So I wanted to jot down our first month of being a family of four and how we were adapting to our new normal etc but to be honest that first month whizzed by and as I sit here starting to type this she is already 9 weeks old! It’s just frightening how fast time goes especially second time even during a pandemic and in Lockdowns etc.
Because I arrived home early hours of the morning of the 10th (July 2020) with Lola, Polly was obviously asleep so her waking up that morning rushing down the stairs to meet Lola was priceless and she couldn’t wait for cuddles. I filmed this moment and I often watch it because I just love Polly’s reaction to her new baby sister and the fact she really wanted to bath Lola to get the gunk out of her hair hehe.
Our first week at home was rather busy with midwives popping in and out. I remember my first day at home being shocked that a midwife turned up that morning about 9am I believe, because I had lost alot of blood (almost 2 litres) and they needed to check on me more so than Lola. Also by this point we were both under Norfolk aftercare rather than Suffolk. I remember she said feel free to give her a good wash so she had her very first top and tail that day with help from big sis Polly of course. My Mum came over for cuddles too as she had only seen her in the car seat when she picked us up an took us home early hours of that morning. We then were able to skype my Dad that afternoon and tell him and show him that Lola had arrived and we were both safe and well. Because his in a care home now it was very important to me to make sure he knew before anyone else especially with all this Covid19 still about who knows when he will get to meet her. He loved seeing her and said he was right, he knew she would be a girl!
Before we knew it our first full day at home was over and after soaking up lots of cuddles, getting adjusted to breastfeeding, nappy changes, trying to eat and make sure everyone was full and happy it was time to put Polly to bed for the night and get ourselves ready for bed and then let our family and friends know. I didn’t rush telling everyone straight away as she was born because one, all the drama we had at hospital, not knowing if I needed a transfusion, then not knowing when I could leave etc, they kept Andrew and Polly outside from about 5pm after being told I could leave (I discharged myself in the end at midnight!) but secondly Andrew wasn’t 100% set on her name and needed the day to get used to her as I remember with Polly we told everyone Baby Girl was here but no name and it just doesn’t have the same excitement that goes along with it so we wanted to be sure!
Everything drowned Lola, her feet got lost in babygrows she really was so little! I’m pleased I kept all Polly’s clothes… just incase and especially some tiny baby clothes as newborn ones seemed huge like this lovely lemon one. Her little toes came to the knee part in this sleepsuit.
I have to say my aftercare I received was amazing, considering I was then under another midwife team as we live in Norfolk and I gave birth in Suffolk etc. They came out and weighed her, checked her jaundice levels which she developed a bit later on as apparently me loosing alot of blood can effect your milk supply therefore effected her. She lost some birth weight so dropped to 5lb 12oz so felt so so dinky bless her. But they were fab and apart from having to go to hospital once for some blood tests just because her jaundice was alittle high they always came to me which was amazing, especially with the pandemic still going on, last place you want to be is at a hospital all the time.
Here is a few pics from the first week. We mainly stayed in and enjoyed the cuddles but when she was only a few days old we went for her first walk in her pram near my parents house as my Mum was in our bubble etc. I felt surprising fine driving and going for little strolls. I didn’t tear this time in labour which I think made such a big difference and like all new Mum’s, I think the first week at least you just run on adrenaline etc. People say nap when baby naps but that isn’t the case when you have another child to entertain and I personally never could with Polly. We also had a Teddy Bear’s picnic at Polly’s soon to be school when Lola was only 4 days old. Apart from forgetting Polly’s teddy I manged to turn up just about on time with them both as only one parent was aloud, remembered the picnic blanket and our lunch and heard about what will happen in September. Lola was a dream and slept the whole time in her pram and the weather was on our side as it was on the school field. How will Polly soon be at school?!
I still can’t believe how well Polly coped with suddenly having a little baby sister in her life. Our friends and family were really kind and not only did they spoil Lola with gifts they got Polly, big sister gifts too so we had lots of puzzles, painting crafts and games to keep her busy aswell which we always tried to do when Lola napped so we could have just us time. Especially breastfeeding Lola is pretty dependant on me so I sometimes feel abit of Mum guilt when I’m feeding Lola but Polly doesn’t seem to mind and will often come and read a book next to us.
It was definitely nice having Andrew off work for two weeks for paternity leave and also the fact that people weren’t aloud in other peoples houses (as horrible as that sounds) at the time, which actually was quite nice as we weren’t bombarded with visitors so if the housework wasn’t done it didn’t matter and who wanted to come and see us were more than happy for distanced doorstop visit (bloody Covid!) I’m almost certain that when Polly, well both girls are older they will be learning about the year 2020 in their history lessons!
Just before Andrew had to go back to work we managed to have a family photoshoot. Lola was only 13 days old here because you only have a small window where you can take pictures of newborns all wrapped up like their still in the womb etc so I’m glad we managed to get in even with the pandemic happening all around us.
Polly was a little star and a right poser so was no problem infront of a camera etc. We had these taken with the amazing Shellie Wall and have always used her since Polly was born so her style of picture flows through our growing family.
One of the first “Outings Out” we had was when I took Lola to get her hands and feet cast. My Mum came with us aswell while I took her for this, she took Polly to the park and I then met them after for a picnic. It was so nice being out. Of course masks were compulsory still in shops but we only went in what we needed but I felt fairly safe to go in shops with people keeping their distance and sanitiser at every turn, but we enjoyed a picnic in the sunshine.
Lola just turned 3 weeks as it was Polly’s 4th birthday and with everything going on she obviously wasn’t aloud a party with her friends etc so we had a low key one at home with presents, a cake and balloons. She developed abit of a love for mermaids over the summer so I used that as the theme and I guess I wanted to make Polly feel special with all that had suddenly changed in her little world. Plus I’m sure next year she will be telling me what theme or cake she would like etc.
My Mum was able to come over and spend the day with us and as she had so many toys it was just nice to be at home watching her play or helping her build them. We facetimed my Dad so he felt part of the action. Polly really appreciated what she got and played with absolutely everything. I think this is an her getting older thing and Lola also smiled for the first time properly which also made the day even more special.
We then managed to have a lovely little playdate, picnic and catch up with friends at a local country park which Polly loved as she hadn’t seen her little friends in soooo long!! At this point we all still had to keep distances etc so I still didn’t let anyone have cuddles with Lola which made me sad but she just seemed so little and I didn’t risk it, although she seems super long in this picture below but until she has her first jabs and hopefully restrictions start easing I’m keeping her cuddles just for us.
Apart from playing at home and going on lots of walks, Polly started back at ballet which she definitely missed going to over the first lockdown, although she did alot online via zoom. Me and Lola had to wait in the car instead of going in to watch so we just enjoyed cuddles and feeding. Times like that I was grateful to be breastfeeding.
Breastfeeding seemed to be going well at this point, no routine as such as I was feeding on demand. One day she did have a rather long nap for her and I was feeling rather full and uncomfortable so I pumped and then let Polly feed her at their bedtime. She absolutely loved it as that was the one main thing she couldn’t do to help me with Lola, bless her. She really is alittle mother hen bless her.
The difference four weeks makes. 1 day old vs 4 weeks old. Their bond is already so special and I know their grow up to be the best of friends. Polly loves that Lola is now at that age where she is interacting more with us and smiling away. She loves to be with Polly and watch her play.
I wanted to start taking a monthly picture of Lola in the same place or in or next to the same thing so that you can see her grow each month, so ended up using her changing basket. I went for the one on the right on our bed because our bedroom has better lighting but I also love the fact she is asleep in the picture on the left. She is such a light sleeper though it was very much a fluke she stayed asleep bless her. She still feeds regularly in the night as I’m still feeding on demand but she definitely doesn’t go more than 4 hours, probably ever couple hours for short quick little feeds. That’s the only downside to breastfeeding, you don’t know how much little ones are having.
We’ve then enjoyed some quiet slow days at home enjoying the slower life before Polly starts school next month (which I just cant believe my biggest baby will soon be off to school!) But then we also crammed in some days out and about while we could and not worry about the school run. We had fun playdates at the park, we managed to go to my favourite beach Southwold, the zoo with Polly’s great cousins, meet Lola’s little bestie Rosie and we went to a mini theme park just for little ones which Polly loved! Part of me feels sad that Covid has stopped or put a hold on so many things and we haven’t been able to do all the things we wanted like baby groups and even my own Dad hasn’t been aloud to have visitors at his home and meet his youngest grandchild yet but I know I’m not alone in thinking these things but I am just grateful that all my loved ones are happy and healthy.
By the end of August I was then bottle feeding more an more, because of Lola’s bad reflux she was already on infant Gaviscon for this too so bottles were already being used to give her this medication. I automatically used Tommee Tippee bottles again as never had an issue with them with Polly but they didn’t suit Lola so ended up getting Mam anti colic ones which touch wood have done the trick. I remember going to the zoo with the girls and family and pumping about 5oz ready in a bottle for Lola to have there for ease and she just would not take it from the TT bottles. Luckily she fed from me but I found she would only feed from me for about 5-10mins max and then want me again in an hour and as a baby who was supposed to nap alot she didn’t really unless we were out and about and she was on the move. So she started off having a bottle every night to give us both a solid 4hours of sleep and I knew deep down that she was more content from that than me and you then have to think what’s best for your baby. OK I could pump almost 6oz for a feed but maybe didn’t have the quality just quantity. In hindsight maybe I should have persevered and pumped more and gave it to her in the Mam bottles but she seemed happy on formula which was also anti reflux to help her from being so sick and windy after a bottle so this seemed to be working so we stuck to it.
Well here we are the month my biggest girlie starts school. I’ve honestly been so lucky to have 4 years together with her and now she is going to be away from me a whole five days of the week! Seems crazy as she was only doing two days at preschool back in March (2020) and of course due to the pandemic hasn’t been since! I think since Lola has arrived she suddenly seems so much more grown up but I’m not going to lie we did both shed a tear on her first day. She was so excited to go and meet new friends and has just loved the idea of “big school” but I think it hit her in the car that it was suddenly all new and of course with Covid had only met her new teacher once on a home garden visit, never been inside the school and she didn’t know what to expect bless her but she had a fab first morning as the first week she mainly did morning’s then by the end of the week they built them up to their first full day.
One of the perks of Polly being at school was that I was able to meet one of my best friends and her little baby for a lunch date and catch up (as there is only 3 weeks between our girls) and I only have Lola to worry about taking out. It’s hard in this day an age taking a four year old out who naturally wants to touch everything bless her. It’s been so lovely to share our pregnancy together and hopefully our little ones will grow up to be a close as we are. The perks of a sleeping baby is Mummy gets the cake yum yum!
Lola has been doing better on bottle, even finally slept through the night for the first time (10 weeks old). It’s hard not to compare as I look back at Polly’s diary and she was an amazing sleeper and slept right through the night from about now but I have a feeling Lola might be abit of a cheeky chops for Mummy!
Precious moments holding my girls hands and daddy with his girl’s. I just adore the way that Polly is looking up at him in this picture. I think it was around his birthday at the start of September. We also had another birthday to celebrate in September and that was my Mum’s. Again we didn’t go out like we planned to but we ordered takeaway dinner from our local pub instead and no birthday is complete without cake as Polly would say!
Aswell as Polly starting school I’ve started her swimming lesson at our local sports centre. She used to go to Water Babies at a private school pool and it was fab she loved it but now she is at school they don’t do evening classes and I don’t want to loose my weekends to classes just yet which I’m sure between having two girls we will but for now a Friday evening after school works well. It also meant I could leave Lola with my Mum so I could worry just about Polly but at least here I don’t have to get in the pool with her, she goes in by herself because she can touch the bottom. I had also started Lola on a Tuesday morning going there with my nephews wife so that was nice for us to go and then after we went for brunch so that was nice. I also finally managed to get Lola all official and registered at almost 12 weeks old, of course this is all due to Covid19 so everything is abit slower but she is all official now. I wasn’t even aloud to take her in with me so had to leave her with my Mum. She has been doing so much tummy time lately too. She loves it I think because she can see more of what is going on etc. The time is just flying by but I seem to be in a good routine now in the mornings and manage to get the girls both ready and out the door for the school run. I know alot of Mum’s who ace the school run but Lola was only 9 weeks old when Polly first started so we were only just getting into routine ourselves.
And suddenly I have a 3 month old baby and that wonderful 4th trimester as they call it is over. She has adapted really well to fitting into our lives. We enjoy slower days together and lots of cuddles and then I’ve also been proud of myself to be able to get out of the door on school runs and then enjoy after school fun in the evenings with Polly. I tend to bath the girls together and then while I read to Polly I feed Lola her bedtime bottle and sometimes Polly likes to read to Lola too now she is more interested in books etc.
With October comes all things Halloween and half term which Polly is excited about. I forget she is still quite young to be at school doing full days so she is in need of a little time off as she has been going to her ballet lessons on a Monday straight from school then falling asleep on the way home in the car bless her. Again me and Lola have to stay in the car but sometimes she naps which is handy or if not she is in the front with me.
This weekend just gone we decided to go Pumpkin Picking. I’ve always taken Polly every year but this year I swear was the wettest yet! Polly loved it though and Lola slept the whole time in her carrier all snuggly. I’m so pleased I invested in a carrier as she is super comfy in there and often falls asleep in there too.
October seemed to whizz by. Lola has found her voice these past few weeks, even giggled for the first time too this week and she is finally getting better at sleeping through the night more which I am so grateful for especially having to be up for the school run. Polly is now off for half term so we have lots of nice things planned which I will do a separate blog post for but even with the change of weather we still love going for our autumnal walks, having snuggles watching movies and as you can see the girls are getting in the Halloween spirit.