I can’t believe it’s been so long since my last post: and I’d only just got them home from the hospital here!
It’s been a mad few weeks: exhausting, tiring, but also wonderful. We’ve been astonished at how much time & effort it takes to look after these 2 little guys. I had been warned, but until I experienced it for myself it didn’t seem real. Also I didn’t really believe it. It’s true, though, true I tells ya!
There is a seemingly never-ending stream of feeding & changing. Doesn’t sound too bad, right? Your average newborn needs to feed about every 2 hours; feeding can take up to half an hour. They need to be changed after every feed. Do the maths. Multiply by 2.
Then there’s the laundry. Babies are dirty! With several changes of clothes daily it’s a struggle to keep them with clean clothes, let alone us. Then visits to the hospital, doctor’s, visits from midwives, health visitors, nursery nurses. Getting the frequently needed supplies: formula, wipes, nappies. The nappies, the nappies! Finding enough bin space for them all has been – trying. We’d like to go green eventually but right now anything that saves time is essential. Cleaning, rinsing bottles for sterilising, preparing feed – it all takes a lot of time!
My in-laws were here for the first few days, & they were a great help. Then they left, & we realised just what we were up against. Then, while I’m busy tweeting about how lovely they are & how great it is to have them home – they go & get a bit sick. Poor little Jake got a sore little bottom from nappy rash, they both developed colic, & Ellie got acid reflux. Added to the regular stuff is having to look after sick babies & giving them the extra care & attention they need.
They both have need more holding after feeding as their tummies are usually upset; Ellie especially has needed half an hour at least. If she goes back in her basket straight away she brings up feed with reflux, it’s painful for her (as anyone – like me – who’s had reflux will know) & she cries. Jake has needed lotions on his rash; nappy changing has become painful & distressing for him: he screams the house down & needs a lot of TLC afterwards.
Ellie also projectile vomits, but that seems to be more my problem than hers; she doesn’t seem to mind too much. Her head hasn’t rotated 360 degrees yet, thankfully. It’s always on me! And I thought she was Daddy’s little girl…
It’s been awful seeing these 2 little helpless babies we’ve only just met & who we love so much in pain & distress. We don’t mind doing whatever we have to give them what they need: sounds soppy but we’re acting out of love.
It’s hard keeping your head together enough to organise yourself & them at the best of times: in the wee small hours when you’ve been awakened by crying – if you’re lucky it’s just 1 of them – to get it together while half asleep is hard! We kind of don’t want to poison them either: feed only lasts 2 hours once out of the fridge & warmed, so you have to keep track. During the day it’s often a struggle with the lack of sleep, trying to keep your head when there are 2 distressed babies screaming at once, & you can’t find a clean bottle, & where’s his dummy that calms him down (you’re here aren’t you?, you think you’re funny don’t you?), I don’t know isn’t it in the basket?, it’s on the floor it needs sterilising, is there enough feed?, how old is that 1, why can I never find a bib!, why are there no muslins?, where are the tissues? We’re actually (mostly) not that disorganised, but you get the picture…
We started both looking after them at once. That didn’t work, so we alternated 8-hour shifts. Then I was struggling getting up in the middle of the night, but I was happy staying up late. Wifey was the opposite, so now I’m always on between 9pm – 3am, she takes over at 3 til 9am, & we alternate the 9am – 3pm, & 3pm – 9pm shifts. It’s working well for us so far.
We’re getting there!