Thursday, January 28, 2010

How to keep up?

Oh, not managing very well to keep this updated. cannot face typing one handed and almost always have small breastfeeding infant taking up one arm at present. Right now she is asleep in hugabub, but may wake up at any moment. I would also like to fit in a toilet stop at some stage, but such is my commitment to my small but select audience that here I am writing instead.

Right now, DH is still mostly at home, so am very much enjoying having him and his help with active toddler-type. Inf act, I have to say that I am finding the transition from one to two much easier than from zero to one. Partly because Evie is an easier baby than Abi was (apart from some feeding difficulties, more on that later) but I think it's just more about attitude. For example; I expect that Evie will sleep during the day in the sling or with me, when I can put her down in her rocker or on the bed, it's a bonus. And I never bother timing how long she's been asleep or trying to resettle her. Whereas with Abi, I expected she would sleep in her basket for a couple of hours at a time, so when she didn't and I had to carry her, it felt like an imposition. As DH said, I've already basically given up my life, so what's one more?

Of course, Evie isn't even six weeks yet, so still plenty of time for it all to go to crap, but right now...I'd say pretty cruisy really.

Except for - and this is a big exception - breastfeeding has been unexpectedly tricky. In spite of her perfect birth and great latch from the beginning, not to mention no jaundice and a healthy term baby, she didn't really put on any weight for the first three weeks. The MCHN couldn't understand it and neither could I - she latched well, seemed to be swallowing, wasn't fussy and unsettled during the day...what was going on? The nurse advised me to express feeds into a bottle to check my supply and ensure she was actually getting full feeds to see what happened. She terrified me by saying there could be some kind of metabolic disorder that was stopping her from processing her milk properly. Cue panicked weeping.

I really didn't think there was anything basically wrong with her, in spite of my panic, but I was worried obviously and spent the next four days milking myself like a cow as it seemed to work quicker than my hand pump. Next weigh in found that she had put on 220g in four days - massive sigh of relief from all concerned. So since then I've hired an electric pump from my ABA group and we have been doing a mix of EBM feeds and breast. She put on another 200g in the next week, so we have gone to basically breastfeeds in the morning and overnight with two or three bottles in the afternoon. We have another weigh-in next week, if she has continued to put on weight - and I think she has - then we'll try phasing out the bottles altogether, if she's stalled a bit then I'm going to look into a SNS line.

She is definitely more difficult to feed than Abi. Abi would attach wherever, whenever, not fussy about positions, just drained the breast and then came off when she was finished. Evie definitely prefers the right side, likes me to sit up, gets annoyed when the milk isn't flowing really quickly and requires me to do hand-compressions and comes on and off. Part of this may well be being made worse by the bottle feeds, which is why I'm keen to get rid of them. I'm also taking her for a craniosacral adjustment next week, so I'm hoping that will help with her endurance and maybe work on any stiffness issues she has from her fast passage into the world.

So we are working hard and I'm proud of my commitment. I also have a much greater understanding of breastfeeding difficulties and how it feels to not be able to feed your baby. This should stand me in good stead when I eventually qualify as an ABA breastfeeding cousellor.

See look! Looks like perfect breastfeeding doesn't it?

Ooh, baby waking. More pics later.

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