What were we thinking! promote confidence and reduce distress in parents with a first baby

Week 1 - Welcome Evelyn Bartels!

By Juliet

Week 1 - Welcome Evelyn Bartels!

Evelyn arrived six days overdue on Tuesday 6th May 2014 at 11.58pm after almost 24 hours of labour and an emergency caesarean.  She was a healthy 4.365kgs and as the obstetrician said when she pulled her out there wasn’t much chance of her coming out naturally given her size and her position (OP). Labour was pretty tough for me so by the time she arrived I was completely exhausted but overwhelmed with happiness to find out we had a beautiful baby girl. 

I was sick all during labour which continued during and after the Caesar as well, so when the doctor tried to pass her to me straight after she was born I wasn’t able to hold her as I was vomiting (again).  Luckily my amazing husband was on hand to get the first cuddle and then once I was feeling a bit better he passed her to me. 

Words can’t really describe what it felt like to finally hold this little human we had created, it was just amazing. At about 2am we had the fun job of ringing our parents to let them know they had a granddaughter and then we all finally went to sleep.  The next few days at the hospital went really well.  Evelyn was an amazing sleeper from day one and she seemed to feed really well too.

A lot of baby gazing went on from us and then when her grandparents (my in-laws) flew in from Brisbane on the 8th it just continued.  On last night in the hospital we had a pretty rough night.  It was a complete surprise as Evelyn had only woken in the previous nights to feed and was easily settled back to sleep.  So we got a bit of a shock when we had a baby that would not stop crying, couldn’t be settled, did not want to feed or be placed in her cot.  Luckily we had the most amazing midwife on the night shift and she helped us to realise that it wasn’t anything we were doing wrong, it was just something normal that we would have to deal with.  Evelyn finally went to sleep, but only in our arms. 

On Sunday 11th May, which also happened to be mother’s day we were able to take Evelyn home. Leaving the hospital for the first time in 5 days and still feeling very tender from the caesarean and pretty sleep deprived,  I found that a very daunting experience.  It was bliss to get home though.

Expert response from What Were We Thinking! expert, Sue Doogan

Juliet, what a Mother’s Day present! 
Taking those first tentative steps as new parents and walking through your front door... you will never experience those same emotions again!

From now on you will grow more than you ever thought possible! All the while you are learning to care for this new little person, along with caring for yourself and your relationship. Most people imagine the joy and sense of wonderment a baby brings but no amount of reading or experience or professional background can prepare you for the reality of caring for a baby 24/7.

From now on, for some new parents, it can be a roller coaster ride of emotions as you learn to navigate paths that prior to a baby you wouldn't have given a second thought. The most wondrous thing though is watching your baby grow and develop but equally realising the strengths you didn't know you had as an individual and also strengths you have in your partner and support networks.

Posted in:  Baby 0-4 weeks