Little Freddie, our sweet little chubby bundle of baby is actually 2 months old already. But because he had a pretty eventful start to his life with jaundice, tongue tie and learning to breastfeed – I thought would write about his 1 month baby update.
If you’re a new mum that is going through a bit of a rocky start then I thought this post might be comforting to know that it’s not always smooth sailing for everyone from the start.
I thought if I get time amongst the chaos that is life with two kiddos…I’d like to do monthly updates to record any significant milestones or developments…so that my current brain of mush doesn’t forget it all ha!
But if you have any questions or anything you think should be included, please do let me know in the comments. Otherwise, grab a cuppa and I hope you enjoy!
Our Hospital stay
If you have already read my Introduction to little Freddie then you will know that he turned up a little earlier than expected…3 weeks and 1 day early.
But we were lucky (again as with his big sister) that he was a good weight (7lbs9) and that he was healthy. But because he was one day under being classed as full-term, we still had a longer stay or 3 days. Usually they like to keep you for 5 days to check on the weight drop, but we were lucky this little monkey was feeding so well that wasn’t a concern at all.
And although it’s not nice being in hospital away from family, it’s also quite comforting having the midwives there to ask questions whenever you have a slight worry (or like me, have completely forgotten what it’s normal for newborns and what isn’t). I thought having had Romy only 3 and a half years ago, it would all come rushing back and I would be starting as a seasoned pro this time.
Errrrr. Maybe not!
Although there are some things that are a bit more familiar this time, like changing a nappy or dressing them. You realise you haven’t dealt with anything this tiny and fragile (and so unwilling to bend those arms!) for a long time…so actually it all felt new all over again!! And the strange grunting noises he makes when he sleeps…well I was back to googling everything at 3am. I didn’t feel like it was worth calling the midwife over for that one ha!
But because his weight was good and he was feeding they let us leave the hospital after 3 days, and I took my sore nipples and this new little bundle of squishyness (cue the high pitched baby voice I always put on) and we headed home.
Our introduction to Breastfeeding
I plan to do a longer post on this as this journey has been quite something else really. Good and bad. Calm and stressful. Heartwarming and equally disheartening. You get the picture.
But I thought I would just jot down the very beginning of this part, and if I could some it up in just a few words: “oh f***ing hell this hurts!”
As we had a pretty straight forward natural labour, we were fortunate to be able to do skin on skin straight away and the lovely midwife who delivered him also got him to latch on straight away. I thought ‘winner!’ as I remembered his sleepy sister who wouldn’t even open her mouth and never ever caught on to what she was supposed to be doing.
We nicknamed him the boobie monster as he straight away seemed to just want to feed constantly. Every time he did eventually come off…he almost immediately started his aggressive ‘where’s my boob?’ head bobbing action again.
So we were off to a flying start. But after about a day I realised that when people said it can hurt…that no one had ever kindly informed me that by ‘hurt’ they meant on par with some stronger contractions pain. The kind that make you leap forward and grab onto the sides of the bed and curl your toes kind of pain!!!
While we were still in hospital I would ask a midwife to look at his latch every chance I got, to make sure we were in fact doing it right. They all assured me he looked like he was doing a fab job and his weight had only dropped by 3% so he was definitely getting more than enough.
The pain however did not actually subside until week 3, at which point I was sure they had just numbed to the pain, but that something was still not right (more on that later).
We had one full day at home (or at the home of my husbands parents where we were staying) and then he was due for a check up the next morning.
And we’re back in hospital…
There is nothing like a routine appointment that escalates quickly and turns into a visit back at the hospital to really shake up your new mum nerves!
At the clinic appointment the midwife wasn’t sure about his jaundice levels, so she left to pick up a little machine to test them. They came back fine and I relaxed a little. But she still wasn’t sure and started phoning around to ask others for advice at which point she said the paediatrician wanted to check him in hospital and run the proper tests.
I was holding it together but internally starting to fret a little as I didn’t think he looked particularly jaundice (his sister had also had it after she was born – so I guess I was comparing it with her). So was my mum instinct off?
The paeds prodded and poked and took more blood (after about 20 mins blood taking he’d already had that morning) and all said he didn’t look particularly jaundice at all. Pissed off…but not jaundice.
Then the bloods came back and…well the jaundice was above the treatment line and we would have to now stay in hospital so he could get phototherapy treatment…which is basically an incubator with blue lights.
We walked through the children’s ward and suddenly I felt like this tiny baby I was holding was so fragile and would now be put into an incubator where I wouldn’t be allowed to take him out except for a quick feed…a hard reality to face after he had literally become like an extra limb in first few days…only wanting to sleep on my chest and no where else!
And then those tears just started rolling down my face. And they just kept coming. I felt awful for missing it. I felt awful for the fact we were back in hospital on our own and again away from his big sister. And then it was hearing them say that I would have to start expressing milk as he wouldn’t be allowed out the incubator long enough for a full feed. And ‘would I like to stick a tube down his nose to feed so he doesn’t get nipple confusion from the bottle?’ Nope. No thanks I’ll chance the nipple confusion!
Romilly had been so drowsy with her jaundice that she just slept through it all. But no..not this little one. He screamed as we put the little eye mask on and then screamed every time I put him back in after a feed. It was pretty heart wrenching stuff. And all I was allowed to do was watch and stick my hands through the little holes to try and comfort him.
But at the same time I knew there are so many parents who go through a lot worse with their babies and that there were much sicker kids on that ward at the time so I tried to suck it up and just remind myself how lucky we still were.
And luckily we were only in for two days before the treatment had worked and we were finally allowed back home.
Something’s still not right…
Finally now we were settling in at my in-laws, who were incredible with helping out while we figured out what it was like to be parents to two kiddos.
It was all going swimmingly…apart from the feeding. I still had a niggling feeling it wasn’t quite right. One side had numbed to the pain, and the other was still so painful. Almost throbbing so much it was hard to tell whether it was a sore nipple or the whole friggin boob?! And I knew that even on the painless side, the nipple was coming out very pinched after he fed…(and after a quick google!)I realised that was not the norm at all.
So we were referred on to breastfeeding support and the lovely lady started to ask all these questions like ‘does he click when he drinks?’, ‘does he get hiccups often?’, ‘is the milk spluttering and spilling out of his mouth?’. YES! Yes to all of that!
She then had a look in his mouth and declared he had a posterior tongue-tie. He had been checked in hospital (twice actually) for a tongue tie but unfortunately his was missed because it was further back in his mouth.
So because the waiting time on the NHS was between 4-6 weeks we decided to go private with one of the practitioners registered with the ‘Association of Tongue-tie Practitioners’. I phoned the day we found out and by the next morning he had it snipped our house.
Now for anyone that might have the same thing with there little one…just don’t expect it to solve the feeding issues straight away. If anything I thought he might have got a bit worse a couple days after and started really doubting whether we should have got it done.
But one week later and I noticed all of a sudden how easy he latched on. I wasn’t having to unlatch him because his mouth wasn’t wide enough or he was chomping. He just somehow seemed to almost do instinctively what he was supposed to do. You can imagine what a relief that was after 4 weeks of fumbling around and trying to figure it all out.
Home sweet home
After 3 weeks of spending time around family and getting to introduce him to lots of friends…we set off and headed back to Scotland to now go at it as our little family of 4.
And it is by no means easy going from one to two children (lots of split parenting involved), it was nice to be back in our little cottage on a farm and settle into a bit of a routine.
Phew. So that is a very long update, but like I said it was a quite eventful first month for the little man. But that’s life with little babies I guess…always unpredictable but always worth it!
Let me know if you have any questions or want any more details about things like the tongue tie or the jaundice. Otherwise I hope you enjoyed Freddie’s 1 month update, and stayed tuned for month 2 🙂