Ok. Flo is in bed and i’ve just finished my gourmet meal of a Dominos take away. I can finally sit and write to you all!
Hello!!!! Last time I wrote I was fat and fed up….still fat, HAHAHA. 14 Weeks ago today my life changed forever when I gave birth to a beautiful baby girl. 6lb 9oz of pure perfection, I fell in Love instantly. You were all right, all the pain and everything that came in the 5 days beforehand was worth it. I’ll save the labour chat for another post! So firstly, let me introduce you to
Florence Rose Dwyer O’Donnell
She looks just like her father, as everyone keeps telling me. Our newborn shoot was amazing. It’s utterly surreal to photograph your own baby. Which I did for a few shots as I just couldn’t help myself. I now understand how all you tired mums feel- you go superwomen!!! It was frankly an achievement to have left the house on day 6 before 12 o’clock and to be honest sitting back whilst Orli photographed her was probably the most rest I had in those 6 days. (Highly recommend- perhaps we could rename our sessions to ‘Your baby rocks and you rest’!?)
So how is the studio and our other little Rose, Belle doing? Ruth has done an incredible job at the studio and I’m sure by now many of you will have met and enjoyed a shoot with her. I absolutely love seeing all the beautiful photographs light up my newsfeed! How I miss shooting all the super cute bubbas and families! Though I have to say I have been filling my camera with photographs of Florence. I didn’t realise how much every little expression would mean to me! One thing is for sure and that is how precious my newborn photographs are, I look at them now and think I cannot believe how small she was just 14 weeks ago. She has grown so much. Another blossoming little bubba is Belle and seeing the two babies together was beyond adorable! I can’t imagine the trouble the two of them will get up to!
Belle is just 6 months and is now crawling, meaning Orli’s playzone just grew a whole lot bigger! She’s even started standing! She’s enjoying solids now too trying everything from sweet potato to carrot, broccoli, bananas and pears and has even had the joy of some chicken soup from Nana! She’s holding her arms out to be picked up and laying on her back is far too boring and has mastered rolling over and manoeuvring a leg round to sit herself up. She treated Orli by saying ‘MAMADADDA’ for the first time last week. I’m sure you have seen a few sneak peeks on our facebook wall and it’s so obvious to see she is a happy bouncing beautiful girl. I’m so excited for Florence to be able to play too!
I wanted to make this post an introduction to Florence and an update about Belle and the studio but also to talk to all you expectant first time mums and pass on some of my wisdom. (Well at least some of the stuff I’ve learned in 14 weeks) I did the signature NCT course and met a group of 5 other superwomen (Really do recommend) There is nothing like being thrown into a world that is utterly Alien to you and these 5 women have become my lifeline. We have become each others support and our whatsapp chat group looks like an episode of sex and the city meets cbeebies meets doctors meets Gillian Mckeith’s poo examination (and who doesn’t want to discuss if green poo is normal at 3am?)
So here’s a quick rundown of some of the things I have learned so far. I am breastfeeding so some is related.
(with thanks to the superwomen for helping)
*Breastfeeding can be hard. There is support out there beyond midwives and health visitors. Use the breastfeeding drop in clinic and look up your local IBCLC if you are struggling. With support you are more likely to be able to continue breastfeeding as long as you want to. Remember however you feed your baby, there is no wrong or right it is whatever works for you.
*You will cry. A lot. (but it’s ok)
*Babies sleep a lot at first- make the most of it, rest, rest, rest.
*Instead of presents, ask someone to bring you lunch, or cake, Cake makes everything better.
*White noise is amazing- (You don’t necessarily need Ewan- try 12 hours white noise on youtube, or an old radio tuned to static- thank me later)
*Tongue Tie – breastfeeding should be a little tender and sore at first but severe discomfort; badly damaged nipples or a baby that loses quite a bit of weight can indicate tongue-tie. Trust in a lactation consultant. Flo’s tt was missed by everyone, from health visitors to senior midwives. I recommend private practitioners that can be found on www.tongue-tie.org.uk. I personally recommend Lorraine and Nina at feeding first in Sutton.
*Don’t push yourself. Go out when you are ready – but don’t be afraid! One of the best things I did in the early weeks was a babymoon- google it! I remember texting Orli in tears one day after Craig (my support system) returned to work, because it was 1pm, I was still I my pjs and I had only managed to eat a banana all day. Remember It’s ok, Tomorrow is another day.
*If you haven’t got a close group of mum friends, try going to some of the coffee and play mornings- there are lots in Surbiton- such as Gymboree, which Belle loves.
*For the dads, this really rang true for me:
“The most important thing a father can do for his children is to love their mother”
Try not to over analyse everything, your baby will do things at his or her own pace. We are all doing our best. This time is fleeting, it’s ok to feel rubbish about it or elated about it. However it’s important to get help if you are feeling low all the time. The most important thing is to ask for help if you need it, you are not alone. So I leave you with massive mamma hugs- you go superwoman, (and super dads) you are doing a great job!
UNTIL NEXT TIME! Cate (& Flo) xxx