He is Here: 6 Weeks of Newborn Spam
If you have been following my story on Facebook or Instagram, you would already know that our second little man has now arrived and is six weeks old this week. Oh my goodness, I can’t believe how much time has flown while we have been in our newborn bubble adjusting to life with two children. This time around has been a completely different and seamlessly blissful experience compared to our newborn experience with Archer. All my anxiety and stress worrying about the remaining tumour I have left and my eyesight hasn’t eventuated into anything. I have to say I have really enjoyed this time around and feel so fortunate that everything has gone smoothly. It still feels so surreal. Cameron and I are so used to drama with my health that it has taken us back a bit. So this is what it is like to have a relatively smooth birth and recovery. This is what it is like to have my milk come in and not lose my supply three times due to the stress of brain surgery and OH MY GOD! HAPPY DANCE! WE ARE LEAVING THE HOSPITAL AFTER THREE DAYS! I feel like all you hear is negative birth stories and how hard it is. Don[t get me wrong the newborn phase is hard and add a toddler into the mix and you have a recipe for some interesting times, however while my happy hormones are thriving I willl put a positive spin on it.
We decided to have a planned C-section after spending most of the pregnancy umming and arring about whether to go naturally or not. I ended up making the decision in the last few weeks of my pregnancy to go the planned C-section because some doctors were hesitant about going naturally and the pressure it would have on my brain after all the surgery I have had. Some doctors were fine with a natural birth. Really I wanted the decision made for me, but they wanted me to make the decision and they would support either way. In the end I am glad it happened this way because it felt like I had power and was in control of my birth .
This time around we are given the all clear to have the baby in Bendigo close to home. It was pretty cool to just roll out of bed and think…. “we are having a baby today!” We dropped Archer off at daycare and made our way up to the postnatal ward to wait for our turn to have the baby. We were number three on the list. I hadn’t had a lot of sleep the night before and spent most of the morning dozing. Just after 11 o’clock we got the call and were wheeled down and prepped for theatre. This time around Cameron got to come in with me to get my spinal block instead of wait in a room which was great because I had someone to hold. After a few goes they finally got the spinal tap in and it started to take effect. After about ten minutes of what felt like the surgeon rummaging through a handbag which was my internal organs, they lifted the baby out. He cried almost instantly and I remember someone saying he is a whopper and Cameron saying he looks just like Archer. After Cam cut the umbilical cord he was plonked straight on my chest while they were sewing me up. This was exactly what I wanted. We missed out on the skin to skin with Archer because he was sent to NICU for his breathing. I remember feeling so proud and couldn’t wipe the smile off my face when they wheeled me and the baby in my arms out to recovery where he had his first feed.
We named our baby Griffin James Hocking. The name we came up with at the last minute. It was literally the only name we could agree on. I had Griffin on my list for a while, but didn’t bank on naming our child the name as there were others I liked better. However Cameron didn’t like my top picks and I didn’t like his, so Griffin it was and I have grown to love it and think it really suits him. Archer calls him ‘The Bobby’ which means ‘the baby’ so now he has Bobby as a nick name which we all refer to him as. He will probably grow up thinking his name is Bobby.
We were discharged from hospital after three nights. Griffin has just slotted into our family. To be honest it was easy to forget about him in the first few weeks because he just slept so much! Much more than Archer did. He always woke for a feed and always settled back down to sleep afterwards. He has started to liven up a bit now and is a really chilled out bub so far. I know things could change, but I am making the most of it. We have started to get smiles in the last week or so, but I haven’t managed to catch it on camera yet. He is such a pig and has packed on the weight. My milk is in over supply and I even have a stash in the freezer for a rainy day now. I really struggled breastfeeding with archer the first three months, so this has been a dream.
Recovery from a C-section the second time around has been a little harder. However I think now it has been quite routine and normal because last time with Archer I was drugged up big time from the brain surgery for months which masked the abdominal pain from the C-section. I was off my drugs after about a week this time around, but had a setback after week two when Archer kicked me in my wound when I was changing his nappy. It was an accidentm but it was excruciating and I did have to go back on my drugs for a bit. Now six weeks on the wound has a numb feeling which I believe is quite normal and I feel pretty good. I have been for a few walks with either the pram or a dog and have done some really light bodyweight functional workouts in the last couple of weeks. This time around is seriously a walk in the park compared to adjusting to being a first time mum, recovering from brain surgery and living legally blind all at the same time.
This time around I am familiar with my surroundings and home. I don’t have to adjust to being legally blind because it is part of me now and I am living it. I was able to put strategies in place before Griffin was born to make life easier for when he was here such as stocking up our freezer with home cooked healthy meals, organising our cupboards so I am able to find things easier and limiting visitors so we were able to bond as a family in those first few weeks. I couldn’t have asked for a better experience and it really does feel like I have healed from the trauma surrounding Archer’s birth which has given it closure and I can move on. I no longer feel robbed from not being able to bond with Archer as soon as he was born and not being able to give myself to him in those first few weeks while I was recovering from surgery. Griffin has shown me how it should be and I have lapped up, appreciated and am grateful for every moment.
Archer has adjusted quite well to living as a sibling. He spoils Griffin by smothering him with love. He loves giving Griffin lots of hugs and kisses. He is really attentive to him and likes to help. He races over to him when he cries and is quite concerned. He likes to help with nappy changes, grabbing spew rags and dressing him. He does at times fight for our attention, especially when I am breastfeeding or if Cameron is holding Griffin. We have had a few teething issues here, but they are slowly sorting themselves out. I have a few tricks up my sleeve when I am breastfeeding such as special activities he can do that only come out when I am feeding. These include a selection of books that I haven’t read before with him, some busy bags which contain things like colour and shape sorting, puppets, felt picture themes and stickers. Oh my goodness stickers have been my saviour! Hours of entertainment here. When I am pulling my hair out and need some peace and nothing seems to work… The TV will go on as last resort. Can’t beat Paw Patrol. Archer is mad about Paw Patrol, so we have a few figurines on hand that he does lots of imaginary play with. He even speaks the American accent when he is playing which is quite funny.
I feel really lucky to have such a hands on husband. Cameron only had a week off work, but has eased up a little bit. He has taken Archer under his wing and has had some really quality bonding time with him. This has eased the pressure on me. He has also found a love for cooking lately on our Weber barbecue and has perfected salmon, squid and prawns. I refuse to cook seafood now as he now has his claim to fame here. He has been coming home earlier and having a day off on the weekend which has been great. We have all been benefiting from this and loving spending time together as a family.
Some of my friends have asked me how it is possible to find the same amount of love for a second child when the love you feel as a first time parent is so strong and powerful. Some how you do. I feel equal love for both my boys and have a very strong bond with them both. I do love them for different reasons. . I love Archer for pulling me through and giving me purpose to live my life after experiencing the cruel adversity of losing most of my sight. I love Griffin for giving me the feeling of closure on that chapter of my life and the strength to find the old Sarah and get some of my mojo back. If there was a magic wand to give me my vision back I would take it in a heartbeat. However losing my sight has opened me up to opportunities and a deeper sense of self discovery that I never would have had if I didn’’t lose it. Resilience gets our family through. Resilience has taught us to appreciate what we have and embrace every opportunity. Resilience has shown us how to be mindful, grateful for happy times and to be strong in the hard times. This is something that Cameron and I want to teach our children. Right now, in this moment I really feel for field and have so much love for my children. I am feeling happy and grateful for this positive experience.