This deserves a note in itself as quite possibly it’s the hardest thing about having a baby. After our escape from the hospital we got our beautiful baba home and then the reality set in – the kid needs feeding and it was up to me. Layla weighed 7lbs 8 when she was born and within a week had dropped down to 6lb 7 which apparently is completely normal – something else they don’t tell you.
Cue the daily visits from the midwives where they would weigh her and then look at me with an eye-roll highly disappointed that she had only put 100g on in 24 hours whilst I stared back at them looking like Worzel Gummage on a downer having just dabbed myself down with a wet wipe in an attempt to look lively… I have a bit of a love hate relationship with midwives – what gets me most is that the majority I met didn’t have children and yet tell you what is “best for baby”. They tend to come in when baby has JUST gone to sleep, wake her up, wonder why she’s crying and shoot you a smile/snarl that suggests – “don’t worry we’re here” – yes but you weren’t at 1am, 3am, 4am and 6.30am and just half an hour before you arrived when baby was screaming but yet refusing the boob BITCH
The pressure to breastfeed was massive – I received lots of conflicting advice “wake her up every two hours to feed her” / “don’t wake a sleeping baby”. I joined a group on Facebook called Liverpool Community BAMBIS which at times was a god send and at others (when you’ve spent 45 minutes trying to pump your boobs, proud that you got a table spoon’s worth and then some fucking Earth Mother posts 8 milk bottles full of freshly pumped goodness that she plans to feed her 3 year old- piss off!!!) sends you into a state of depression.
When I think back to the beginning, setting my alarm for every 2 hours, I just wished i’d listened to my own instincts. I used to sit up in bed, bracing myself for what was about to come – the baby sounded like a little pug dog who couldn’t get enough. My toes would actually curl at the pain (or was it the sight of my nips which were starting to resemble those African women’s off Comic Relief?!). It wasn’t until I had a visit from one extremely lovely midwife who was actually on her KIT day of her own maternity leave who told me about Multi Mams (http://www.boots.com/en/Multi-Mam-C…) – a miracle compress for your stinging, blood red nips and introduced me to nipple shields – there you go expectant mums you can thank me later. She also corrected the baby’s latch position (making me take her off the boob at least 10 times until it didn’t feel like my newborn had teeth) and hey presto – breast feeding became a different experience, dare I say enjoyable? The feeling you have when baby is staring up at you cupping your over inflated breasts with their tiny little hands, reminds you why you do it.
Layla is now in a phase of rejecting bottles – we’ve tried all sorts and one of my girlfriends actually had me off last week when she went to use google and the last search that was on my phone was “Boob shaped bottles” – yes that is what I was rejected to. Again something I wish I knew before was to introduce a bottle from day 1 – same time every night (whether that be your own milk or formula) – it will help with a “routine” – I hate that word. I’m going to try and keep at it for another couple of months at least when we will try and introduce solids – I already have my theme tune for the day I can give up completely and it’s all based on this Vodafone advert (where I plan to re-enact this replacing the letters with my breast pads) – you will later see me pissed as a fart in Soho after a 48 hour sesh.
Don’t get me wrong, there are still days when all I want to do is sit braless, in my big massive maternity knickers, eating a whole packet of Jaffa Cakes and crying my way through adverts (DIY SOS and One Born will no longer be on my watch list) but i’ve since learned that is ok, you need days like that. Give yourself a break new mums – I was sick and tired of hearing it… but it will get easier.
4 months on and I have added a new skill to my C.V. – BREASTFEEDING LYING DOWN – revolutionary! Nap and feed…. BINGO 🙂 Over and out x