Monday, 10 March 2014

Kaleb: Big Brother

We've had a week of life with Evelyn now and it is going well. Kaleb gets on well with her which is great. 

He can sometimes be over-exuberant without meaning to, but is getting better at interacting with her. Early on we would put her on his lap with one of us holding her underneath, but switched over to putting her on a pillow and putting the pillow on his lap so she is more stable. 

Often when he holds his new sister, Kaleb can appear very protective of her. Sometimes when she cries and we try to comfort her on his lap he will say "no" and push our hands away. One of the first times he held her, when we started to move her away he grabber her leg and arm and puller her towards him (this was one reason why we switched to having her on a pillow). 

Kaleb likes to point out the different parts of Evelyn's face - he can point out his eyes, ears, nose and mouth on his face and likes point at her face too. We keep on telling him to be gentle when he does this so he doesn't poke her too hard.  

He is very affectionate with his little sister too. He likes to give her little kisses on the head when she is on his lap or when he is getting ready for bed. He comes over to her Moses basket or pram when she is sleeping in it and points at her saying "bay" (translation: "baby"). 

Thursday, 6 March 2014


Three days before her due date, Liz gave birth to Evelyn, our daughter. 

Arriving early did mean that Liz and Evelyn aren't going to share a birthday (she was due on Liz's birthday). 

We found out Liz was pregnant later than we did with Kaleb; the first scan we had was around 14 weeks, so when we had the second scan at the usual time along in the pregnancy, it seemed a lot closer to the previous scan. 

As we've had Kaleb to look after as well, we have been a lot busier than previously, so it seemed to go by quicker. 

When it came to the point where Liz was full term, it was almost a surprise in a sense that I didn't realise how close it was, even though I knew it was coming soon. I think I worried less than around the same time with Kaleb, probably because I had a much better idea of what was coming. 

Labour and Birth
On the Thursday evening beforehand, Liz had been complaining about her back hurting, and we had a broken nights sleep because of it. She continued with her Friday as usual and when we were getting ready for bed Friday evening, her back started hurting a lot again. Calling up the hospital, they confirmed that she was in early labour, so we started preparing getting there. My Dad was in London and heading back in order to come and drive to our house, and my Mum also drove up. 

When they both got there, Liz was around the point where the contractions were close enough that we should be going in, so we went to the hospital with Dad and left Mum with Kaleb (who had been asleep but seemed to have woken up to see what was going on). 

When we got there, we initially were put in a room on the delivery unit as the midwife led unit was full at the time. Liz was checked and was on the borderline of being sent home, but as it was awkward for us to get there they let us stay. My Dad had fallen asleep on one of the chairs in the waiting room (it was 2:30 AM) so we had to wake him up to let him know he could leave, and as we would be staying he could go to his house to sleep. 

Liz had been given some standard painkillers after she had been there for a little while. I had a 10 minute doze in one of the chairs while we were waiting. Liz requested some more help with the pain as it got worse, and was informed that we could move to the midwife led unit as there was now space there. Upon getting there, Liz was allowed to use the Gas and Air so was pleased for both being in the midwife led unit (which is nicer than the delivery ward) and also having Gas and Air to help with the pain. 

In the midwife led unit, labour progressed a little faster than we expected. Liz had wanted to be in the water a little bit if possible, but there wasn't anyone around to run the birthing pool that early. There was a bath in the room we were in, but we attempted to rest a little and by the time the shifts were changing and we had new midwives Liz was too far into labour to go get the pool ready. 

Right at the end the midwives were concerned about the amount of blood they saw after the waters breaking so pressed a special button and about five people suddenly appeared to help out. At 8:28 AM the baby was born and given to Liz, then we all had a cuddle before checking the gender (it's a girl). 

After the birth, all three of us had a bit of a cuddle. I had a cuddle with Evelyn while Liz had a check from the Midwives. Evelyn also had a check and her Vitamin K injection. 

As everything was fine we were left in the room for a bit while one of the midwives completed the necessary paperwork for us. We made some calls to family members to tell everyone (even waking my Dad up again in the process). We had discussed some names beforehand and had decided upon Evelyn for a girl. 

A little after midday, someone came round with some food for Liz and we were told that we should be able to leave in a couple of hours; I let Dad know so he could get ready to come up to pick us up (after first picking up the car seat from our house). 

Liz had a shower and got dressed and gave Evelyn a feed while Dad was on his way, and we were home by 6 in the evening, which was a great improvement compared to when Liz had to stay a couple of days after Kaleb was born. 

At Home
We arrived home and showed Kaleb the new arrival,  including a little toy gift that the baby had got for him. My Mum had also had a similar thought and gave Kaleb a soft toy to give to the baby (he dropped it in her car seat), and then she also gave him some flowers to give to Liz (although he also dropped them in her car seat). 

Liz was very pleased to not have to stay in hospital for a couple of days, so we have gone out a couple of times already. We had a wander around Luton to get a couple of bits of clothes for both Kaleb and Evelyn (we didn't have much in the way of baby girl clothes), in addition to usual trips out of going to the shops and taking Kaleb to playgroup/nursery. 

My Mum has stayed with us for a couple of nights, mainly helping to look after Kaleb which has been a great help so we can focus on getting Evelyn sorted, and Kaleb gets to have extra activities done with his Nan, so he's happy. We'll have Liz's Mum visiting soon too. Liz's birthday was only a couple of days after Evelyn was born, so we have a mixture of cards on display (birthday cards, new baby cards and big brother cards for Kaleb so he doesn't feel left out). We have also had a lot of family come to visit, and I'm sure we will see more soon. 

Kaleb seems to have gotten used to Evelyn quite quickly. He strokes her head (usually) gently and likes to try and hold her on his lap sometimes. We've had to guide him away from trying to poke her in the face and towards being more gentle a couple of times, but on the whole he has been really good with her. He is a very protective big brother, once when she was on his lap and got upset, when we tried to comfort her he said "no" and pushed our hands away. Another time at nursery he was standing next to her (being held by me) and one of his nursery friends came over to have a look at the new baby, but Kaleb pushed him away and said "no" again. When she's sleeping on someone, he has occasionally gone "shhh" to other adults while she is sleeping (this is usually followed by him shouting near her, but it is a good start). 

We had the Midwife visit earlier and while it is expected that a new baby will lose some of their birth weight, Evelyn's weight has stayed the same since she was born (3330 g). 

It has been a big change bringing Evelyn into our lives. We have to get used to handling a small baby again which was a little weird at first but I think I'm getting used to it again. Like Kaleb, she is a content little baby - she feeds well and sleeps a lot, but only really cries when she wants something (usually feeding). I'm looking forward to the time ahead, it is going to be a lot of fun spending time with my growing family.