Ollie: The first few weeks
Ollie is three weeks old today! Time is flying. I started writing this post about a week ago, but it's been pretty hard to find time to sit down and write on the blog. I think it is going to take a while before we get into any sort of routine - having a toddler and a new baby is quite the challenge! I’m not normally very good at “taking it easy” or “sleeping while the baby sleeps”, but I’m starting to realise that I’m going to have to embrace a slower pace of life in order to stay sane. I need to say goodbye (for now) to the need to “get things done” and hello to naps and lazy days at home.
Our first week with Ollie was pretty crazy. Ella happened to develop a fever the day we got home which lasted four days. She was (understandably) pretty unbearable during this time. Luckily the fever would go down with panadol/ibuprofen so she went through this cycle of being totally normal, and then basically crying/screaming until we could give her the next dose of pain killers. Sleep was pretty non-existent for all of us, between Ollie waking every 2-3 hours to feed and Ella waking up at night in pain. It also meant that Ella wasn’t able to go to daycare, and having her home all day everyday is FULL ON!
Ollie was also jaundiced, so we had to take him back to the hospital when he was five days old. About 60% of babies are jaundiced, and the treatment for it is phototherapy (light therapy). Luckily at The Women’s they are trialling home-based phototherapy treatment, so we didn’t have to stay in hospital overnight. I had to wrap Ollie in this blue light blanket 24/7 wearing only his diaper. During this time we had to stay at home, as the blanket had to be plugged in to a power source. Thankfully he seemed to like the blanket and settled really well the whole time, and after 24 hours of treatment his jaundice levels had dropped so we didn't have to continue the treatment.
We managed our first trip out of the house (besides returning to the hospital) with Ollie when he was a week old. The five of us (my parents, Ella, Ollie and myself) walked to one of our favourite cafés, Rogue District, for brunch. That was followed by a very long play in Warr Park, which is adjacent to the café. Ella’s fever had gone down and she was in a great mood, so we thought we were over her being sick and not sleeping. The weather was beautiful and we had a great afternoon all together.
That evening Ella started complaining that her ear hurt. This quickly escalated in to her screaming uncontrollably “my ear, my ear”. It got so bad that Andy ended up taking her to an after hours doctor. Turns out she had a blockage in her ear and we had to give her antibiotics and ear drops for the next five days. Luckily they seemed to work quickly and within a day or two Ella was back to her old self.
Our second week with Ollie was a bit easier. As Ella was feeling much better she went to daycare for her two days, which was a very welcome break for everyone. On one of those days my parents and I took Ollie to the Babes in Arms session at the cinema in Westgarth. This session runs once a week (Thursdays at 11am) and you can bring your baby to the movies! How great is that? We watched the film The Bookshop, which was a bit “meh” to be honest but we didn’t have a choice about which movie to see. I mistakenly thought they were showing Tully, which I really wanted to see, but it turns out I was looking at the movie listings for the previous week. Oops, classic baby brain there! It was still nice to get out of the house and do something that seems normal. Ollie and I will definitely be attending more films there over the winter!
This week I had some very tiring nights with Ollie where he was waking hungry every two hours or so, which meant I wasn’t getting more than an hour sleep at a time. Cue exhaustion and a very low threshold for patience with Ella! So during her daycare days I took it really easy, spending one day pretty much in bed when Ollie was napping, and then next I felt refreshed and was able to take him for a long walk.
Overall, Ollie is a pretty easy baby so far. He sleeps well in his cot and normally I don’t have any problems putting him down. He does grunt and make A LOT of noises when he is sleeping, and after most feeds, so I think he has some trouble with gas/digestion. We might try giving him some Infacol or similar soon. He loves to eat and has been putting on a good amount of weight according to the Maternal Child Health Nurse, who we’ve seen twice now for check-ups. I’m finding breastfeeding a lot easier this time around; I really struggled with it in the beginning with Ella. We’ve started introducing one bottle of expressed breastmilk every evening which he has taken easily. We did the same with Ella when she was about three weeks old, and she never had an issue taking a bottle. I don’t want to be one of those mums who’s baby never takes a bottle, so they can’t go out without baby until they are done breastfeeding. That is like my worst nightmare.
The most challenging part about having a new baby has been Ella. Obviously this is all pretty confusing for her, this is the first time she has had to share mine and Andy's attention. Ella doesn’t nap anymore, so as mentioned above the days she is not in daycare are very full on. Her favourite activities all centre around babies at the moment: changing nappies, feeding, and putting her dolls and stuffed animals to bed. She loves putting them in Ollie’s bassinet and then I have to negotiate with her when I want to actually put Ollie in it! She also loves to pretend to be a baby, and then you have to pretend to change her nappy and feed her etc. She’s obsessed with changing nappies, and always wants to see if Ollie has done a big poo! That said, she is great with Ollie, very gentle, and she loves holding him. I am looking forward to when he is a bit older and he starts to interact with her a little bit.
Next week all of us except Andy are going on a trip to Magnetic Island in Queensland. Bring on the warm weather and sunshine, I’m sick of winter in Melbourne already!