Zachary Toby Thompson
09.11.17 5.14pm 2.39kg
Friday 9th March marked four whole wonderful months of this sweet baby boy being in our lives and one whole year since seeing that positive pregnancy test. What an insanely incredible adventure it has been.
It’s nearly impossible for me to convey my feelings into words but I’m going to try. These past four months have been more wonderful than I ever could have imagined. And as everyone says, it is going way way way too fast. Nothing like a baby to make you hyper aware of time and how much we would all do to have more of it.
On Monday 6th November (38 weeks) I went to have an extra ultrasound check up because at my previous OB appointment, it was looking like the baby was dropping in size. The ultrasound confirmed the concerns from my OB and he rang me early that evening saying that the placenta was no longer working efficiently and the safest thing to do was to have me induced…..THAT WEDNESDAY to have him on the Thursday!
This was a humongous, yet exciting (I was so impatient in finally meeting my baby so hearing that I was going to meet him a week early made me literally squeal with excitement) shock as myself and my OB were expecting that I was going to go over - I was constantly telling myself not to get too excited about reaching my due date because I was sure he was going to be at least a week late. So even though being induced is certainly not ideal, I was just too excited (and anxious) to care about the fact that my ‘ideal birth plan’ had changed.
George was still at work so I rang him with the crazy change of plans and he just couldn’t believe it. He rang back two minutes later and said that he’ll be working from home the next day and would be starting his paternity leave that week. That night we started packing our hospital bag and made a list of all the stuff we needed.
On the Tuesday, we had to go into the hospital for some monitoring with a CTG scan to make sure all was ok. This only took about 20-30 mins as everything was looking good so we headed straight to Target & Chemist Warehouse for everything we needed.
That night we had our ‘last date night’ at Papi Chulo in Manly. It was the most surreal night. While being induced isn’t the best, this is the aspect of it that I loved - that we could have a ‘last supper’ and talk about the fact that we were going to meet our baby boy within just a few days/hours! It was so so exciting!
We didn’t get admitted into the hospital until late Wednesday evening so we went over to my parents for an early dinner before driving down to the hospital. The induction didn’t properly start until around 10am on the Thursday morning and initially was very straight forward - for me anyway - not for Zac. Zac struggled with it from the very beginning. The day was extremely stressful as we could see on the monitor that with every contraction I was having, his heart rate was dropping so fast that a couple time it took a little while to find (worst feeling ever). Even for the early contractions that I couldn’t even feel, his heart rate would drastically drop. So it was an uphill battle until around 4pm where the decision was made to have a caesarean and I was so relieved.
It’s so bizarre going from the maternity ward where you are just with your midwife (love love loved our sweet midwife, Mel) down to theatre where you’re surrounded by lots of people in robes. We were nervous but it felt so reassuring that all the doctors were so calm. And I felt instantly at ease as soon as my OB walked into the room, he really was the very best!
The moment Zac was pulled out and we heard him cry was the most incredible moment of our lives. He looked so so tiny but so so perfect. Because of his tiny size I was only able to have a quick cuddle before he was taken off to special care to see if all was ok. George went with him while I was stitched back up and taken to recovery. I can’t even begin to explain all the crazy feelings during that time. I was just so so elated that I wasn’t even sad to not be with George and Zac. I was in recovery for around 1-1.5 hours waiting for the spinal to wear off so I didn’t get to the special care unit until around 7:30pm and I was reunited with my boys. My parents and Eddy were waiting outside until I got to have a cuddle with him before coming in to meet their grandson/nephew which was another very special moment of the best day of all time.
Zac stayed in special care overnight but George and I went back into see him at about 5am the next day. I had hardly slept a wink, I was just far too excited. I was also sleeping just opposite special care and could hear the crying babies during the night and kept wondering if it was Zachie I was hearing. It felt so incredible to me that one of those crying babies were mine. My baby! My eyes kept constantly watering, and my heart felt like it could literally burst with happiness. I also remember that my face was so itchy from the spinal and I couldn't help but continuously scratch it all night. Luckily that side effect didn't last very long and by the next morning it was already wearing off. Once George and I were there with him the next morning it finally felt a tiny bit real, especially when we were told that he could leave special care and sleep in our room that night!
We had five fantastic nights in the hospital before coming home with our beautiful baby boy. We seriously felt like the luckiest people in the world.
The first few weeks were a real little bubble of indescribable emotions. We loved getting outside and taking him on adventures - mainly just taking him everywhere we would have gone before he was with us. I really felt like this helped so much and I really loved indulging in all the sweet comments we'd get from strangers. It is such a special time, I felt so many pangs of sadness because I knew how fleeting it all is and I didn't want it to end so quickly. It's funny how feelings of such happiness can actually give you feelings of sadness at the same time.
I was lucky with the recovery from the c-section because it was quite breezy. I'd often forget that I'd just had a full surgery because I was was so distracted by Zachie. If only you could be given a cute little baby to distract yourself from every surgery haha. I know I was lucky because I have heard of some recoveries being pretty awful.
Because of Zac being so little when he was born, we had to fatten him up with some formula while in hospital and we just continued to do so after as well. He'll still have 1-2 bottles of formula a day and it's something that I'm so happy we didn't have a choice over. It made those early weeks so much easier on myself while also giving George such a great chance to bond with him as he would feed him the bottle every day. It didn't seem to make breast feeding any harder either - he picked that up quite well too, with the help of a nipple shield for the first six weeks or so.
We're currently going through a little four month sleep regression but he was initially a very good little sleeper and let both of us get pretty much a full nights sleep from about five weeks old until about 3.5 months old. I've been reading The Happy Sleeper for coaching us how to sleep train him and it's so helpful! We're just lucky that it hasn't got to real sleep deprivation as I know that would be so hard. He's currently waking up about 1-3 times a night and I'll usually just feed him for about 4-5 mins before he falls straight back to sleep again. I'd love to get him back to sleeping through the night but it's not unmanageable at the moment so will see how some light sleep training goes over the next couple of months.
Hands down the most challenging thing about the introduction into motherhood has been trying to balance work between it all. I found it hard enough to remain focused and disciplined during pregnancy so I guess that was good practice because it's only got a whole lot harder. There are super lovely easy days but of course there are also days that feel awfully overwhelming with all the demands of being a 'working mum'. It's particularly tricky at the moment because it's the busiest time of work while I'm also trying to find my footing with being a brand new mum. I feel like this could be a whole post in itself so I'm going to try gather some thoughts on the topic and share in another post soon.
That being said, I am so insanely appreciative of it all. Every single little thing. To be honest, I just really love the chaos. I know I'll look back on these days and yearn to be able to relive them all over again. So I make it my mission to be grateful for every single second because having a healthy little baby boy is really all the matters.
On one hand I cannot believe I already have a four month old but on another it feels like he's been with us forever. Sounds a bit cooky but now that he's here and I spend my everyday with him, it feels like it was always going to be him. He's the exact little baby boy I was wishing and praying for. Well actually, he's even better than all of my wishes. I feel so lucky to be his mum and I cannot wait to see what the future holds for him and for us as a family.