I didn't want him driving home cross-eyed so I agreed to stay on the postnatal ward. I did feel a little lost without Euan, when both our boys were brand new, I've felt that Euan is way more of a natural talent than I am. Also, I remembered Sam's first meconium nappy and had really hoped daddy would have been on hand to deal with Baby Carmichael's.
That night on my own with him was frankly weird. He was so perfectly like his brother that I kept calling him Sam. He also produced meconium just like his brother. Unlike his brother, he wasn't stoned on diamorphine so he nursed a whole lot more. The midwife took pity on me and brought a sidecar crib so it was easier to lift and resettle him.
When he was finally ready for a longer sleep, it was helpful having him in arm's reach because I was too hopped up on euphoria to settle myself but I found when I rested a hand on his tummy I got in sync with his breathing and drifted off. I wonder now if I was having a flash of mothering sixth sense as we found out the next day that he had a heart murmur.
When we got him home late on the Sunday evening (he was born on the Friday night - so much for getting out within six hours), I was simultaneously delighted and horrified that his condition meant he could be treated as an outpatient. I was delighted to get him home but terrified in case the doctors were wrong. The first couple of nights with him in the moses basket played havoc with my posture because I kept waking up dangled over the edge of the bed with an arm over Leo's tummy.
Then when we went to build up our sidecar crib, we found it had a crack in the side panel. Fortunately our fantastic local baby shop, Little Peas, were able to exchange it straight away for an alternative.
We couldn't be happier with the Snüzpod from The Little Green Sheep. It's a three in one mesh bassinet so it can be a stand alone crib, a co-sleeper crib with the base tethered to our bed and the side panel zipped down, or the bassinet can be used anywhere in the house when lifted off the base. We haven't actually used the first or third one yet as I'm finding it so much more restful to have Leo in our room but the third one will be handy for daytime naps soon as he's rapidly getting too long for the carrycot on the pram!
Leo is a much more settled baby when it comes to going to sleep than Sam was. Sam didn't do significant overnight stretches until he was seven months old (although he sleeps like a teenager now) and I'm convinced that Leo's ability to drift off on his own is largely due to the fact that this time we read up on safe co-sleeping practices. There have been many nights where he has needed to feed often but I've been able to feed him lying down and then slide him back into his crib when I eventually wake up and realise he's finished eating.
I'm still as tired as I was when Sam was tiny but not any more tired despite the toddler wrangling through the day. This is an enormous help in easing my postnatal depression/anxiety symptoms so I'm a happier mummy all round. There is lots of co-sleep advice available, the books I read were The No Cry Sleep Solution by Elizabeth Pantley and Gentle Birth, Gentle Mothering by Sarah Buckley.
Now all I need to do is start going to bed earlier so that I can be as much of a morning person as my sons are at 6.45am!