Friday, November 30, 2007

Does anyone know anything about babies????

Picture it...

You're on your new bicycle on a sunny warm day, no cares in the world. You come to the top of a hill and you can see for miles. You pause to take in the scene. You smell the clean air and place one foot on one of your pedals to steady yourself. You then place your other foot on the other pedal and slowly push forward. With both feet on your pedals, you quickly increase in speed down the hill. You can feel the warm breeze on your skin and dappled sunlight flashes gently across your face. As you get faster and faster, your confidence grows and your heart-rate increases and your adrenalin flows.

You take your hands off the handlebars, punching the air above your head, giving you the feeling of complete freedom. You gather more speed and start focusing on the bottom of the hill. With your arms outstretched above your head, you realise you may need to start think about breaking...and that's when you realise you headed for a thorny bush...which has a brick wall behind it. You used to be in control...you're not now.

That's the only way I can describe how I have been feeling during the last 3 weeks since Drew's arrival. It started surprisingly well...it was easy. Or so we thought! Then we headed for the bush and then the brick wall!

When I started this BLOG, I think my husband assumed once I'd had our baby, I would be able to create a new post everyday as I would have a 'life of luxury and lunch dates'. Unfortunately, I've yet to have a massage, spa or have my nails done and as for lunch...what's that? Is that what happens at 3.30pm when I scoff a piece of soggy toast and have to microwave a cold cup of tea???

Because of the jaundice, the midwives advised me to feed on demand to ensure the jaundice flushed out, so whenever Drew wanted to feed, she got it. After a few days, her feeding time increased and she fed for what seemed ages...sometimes anything up to 4hours.

In the meantime, Jerry ran around doing everything and I do mean EVERYTHING because I was tied to Drew for so long. I couldn't work out how I was ever going to be free so I could run a household when Jerry went back to work. The Community Midwives suggested Drew could be going through a growth spurt, but it seemed to be going on for a long time and it came to head last weekend when I got no sleep at all through the night because of her constant feeding. We decided to express and that's when it all became clear what was going on.

Expressing showed us just how much milk I was making and how much Drew was drinking which definitely wasn't enough for a 4 hour feed, so we realised Drew was using me as a comforter after her feed...nuzzling in and then going to sleep. So...we put a stop to that and put her in the garage. Only joking...the shed. Only joking! I know you don't want to know everything about Drew's feeding habits, but she's still feeding on demand, but once she's gone through the 3 stages of a feed, I take her off my boobie which tends to be about 30mins. Just in case you're wondering what the 3 stages are, as I had no idea a few days ago...

1. Sucking as much milk as possible
2. Sucking, but going off to sleep
3. Fast stimulation (where they stimulate you to make more milk as required)

I still express and feed Drew from a bottle for the midnight 'dream' feed which also gives me the flexibility of Jerry feeding her. However, as I'm such a nice person, I let Jerry sleep straight through so he isn't disturbed so he can function at work. SO...if anyone from the office is reading this and Jerry is blagging having not much sleep, you now know he's doing it for attention and has been sneaking into the toilets and putting onions in his eyes!!! The rest of the feeds, Drew still breastfeeds and doesn't seem to have any problem switching between bottle and breast like you're told by the 'experts' might happen.

Drew is doing brilliantly and is now sleeping nearly through the night...well for 6 hours anyway and we moved her from our bedroom into her own nursery about a week ago. We've got a walkie-talkie so we can hear every little squeak and windy-pop, and it allows us to speak to her via the walkie-talkie and switch a night light on and off. It also provides endless entertainment for Mummy & Daddy to play 'pretend lorry drivers'..."10.4 Rubber-Ducky. Over!"

I wasn't sure how well I was doing looking after Drew during my first week without Jerry, but I decided to not stay at home the whole time and challenged myself with going out to different places and visiting the girls from our Antenatal Class. Its seems stupid, but you have to work your way up to shopping at Asda, parking and going into the Post Office, walking the dog, visiting Ikea. It's not like you can just 'pop' out like you used to. You have to be well organised and I think that's why God made women good multi-taskers. We're like a Swiss Army Knife and men are like a Bayonet...both valuable and highly useful, but one may function batter than the other! If you don't know what a Bayonet is...that illustrates the point too. What do they do??? if I can offer any advice to new Mums, don't turn down an offer of help from your Mum...as long as you get on with her!

My Mum (who just happens to be THE best Mum in The Universe) has stayed with us for 5 days and having her with us has been invaluable. Thankfully, my Mum isn't one for telling me what I'm doing wrong and how I could do something better, otherwise she'd be on the first train back to Teignmouth. However, she has provided us with invaluable advice and support and succeeded in stopping Drew from continuing to cry by suggesting she may still need winding. Okay...it might be common sense to some readers...but not to us rookie parents! Mum has helped us to identify the different cries and when we should just let her cry herself to sleep...which was hard to do. Not only has Mum given us an insight into effective parenting, but she makes a mean scone and is great at ironing. Thanks Mum.

If you are wondering why I've not mentioned my Dad, unfortunately he had a cold and couldn't come to stay but I understand he's enjoyed the quiet time surfing the Internet and spending 5 days in his pyjamas. Bless.


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