Wednesday, 19 January 2011

New Mum Dilemmas

Well, he's asleep for his middle of the day nap. At 1pm this is so far the longest he's managed at this time of day and I'm hoping that means he'll be a bit more alert in the afternoon and perhaps then might sleep better overnight. Who knows? I can but hope. The only difference is that I have kept the moses basket downstairs with me in the living room. Obseving him sleeping I have noticed that the first 45 minutes or so comprise of cat naps only a few minutes long with breaks where he sometimes opens his eyes and looks about. In the familiarity of the living room and knowing I am close, he seems not to have whinged very much at all during the wakeful moments, settling back to dozing off quite quickly. The wakeful moments have got shorter, free of whinges and further and further apart and now he seems quite deeply asleep. Touch wood!
This morning it didn't look to be going too well. He was alert enough during scheduled play time and having fun in his playgym/mat thingy so I took a moment to pop into the kitchen and rotate things round the steriliser. He whinged, I asumed that this was simply because I was out of eyeshot - he's been starting to do that this week, co-incidence? - so I finished what I was doing and came quickly back.
He was unhappy due to the fact he was covered and I mean covered in sick. I hadn't even heard it happen, even being only feet away as I was. The only blessing is that he was on his playmat so it didn't go all over the carpet and it didn't go all over me as I'm currently in my only fitting outfit that's clean at the moment. Need to iron, desperately.
Off we trot to the bathroom. I would like to point out that only yesterday he leaked yellow all over his clothes and had done the same the day before. This morning he had done another massive one literally minutes after dressing him. What has happened to my previously well behaved (in the rear department) baby? I do know that switching to far more formula does produce.... more, but this is mad! It smells worse as well. My bath has last nights poopy clothes having a pre-soak and now has sick added to it. The smell up there is not pleasant.

Will use the rest of this blog to mentioning two big decisions new mums face. I'm embarking on a routine system which has polarised opinions in whomever you ask. I have been told that trying this is actively cruel by some, and the best thing they ever did by others. So why am I doing it?
Sleep, for one. If this routine delivers what Gina Ford promises - baby sleeping much longer in the night - then Andy and I will be better rested, better able to cope through the day and better able to deal with incidents like I have mentioned above. We have seen some positives even after one week, we have (on average) managed to get better sleep this week with more success than failure in the overnight stakes. Also, if I'm more alert in general I'll be less likely to make mistakes or do anything silly.
Simply for Josephs benefit, having a structure means I know exactly how much nutrition he's getting and I know he's getting enough. Just as importantly as I'm using mostly formula now, I also know I'm not inadvertantly giving him too much!
This brings me on to my next point - bottlefeeding. It was with quite a heavy heart that I had to concede something of a failure with breastfeeding. Due to difficulties after the birth, he being sleepy and me being unwell, feeding was slow to start and his blood sugar dropped and he got a little dehydrated. Having seen this happen I did not want it to happen again and I know what it looks like. During the first two weeks of his life I slogged away at breastfeeding, and inevitably by the end of the day, he was starving hungry and I could give him no more. What could I do, but give a bottle?
My milk started coming in, but clearly too slowly for him. His apetite was increasing and I was lucky if I could get to 1pm without needing to top him off having fed him from me for at least an hour till I was dry, only to find him still ravenous. I set myself a six week limit, having been told that it can take that long for milk production to fully get into swing. It's been hard. By the end I have had to top him up by 90ml (that's quite a lot) each feed just to get him to go 3 hours, which seems to be the minimum time I need to 'recharge'. The sheer pointlessness of it coupled with my ever increasing levels of discomfort made it harder.
Now, I am expressing about 4 times a day and bottlefeeding. I am more comfortable, he's getting what he needs and for the first time I am starting to feel a bit less guilty. He's still asleep by the way, the longest yet during the day, but it's back to lighter sleep so I'll sign off now and get a bite to eat while I can. If anyone would like to comment I'll be interested in your opinions.

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