8 Nov 2012

Getting to know you...

We're home.  We have a baby.  Now what?!

To be honest, I'm still a bit shocked about the birth and am only just realising that I have a baby.  You think you're prepared for any eventuality, but I never, in a million years, thought that I'd have to have a cesarean.  I was so adamant that it wasn't going to happen to me and here we are.  I think it'll take some time to get over it.

Those first few days at home are scary, and exciting at the same time.  Mushroom is still getting used to being out in the World, getting to know his parents and we are getting used to having him around.  It's hard to fathom that you're totally responsible for this little human being's every need. To say that I'm a little gun-shy is an understatement.

We start on a 3 hourly feed schedule.  Feeding was going really well at the hospital, then we got home.  Mushroom refuses to settle and has problems latching, particularly on the left side.  Juffin is great, trying to assist me as I juggle baby and boob, and getting them into a position that's mutually beneficial.  It's important for us to both be comfortable so we try a variety of different positions and locations.  We try the couch, the bed, a chair by the bed, a recliner.  Doesn't matter where I sit, or how comfortable I am, the Mushroom doesn't seem to like it and fusses like crazy.  He is constantly pulling his head off, having a wail, then trying to reattach but having no success.  It's a like fighting with a over-sized worm, he just won't stop wriggling!  To make matters worse, he then starts shoving his fists into his face because he's so hungry and I can't prise his little arms away to put his face back into the right position.  How did he get so strong so quickly?!

The more we struggle, the hungrier he gets and I end up getting so upset that tears are streaming down my face.  Am I a bad mother?  Is it because my milk is bad?  Did I do something wrong?  I just want to tie how hands and legs behind his back and create a funnel that will get the milk from my breast into his tiny starving mouth!  Obviously I don't do that but these are the crazy thoughts that go through your head!  My poor Juffin looks on, unable to help at all, but trying to be supportive nonetheless.  I have no idea what is going on as this was easy at the hospital.... and jump to the conclusion that there's something wrong with me.  In hindsight, obviously complete crap but try telling me that a week and half ago. Unfortunately the only thing for it is perseverance and in the end we get some good feeds in, though I'm sure that they take twice the amount of time that they normally would!

We have a midwife visit on Friday and Saturday.  She is wonderful (aren't they all?!) and advises that it is more than likely the new surroundings that could be making the Mushroom so anti-Jess booby at the moment.  She also advises that most baby's have a preferred side so that's also not unusual.  She weighs Mushroom and he's only lost 170gm since birth and is making plenty of wet/dirty nappies so he's definitely getting enough to eat.  Just being a fuss pot.  Unfortunately that doesn't make it any less frustrating for me.  I let her know that I've been crying a bit since we got home, frustrating feeds and the general anxiety that there's something wrong with me and my inability to calm him down when we feed and she assures me that there's NOTHING that I'm doing wrong and that the Mushroom is just fine!  He's just a baby and getting used to all the new things around him.  I keep thinking that I must be post-natal or something and she lets me know that I have a gazillion hormones rushing around in my body and that lots of women who've just had a baby go through the 'baby blues'.  Again, perfectly normal.  It's only if these feelings don't go away, that's when you need to speak with someone.  I feel better already.  Midwifey then checks my wound, removes some sutures of some kind and toddles off, advising that someone will be back to check on me and Mushy next week.

Mushroom meets his Poppy and Pakka (Grandad's) for the first time and we have some lovely visitors over that first weekend at home, bringing food and baby clothes and generally being fabulous.  Looking back, I was definitely a bit of a mess which may explain some of the concerned looks I got from our visiting relatives.  I think I was still a little too fragile to entertain and though everyone was great and only stayed a short time, it felt like a lot of pressure to smile and make chit chat whilst I felt like bursting into tears. I also thought that people were judging my ability as a parent, even though that's ridiculous and as if they would!

Our first morning at home :-)  

Next time:  We can do this!!