I didn’t want to start this post by saying how quick time had gone and how much she has changed over the course of the 3 months. Mostly because I didn’t want to admit that that amount of time has gone, but it has, and my hormonal brain is all over the place with that fact. This being said she’s nearly 5 months and it’s even harder to take the time to write.
It’s been a whirlwind so far and things are finally settling down. Have a look at my birth story if you want a little reminder of how it all started with My Third Birth Story – A Home Birth Experience.
The first week after A was born we were struggling with feeding her, she did not want to wake up, we were trying everything. It was making feeding so difficult because she was barely taking anything. We were stripping her right down to nappy and on some occasions getting a cold flannel on her, which we felt terrible for doing but nothing else was working to get her to feed.
At 5 days the health visitor came to do her heal prick test and weighed her, she had lost 10% of her birth weight. Which is quite a lot, so straight away we were told to go to a weigh clinic 2 days later to get her weighed again. She also had a slight touch of jaundice as well. So we continued to persevere with the feeding and not feeling like we were making any difference. We decided to keep a feed diary to help us see how much she was actually taking. She was still continuing to bring up some mucous at some of her feeds to which didn’t help.
Once we got her to the next weigh at the clinic she’d not gained enough weight in 2 days. Which obviously they were concerned about, so they scheduled in another weigh in for 2 days time in another clinic. There was one thing that the midwife had said during this appointment which had left me feeling so awful afterwards. She said that for a baby of her birth weight ( 9lb 7oz, what they class as a big baby) she should have been taking a certain amount every 3-4 hours, she was taking no where near that.
Surely all babies are different regardless of birth weight?
Besides their stomachs are all the same size regardless of birth weight? I’ve had 3 babies and that comment left me feeling like the biggest failure, I was sick to the stomach and was so worried about it for the rest of the day, we were almost trying to feed her hourly. Which obviously then didn’t work either. She just hadn’t seemed to work out when she was hungry, it just hadn’t seemed to click in her brain yet, which I believe is half the battle. By 3am that night Chris went to the nearest Tesco superstore and bought vari-Flo bottle teats, we were trying everything. We thought perhaps she was struggling with the bottle teats.
2 days went by in a blur of worry until the next weigh in. When we got there she was weighed and she hadnt made a gain to 8% loss. She had done a wet nappy just before the weighing, which was frustrating as the health visitor said if she had held it in she probably would have gone above the 8% weight loss and would have been signed off.
It wasn’t much of a relief certainly not enough to stop me worrying, we had another visit from a health visitor due in a couple of days for the new baby visit. So I just had everything crossed that we could master the feeding by then. It was still a slow process and a struggle at some feeds, but we kept going. It didn’t shake the worried feeling though and everything was put aside until we could master this.
At the time the health visitor came she had finally made a bit of weight gain, although not passed birth weight it was back over the 8% weight loss so that came as a huge relief to us. The health visitor was much more understanding and made me feel so much more at ease with what she was saying about all babies being different. It helped with keeping a feed diary as we could see over the 24 hours her intake had increased over time. After this visit something seemed to click within her like she had finally worked out when she was hungry properly because all of a sudden she started feeding better. As the days progressed she got better and fed more and as we could see that working the stress and worry started to ease. Like a cycle, as that eased further she fed even better and so on.
By 1 month she was up to birth weight. It was about this sort of time everything started to settle a bit. After that she was playing catch up a bit with gaining good weight but once that was more established and she was making good steady weight gain she finally started to sleep longer at night. We found this much harder this time as the other 2 slept through quite early on. Just like that everything else started to click into place, she was meeting her milestones and was smiling and cooing as she should.
Since then she has been doing great she’s laughing and seems more playful than the other 2. She seems able to entertain herself for short amounts of time, which is great when I have a demanding nearly 3 year old around me. This time around so far I haven’t managed to structure in a proper routine yet, she seems to feed at the same time for a few days then doesn’t for a couple which throws off a routine. Plus I have the school run to contend with so that’s something I shall aim to work on a bit better over the next few months.
As for me I feel mentally good if not tired and exhausted most evenings. That’s 3 kids for you. Other than that I’ve had no real issues since birth other than I still suffer with back ache. Im still carrying the excess weight I gained after having M and the extra I did gain this time which is possibly a stone and maybe a bit more. Its mostly around my ‘mummy tummy’, which has not gone down anywhere near as much as last time. So I still have quite a pouch. I do know after having M I was very slowly still losing weight over at least a year maybe longer so I will allow my self some time. However I am aware that this time I might need to put some extra effort in, but probably not this side of Christmas. I would definitely like to get myself into a healthy routine at some point.