The last 2 days have been really tough man. On Monday Mabel was having a 'feed in' so wanted milk about every hour, or so it seemed. She also suddenly stopped pooing. We did a quick trip to Asda in the afternoon in the hope that a car journey would lead to sleep. There were no mother & baby spaces and I learnt exactly why such spaces exist as I struggled to get the car seat out. It was also raining and I hadn't brought the car seat cover. To protect our newborn from the rain I dug out an umbrella, however whilst attempting to get said seat out I had to rest it on the top of the car only to then chase it across the car park a few minutes later. When returning to the car I found a new merc parked even closer meaning I actually couldn't get the car seat in. 'What a wanker' I muttered to myself whilst climbing across from the other side, fully aware that only 4 weeks ago I was myself said wanker. I wasn't hugely careful when opening my drivers door - you don't want to be parking your new merc next to a tired mother of a newborn who is driving a car they don't care for! (it was the chill G Kisby not the passat, don't panic).
Mabel then screamed as if she had never been fed all the way home, when actually she had only fed 1.5 hrs earlier. The night continued in the same vein. Mabel eventually fell asleep around 8.30pm. Gaz had gone out with the men from our NCT group. She then slept until 2am which you would think is worth celebrating but no, I then become completely paranoid that something was wrong and that she couldn't breathe properly. "Your damned if you do......"
Then on Tuesday the shenanigans continued. We had Vicky and baby Pippa round for coffee in the morning but from around 11am onwards the constant feeding carried on. I decided to drive to the baby clinic in the afternoon to get her weighed and ask the midwife about the lack of poo. Before doing so I did a quick feed and changed her nappy only to discover a large poo - hooray. However, as I cleaned the poo it continued to come out, and continued some more and oh yes, continued even more (think bright yellow poster paint being squeezed from a tube with some sort of force). Then she did a wee into the poo which by this point was actually swimming up the change mat. Oh my God, I have never in my life seen so much poo, I almost took a picture just because I knew Gaz would never understand how much there was, but then thought better of it since photos of your baby swimming in poo are probably not best seen by social services. I had absolutely no idea what to do. I had used various implements close to hand to prop us the sides of the mat since it was beginning to run on to the carpet. I literally just sat for 10 seconds and laughed at the situation I had got myself into. Eventually it stopped and with the help of about 3 huge towels, a large bowl of water and some scissors (had to cut off her vest) we finally got sorted.
At the clinic the midwife was pleased with her weight gain, now 8.12lbs, but in a less than helpful way questioned her 'mottled' skin. She suggested I made an immediate appointment with the doctor, then adding, "I don't want to alarm you". Yeah right. There are ways and means and although I completely understand her need for caution she had very few people skills and did little to re-assure me. I managed to get a doctors appointment for half an hour later then sped over to Honley doctors surgery panicking all the way.
The doctor (new one I'd not met before) was fantastic. He checked her all over including her chest since she has a bit of a cold and reassured me that she was fine. We just need to keep an eye on her but continue as normal. Thank God, the fear that something was wrong was overwhelmingly scary, feeling like I have never experienced.
Anyway last night was another good sleep night and today has been much better. I actually felt more positive after speaking to Mum last night. She talked to me about how I needed to regain control of the feeding (Mabel is clearly calling all the shots at the moment and has learnt that when needing comfort my boob will be offered pretty swiftly after a short whinge), use a dummy if it helps (Fee has been telling me that for days) and think of different techniques for getting her to sleep in the day (like rocking pram in the kitchen). I awoke with a new sense of determination and launched, "operation regain control".
Happy to report that things have been much better today. The following has helped:
- Dummy sterilised and at the ready
- Feed on one side, break for winding and nappy, offer the other side. Fill the baby up good and proper so I can feel confident that any crying is not hunger
- I went to Jodie's (NCT friend) today who gave me a demonstration on using the sling (I couldn't seem to get it right). Now feels really secure and I can see that she can breathe.
When we got home this afternoon we did the new feeding ritual. She then sat happily in her bouncer and on the play mat for an hour or so before the rooting began again. This time I whipped her into the sling and we went for a lovely walk together. It is lovely to have her so close and hear her making odd little contented sighs as she sleeps. And also good for me to get exercising again through walking with a weight!
See below for Mabel happily asleep in her sling.
We will obviously continue to have our bad days but for now at least, things seem to be back in control!!!