Saturday, 2 August 2014

Two weeks with Emma and our Hospital/Breastfeeding fiasco!

How Old:   15 Days
Weight:  7 lbs 8.5 oz (3.4 kg)
Likes:  Being swaddled, bouncing, the Kangaroo setting on the Mamaroo, Eating 
Dislikes:  BATHS, hats, being changed/moved/bothered in any way, shape or form when sleeping.
Eating:  We have both found our stride with breastfeeding (more on that below).  Emma tends to have a good feed every three hours, although she has a tendency to fall asleep when she should be eating! I've just bought a Mamamoosh Milkscarf for feeding out and about!
Sleeping:  The milk coma allows for a nice three hour nap!  She is an awesome sleeper, especially at night!  She doesn't get fussy at all - I can feed her and then put her right back in her cradle and she'll wake three hours later for her next feed.  Sometimes I use a white noise app on my phone if she whimpers, but more often than not, she is out like a light!  She has been AMAZING in the car - passes out for entire journeys!
Routine:  We wake up around 7am and our routine basically goes Eat, Play, Sleep - over and over again!  We operate in three hourly blocks (with plenty of dirty nappies in there).  It's amazing how quickly the day flies when you realise the next feed is right around the corner.
Sizes: Newborn clothing, Size 1 Nappy, but still too small for shoes!
Milestones:  I'm going to count weight gain as a milestone.  She lost and she gained (see below for the full, dramatic story)!
Mum's favourite moment:  The other night we woke up to a bat flying around our bedroom.  Being half asleep, I somehow thought I was holding Emma and had dozed during a feed. I covered us up in the duvet and woke B to get the bat out of the room. He quickly opened the windows wide and then hid behind the door.  It took me a moment to realise that I didn't have Emma, but rather had the duvet in my arms - Emma was fast asleep in her cradle next to me.  Once the bat flew out, we just laughed.  3 am laughter really is the best medicine.
Dad's favourite moment:  Leaving the hospital after the third admission.  We found it slightly ridiculous that we were in and out of hospital so many times within Emma's first week.  In fact, one of the nurses nearly cried on our third admission when we told her she was seven days old and hadn't even been out of the house in her pram yet.

After Emma was born, we spent three nights in hospital whilst I recovered from the C section and tried to get the hang of breast feeding (considering it took morphine to get me out of bed for the first time, three days is pretty impressive).  

Nights were pretty horrific as B was home and it was just the two of us.  As much as I tried, I couldn't get Emma to latch on during feeds.  She would become upset causing me to become upset - needless to say, the feeding just wasn't working.  She wouldn't settle and we spent most of every night awake.  I couldn't decide if she was just nocturnal or just hungry.  

The midwives were helpful, but I still didn't feel like Emma was feeding properly.  I wasn't hellbent on breastfeeding, nor did I have any strong feelings towards formula.  I wanted to breastfeed due to the health benefits, but if we couldn't get the hang of it, we would do whatever got her to feed.  

We finally managed to make it home on Sunday night and the three of us took on another very unsettled night.  We knew the midwives would be checking on us the next two days, so we made up a list of questions - mostly to do with feeding.

I finally decided I was sick of her being unsettled and opted to use nipple shields. I had been given them to try in hospital but then had some midwives telling me not to use them.  There was so much conflicting advice I decided I was going to do what I wanted to do - forget what everyone else said.  Emma took to it immediately.  She was virtually a different baby - finally able to feed.  We had our first good night since she was born.  

As good as this was, when the midwives came to weigh her, we found she lost 13.5% of her birth weight.  This led to a referral to the hospital where we had to be readmitted and checked by the paediatrician.  I was utterly devastated - of course it was my fault as I had been the one feeding her - or rather not feeding her.

At the hospital, the midwives and paediatricians were more than happy with our progress with the nipple shield and thought we had turned a corner with the feeding. They were happy for us to go home and continue as we were, with another weigh in two days later.  B and I felt like we were getting into the swing of things.  Emma was settled, happy and feeding so well.  

Her next weigh in showed some progress (after the midwife told me she had lost MORE weight, there were loads of tears (from me) and then we found there was a discrepancy due to a different set of scales being used).  It was then decided her weight would be checked again the following day.  We didn't think much of this at the time, but one thing led to another and Emma weighed in low AGAIN and we were readmitted to the hospital for observation.  

I was utterly devastated as I had gained my confidence back and thought we were making real progress with the breastfeeding and weight gain.  To find out she wasn't gaining weight and we had to return to hospital left me virtually inconsolable.  I felt like I was starving my daughter - the one thing I was supposed to provide for her was food, and I couldn't even get that right.

Once again, the hospital staff looked us over and decided we were doing everything right - it just takes time for babies to gain that weight back.  Naturally, weight fluctuates on a daily basis - Emma had been weighed before a feed whereas she was weighed after feeds the previous times.  Of COURSE there would be a dip in her weight.  

The staff at the hospital were amazing and took Emma for cuddles in the night so that B and I could get some sleep (they even let B stay the night as well).  In the morning they were happy for us to go, but we left feeling discouraged and like utter failures.  Good thing we have a friend who is a midwife - she gave us the encouragement we needed.

All in all, the feeding nightmare seems to be resolved. Emma has put on double the amount of weight expected of her - and you can totally tell as she is heavier and much stronger.  It was not the best first two weeks of existence, but we have survived and finally have a happy baby!

In other news:
We also went for newborn photos at Penneycress Photography in Norwich. I don't have the full set yet, but our sneak peek was so darn gorgeous I couldn't resist sharing!

Cuteness overload?  Yep.

It was also my 30th Birthday this past week and B treated me like absolute royalty!  From the cake to the Birthday/Push Present - I am one spoilt girl!

B baked the cake himself and decorated it - not to mention making Olaf!

For as long as I can remember, I've wanted a Mulberry Handbag.  B decided after the past 9.5 months I may have earnt it (Hyperemesis, 36 hour labour, Emergency C section, Feeding problems/stays in hospital, 30th Birthday....yea....well deserved!)!  We headed to Bicester Village and I had my choice of bags from the Mulberry shop!  Both B and I loved this one!

Spoilt, spoilt, spoilt!  It's a 30th birthday I'll never forget!

Now if you would excuse me, I've got a gorgeous little girl to play with!


1 comment:

  1. You have made a beautiful baby!!!! Sounds like you are doing all the right things. Enjoy Emma everyday to the fullest. Babies grow up so rapidly and you will always have cherished memories to hold dear to your heart. Congrats to all of you!!!!

    Mary Mills