Questions asked three weeks postpartum: When will I get the hang of breastfeeding? When does it get easier? Why do I feel like I've taken a step back? Vodka for breakfast? What happens if he gets nipple confusion? What the fuck is nipple confusion? Why won't he stop crying? What does he want? Is baby sensory a comedy show? Why did my husband drink so much port? He can't still be hungry can he? Why am I still bleeding? How can I get rid of wind? Will I ever get a full night’s sleep again?
Will I ever get a full night’s sleep again?
I had my first proper meltdown this week. It came after Rafe had decided to get into a routine of being wide awake, cluster feeding, refusing to be put down and screaming from 8pm-1am for over a week (this routine is still going strong most nights). It was the 7th night and after trying him with a dummy (he wouldn't take it - and yes I know about nipple confusion, but I had to try it) and him being on my boobs for hours and still not settling, I had to walk out the room and go downstairs. I just needed time to myself. And time to properly cry into a pillow for half an hour. My husband managed to rock Rafe to sleep for three hours (SAY WHAT?!) so I know he wasn't hungry. Just wanted to use me for comfort, which he keeps doing in an evening. He can be on and off my boob constantly for a good three hours before he eventually settles at night. Which can be hard. When you've been feeding every two to three hours and not getting much rest in between - it's exhausting - and lonely. I mentioned the other week about loneliness when breastfeeding. The other weekend my parents were visiting and I didn't want to breastfeed in front of my dad as I'm not able to properly cover up yet as I'm too busy trying to get the little fella to latch on properly. So I was upstairs feeding for a good hour while I could hear my mum, dad and husband all enjoying their takeaway curry. And I felt quite upset. And lonely. But I spoke to my friend who has two children and although she said these first few weeks are hard, try and see these alone times as precious moments between you and the baby. He'll never be that small again and will not want cuddles off his mum like this in a few years so to treasure it. So I'm trying to enjoy those moments and I do love cuddles - but I really did want my chicken tikka masala at the time. Also Rafe finds it really hard to settle with me as all he can do is smell milk and he screams the house down so I feel particularly inadequate when as soon as I pass him to someone else he settles. Honestly, the exhaustion, the feeling of being a giant udder has really got to me a few times. Sometimes you just need to take a deep breath and walk away. Or eye ball some vodka.
When will I get the hang of breastfeeding?
So he's now 8Ib 10oz - so he's feeding well and gaining weight. Which is such a relief. But I'm still struggling with positions. Although he's latching on most of the time, I am almost like a human contortionist/look like Golem from Lord of the Rings to get him on. He's comfortable - but I'm not. My friend suggested the rugby ball hold and my mother-in-law the cradle hold but the one I feel most comfortable with is the cross cradle hold as I can manipulate my giant bazookers. But my back is hanging out. I've left a message with the breastfeeding support worker to come see me as I just want a bit of guidance and help. I feel like I should have it by now - which is both ridiculous and stupid - it's still only week three. But it's so frustrating. And some days I've felt like I've taken ten steps back when he won't latch on. And I just want to cry. And I do. But it's just practice and I need to stop being so hard on myself. Everyone says I'll soon by flopping my boob out, he'll latch on and I won't even think about it. Now that's the fucking dream. When did you find a good position and eventually breastfeeding click with you?
Is baby sensory a comedy show?
We took Rafe to a taster baby sensory class the other day. He slept right through it - so he really enjoyed it. But it was my husband who was the star of the show. Firstly, he didn't have a clue what baby sensory was. So when the woman gave him a hand puppet and he had to sing about Tommy thumb and friends he looked at me like "what the fuck have you roped me into?" I was dying.
Chris went back to work this week and I was slightly nervous. Although he's still on camp so he's back every night (so lucky) - it was the thought of it just being me, Rafe and the dog. But we survived – with minimal tears. And I should count myself lucky he is around for now. My husband also had a night out during the week to celebrate the Royal Marine's birthday. I told him to stay on camp because I didn't want an annoying, mortal man pissing me off. But as soon as he left I wished I'd said for him to stay or at least come back for the night. I was just feeling particularly anxious - and exhausted. But I knew he needed to let his hair down so to speak. Oh and he did. He said that as I was up all night on my own with Rafe - he would take him the next day during feeds. HAHAHAHAHA. Do you think that happened? Do you think he drank so much port he vomited everywhere? Let's just say I can't wait to eventually let my hair down. But at the same time, I'm actually not that interested in having a drink. I still haven't had even a glass of wine (sad times) as I’m paranoid as he's feeding so much and only just started expressing. Mummies who love wine and breastfeeding - what's the rules? One glass and pump?? Help!
Although I'm moaning (again) Rafe makes me and my husband laugh so much. He's a little legend. When he does massive farts, or when we change him and he tries to protest and puts his arms up in the air to grab a hold of you and when he snores his little head off - I could die with love for him. So here’s a little a photo of him off to his first Halloween party – our little sleep stealing, boobie loving pumpkin.
P.s Has anyone got any miracle tricks for wind? I feel like we’ve tried everything. And although the health visitor says breastfeeding babies don’t get much wind – this little one does. Help!
Royal Marine Wife. Mum to Rafe.