Two months old and suddenly he doesn’t seem like a newborn anymore. Everyday he reveals a tiny bit more of his little personality and I can’t help but feel privileged that I get to witness it develop.
Those first couple of weeks of parenthood, it seemed that everybody kept talking about the magical six week mark; the point when the ‘fog’ would clear and things would start to get easier. Despite the massive life change and tiredness, and a few hard moments, the fog was mostly enjoyable. I don’t know if anything necessarily changed as Hudson turned six weeks old, but I certainly feel like I’ve gained some confidence and hit my stride a little.
I’d been looking out for it and there was no denying his first ‘real’ smile when we saw it at almost five weeks old. Diplomatically, Hudson saved it for when his mama and papa had all eyes on him and we were both able to witness his first big gummy grin. His smile is perfectly lopsided, spreads all the way to his eyes and lights up his face, as well as my heart.
While I am desperately trying to commit everything about his little body, his noises and facial expressions to memory, we’ve made some big family memories this month.
Our family of three went on our first roadtrip; a 3000 kilometre round trip from Sydney to Adelaide. I have to admit that in those first couple of weeks the prospect of such a huge car journey with a newborn filled me with dread, but the importance of introducing Hudson to his paternal great grandparents helped me to push that feeling aside.
I am so glad I did, it was a special week, making very special memories with Oli’s grandparents, parents, aunt and cousins, and of course taking Hudson to Alberton Oval, the home of his new favourite AFL team Port Adelaide.
The journey itself was also one to remember, with Hudson being a brilliant traveller, mostly sleeping in the car and occasionally waking to watching the shadows out of the windows. The service station stops in the middle of nowhere to change nappies, feed and stretch our legs were full of laughter and only the occasional wee fountain!
I don’t know if it was the trip to Adelaide, the stabilisation of my hormones or that six week mark but I feel like I kind of, almost, got this. It’s still very difficult to be at all productive while we’re at home; during the day Hudson tends to nap either on me after a feed at home, in his carrier or in his stroller if we are out. I still haven’t cooked a single dinner since he was born, but I am sure that will change in the coming weeks.
Both Hudson and I are so much better when we are out doing something, even something as simple as playing on the swing at the park. We both get noticeably antsy if we have been in the house for too long so Oli and I have got into the habit of making sure we are all dressed and fed before he leaves for work, and usually Hudson and I will get out of the house early. To get coffee of course!
I remind myself almost daily to trust my instincts; in motherhood as in life and always easier said than done.
After brilliant weight gain in the first couple of weeks, Hudson’s weight plateaued. Since everything else was good and he was happy and alert, I was repeatedly told by the community nurses not to worry. After three weeks of very little weight gain, the nurse at my Mothers Group advised me that he was not gaining enough weight – something I had known but been told otherwise.
It was extremely upsetting as the GP confirmed that he needed to gain weight quicker and advised that we supplement breast feeding with formula. It seems that the mastitis that I had had at two weeks postpartum, and probably the subsequent use of nipple shields, had impacted my milk supply. Hudson wasn’t hungry, since he was just used to getting less milk than he should. While it was comforting to know that he hadn’t been hungry, it was still extremely upsetting to think that he was not getting what he needed.
We immediately started topping him up with formula and saw a huge improvement in his weight gain in the first week.
Now I am focusing on increasing my milk supply so we can continue to reduce the amount of formula he needs. I’m also working on trusting my instincts, since had I have spoken to a lactation consultant when I was first concerned about his weight, we may have avoided the upset and additional stress.
HUDSON’S FAVOURITE THINGS
Playing with Papa in the mornings when he tends to be at his most smiley and the silly songs I make up mostly when changing his nappy.
MAMA’S FAVOURITE THINGS
His smile, always. Whether awake or when he smiles and squeals with delight in his sleep. Probably wind, possibly dreams.
GROWING UP FAST
This month he has really found his voice and his legs. His cooing noises are the best and he is very chatty when he wants to be. He seemed to find his legs overnight and is practicing his kicking like there is no tomorrow.
LOOKING FORWARD TO
Our trip to the UK at the end of the year. Introducing my little Aussie baby to the rest of his family will be so worth the 24 hour flight.