Last Wednesday we brought our brand new baby daughter home.
Matilda Mae was born at 10.25am on Wednesday 2nd May 2012 and at 5.30pm we were heading home for tea.
When we arrived home we introduced Matilda to her older twin siblings, Esther and William, who were confused but delighted to have a tiny baby in the house.
Since Matilda’s slightly early arrival Esther and William have been getting to grips with life and adapting to having a younger sister.
I am not sure how much they understand what has happened and why there is a new addition to our family but they know that she is here even if they are not sure whether or not she is here to stay.
Thursday was our first full day as a family and it seemed to go really well. Esther and William love having their Daddy around all the time and the baby was a novelty for them. That day we all got up together and Matilda slept while the rest of us ate breakfast as usual. Matilda actually slept for most of the day and so we were able to carry on much as usual. I was not in too much pain and so was able to play with Esther and William. Thursday was a good day. David took Esther and William to the park while the midwife visited and then my best friend came for an hour late afternoon. She brought Esther and William some Happyland toys which they loved and bought Michele a bit of time for a cuddle with Matilda, whilst at the same time sorting shapes with William. Bless his heart.
Friday was also a good day. Matilda again did a lot of sleeping. She is slightly jaundiced and so this makes her extra sleepy on top of the fact that she was a few days early and so is prone to just sleeping and feeding rather than having much awake time. When she is awake though she is alert and she loves her milk. We are having some problems with her feeding. I think that her latch is wrong and it has caused my nipples to crack and bleed. Feeding is very painful so I hope that we can perfect our technique very soon.
On Friday afternoon we met my best friend again at a soft play centre where she and my husband played with Esther and William whilst I sat with Matilda. Michele also sat with Matilda for a while so that I was able to play with Esther and William. I see Michele every Friday afternoon as she is the Godmother of all our children. I am looking forward to using her visits in the future to allow me to spend some time with Esther and William whilst she gets to know her newest Goddaughter.
I am very aware that it is not just the twins missing time with me but also me missing time with them. I love having a new baby but I do not want to lose the wonder I already have with the older two. I am desperately worried about how I am going to cope once David goes back to work. On Saturday I was beside myself as Esther and William cried themselves to sleep calling out to us for cuddles. When I went in to comfort Esther she clung to me like she would never let go and it broke my heart to know the effect my having another baby was having on her. I felt awful. I also feel awful for Matilda that she might grow up without as much attention as she deserves as I try to balance myself precariously between all three of our children. Saturday was Day 3. My milk came in, the pain from my stitches was unbearable and I seemed to be alienating my children. The tears came flooding. I did not know what to do.
It was Saturday when we started to notice a real change in Esther and William. Esther is constantly wanting cuddles and William is starting to throw tantrums and push his boundaries by doing things that he knows he is not allowed to do. They are spending more and more time with Daddy and less and less time with me and this can be heartbreaking. I need to make time to be with the twins as I am terrified of losing the close relationship that I have with them.
Having Matilda has made me realise the truth of love spreading and growing. Having a new baby makes you realise just how much you love your older babies and makes you yearn to provide for all of them and be a good mummy to everyone of them. I know that this is going to be hard and I am going to need tough skin over the coming weeks and months as we make the transition from four to five.
Sunday was not much better than Saturday. My parents came to visit for the afternoon which was lovely but exhausting. Esther and William lapped up the attention but really struggled once everyone was gone. I know now that our decision to keep visitors to a minimum was the right one and to only see people that Esther and William know and regularly see. I want things to be as normal as possible while we try to find our feet and establish a new routine.
Sunday I was in a lot of pain. And Monday was not much better. I started to worry that I might have an infection in my stitches. I was also still worried about Matilda’s latch. The midwife came to see us and witnessed William tantrum in spectacular fashion. She examined Matilda and examined me and said that we are both doing fine. No infection for me and no weight loss for Matilda proving that she is in fact feeding fine. A relief but also a worry. If her latch is good and she is feeding fine then why I am in such agonising pain each time she goes to the boob?
Monday things became quite fraught. William seemed to be struggling the most and seemed worried and emotional. David ended up taking the twins out on his own and I, instead of resting, spent the time tidying the house as Matilda, unsurprisingly, was asleep!
I was feeling guilty about David. My husband. He is being so wonderful, working so hard and looking after all of us. He is far better with Esther and William than I am. They love being with him and he just deals with them in such a calm, confident and assured way. He is so understanding and patient and creative. He makes the best of every situation and he is able to think quickly and improvise things to do when things go wrong. He is a wonderful father and an amazing husband and I honestly do not know how any of us would function without him.
Today, Tuesday, was a challenge that we overcame. We all overslept but still managed to get all five of us in the car and to our Tumble Tots class on time. Esther and William as always had a wonderful time climbing and jumping and stretching and playing with balls. They love teir weekly gym session and today was particularly special as Daddy was with us to show off too! After class we came home for snacks before all the babies had a two hour nap and Mummy had a rest too. Then we had my parents here again in the afternoon. I was not much company as I was so tired and in a lot of pain from over doing it at the morning session.
Once my parents left we took Esther and William to a playground and for a milkshake before tea. Matilda slept through most of the afternoon activities which meant that I got to spend some quality time with the twins. It paid off. Esther and William seemed much happier this evening and were able to settle themselves in bed. A relief to a Mummy who could not bear having her heartbroken over the monitor again.
So as our first week together draws to close I think we are making some progress.
I feel happy this evening that we can make this work. Somehow it will all come together. It has to.
Because now there are three!