I would like to introduce you to a very special person.
Say hello to our baby girl, Alba Rose.
Alba was born in October weighing 7 pounds and if I do say so myself, she is the perfect bundle of absolute perfection!
I don’t know how to write this article. Because all I can think of is a million cheesy clichés that slowly roll my eyes with such exaggerated force that it makes my head hurt. But this time they’re all true.
Actually, I started writing this article when Alba was two weeks old. I wrote it and forgot about it, but it felt weird to introduce Alba a few weeks later. Because she didn’t feel like a new baby anymore. It was strange to feel like she had always been a part of our family. I barely remember what life was like when it was just the four of us, but it feels like it was a lifetime ago. I know it’s a cliché, but it felt like she was always meant to be with us and our family was complete.
^That wonderful but awkward moment when Alba was handed to me while my stomach was stitched up. Not the best position for a first cuddle.
When I found out I was pregnant, I immediately knew this was going to be different. It has nothing to do with having a girl after having two boys. Rather, it has to do with her confidence in her abilities as a mother. I’m not perfect and I still make mistakes, but this time I definitely know what I’m doing.
To be honest, I can’t express in words how good it feels to hear you say that.
I’ve never been a bad mother to George and Joseph (in fact, I’m a really good mother!), but I was nervous.
This time, you won’t have to second-guess every decision you make. I’m not worried about others judging me. I’m not trying to be seen as trying to “get out of there” too quickly and nailing my life to prove I’m coping.
I didn’t leave the house for a full week after Alba was born, and 4-5 weeks after she was born I still didn’t do much. I’m taking it slow and enjoying every moment with my newborn.
I know we won’t have any more children, so I want to enjoy every moment of this newborn period.
^ We spent a lot of time here during the first month after Alba was born!
But enough about me (for now!) Let’s talk about Alba.
For now, she’s a complete dream. She sleeps so well! How could she forget her newborn baby’s sleep time! I’m sure those kids didn’t sleep that much. She’s so content that when she’s not sleeping, she’s very happy lying in her crib or hanging out in a chair and just watching the world go by. This is a welcome change, as the boys never sit around like this. I was always bouncing and rocking the boys and they always liked to move, but Alba just relaxes and watches her older brothers play.
I think there’s a lot of stimulation and a lot of things going on around her, so there’s a lot to keep her little brain busy.
I think it’s amazing that Alba was used to the noise of her siblings even before she was born. We quickly realized that she is really happy when she hears them screaming and playing (which is good because they are so loud!) because she doesn’t like silence. I often turn on the TV or listen to music. Her background noise.
I keep asking myself if Alba is relaxing because I am relaxing. Of course, that’s a question I’ll never know the answer to, but that doesn’t mean I stop thinking about it.
Alba’s arrival into the world
As many of you know, I had an elective C-section and everything went smoothly. It was my third c-section, so it was a little more complicated than the first two because of the scar tissue, but that was to be expected. It also felt like there was a lot of pulling and tugging, so it was never a fun experience and never will be, but my first two c-sections went very quickly, so… I barely had time to think about the awful things. It feels like a baby has been pulled out of my body.
She was discharged from the hospital within 24 hours, but was readmitted a week later with hypertension. I previously had high blood pressure, so I have a monitor that allows me to measure it at home. I had blurry vision and a headache, so I pulled out my old blood pressure monitor and noticed that my blood pressure was really high.
During my pregnancy and delivery, I felt really scared for the first time. I knew how serious high blood pressure was and that it could cause a stroke, so I called the hospital and they asked me to come back. I cried all the way there and arrived covered in bubbles situation!
But it turns out it was actually okay. It was very quiet in the ward, so I felt more relaxed than usual. I was given medication, and my blood pressure wasn’t going down, so I was told to stay overnight. I was shown to a private room, and Alba was allowed to share the same room. After spending the day eating chocolate and biscuits and watching Netflix in bed, my blood pressure started to drop a bit. It wasn’t exactly a relaxing spa vacation, but to say it was a lot of fun would be an understatement!
My blood pressure is still high, so I think it will return to normal if I continue to take the medication and my hormones balance out.
^When we got home from the hospital, Alba seemed seriously upset about being discharged!
George and Joseph
A lot of people have been asking how George and Joseph are doing with their new baby sister, and we honestly couldn’t wish them better!
I was sure Joseph would be jealous, especially when Alba started talking in a baby voice right before she was born. I’m sure he was sad that he was no longer part of the family, but he was so wonderful. He is totally obsessed with his baby sister. Our only problem is that he always wants to hug her, kiss her, stroke her head and hold her hand, but he’s a little too pushy. Alba is definitely going to be a tough cookie! George also loves her and she is very affectionate and eager to help her. He loves picking out her Alba’s clothes every morning and loves organizing her clothes!
Overall, I don’t feel having a third child is much more difficult than having two children, but I know I’m still at an easier stage. I think it will be even more difficult this time next year when Alba starts walking and she has to have her own opinions and ideas and negotiate with her three children!
School management can be a little difficult, especially since Joseph always wants to be held. I think the only way for anyone to go to school or daycare and back without crying is to have a pocket full of sweets. But what has to be done must be done. I have never been more grateful to Haribo!
^I’m still a little nervous about my baby sister
^Joseph is very proud to always take her for a walk
Another big question I get asked is about recovery after my third c-section. This was definitely the hardest and took me a while to recover from. I think part of the reason was because I didn’t want to show everyone that I was okay!
When I gave birth to George and Joseph, I was told that if the nurses at the hospital saw me standing up and walking around, they would most likely send me home right away. I wanted to go home early so I was doing laps around the ward as much as possible to have all the midwives check on me and see how well I was doing. It’s never a good idea to push yourself too hard before you’re ready, but moving my body definitely made me feel better.
When I gave birth to Alba, I was immediately told that they would let me go home early and that they now have most mothers home within 24 hours. This was very reassuring for me and I was so happy to be able to go home, but it meant I didn’t do laps around the ward and basically didn’t move for 24 hours.
After 24 hours of not moving, I felt very stiff and frozen, and once I got home I spent another 24 hours barely moving, which made it even more stiff and sore. As a result, her first week was more difficult, but after two weeks she felt okay again.
I started driving after 4 weeks (after consulting with my doctor) and felt almost normal after 6 weeks.
I’m now 14 weeks in and I feel exactly the same as I did before the surgery. It’s amazing how quickly the human body can recover from major surgery!
I feel like my body is back to normal. My waist has returned, and my stomach has gotten smaller. I gained a little weight during my pregnancy, so the clothes I’ve been wearing are a little tight, but that’s okay. By breastfeeding, eating healthy, and trying to stay as active as possible, you will eventually lose it. I’m at a weird loss where most of my clothes don’t fit, but I don’t want to buy new clothes to accommodate the extra pounds!
I’m currently going to two exercise groups that I love for the social aspect, but I don’t know how much they’re helping me!
“I have my hands full!” People love to say this to me.
What’s the plan for The Travel Hack?
Now that I have three children, I couldn’t help but turn this blog into a family lifestyle blog. When I had George, I was adamant that I wasn’t going to be a “mommy blogger.” I hate this word, and I don’t want to be the kind of person who suddenly finds myself unable to talk about anything but my children even though I have children. I wanted motherhood to be the biggest thing in my life, but I didn’t want it to dominate my life. I didn’t want it to take over. So I don’t think travel hacks changed much when George was born. Things slowed down a little bit when Joseph was born, but again, I don’t think that’s changed. But will it happen this time?
I’ve always loved writing travel blogs that have nothing to do with motherhood. It was a place for me to escape and use my brain to think about other things. Having children is a joy, but I wanted other things to occupy my mind.
I don’t really feel like that. Family life takes up 80% of my brain and I’m okay with that!
I’m not sure what that means, and I’m not sure what it means for the future of this blog, but I’d like to take some time to think about it.
One thing’s for sure: we’ll be seeing a lot more of this adorable little face on Travel Hacks!
Introducing Baby George