So I ended up at the hospital for four days in total due to issues with my bladder and having to have a catheter fitted again after having it taken out… ouch!
I loved being in the hospital, we had so many visitors and I loved the nights where I got to spend time with my little bundle of joy all on my own, heaven! In fact on the first night the midwife actually had to take him away from me for an hour at about 4am as I didn’t want to put him down.
It took us three days to decide on a name, we finally decided on Albie James Moore -he’s named after my Grandpa and Ste’s step-dad, our little AJ! Peanut is Peanut no more!
It was so nerve wracking taking Albie home in his car seat for the first time, we didn’t want to make it too tight so he couldn’t breathe and we didn’t want it too slack so that he was fully secured. I don’t think Stephen had ever driven so safe in his life due to our extra precious cargo onboard.
I was told by the midwives to expect a ‘baby blues’ day on day 5/6 due to all the hormones raging around my body – I was so elated that I couldn’t imagine that this could happen to me… how wrong could I be! As I was exclusively breastfeeding we strapped in for a rough ride, I think I got about 2 hours sleep the whole night, but I didn’t mind, I was running on pure adrenaline. Suffice to say it caught up with me the next day.
The midwife came for her first visit on Friday where he was weighed and she checked my breastfeeding technique, which apparently was perfect, yeah! She also told me about the baby blues and told me to brace myself. We arranged for her to come back again on Monday as I’d only been home a matter of hours.
The day went by in a blur of feeding, nappies and visitors – to say I was exhausted was putting it mildly. Stephen had his two week paternity leave, so was able to provide a massive amount of support. I was still quite tender from my C Section and my time was taken up with feeding little Albie.
That night the baby blues hit me like a brick wall… I had been none stop feeding and was feeling very sore and vulnerable. My boobs were also very sore, I was told that if they hurt that you’re not doing it right, however I call bullshit! When the baby latches on, especially in the first month, it felt to me like he was sucking razor blades through my nipple. I was told to persevere with the first two weeks and that it would get better – I bloody well hoped it would!
I broke down on Stephen and told him I didn’t want to just be a mum and that I felt like a milling machine. God bless him, he didn’t laugh at me (how he didn’t I have no idea, I must’ve sounded like an irrational idiot). I was so scared that having a baby meant that I would constantly have him attached to my boob, that I would be in content pain and that I’d never feel attractive again.
Stephen was great and just kept reassuring me and telling me I was doing a great job. In my eyes giving up breastfeeding wasn’t an option, I had given up work for at least three months and this was now my full time job, I had no excuse.
Honestly the first two weeks went by in a blur, one part that I do remember massively is when Albie ‘forgot’ to latch. I was trying to breastfeed him from 3pm on the Sunday and he still hadn’t properly latched that night. I finally gave in and phoned the midwife, I was hysterical. She told me to express off some milk so that he had some fluid. I did have reservations about him not being able to go back to the boob, but at this point I just needed to get some fluid into him.
Luckily my mum had bought me a breast pump the day before, so I expressed off 30ml and fed him straight away. The midwife came that morning and concluded that my technique was fine, but as he’d not fed for so long my boobs had become engorged. We resorted to using a nipple shield so that he could latch on (I’d bought some of these in advance on the recommendation of my lovely friend in Australia, who was also breastfeeding and quickly becoming my oracle – thanks Abby!). The midwife told me to keep offering him the nipple each time he needed a feed before resorting to the shield. Thank goodness the next feed he miraculously remembered how to latch and all was well with the world.
It worked out well too as I knew that Albie was able to go seamlessly from the breast to the bottle and back again, so it meant that I could start to express off some of the feeds to allow Stephen to do some of the feeding and for me to have a cheeky glass of vino 😉
Once we’d overcome this obstacle we were faced with another one, which we were quickly realising is the case with a newborn… he had now started cluster feeding at the beginning of week 3, he literally didn’t stop feeding for 24 hours. It was exhausting! Apparently it is good for increasing your supply, but in all honesty you don’t give a flying f*** about that at the time, ha! Luckily this episode only took 24 hours.
I felt confident with my breastfeeding and it was getting less and less painful, which was a massive relief. Nearly four weeks after Albie was born we had one of my best friend’s weddings. I had initially meant to be a bridesmaid, however when we found out we were expecting Albie, I graciously stood down. The wedding was over the water at the Wirral and we were invited all day. I made the decision to express 3 x breast milk (60ml) feeds in advance and to have 3 x formula feeds (90 ml) and had enlisted my mum to watch Albie for the day with her boyfriend.
It felt great to get out for the day and to spend some time with Stephen. As everything had happened so quickly, this was our first date drinking since October! The wedding was absolutely stunning, the bride looked absolutely stunning and we had such an awesome day. I missed Albie massively, yet knew he was in good hands! It was quite funny as I had to take a massive bag with me so I could fit my breast pump in it (I expressed and discarded the milk throughout the day so that my flow wasn’t affected).
We’d reached the four week milestone and couldn’t be happier, we were just about starting to find our feet in terms of routine and I felt like I’d cracked the breastfeeding.