Thursday, January 3, 2013

Finding Time

Josie had her six-week birthday yesterday.  Hand-in-hand with this goes a huge growth spurt, which means she likes to feed from around 7pm-2am, angrily headbutting me when the milk is not quite as freely available as she would like.  Regardless of how the rest of the night has gone, I seem to wake the following morning as drained and exhausted as if I'd not slept at all.  Handily, Jamie doesn't start back at University until the end of January, so he's available to keep an eye on the children while I try and catch up on sleep for an hour here or there during the day.  I'm finding it hard to find the time during daylight hours to get out for a walk, and as I'm stuck on the sofa feeding all evening, there's no time for exercise then either.

This evening, I managed exactly 11 minutes of Wii Fit-ing, before she started screeching again.  She does a good line in screeching.

So my activity for today goes something like this:

  • Wii Fit - 11 minutes
  • Breastfeeding - hours and hours and hours and hours (although not as many hours as yesterday)

I've written elsewhere about our struggles with breastfeeding the first time around.  I was given pethidine during my labour with Jacob and he was born very sleepy - so sleepy that he was not at all interested in latching on and I wasn't shown how to express for him for nearly 24 hours, after which time we were both on a downward spiral into not-latching and supply issues.  There were other issues too, and we limped and struggled on for just over six months of mixed feeding.  He never went more than a day or two without having formula: I just wasn't prepared for how difficult it would be, and had no support network set up for coping with the difficulties we had.

It tore me apart.  I used to spend hours sitting on the sofa, looking through breastfeeding photos on flickr, reading kellymom and various blogs and forums, trying to learn how to boost supply, how to cope with a poor latch, how to deal with the pain, and how to avoid similar problems in the future.  I desperately wanted another baby, just so that I could have another go at getting breastfeeding right.

Over time, I learnt to let it go, stopped reading things that upset me and started to accept that I'd done my very best and it wasn't the end of the world.  And what's more, it wouldn't be the end of the world if it didn't work out this time either.

Josie had other plans - she was born onto my stomach (no pethidine this time, I was adamant about that on my birth plan) and after the cord had stopped pulsing and was cut, she was taken very briefly to be checked as she was very mucousy, and then she was dumped back onto my stomach.  While I loved her, she did the whole breast-crawl thing (which was amazing), latched herself on and fed and fed and fed.  She just knows what to do - she has a perfect latch, she feeds for nine minutes exactly (most of the time), and apart from thrush and some scary projectile vomiting which we're learning to deal with, we've had no problems.  She hasn't had a drop of formula, and I'm unimaginably proud of that.

And as she's doing the milk squawk just now, I'll have to leave it at that.  Go us ;)


Helen said...

Go you indeed! You are doing the most amazing thing for her here, and how wonderful that a difficult experience with J made you even more determined to stick it out this time.
Sending you lots of milky vibes! x

Beth said...

Thanks ;). It is so, so much easier than I ever thought it could be, and I'm so thankful. Not to have to bother and fuss with sterilising and pumps and carrying bottles around is great. The lazy part of me (which, let's face it, is the biggest part) very definitely approves :D

Rachel said...

Honey am so glad to hear that it is going so well this time. I know how much you struggled last time and had been keeping my fingers firmly crossed that it would.

Yay go you!!