About two weeks ago I told you why things have been somewhat quiet here on the blog. As I am writing this, Benjamin is exactly six weeks old. He still seems tiny to me, but when I look at his first pictures, I see the changes. He looks so much different, it’s crazy to think he’s only one and a half months old. Today I am sharing with you how my first month as a mom went!
MY FIRST MONTH AS A MOM
Benjamin was born via c-section on the evening of the 23rd of February. In Austria, you stay at the hospital anywhere between 2 and 5 days, after giving birth. We got to go home on the fourth day at noon. I was beyond happy because I hate sleeping away from home and quite honestly didn’t get any sleep while at the hospital. But then again, does anyone?
Markus was able to take some time off of work and stayed at home for the first four weeks, which isn’t something I take for granted. Most new fathers can’t stay home for more than two days (in Austria the father actually only get one day off, which is the day of the actual birth). I am beyond thankful for this, because the first weeks were rough!
I lost a lot of blood during the surgery and that left consequences. The first few days I could hardly get up on my own and then, during the second week, my incision got infected. I felt like I was dying, and certainly looked the part!
LIFE WITH A NEW BABY
Benjamin was an easy baby from the beginning. He really only cries when something isn’t ok – usually when he’s hungry, gassy or overtired – and only wakes up once during the night. Of course, we had to get to know him, know his cries and tells. But once we learned to read his cues, it was pretty easy.
Don’t get me wrong, he is a baby. Babies cannot express themselves with words, babies wake up during the night and sometimes cry for no reason. Before we understood that he sometimes has issues pooping and gets gassy, it was pretty frustrating. The worst thing is when your baby is crying and you don’t know what is bothering him!
Nonetheless, we can consider ourselves lucky for having a baby that sleeps like…well, like a baby.
Markus being at home was a godsend! He took over the nights in those first weeks, which allowed me to get some rest. I felt really guilty in the beginning because I wouldn’t even wake up when the baby cried. Once we got the letter from the hospital where it said how much blood I had lost, it wasn’t a mystery anymore why I was sleeping so deeply (which is very unlike me!).
Benjamin slept for most of the days anyway, mostly only waking up when he was hungry or was gassy. We established a pretty good routine that worked for us and allowed me to recover from the surgery. I really don’t know what I would have done without Markus!
THE TURNING POINT FOR ME
If you have a c-section, you can’t carry heavy things for the first four to six weeks. However, I couldn’t even carry the baby in his car seat! That really frustrated me and made me feel like a failure, I was always dependent on Markus to carry it. On the third week, I decided to pick Benjamin’s car seat with him in it. I’m an independent woman and had had it with being “helpless”. Well, turned out there’s a reason why you’re not allowed to carry heavy things and I learned it the hard way. I ended up being in horrible pain for the next few days.
It wasn’t until the beginning of the fourth week that I felt like a human again. I still had some pain, but it was bearable without any painkillers. This was also the time I started doing what we call the “night shift”. Benjamin still only wakes up once during the night, usually in the early morning, and still sleeps a lot during the day.
We already have our own little routine. We survived his first leap very well and I really cannot imagine my daily life without the little bugger. I am very lucky to be with someone who isn’t afraid of rolling his sleeves (literally) to do anything – from poop explosions to giving the bottle. It still feels weird to think of myself as a “mom”, but I think that will come with time!