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Milky Cuddles: Zara’s first few days at home

Sunday, 23 April 2017

Zara’s first few days at home

My dad picked us up from the hospital when Zara was two days old. My mum and dad had been looking after our eldest the whole time so my husband could stay at the hospital with me, which I was thrilled about. I know those first few days are so precious - I wanted to share every part of it with him and he didn’t want to miss it.

The day we came home was a sunny afternoon. Nala was over excited to see her sister coming home and a little bit crazy (read: a lot crazy). She refused to get in her car seat so it took a while to load up. My husband squeezed in the car between the two car seats in the back. And I took a moment to reflect on just how full our car is now (and by extension how full our family, lives and hearts are).

My dad had cooked dinner. I can’t actually remember what we did that afternoon at home. I only have one photo and that is of me feeding Zara on the couch. So I guess that’s what I did. And probably played with our one year old. And I would have had a herbal bath (with these herbs), which was part of my birth recovery plan, and drank my breastfeeding tea.

I have photos of the next day, our first full day at home. These are of my one year old trying to climb in the cot with Zara while she was asleep. They pretty much sum up life with the two of them. And the midwife came to visit.

On the second day at home my cousin Claire and her baby came to visit and we sat outside in the sun while the kids played. Then I ventured out to the shops because I realised I literally had no clothes I could breastfeed in. I spent most of the time sitting in one of the changerooms feeding Zara. I was in there for so long! But I did come home with two new tops, so it was a success (and way easier than shopping with a toddler). I also got to sit down and enjoy a quiet iced coffee at the shops, while she slept. I don’t drink coffee while I’m pregnant and this was my first one postpartum, so I was so excited. That night, my brother and his family and my aunty came to visit. My aunty made us all a lasange for dinner.

With my sister in law and niece
On the third day at home we found ourselves rushing back to the hospital. My sister in law and niece had come to visit. My mum and sister in law took Nala to the park so that Zara and I could have a nap. They came back and mum changed Nala’s nappy. She told her to go and wash her hands which she always does with great enthusiasm. She ran at full speed into the bathroom, tripped and hit her head on the ceramic edge of the basin. There was blood pouring everywhere and she was screaming. My husband was out and had taken the car which had the baby car seat in it. Luckily my sister in law had a baby car seat in her car, so we put Zara in that, mum drove and I held Nala on my lap in the backseat while she was screaming. I was holding a facecloth on her forehead to stop the bleeding. I was grateful that I wasn't alone when this happened as I wouldn't have been able to get the two girls to hospital. I probably would have needed to call an ambulance. Nala was so upset that we hadn’t even dressed her, so we turned up to emergency with her in just her nappy. We did have to wait but overall the service at Box Hill Hospital was good, they gave her gas, glued it back together (apparently they don’t stitch kids anymore, they use glue) and bandaged it and we went home. I was grateful that my husband arrived at the hospital to calm her and get her to sit still for the nurses. Nala really is daddy’s girl and she listens to him more than anyone else. 

Not sure why I am smiling here...

And then it was the weekend again. We were supposed to be doing a family photoshoot but we postponed it because of the bandage on Nala’s face. Instead we went on a family outing to our local play café, so that Nala could play and we could drink coffee and cuddle little Zara in peace. Looking at these photos now Zara is such a tiny, gorgeous newborn, six days old. At home we opened a few presents that had been sent for us. Nala is loving presents at the moment, she tears open the paper and says ‘wow, wow, wow’ over and over.

The next day, Zara was one week old, and I took her, in the carrier, to my favourite local café and sat down and wrote her birth story, which was very therapeutic for me. At a week postpartum I was feeling great – I had recovered well (thanks to a good birth), breastfeeding was going well, Nala was exploding with love for her little sister and Zara was a dream baby. I was overwhelmed by how full our family and lives felt and how grateful I was for our new daughter and everything her first week had been. Life-changing and wonderful and special family time.


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