Picture taken eight hours after he was born.
So last week I did not post an update, for the simple reason that I decided to take a short break after giving birth to my lovely boy. ❤
My son was born at 9.56pm on Friday, 5th January 2018. I was admitted to hospital on Tuesday due to a fever which had affected his heart rate, and was subsequently induced on Thursday at 11am. Fahim was born weighing exactly 3kg. He is a beautiful little boy with my facial features and his dad’s built. And he has dimples on both his cheeks. ❤
We named him Abdullah Fahim bin Mohamad Hafizuddin. Abdullah means ‘Servant of Allah’ and Fahim means perceptive, understanding, keen and intelligent. A name after myself, or at least what I strive to be.
So far, he seems to only be able to sleep for an hour to an hour and a half at a time, which gives me very little time to do anything before he wakes up and wants to nurse again. The physical recovery post-birth is still in the hard stage for me currently, but hopefully will get much easier as I hit the two week mark.
I decided to dedicate this post to writing about my thoughts at 10 days being a mom.
Despite all the books and articles I have read about pregnancy, birth and babies, I have to say I was caught by surprise the first few days of taking care of a newborn. The newborn stage comes with a verrryyyy steep learning curve, and I have learned a lot in these 10 days alone.
First off, nobody ever seemed to talk about the physical recovery after birth. Yes, there were talks about sleepless nights, and because I have been expecting those, I actually think I’m managing very well with the lack of sleep so far. But the physical recovery took me by surprise. There are days and hours where sitting down is just so painful, never mind walking. Even lying down can be painful, so I’m sometimes in this constant state of being in pain and asking my dear husband to get me some painkillers.
Then there’s the mess. Oh, my goodness, having a newborn creates sooooo much mess in the room. Like, if I even attempt to tidy up, within an hour or two it’s all messed up again. There’s that mug of hot cocoa that I couldn’t finish in time. His clothes and baby items. Diapers, which I’m currently changing around eight times a day. The laundry. So much laundry.
Then there’s time. There is no time anymore. No time to shower. To pamper myself. To watch TV. I kinda enjoy the fact that time is moving so quickly. Like, one minute it’s 7AM, the next thing I know it’s 3PM because so much time is spent on my son just wanting to be in my arms and nowhere else. Despite everyone telling me to enjoy this phase, I actually can’t wait for him to reach 2 months old.
Dare I talk about the sleepless nights? Actually, on this end, it hasn’t been too bad for me. The day after we brought Fahim back from hospital, he developed a mild fever – enough for him to scream through two nights in a row where I got zero sleep and had not properly rested for even three hours straight since giving birth. Fahim had to be admitted to hospital again and was on antibiotics for three days. Now at night he sleeps a maximum stretch of 1-1.5 hours before waking up to nurse and sleep again. But compared to that first week, and that we have both learned the side-lying position to nurse, is already enough to make me extremely grateful.
On top of that, though?
I now know that my son is happiest when he is not too tired and had a good nap. Like his mother, he is extremely sensitive to sound and easily wakes up with any loud noise. He’s now more wakeful and I can spend some time showing him black and white contrasting shapes for him to look at. He will always, always, always give a smile, sometimes a big smile, as he’s falling asleep whenever he’s satisfied after a nursing session. His fingers and toes are so delicate and resembles my husband’s. And when his eyes are open, he is the cutest thing ever and melts my heart.
At 10 days, I can no longer picture a life without him, a life before him. If I could go back in time, I’d give my pregnant self a hug and say, “Don’t worry. Your fatigue, your back aches, your terrible morning sickness which persisted until nine months – you’ll forget all this once you meet him. You’re gonna meet him, and you’re going to fall in love, and you’re going to spend hours gazing at him.”
His first week of life was one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to go through in life. When I had to leave him in his incubator at hospital and go home, I don’t think I’ve ever cried so hard in my life. He is the greatest gift, a huge responsibility, but ultimately my baby. And even though there are times when I wonder if I could actually do it and doubt myself, with each passing day, I can reassure myself that yes, I’m doing it.
I’m now a mother.
Maibreakstheice is a blog where I like to tackle life questions through my personal experiences and, where applicable, through my knowledge as a graduate in family counselling. Keep your eye out for updates every Tuesday, or subscribe via email to receive updates straight to your mailbox!