The First Night with a Newborn
Night one went so fast. By the time we had finished skin to skin and I had showered, Paul, myself, my best friend Ash and Casper went to our room where we slowly started coming down from the buzz and excitement of Casper’s birth.
Ash left to go home at around midnight and I lay in bed feeding Casper for a few hours. Paul then settled him so I could get some rest and we thankfully got about 4 hours of sleep.
Introducing a Toddler to their Baby Brother
In the morning, Paul went home to see Otis and bring him into the hospital. When they walked in together I got a rush of overwhelming love for my first born. I gave him the biggest hug and planted his face with kisses.
Otis was so excited to meet Casper and loved having him on his lap. He enjoyed pointing out his ‘boogers’ and giving him kisses.
This of course made me so emotional and I let the tears flow. Nothing can quite prepare you for the moment your two babies meet for the first time and even now as I write this I’m crying just thinking about that moment.
We organised presents for the boys to gift each other, this was for Otis’s benefit more than anything. Otis bought Casper his comforter which is a cute little Mouse and Casper bought Otis a new book, teenage mutant ninja turtles T-shirt and a mini version of his beloved Monkey. This exchange went really well and Otis thought mini Monkey was pretty cool.
Visitors and Night 2
Following this, the visitors started trickling in. Casper is such a calm bubba and Otis was thoroughly enjoying showing everyone what he referred to as ‘bubba Otis’.
Night two was pretty good for me. Paul was back at home with Otis which left me with Casper in the hospital. I gave Casper free range on the boob all night and I managed to get 3 chunks of sleep that were about an hour in length each. Not too bad! I was still on a high from birth so I was feeling pretty amazing.
More visitors came by and Otis was starting to make lots of friends in the hospital. He was doing really well being in a different environment - we did ensure we had lots of snacks and toys with us though so he wasn’t becoming bored and restless.
Night 3 and Cluster Feeding!!!!
Night three was the first night of the brutal cluster feeding. I didn’t get much sleep at all. Casper just wanted to be on the boob and if I attempted to place him in the bassinet he’d either wake straight away or within the next 20 minutes. I knew this was coming so I just went with it and welcomed the chance to bond. The following day we were going home and I was so excited to be in our home where Otis would be settled and where my comfy bed was.
Leaving the hospital was pretty emotional for me. Saying goodbye to my midwives Renae and Erin was surprisingly hard. I cried many happy tears and hugged them tightly. It’s really amazing the bond you form with someone over an event like birth. It’s a deep and emotional connection that stays with you for a very long time.
Being home felt so nice. I managed a small nap in the afternoon whilst Casper napped and having a shower refreshed me a lot.
That night, again I didn’t get much sleep. More cluster feeding happened. I couldn’t put Casper down. He was most comfortable on the boob or in my arms. At one point he was becoming very fussy on the boob, popping on and off and whinging - this was a little frustrating and painful.
Out of desperation for some sleep we made a bottle up for him and topped him up. I don’t like substituting my breast milk and it’s certainly not a habit I want to get into because I know the impact it can have on my supply but I was needing some sleep.
Thankfully it worked and Casper gave us a good 2 hour chunk of sleep, woke for some boob and then gave us another 2 hour chunk of sleep.
I woke up feeling like superwoman haha.
First Family Outing and more Cluster Feeding!!
We had our first little outing the next day. We grabbed a smoothie and some groceries. Casper slept the whole time in the ‘hug a bub’ on my chest. It was a successful first family outing and was refreshing to get out and about.
The rest of the day was spent at home relaxing.
That night we had a pretty awful night. Casper cluster fed to the point I didn’t actually fall asleep until close to 6am the following morning. It was brutal. He’d feed, fall asleep and then wake soon after I’d pop him into his bassinet. I ended up just holding him most of the night.
Thankfully I was able to sleep when he (finally) did and he gave me about 3 hours.
I wouldn’t have been able to achieve that if Paul wasn’t home to be with Otis. I felt incredibly grateful that he’s so hands on which allows me to nap when Casper naps - I’m going to miss this when he goes back to work.
We had a few visitors that day but we mostly relaxed at home. Poor Paul hasn’t been able to bond much with Casper as the day before I went into labour he became sick with a cold so he’s unfortunately missed out on a lot of cuddles. I know he’s struggled with this because Paul’s a very affectionate Daddy but his time to shine will come and he knows how important it is to not be around babies when you are sick.
Night 6 and the Ongoing Cluster Feeding
Night 6 was another cluster feeding marathon, however Paul was feeling much better so we did some tag teaming. Just after midnight he took Casper into the lounge room to settle him so I could sleep - I think Paul secretly just wanted to watch 'love is Blind' on Netflix haha. I got a lovely chunk of 2 hours before Casper wanted more boob. He then cluster fed again and Paul took him at about 6am so I could sleep again and he brought him into me when Otis woke for the day which was around 7:30am.
It doesn’t sound like a lot of sleep but it was enough to refresh me.
Emotions Towards the First Born
We got out of the house again and took Otis to the park. It was so nice getting some fresh air and for Otis to get out of the house.
I became really emotional this day, a lot of it directed towards Otis. I really started to miss him. Since Casper was born I haven’t been able to spend much time with Otis without Casper attached to my boob and the guilt was setting in. The moment that broke me was when I asked him to sit next to me on the couch and he said "no I want Dad". Shit that hurt. I know there’s no intention behind it and he’s said it to me so many other times but being in this emotional state of mind just made it feel so hurtful.
Later that day because I was struggling emotionally, Paul took Casper so I could spend time with Otis. We played in his room, wrestled, had dinner, had a bath and then we snuggled with some books before bed. He planted kisses on my face and gave me some big hugs.
My heart was healed.
Night 7 and Finally Some Good Sleep!!!
Night 7 and we finally got some good chunks of sleep. Casper didn’t cluster feed as much and he actually slept in his bassinet most of the night. I still fed him about 4 times but it’s so much easier when you actually get some sleep in between feeds. Casper got extra kisses in the morning hehe.
Otis seems to be adjusting really well to the arrival of Casper. I’m finding myself wrapped in guilt for not being able to give everything to Otis anymore - Mum guilt is a sneaky little thing. It must be a huge adjustment for a child to go from being the centre of his parents world to having a tiny little human taking up a lot of their time and attention.
Paul and Otis have a really good relationship and this experience has brought them even closer together.
We have noticed Otis has started pushing the boundaries - for example if he is told ‘no’ for whatever reason he will throw himself on the ground and protest when usually he’d be pretty calm.
There’s also been a few instances where Paul has read Otis some books and about to put him to bed when Otis gets upset and is asking for me, Paul has always done the bed time routine so this behaviour is new. I make sure I go into him without Casper though and give him what he needs which is usually a big cuddle, some kisses and a little chat.
I do wonder how I will cope once Paul goes back to work. He’s got 3 weeks off with us which is amazing. It’s going to be a lot of adjusting for all of us that’s for sure. If anyone has tips on how to cope with a newborn and toddler alone during the day I am all ears!
So far this postpartum journey has been really smooth. I didn’t have any tearing with Casper and boy it’s made a difference in my recovery. Even my hormones feel more balanced this time.
I feel calmer too, which I think is to do with having been here before. This process isn’t so ‘unknown’ so it doesn’t feel as scary. I remember how intensely I was hit with the baby blues after I had Otis and I thought this time it would be the same but I wasn’t, in fact I didn’t feel too emotional until I got upset about missing Otis.
I encapsulated my placenta again like I did with Otis. I think this is something every Mumma should look into. I strongly believe it helps balance hormones, regulates my moods and assists with my milk supply. I take 2 tablets in the morning and 2 in the evening and will continue to do so until I run out. I received 153 tablets from my placenta which is pretty cool!
Breastfeeding has so far been a pretty similar experience to Otis’s journey. Casper took to the boob relatively easy and is definitely a boobie monster haha. My right nipple is a bit sore mostly when he initially latches on but my left seems fine so far. Hopefully we can continue our breast feeding journey with no issues. Here’s also hoping these cluster feeds starts to settle!
I’m not following any ‘routine’ for Casper just yet. There is a lot of demand feeding and contact naps happening. When I do get the chance to pop him down asleep in his bassinet I am using white noise - as many of you would know I love white noise for sleep, especially when there is a toddler in the house.
Casper is being swaddled for each sleep as well. Just like Otis was, he is an escape artist and loooooves his hands/fingers so I am using the ‘Miracle Swaddle/Blanket’. Honestly this swaddle is a game changer and I wish I had one with Otis. If you have a newborn or are pregnant then grab a few of these. I purchased ours from Sleep Tight Babies Australia, they are only about $30 each.
I am exposing Casper to plenty of natural sunlight during the day to ensure his circadian rhythm develops beautifully and I am keeping the night feeds dark and calm.
Final Thoughts on Week 1
This first week has gone so fast but at the same time it feels like Casper has always been with us. Paul think he’s going to be a chilled little dude. Otis is an energetic wild child so here’s hoping Casper is our calm to even out our storm that is Otis.
Ever since Casper’s arrival I have felt this sense of calmness. It’s as if his arrival has slowed everything down and has forced me to relax and go with the flow. Everything that I worried about when I had Otis doesn’t bother me at all this time, the sleep deprivation, cluster feeding, contact naps, boobs always on the go - I am embracing it all.