Week 1 Post Partum Vlog by Teresa Palmer
How big is baby
She was born 3.4kg/7lb 8oz, she then dropped down to 3.22kg/7lb 1oz and a couple days later went back up to 3.30kg/7lb 5.5oz. I would say she is back up to her birth weight by now! She was also 50cm/19.6 inches long. She is my smallest baby! Forest was biggest at 8lb 4oz/3.7kg followed by Bodhi at 8lb/3.6kg and then Poet at 7lb 8oz/3.4kg.
What’s something new this week
Her! She is completely new. All week we have been staring at her getting to know her noises and the things she likes and the things she doesn’t like (nappy changes!). Her face is brand new to us, she is neither Bodhi or Forest (I think she’s a total split between them!). Her noises are so new and very high pitched! These very cute little squeaks and squeals. Having a girl is new to us too, changing her nappy and making sure we are wiping the right way, that’s all new. We are loving all of it so deeply and immensely. I feel like we are in a complete love bubble. I don’t think I’ve ever felt so happy and contented in my life, all of us here together. Absolute bliss.
Most challenging moment
Day 1 and half of day 2 were the most challenging. We didn’t get much sleep the night of the birth as we got home at 5am, and then we were up with her at 9am. Mark was very sleep deprived and struggled with anxiety surrounding her well being the first two days. His overprotectiveness kicked in and he found it crippling. We had a couple of arguments the first 2 days, I wanted him to chill out and just enjoy her without all the worry, and he just needed more sleep and also no visitors! We managed to steal moments of sleep during the days, so by day 3 we were back to our spritely selves!
SO MANY!! Reminiscing about the birth with Mark, Gemma our birth photographer. and my best friends who were there was a highlight. Seeing all the videos and pictures was amazing. Having the space to reflect upon my experience was really nice too.
Seeing the boys be excited to be with her has been so beautiful too. Forest is just beautiful with her “sissy, Folly is here, don’t cry, I’m here” and stroking her head. He also does this little cute rocking dance and squeals when he thinks she does something cute. Bodhi always wants to hold her, kiss her and show her off. He said to her on day 2 “Poet, I just want to spend every second of every single day with you!!” Then his eyes lit up and he said “actually I DO get to spend every day with you!!!”.
Just holding her and staring into her eyes and connecting with her has been absolutely mind boggling. The waves of love and emotion I feel are so strong. I just stare at her. I can’t believe she’s real sometimes. I’ve also loved bringing her into the bath with me and having moments together that are just ours. She gets soothed just when I put my face to her cheek. She would stay there forever if she could. All these bonding moments just bring tears to my eyes. It’s the nicest feeling to know I can soothe her and understand her needs. Mark and I get her all to ourselves from 8 - 9:30pm, and we just spend all our time cooing and gushing over her.
If I get a moment to myself, it’s usually in the bath. I’ve been soaking with bath crystals and thinking a lot about our new life and our family dynamic. I’ve never felt so high in my life, I’m just on complete cloud nine, and so being present and grateful for it all is what I’ve been enjoying doing in those quiet moments. I know how fast this time goes by, so being present I’m really trying to ensure I retain these newborn memories. Usually, I’ll be interrupted by one of the kids and I’ll get joined in the bath, but I still just love it all.
What am I eating
My appetite is a bit off actually, I’m not nearly as hungry as I was when I was pregnant. I’ve also been craving healthier and lighter things. I’m definitely off the croissants and the big heavy pastas. I’ve been eating some of the delicious food one of my besties/member of my birth team made for me, she is such a good cook! My stepmum has also been baking fresh bread every couple of days and she is amazing at it, so that’s been a really nice treat too. I’m guzzling tons of water and feeling pretty good about that after having many dehydrated periods during my pregnancy!
Our family is just working. It’s been such a smooth transition so far. The boys have been wonderful, and it doesn’t seem like much has changed. It’s really nice that it’s school holidays right now, so we get to spend so much time with them as they get to know their little sister. Bodhi and Forest play so well together that they spend most of their time outdoors on the trampoline or “going on missions”, performing stunts on their little bikes and putting on shows for us, or spending hours creating artwork for the Easter bunny (they are VERY excited about Easter!). Today I took all three of them out to the park on my own. My first solo trip, and it went so well! We spent 2 hours there and I just felt very relaxed. I’m sure things will get more challenging in terms of navigating the balance once she is more active but for right now I’m really cherishing these sleepy newborn days and love how slow it feels.
Days 1-4 were pretty intense in terms of the post birth cramping. Days 2 & 3 in particular were pretty gnarly. There was just nothing I could do to stop them or even ease the pain. I felt like I was contracting again (around 5cm dilation uncomfortably level!). They were also sporadic and lasted longer than a typical contraction sensation, but at least they weren’t as frequent! I noticed they happened whenever Poet nursed, but also whenever I’d feel a wave of oxytocin! If I thought about her or had a particular lovey moment, then BAM an after pain! If I felt she needed me or was wanting a feed it’d happen. It reminded me of how our breasts experience let downs from both emotional and physical triggers. On day three, I took some Ibuprofen to help take the edge off but I’m not sure it helped. By day five, I had no more cramping thank god!
The bleeding has almost stopped I’d say by day eight or nine postpartum, I’ll be done with it. I’m not sore down there either. I didn’t tear or anything, and practiced a “breathing baby down” method of pushing which I know contributed to keeping everything all intact (thanks Ina May Gaskin for your tips on that!).
My tummy is soft and smooshy, which funnily enough I’m enjoying. It’s such a cozy place for Poet to lie. I still look about 4 months pregnant, but know it’ll all come away in time. I’m not at all focused on getting back to the weight I was pre-pregnancy. I’m just in awe that my body grew a little baby and then pushed it out! Women’s bodies should be celebrated not criticized, and that’s exactly what I think when I look in the mirror, what an amazing and powerful body to house a baby, birth a baby and now to feed a baby. Women are incredible.