My god. What a week. I won’t talk about Little M’s birth story here as that’s another story in itself but in short she stayed breech until the bitter end and was born by caesarean. This week has been such a roller coaster but here’s a brief roundup, day by day.
Most of it I wrote on each day, so it’s a fairly true reflection of how I felt at each stage. I hope it helps other new mums to feel they’re not alone xx
Monday: Birth. The first night in hospital; we didn’t sleep at all and just responded to Little M’s needs. The midwives did their best to help me to start breastfeeding but Little M was a fan of chomping down hard on my nipple and I ended up very bruised and sore.
Tuesday: Still in hospital. Very little sleep but all felt manageable. I kept asking about latch as didn’t think it was okay, but was reassured that it was fine.
Wednesday: We went home! But not until we’d worried about and been tested for Jaundice and had a heel prick to test Little M’s blood sugar. We were still breast feeding on demand. It was still hurting. But I was starting to feel like I was making progress.
Thursday: The midwife came. I love my midwife but it all went a bit pear shaped at this point. Midwife was impressed that my milk was coming in but pointed out breastfeeding latch wasn’t good enough and helped me to get it right while she was there. Little M has 8% weight loss, so we had to start a feeding plan, with feeds every 3 hours instead of on demand. By night time I was in bits. Little M didn’t want to feed when the schedule said and I just couldn’t get the latch right by myself.
Added to this hubby had fed me a well-intentioned-but-bloody-stupid-idea-in-reality curry for dinner which triggered my IBS. By 1:30am I’d been sick four times, run to the loo and added to the breastfeeding issues, wanted to die. This is no exaggeration. I told hubby I wanted to bottle feed as I couldn’t stand the thought of Little M not getting what she needed from me, due to my inability to get things right.
We tried giving Little M some expressed milk in a bottle and she loved it! Decision made. I’d try to express and bottle feed the breast milk for as long as possible.
Friday: A different midwife visited to support breastfeeding as I had requested an extra visit the day before. She was very supportive about expressing. All was going well with the express-feed-sterilise cycle but the amount of breast milk expressed seemed to be waning (this has since gone up and down). Hubby has described us as a well-oiled machine!
Saturday: Midwife came again and weighed Little M. She’d put weight on but still 6% short of birth weight. Midwife was very supportive about my choice to express, with a plan to move to formula in future, but also made a last ditch attempt to check that I didn’t want support to get Little M back on the breast. I declined as frankly the thought terrifies me, and she was very supportive of this and backed off immediately.
The midwife also did the heel prick test on Little M and removed the dressing from my section wound, which is healing well but still painful. Interestingly, when I told her I was getting terrible pain at one end of the scar, she said this is very common and research shows that it’s linked to the side of the body the surgeon was standing. True in my case. I do like a bit of evidence-based info; strangely it’s made me feel better about the pain although it still makes me yelp at times!
Sunday: I’m writing this on Sunday morning and feel like we’ve got into a good routine now. I no longer feel guilty about not breastfeeding. For the time being at least, Little M is getting my breast milk; it’s just not coming directly out of my breast. I know the NCT woman said it’s not as good that way, but do you know what? Stuff her! I’m doing my best and not having a breakdown as a result, which I consider a win.
Throughout all this I’ve been very limited as to what I can do due to pain from the c-section wound. Hubby has been amazing running around sterilising like nobody’s business and keeping me fed. It feels like we’re a really strong team and I just love him all the more.
And of course this little thing makes it all worth it too…