It’s now been 10 weeks since Jade was born and I can now say it is getting much easier! The first couple of weeks were a blur, I was so tired and overwhelmed that I am amazed I managed to get through it with my sanity. I think the only way I got through it was because of friends and family, I do not know how I could have done it without them. My mum and my best friend Rachel were lifesavers and I love them so much!
I wrote a post three weeks after i gave birth which you can find Here detailing my labour and Jade being admitted into hospital with jaundice but I didn’t really mention how hard I found it all, especially the fact I had to start bottle feeding.
After Jade received the all clear for her jaundice, I continued to try and breastfeed as much as possible while reducing the amount of top-up feeding. This is what the midwife suggested as I should be producing enough milk now. However, I never produced enough to satisfy her. I didn’t even have that ‘engorgement’ stage where I am uncomfortable or leaking away. I spoke to my local midwife lead unit on the phone and they suggested I pop down and get some support to find out what I could do differently to help out. They were brilliant but unfortunately it looked like i’m not producing enough for Jade so bottle feeding it is. I did feel like a failure as i’m not giving her the best milk a mother can provide and I did have a good cry over it but now I know she had the colostrum that was needed when she was born and there is nothing wrong with bottle feeding. I can now see that if I kept trying she would start to be in the ‘failure to thrive’ category, become dehydrated and become very unwell. I still latch her onto me now so she can have whatever is there and for comfort (plus we still have our special bond then!). Plus my husband can help with feeding Jade and enjoy their own special bond.
Changing Jades clothes was the other difficult thing I had to overcome. I was so scared to put the vest over her head and pull her little arms through the sleeves, to me she is so fragile that I am afraid I might hurt her. Tom on the other hand was amazing at changing her clothes, we kind of had a system of me changing her nappy as I can deal with wee and poo then Tom can change her clothes. Fast forward a couple of weeks and I am now a pro! She now has some amazing clothes and is becoming fashionable in her own right (she owns more clothes than me!), so another hurdle accomplished.
Night times when she was only a couple of weeks old was hard, I was so tired as she was awake every three hours for feeding on the dot. I felt physically and emotionally drained. It took quite a while for my body clock to get used to it as I normally get out of bed late morning and even have a nap in the afternoon. Now she will be sound asleep (well she is a very noisy sleeper) for a solid five hours, that gives my body enough rest to get through the day. I found it hard when people say to me ‘sleep when baby sleeps’ as I was too hyped up looking after Jade. My body can completely recharge on the weekend when Toms not at work so he can help with the night feeds. I think we have a really good system between us, good team work.
We had the joy of going to our doctors surgery to have her eight week immunisations done and a check up for both of us. Of course I was scared but she needed to have them done (I am a firm believer of immunisations but also respect other peoples choice on the matter). She screamed so badly it broke my heart! She screamed all morning and I tried everything to make her feel a little bit better, I ended up in hysterical tears because it upset me so much. Luckily my dad finished work early so we popped round for some extra support. She slept the rest of the day and was back to normal in the morning. Now we have the joy of going back at twelve weeks and sixteen weeks and doing it all over again.
Jade is now at the stage where she is interacting with us more, plenty of babbling and smiling at us. It really does melt your heart as her whole face lights up! I have countless amounts of photos and videos on my phone of Jade ‘chatting’ away at me and smiling I have run out of space, lots off apps were deleted so I can fit more pictures on! I can’t wait for her to start laughing/giggling and playing with toys so I know she is a happy girl.
Sometimes, even though I never show it to anyone, I can just suddenly be in tears as I do struggle (as we all do!) and I do hope I can be the best mum to Jade. Some people can completely irritate me by telling me things I already know about my own daughter or making clicking noises, the same noises you would use to call the dog over, and it makes me angry thinking ‘she is not a dog!’. I unfortunately bottle these up inside and have a good cry on my own to let it all out. Luckily I have Tom as a shoulder to cry on and to tell me I am a brilliant mum, which I know I am but it’s nice to be told. I think I need to just talk to some people about my frustrations rather than just keeping it in.
Well that’s it for now, I might do milestone updates as we plod along so I can look back on this in many years time and remember. Please comment below if you have had similar or complete opposite experiences to me, I would love to hear other stories.