I’m staring at the most beautiful little boy in the world. He is looking at me, (or around me?), it doesn’t matter, he hears my voice! Naturally I’m biased because my beautiful little boy is very small and hasn’t quite gained that cute chubby baby fat yet. To others he probably looks like a ‘little old man’ or possibly a turtle, but to me he is perfect.
We were clueless parents and had no idea what to do with a new born. I kind of thought I would be having a mummy vacation from work, having a few sleepless nights but generally enjoying home life with the baby with social visits, walks etc.. Boy was I deluded. It’s nothing like I imagined. For me it was a shock to understand that this is the hardest physical thing I have ever put my body through. Combine emotions and hormones and it is by far the hardest thing I have done.
My baby must be feeling in shock too.. he was taken from his cosy womb 2 weeks early due to the fact he had stopped growing 2 weeks prior. He is now one month old and he is still a very slow grower. He has only just surpassed his birth weight and he averages about 10 grams a day. One week he didn’t put on any weight at all. Well, how to feel like the shittiest mother in the world. I started questioning everything I was doing.
Was it the time I let him sleep an hour longer because I was so dog tired I couldn’t get up at 3am and I just wanted 1 extra hour sleep? Is my breast milk good enough? should I take his temperature every nappy change, maybe he’s cold? Maybe his ‘crying time’ from 12-4am is wasting too much energy? Does he poo more than I feed him?
I have been told by the doctor to stop breast milk and if I must express top it up with formula. The baby doesn’t go out of the house in case his temperature drops. Therefore I spend many hours filling his hot water bottle so he is always toasty warm. This week we had fun trying to catch his wee in a small cup to get it tested. Our first sample was contaminated as he did a runny poo at the same time and I must have mixed it. Doh!
Tomorrow is reckoning day. We go back to the hospital and if he hasn’t grown he will be admitted for tests. 😦 Although I’m confident he has put on weight as he is bright eyed and alert when awake. He doesn’t look sick and he is strong (for a one month old), he is just very skinny. I refuse to lose confidence this week as I’m sure he doesn’t want an anxious mother!
Although this week I had ‘new mother-low’. I had had about 3 days of 4-5 hours sleep. I was told my breast milk is no good and I figure Right boob (RB) protested in retaliation with mastitis, again. I couldn’t sleep due to the pain and chills, so I took a shower at 4am and sobbed at the sight of it. I then continued to bawl whilst trying to express. Nothing came out.
This is a win for the baby as now he is pretty much formula fed, unless of course RB comes back to life. This is a win for me because you must experience these lows in order to appreciate the small gains, whether they are a night without crying, a small weight gain, or just appreciating his tiny feet and hands.