The first week was very hard emotionally. He had to have a cannula in his hand for some antibiotics and I was with him when they did it. It was horrid to have to watch such a huge scary needle being forced into such a tiny little hand, and when it woud only go in so far, they took it out and had to try again in his other hand. He made such a sad little whimpering noise. Of course I cried for him. He then had to spend at least 24 hours on a bilibed as he had the whole jaundice thing going on so I felt like I couldn’t or shouldn’t even pick him up for cuddles unless I was feeding him cos he needed to be on there as much as possible. He just looked so helpless.
Getting breast feeding established was very hard in the hospital with constant intrusions from various nurses, doctors, midwives etc all coming in to do various tests, heel pricks, ask various questions and generally give us no peace. Even the catering people came round 3 times for each meal, firstly to see what we wanted, then to bring it in, then to take it away again so thats 3 interruptions 3 times a day, just for me to eat. Towards the end of the first week he had only just started trying to feed properly from me so I was mostly expressing and decided I’d try and get him on me more once we were home, with peace and quiet and I could dedicate my time to him with help from Liam and it would be a much more relaxed atmosphere. Home time finally came on the Saturday, 4 days after he was born and we were all so much more relaxed.
Once home, he took to the breast feeding so much easier. We set up a little routine in the night so that I would be in charge of feeding and Liam would do bum changes. I’d change his bum during the day so we took turns but Liam took care of most of the night ones while he was off work. Our biggest concern was looking after his cord. He was so tiny and every nappy seemed to irritate it no matter what we did so once it had gone completely hard, we cut the majority of it off so that the clip wasn’t pulling on it or getting caught. Then came the question of wether or not to keep it. I know many people think its gross but I know a few people that have kept it because thats the link that you shared with your baby for so long and thats what gave him his life. In the end we just kept the clip that was on it.
After being at home a couple of days, I realised he was still yet to have his first bath. He’d been washed down, but never actually had a bath. We dont have a bath thermometer so I went with elbow judgement, but by the time I got everything ready and got him in it, it had cooled down and bit and continued to cool while he was in it so he didn’t enjoy it much at all, as you can see…
He did smell so beautiful afterwards tho. I love that baby smell. I still find myself sniffing his head when he lays on my chest.
Liam soon had to return to work, Which left me and Dexter alone everyday. Except that it didn’t at all because of the amount of people that wanted to visit us. Even when we were alone, there was still so much I needed to do (mainly washing) that not once have we been bored.
At 3 weeks old we went to visit mine and Liam’s workplace. We went into Liam’s department first where everyone was amazed at how Liam could create something so cute (their words), then into my department before having lunch with everyone in the breakout area. Everybody loved him. (How could they not) and I was so proud of him. He didn’t cry or whinge and was so good and gorgeous and didn’t mind being passed around everybody for cuddles.
I found a local mums group on facebook which has details of various groups, play sessions and walks etc that we can do so we picked one to go to and went along with my friend Aimi and her daughter Ellie. Dexter was the youngest one there and slept thru the whole thing but I enjoyed it. All the other babies were so much bigger than him in comparison and it was good to see them at different ages and stages of development and to get an idea of what to expect and when. Aimi and Ellie enjoyed it too so we decided to go again the following week.
Over the last month, Dexters personality has grown. He now likes his baths and the little bit of special massage time he gets afterwards when drying him off and putting a bit of lotion on his skin. He arches his back and sometimes lifts his arms when we go to pick him up. I dont know that he does this consciously but its like hes making it easier for us to get him. He likes playtime as long as he isnt too tired. By playtime, I mean he likes it when I lay him on his play mat so he can look around surrounded by bright colours and he now sometimes reaches to touch things although he isnt at grabbing stage yet.
So yeah, so far we’ve managed to keep him alive for a month and I think we’re doing alright. It’s taking some getting used to though. I mean, does anyone else do that that thing where you have to just check that they’re still breathing when they’re asleep? Does that ever go away?
I have decided to do a Project 365 for Dexters first year. P365 is a photograph taken everyday for one whole year. I’ve attempted this before but never got further than 3 months but with Dexter I seem to be taking so many photos everyday, I don’t think I’ll have any trouble. Check it out. Its up the top there somewhere.
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