful to stroke when I hold her to my chest. She loves to lay there as I do this. A few days ago I held her and stroked her head as she lay in my arms watching me all the while until her eyes closed and she was asleep. I watched her the whole time too. It was beautiful.
Bridget is becoming a lot more alert now when she is awake. She is able to twist herself so much when she’s on her play mat that she actually spins round. Clever little thing. She kicks the things that hang down, she glances around the room and she really looks at people when they are close. Her little baby murmurs are the cutest noises. I’d almost forgotten that sweet sound.
Feeding is going well and I am feeding on demand. She doesn’t have as good a latch as Paisley had but is doing ok. She does have to fight her big sister though. All my extra milk coming in has turned Paisley into a boob monster.
Tandem feeding is a whole new world of awkwardness. I try and hold our tiny, delicate Bridget and a long comes our giant Pais with about as much grace as an elephant, plonks herself down a barges Bridget out of the way. But Paisley nursed all the way through my pregnancy and to turn her away now just because Bridget is here would be mean. I would hate for her to feel pushed out or start to resent Bridget.
Aside from that, Paisley adores her. She wants to hold her all the time and kisses her with no encouragement. It’s gorgeous to watch but I have to supervise. Paisley isn’t the most delicate flower in the garden and without realising, can be quite rough with Didge. Dexter loves her too, although he isn’t as physically affectionate. When she cries, he’ll tell me it’s ok because he will check on her. Then he reports back and tells me she’s ok.
Our postnatal care has been pretty shoddy. We were supposed to have a visit from a community midwife the day after we were home from hospital but nobody came. I called them to find out where they were and eventually I ws told they could send someone out that evening or wait until tomorrow when they do Bridget’s heel prick and weight anyway.
After that, I should’ve had a follow up phone call and then a discharge visit too. I’ve never had either.
A health visitor said she would chase it up but either hasn’t, or they just aren’t that bothered. I’ve hardly seen anyone since her birth. I’m not massively bothered as she is my third, I don’t have any questions and for the most part, I know what I’m doing. What I do have a problem with though, is if they’ve missed me so easily, despite me chasing it, who else are they missing? They could have completely missed somebody that is struggling and those are the people that need it. It’s sad. Parenting is hard enough when you do have the support so imagine what’s it’s like when you don’t.
And being a mum of three? Well so far it’s easier than I expected. I don’t doubt there will be challenges ahead and I’m not crazy enough to think I will never lose my shit, tear my hair out or that my kids are going to love each other unconditionally and never fight, hit, kick, scream or argue. I had siblings, I know how it works. But.. So far, it’s nice. So far it’s just about bloody perfect. Each one of them is at a different age, they have their own personalities and challenges and now that I am back to me, I fully intend to enjoy my babies as much as I possibly can. With its new challenges and so much to learn and explore, this summer might just be the best yet. Three is definitely our number and our family is complete.