Inigo with his cousin Ella 23.12.07
Warning – boring baby issues!
If you’re still with me, you’re probably interested, but I am mainly documenting this for my own interest. I don’t have time to do a baby book (yet), but I can blog a little.
The weekend before last, I came to the realisation that the feeding wasn’t going well. Inigo was putting on weight, but I was dreading every feed, and crying through a lot of them. I’d heard stories of women with cracked and bleeding nipples, so I knew that other people were much worse off than me…
And then I decided not to be a martyr. I know that I am at increased risk of post natal depression because of my history with depression, so I was better off asking for help before things got out of control. So I did.
I spent the weekend expressing and bottle feeding, to give the boobs a rest. Then on monday, I started afresh, concentrating on trying to get proper attachment without the nipple shields. I also sent a long email to the ABA, knowing that a phone call would be wasted – I’d just burst into tears trying to explain what was going on.
On monday afternoon I got a phonecall from a dear friend, who suggested that I might have PND. Though I appreciate her concern, I really do think that I am just upset in the face of a difficult (and painful) situation. It wouldn’t be normal to be chirpy all the time when dealing with something like this. And I am pretty chirpy – as long as I don’t think about “the war”.
Wednesday I got a reply from the ABA, suggesting I see a lactation consultant. My problems are beyond the scope of what the ABA is able to deal with.
On thursday I went to Granville Baby Health Clinic, and explained the situation to Lynne, the lovely nurse there. Apparently, she’s a lactation consultant, so after we weighed in, I waited for her to finish her last appointment, and she watched me do a feed. From what she could tell, I was doing everything right, but it wasn’t working, and each feed was progressively damaging my nipples more. We made an appointment for her to come for a home visit today, and I agreed to keep going in the meantime.
On friday Tresillian rang to see if I could come in on Monday, as they had a cancellation. I spent six hours at Tresillian at Nepean Hospital on Monday, and Julie (the Tresillian nurse) watched me do two feeds, and also tied to help getting Inigo to sleep. Apparently if a baby doesn’t sleep properly, they won’t feed properly, and if they don’t feed properly, they can’t sleep properly. It was worse than I thought.
I left Tresillian in a positive frame of mind, ready to tackle the problem, and hopeful that it could be resolved.
Monday night Inigo refused to sleep, despite the best efforts of me, Mark, mum, and dad – he continued to fuss and grumble and scream for hours. Of course, the feeding didn’t go well, and I felt like I was back to square one.
Yesterday was another rough day. By the afternoon, I was unable to face another feed, so mum gave him a bottle (expressed breast milk) while I expressed. Inigo went to bed at about 7pm, and mum watched him while Mark and I went out for dinner. I even had a glass of wine!
He had bottle feeds through the night, to give me a bit of a break, and we started again this morning. The first feed seemed to go OK, but not well, and when Lyn arrived to see his 11am feed he was very hungry. While Lyn was here, I managed OK, and am now feeling like I might be able to cope with the 3pm feed without tears.
Tomorrow we have an appointment with a new paediatrician (who can check his mouth for tongue tie, and assess his high palate), then back to Tresillian in the afternoon. I have another appointment with Tresillian next week. And if it’s still not working then – I can do a weeks residential stay at Tresillian, where they will watch every feed for five days and four nights.
So I am getting the best help available, I am expressing when it gets too painful, and Inigo is still exclusively breast fed, even if it is from a bottle sometimes. And I plan on contacting my local ABA group today to try to get to a meeting, and hopefully get some positive reinforcement.
I know there is no shame in formula feeding, and I don’t judge anyone who makes that decision. It’s just that I need to exhaust every avenue before I take that step. In the meantime, Inigo is doing really well, and I am doing what I can to look after myself in a difficult situation.
And I must say, a smile is a great reward.