The first month of Ava Mae's life has been life changing! I absolutely love being mum and now she is here I can't imagine what my life without her. As much as I hated being pregnant as soon as she was placed in my arms I knew it was all worth it and I would do it again in a heartbeat!
Development & Milestones
Jaundice - As much as being a new parent is amazing there are also really scary times. At five days old Ava Mae showed signs of Jaundice. Her eyes and skin started to turn yellow. She was admitted to hospital for a few hours to be monitored and have her bloods checked but luckily was allowed home. Thankfully her Jaundice went away on its own and she did not need to be put under the ultraviolet light. Nothing can prepare you for that helpless feeling when your child is ill and there is nothing you can do.
Open Spaces - Ava Mae made it very clear from the beginning that she did not like sleeping in a moses basket. The only place she would sleep would be the carry cot of her pram and we soon realised this was because it was so snug and enclosed. She hated sleep in open spaces so we quickly started looking into sleep pods and nests. Not wanting to spend too much money incase she rejected it we settled on the Babymoov Cosydream. It was an instant success! She would sleep peacefully in her cot laying on the Cosydream as it keeps her in a snug but safe sleeping position. Review coming soon!
Reflux - Since day one Ava Mae had been a sickly baby, lots of spit up and vomiting parts of her feeds. After several trips to the doctors with her screaming in pain we were told she had reflux and prescribed infant Gaviscon and Ranitidine. She gradually got worse and we recently found out that it wasn't reflex after all but a milk allergy. More on this in her two month update!
Bath Time - Ava Mae loves bath times! Having a nice warm bath before bed helps to soothe her and she really enjoys being in the water. I can't wait to take her for swimming lessons and see how much she enjoys learning how to swim!
Postnatal Depression - In the final stages of my pregnancy I started to experience depression. Partly due to my fears of not bonding with Ava Mae due to my miscarriages and the anxieties around her safe arrival. After Ava Mae was born these feelings did not disappear like I thought they would and I struggled to bond with her. I found myself feeling helpless and alone. I started attending a weekly 'Mums in Mind' support group run by the charity Mind (www.mind.org.uk). Being around other mums in a similar situation has helped me so much and given me such a confidence boost! I look forward to the weekly meeting and feel like I'm making some lovely mummy friends.
Breastfeeding - I always knew that I would only be able to breastfeed for a short while as I would soon need to go back onto my medications that I had to stop taking during pregnancy. In total I managed just over a week of combination feeding as I was not producing enough milk. My supply also seemed to dry up completely when I had to go on a short course of antibiotics as a result of an infection from my caesarean section. For a while I felt like I had failed which added to the depression but now I'm just happy and proud that I managed to do it for as long as I did!
Ava Mae is growing so fast and the newborn phase seems to have flown by in an instant. Packing away her newborn and tiny baby clothes I could not help but shed a tear and feel overwhelmed with emotion. It all felt a little bitter sweet, I'm happy that she is growing and developing well but feel sad that those newborn days are gone and I won't experience them with her again. Despite all this I am really looking forward to watching her grow and being able to experience more and more things with her.
Claire Louise Xx