It is now 6 AM, I’ve been up since 5 AM – mum life. Baby is now napping so I decided to finally have a moment to look back and write. I never got around to writing anything at his two months. Time just flies by and it is so much more difficult to find a moment to myself, and when I do have a moment, I just want to relax and do nothing, play candy crush on the phone or watch some YouTube videos. It’s a celebration if I get to take a bath and read a book!
I now appreciate so much when I can have a warm home-made meal and not just something quick that I can prepare with one hand while holding the baby in the other hand. Quite often when I do have the time to cook a proper meal, I then don’t have time to eat the meal in peace, so I either eat while bouncing with the baby on the fitness ball, or I eat a cold or microwaved meal.
All in all, I think we are doing good. The baby’s tummy problems are gone, I think, he is spitting up sort of a bit less, I feel much better physically, we are going on walks now almost every day, and I can get more sleep at nights. The baby sleeps well at night, meaning that he doesn’t stay up at night in between feeds. Mostly he has one longer sleep in the beginning of the night, which can be just three hours, or up to 5 hours maximum so far. Then, afterwards he has several short sleeps of 2 hours. It isn’t a lot, but I still am happy even about that. Usually we both get up half-asleep, feed and go back to bed, without waking up properly.
According to the recommendations, new-borns should be fed on demand or every three hours at least. In the beginning, I did the three hours, however, I’ve changed that to two hours, firstly, because he gets too hungry and therefore eats too frantically, swallows a lot of air, overeats, and as a result – spits up a lot. Also, my boobs would practically be explosive from waiting so long, I went through several packs of nursing pads in such a short time! At night, I had to wear either a bra or a tight top, or crop top so I could have the nursing pads on. Now the leakage and engorgement is gone, with the exception of nights when he sleeps longer and eats lazier. So I still wake up at night in soaking pyjamas, but that doesn’t really bother me. Also, when I feed the baby, the tap on the other boob also turns on and it leaks. I had a thought that if only there was a device that collects all the leaked milk, so I googled it, and it turns out that there is! The most promising one seems to be milk collection shells by Medela, they cost around 12 pounds on e-bay. I don’t know If I’ll order them, it’s not like it is a bare necessity. If I do, I’ll share my experience.
Another thing about feeding my son is that he eats very quickly, like a pumpinator, the meal is often finished as fast as in 4 minutes. That is when he will start freaking out at the boob, kicking and punching, trying to suckle some more but not being able to. A pacifier fixes that problem and instantly calms him down. I’ve concluded that he just has a very strong sucking reflex. One of the possibilities was that he’s freaking out because there is not enough milk, but that isn’t so – I’ve tried pumping instead and I produce around 2.5-3 ounces (70-90ml) of milk per each feeding, which is normal for feeding him every two hours. He pretty much eats up almost everything as well, I usually can only pump out a few teaspoons of milk after he is finished eating. So, I guess I’m lucky to have a very fast eater. Other babies can eat for a half-hour, or even longer.
The baby is growing quickly and learning new things all the time. He is now “talking” a lot, testing his voice, cooing and squealing, and smiling away, when he is in a good mood. He is always happy in the mornings and fussy in the evenings when it’s time to go sleep. If he is completely hysterical and won’t fall asleep, wrapping him in a scarf sling works nicely. We now have a few more things for him and our home is already slowly getting dominated by baby stuff. He has a rocking chair that I put him in after feeding, it keeps him a bit upright so he wouldn’t spit up as much, and he can enjoy some rocking and can see around him, so he just chills and “talks” in the chair for a few moments. I usually use that time to do some chores or prepare myself something to eat. Another new toy that I got him is an activity mat, which has two bows going across it with a sound/light toy in the middle and some more hanging toys along the bows. As well as a very simple mobile, which I set up on the changing station instead of the crib because my rule is that the crib is only for sleeping. He cannot yet consciously grasp anything with his hands yet but he is very good at kicking the toys and the music/lights device on the playmat and the toys on the mobile.
The rocking chair was passed on to me by my brother and the mat and mobile I bought used for 25 euros. It is quite ridiculous how expensive everything is for a baby and how much you end up spending. That mat, which is literally just some fabric and plastic with simple toys plus the music device in the middle would have cost me 80 euros at the shop! It is nice, but it’s not THAT nice!
What we have also spent quite a lot on is equipment for my partner to bottle-feed the baby, so that he can bond with him and I can rest or go out on an errand. We have bought a breast pump (30 EUR), a steriliser (50 EUR), 2 feeding bottles (8 EUR each), and now also a bottle warmer (30 EUR on offer). Over 100 euros, just so my partner can feed him too. It is possible to do without the steriliser, or the bottle warmer, but it’s much more inconvenient. Also, I learned that in the UK, which is where my partner is from, all this stuff costs less for some reason. The same Tommee Tippee bottle warmer, for example, costs around 15 pounds there. Here, in a poorer country, everything is more expensive for some reason. The same applies to baby clothes. No wonder the second-hand clothes shops thrive here!
One of the very useful things that we bought is a Lodger Bunker fleece sleeping bag for going out on walks in the cold weather. It keeps him nice and cosy in the pram, no need for a snowsuit. We just pop him in with normal clothes on (maybe an extra jumper or jacket if it’s very cold), only adding woollen socks, mittens and a hat. If we need to go into a shop with the pram, we only need to open the sleepsack so he doesn’t overheat, which wouldn’t be possible with a snowsuit. It did cost us 80 euros (la-dee-fucking-daaa!), but it really is worth it, you can use it until the age of 3 years (highly unlikely but you can, theoretically), you can keep it for the next children you’re planning to have, or you can sell it – even a used one usually costs around 50 euros and they go like cakes, as everyone knows it’s a good product.
OK, enough about expenditures, moving on about how the mummy is doing. My body is back to normal, more or less. I’m very close to my pre-pregnancy weight. Before birth I weighed 72 kg, a few days after birth – 62kg, and now – 68 kg. I’m in no rush to lose any weight, and try to eat properly so that my milk supply would be good.
One of the downsides of having a child is that from rocking the baby on the fitness ball and just carrying him all the time, I’ve developed an always sore back. I should remember to straighten my back on the ball, but in reality, I’m always hunched over, encasing him with my upper body. An achy back is the consequence. My arms and hands are also a bit stiff and achy from holding the bundle of joy in various positions. My left arm seems to have gotten stronger than the right one from holding him in that arm mostly, which I’m trying to change for the sake of symmetry of the baby and myself.
Another badness – I went to the dentist to fix a tooth, informed her that I’m post-partum, and at the end of the appointment she told me that as a dentist she does not recommend me to breastfeed for longer than 6 months. The reason is that the baby is literally sucking the life out of me and calcium out of my teeth. Well, as at now, her recommendation has not changed my determination to breastfeed as long as necessary. I’ll just stick to having a good diet and supplementing.
The third “joy” is that I think I already got my first period. Well, at least I don’t think it could be anything else. Normally breastfeeding mummies would get some time off the period, but I guess I’m among the lucky ones to get it returning two weeks after all the post-labour cleansing ended. I’ll see what happens. What if it was a one-off? If it wasn’t, then the next cycle should be starting any day now. At least I’ll now know I can already get pregnant again. That is, when resume doing the deed with my partner, which I still haven’t. Still haven’t gotten around to doing it. 😀 Also, my hormones have returned to pre-pregnancy mode, which manifests in my hair getting greasy in 3-4 days again instead of a week. And the hair fall. It’s fucking everywhere! LOL!
There is a bit of a situation with our little nugget’s health, which could be something and could also be nothing. When I know more I’ll write about that, but for now I just have to patiently wait to find out what is what. Oh, the glory of Latvia where health care for children is for free! The only thing is, to receive that health care you have to wait in line for months to get an appointment with a specialist! By the time you have that appointment, the situation has changed – either resolved on its own, or worsened. You have the option to pay for the appointment and skip the long wait, but it is mostly still quite a long time. That is quite frustrating when it concerns a small vulnerable creature that you want to protect and not allow anything bad happen to him. Anyway, rant over. Until I know more – bye!