When 3 became 4….
We became a family of four on the 16th of November last year and now 3 months on it’s as if Alba has always been part of the Dockar household! We also have a daughter Erin, who is our eldest and is 3, or should I say a threenager! It is so true when people say they grow up overnight! I had a planned c section and felt so much more organised. I thought I was prepared mentally for the recovery however complications delivering Alba meant that was not the case as recovery was much slower.
Having that time beforehand to prepare however definitely helped so if you know you are having a planned birth then my advice would be, make some meals to freeze, sort out the household jobs you have been putting off and get that hair cut or spa treatment you have re arranged multiple times as having your own time is something of a novelty once baby arrives.
After Alba was born I encountered many emotions and clearly Erin was also on the same roller coaster. Some of her behaviour to start with was quite testing for both my husband Keith and I, but I can happily say that every day since she has shown us a side of her personality that is so endearing to watch. She is so gentle with Alba and helps as much as she can. She has been holding Alba’s hand and keeping her occupied in the mornings whilst I get ready.
I have made sure that Erin is involved from day one when she visited Alba in hospital with the soft toy that she had picked. Three months on and she sits with her at the side of her bouncer and holds her bottle before her feed. It has already created a strong sibling bond and I can’t wait to see that develop!
Colic and unsettled nights….
I will never EVER think that colic is just a windy baby again and feel complete compassion for any parent going through it. Alba started with colic and reflux when she was 3 weeks old and occasionally has episodes of it now, but it is no way near as bad at the first few weeks thankfully! I never imagined a baby could cry so much and had the ability to go as stiff as pencil when being held.
I found that Dr Browns bottles were a great help as they are anti colic and after using them along with her medication it did ease up. We did also try gripe water, Infacol and Gaviscon Infant. They didn’t seem to work to begin with, but perseverance is key.
During those really unsettled evenings we swaddled Alba and used the Sleepyhead Deluxe. It was amazing as it gave her similar security to being held even when we lay her down. It is important to follow the correct guidelines when it comes to sleep safety and if you are in doubt always speak to your midwife.
It is difficult having to look after a newborn alone never mind a toddler too and as the months have gone I have felt mummy guilt, so Erin and I are now having our own special days, just the two of us spending some quality time together. We have been swimming and to some pottery making classes. After all, I have to remember that Erin is only three and still needs near enough the same nurture as Alba does. Since Alba’s arrival my husband Keith has been taking Erin to and from nursery and that has really helped me settle Alba into a routine in the mornings and evenings.
Erin has become much more independent at home and more confident at nursery or big class as we call it. She is reminding me daily that she is a big girl now! Mummy guilt I have been told is completely normal when you have more than one child so don’t worry if you feel like that too! I just keep telling myself the girls need me for different reasons at this point in their lives and try my best to split time equally between both of them.
12 weeks and beyond….
Alba is really coming into her own now. She has grown significantly and seeing her mirror her big sister is a joy! We are going on our first family holiday soon, so I am sure I will face many challenges but am very much looking forward to family time. I intend to use a baby carrier, something I have never used before, but I have been given lots of tips and will be sure to share these and my experience in my next blog!