Family

Libby Matthews: Life as a new mum is a whirlwind

Columnist Libby Matthews fills us in on life with new bub, Maxwell Milou.

Libby Matthews
Libby Matthews

Naturopath, author and co-owner of blog Julia and Libby is a first time mum to daughter Maxwell. Over the coming weeks, she'll be sharing her progress as she gets to grips with motherhood, and all the changes it involves.

“On the last day of 2016 I welcomed my daughter, Maxwell Milou Boxall, into the world.

It was a rocky start. I laboured for 24 hours before having to have an emergency C-section on New Year’s Eve, and was then kept in hospital for four days while I recovered from the procedure.

While no-one loves hospital stays, it was actually great to have the nurses to help me with those first few days. They were just amazing. I needed all the help I could get learning the ropes of motherhood, so far away from my own mum, and they were just fantastic.

When we got home, my parents flew over from New Zealand to help out, and that has made the experience far less stressful. I know we are extremely lucky to have such dedicated family around us who could spare the time to be this hands on.

Mum was able to take Maxwell for an hour or so each day so I had the luxury of getting some work done, going for a quick walk or just running errands, and that has helped me feel on top of everything to have that small bit of time to myself.

Saying that, every time I left the house I’ve had this horrible sense of guilt that I’m not there with her, so I could only do small stints away.

So far, so good. There haven’t been any tiredness induced breakdowns just yet, tantrums or crying fits, so I’m hopeful that this can continue. But I know we are only four weeks in and maybe that time will come!

Maxwell is waking up twice during the night, usually at around two and five. I struggle to go back to sleep once I’m awake so I’ve just been staying up and keeping busy, but will have the odd nap during the day while she’s sleeping.

Our little family have the added bonus that Michael, my partner, starts and finishes work early, so he’s usually home in the early afternoon.

He has been fantastic with her and even gets up during the night and does feeds so I can sleep through.

Obviously I have always been passionate about health and fitness, it’s my livelihood, so I am so happy that I can finally start working out again. For weeks I’ve just been walking with the buggy, eating as healthily as I can. But I actually hit the gym at the end of last week for the first time.

I’ve also been totally amazed at how quickly breastfeeding helps you lose baby weight, and while it’s great to be active I’m also listening to my body.

In other exciting news – I’ve booked a flight back to New Zealand next month – so I can introduce my sister Julia to my daughter, and catch up with all the people I haven’t seen since 2016!

Catch you in two weeks, L x

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