Our sweet little bug is four weeks old today so I thought I'd finally try my hardest to sit down and write about those first hours after birth, (it's taken me ages, inbetween feeding Baba and settling her). We ended up staying in hospital until the Friday afternoon, I would have been out earlier but I think somewhere during the day we got forgotten about.
I'll always cherish that first night in hospital with her just after I got moved into the side room. I was left alone with her for pretty much the first time since she'd been born. Just me and this tiny little human that would need me more than she needed anybody else in the world that night. It's scary, but also liberating watching her chest move up and down as she slept, knowing I'd carried and kept her safe for the last nine months. The photo in the bottom right corner is my favourite of her, taken at 5.45am, she was just over 24 hours old. I'd nipped out of the bed that we ended up sharing all night for a wee and she just looked so peaceful when I came back, much like she does now as she lies next to me on the sofa four weeks on. What a four weeks it's been, so I'll start our story from the very beginning of Willow's first day.
I've just woke up since we got moved here three hours ago, even just those couple of hours sleep I got I feel so much better. I can vaguely remember them wheeling me from one end of the hospital to the other and thinking how quiet the main corridor is compared to during the day. I really need a wee but do I just leave her sleeping soundly in her little tank? She's beautiful, she looks like a little bug right now.
Alice has text, she said she'll come round on her break because she works in the hospital somewhere. She doesn't know the gender though, she wants a surprise when she gets here. I meant to phone my brother and sisters but I don't know if I'm allowed to make calls in here.
A couple of ladies changed my bedding so I took the opportunity to nip to the toilet. They burst around my curtain asking if I was staying or going home. I was under the impression I had to stay in at least 24 hours because of the strep B. I told them I was staying, I mean, they're the only people who have come to see me since I got moved here so I have no idea if I'm fit to go home or not. In all fairness I don't fancy going anywhere at the moment, I thought I was going to pass out going to the toilet.
Alice has text me again to say she's not allowed in until visiting at 2pm, they turned her away at the door, I bet she's gutted.
I phoned Nan and Grandad to let them know, Nan fully squeeled down the phone at me! I told my eldest sister and my brother too. God I've never made so many phone calls in one day before.
I must have fallen back asleep at some point, because I've been woken up by a phone call from Kyle. His Mum's dropping him back off to me with a Mcdonalds, I think the most I can stomach is a Happy Meal at the moment. Willow is still asleep, I keep checking she's still breathing.
Baby's got her first bits of pink! Kyle's bought her in a little flowery bodysuit and pink leggings (the one in the picture where she's screaming), and she's got a big bunny with floppy ears. I said give it five years and it'll have one eye and a stitched on ear.
It's about time we give this baby a name. She can't be Baby Pritchard forever. I'd been thinking about it briefly this morning and I quite like Rose for a middle name. My sister is Alice Rose and Kyle's sister is Tanya Rose. It's so weird, Rose isn't a name we'd mentioned at all throughout the pregnancy. Willow was though, I remember us both putting Willow on our lists when we were playing our game of pick five girls names and five boys names and we'll see if any are the same. It seems like a nice autumnal name too, naming her after a tree in the one month of the year when the trees are the most beautiful colours. Willow Rose, it suits her.
Willow still hasn't fed since 7am so the midwife suggests some skin to skin to try and wake her up a bit. Scratch that, whilst she's been lying there looking prim and proper all day she's done her first giant poo. Nice. The midwife opted for a quick bath to clean her up, I'm not sure a few baby wipes would have cut it. I just sat on the bed and watched, standing up is still a struggle, I just feel so faint.
Auntie Alice turned up midway through bathtime so there was no chance of making her guess the gender. I think she was shocked, she said all day she's been convinced we'd had a little boy.
Auntie Tanya and Nanna Nia have arrived and I think they've kitted Willow out with the whole of the baby girl section from George at Asda. So much pink, I'm so grateful! Auntie Em's popped by too whilst Mum picks Abbie up from school. We think it's time to tell them her name, but Kyle can't bring himself to say it. He said once he's said it that's it, there's no going back. I can't see her as anything else now. I liked Eliza and Martha, but she's definitely a Willow (and I don't think Kyle liked either of them anyway).
Auntie Tanya's dressing her in her little pink leggings and vest that Kyle bought in. I don't think she's happy with all the attention. She's still so sleepy, and still not fed! My littlest sister Abbie is desperate to see her so Mum's bought her to the window by my bed so she can see her through there, that'll have to do until we come home and she can meet her properly.
Steak pie and mash for dinner, Kyle's sitting out on the ward with me, I'm still so faint, but I've been told not to take my iron tablets I brought in with me. My midwife Deb has been past because she'd heard I had the baby. Oh I'm gonna miss Deb, she's so lovely!
I spoke to the midwife about going home but she said she'd rather I stay here until Willow has fed and they know she's properly latched on. She said the first 24 hours they do tend to just sleep, then they start to wake up and feed properly from then on. If that's the case I'd rather do another night here, as much as I want to go home I really don't want to formula feed. Kyle's headed home for some rest, it's been such a long and surreal day.
Mum and Dad have come to visit and Auntie Alice has popped back again, I told them Willow's name, I think Alice is pleased that she's a Rose too. Mum's bought her lots of bits from Tesco, I've got enough to stay here for a month I think.
Just as Mum and Dad left, I had another smelly nappy to contend with. Two midwives poked their head around my curtain, I thought they were about to watch me change her nappy. They said they'd noticed that it was quite smelly from a couple who had arrived whilst Mum and Dad were here, (in all fairness I thought it was either me or Mum that smelt - sorry Mum!). They're moving me into a side room which I'm pretty sure they probably regretted instantly when they realised how many bags I've accumulated.