Wednesday, 13 April 2011

A month of motherhood

Alfie baby was 1 month old last sunday, I can't believe how quickly time flies, or how (dare I say it) easy being a mum is. I feel bad for saying that because I know some mums really struggle what with lack of sleep, healing after birth and adjusting to motherhood, but honestly at the moment, its nowhere near as hard as I thought it would be. Granted there are times of the day when Alfie is a bit grumpy, or won't sleep which can get a little frustrating, especially if I need to do things, but generally, I'm managing to keep on top of housework, I get time to myself in the day when he's asleep, and he sleeps for 4-6 hour blocks during the night which is wonderful. I'm sure it'll change as he gets a bit bigger and spends more time awake during the day, but for the time being, I really can't complain.

My surgery wound is pretty much healed now. I tried my hardest to take it easy in the first 2 weeks, but after that, I felt normal so I started behaving normally. Obviously if it hurt me, I;d take it easy for a bit but its not really caused me any trouble. I've been wearing Alfie in a wrap, so he's strapped to me for the last couple of weeks. It great for settling him during the day, and much easier than taking a pushchair on the bus (plus its excellent for helping the weight loss!) It means I can do household chores easily and the best thing about it is that I have my hands free rather than having to hold him all day. Its great for him as it keeps his close to me, he's soothed by my heartbeat and the gentle rocking as I walk about - its like an external womb for him. I love it - and because we're not directly breastfeeding, I still feel close to him by having him in the wrap. I can even express while he's in it which helps with my let down reflex.

Bottle feeding him with my expressed milk makes things easier in some respects, as it means OH can do feeds and I can sleep, but also eats into my sleep as I have to express during the night. I do prefer it to directly breast feeding though, but we do still keep trying. The health visitor says that Alfie has a tongue tie which is probably causing problems with latching on. Hopefully as he grows and his tongue gets a bit bigger, it will fix itself. Its disappointing for me that directly feeding him hasn't worked out (so far) but I'm not giving up yet. During the day while we're at home and we don't have to go anywhere, I'll give him half a bottle so he's not starving and agitated, and then I'll try to latch him on to me for the rest of his feed. Sometimes it works and he feeds for 10 minutes and falls asleep, other times we can be there 15-20 mins trying to get him on properly before I give up and give him the rest of the bottle. It requires a bit of patience, but on the ocassions where it has worked, I've felt really good about it. We had a successful immediate latch and a 20 minute feed yesterday, and another little trickle feed this morning. I need to go to some breast feeding help groups and try to get some help so we can overcome our problems. I feel more mentally prepared to deal with it now than I did when he was first born, less uncomfortable about it, and I feel like I've got the right level of patience to keep at it, so hopefully that will help.

Tomorrow OH and I are going on stag and hen do's - his dad is getting married on May 1st, and its the first time we'll be leaving Alfie with anyone. Eeeek. I'm going early in the morning and leaving Alfie with OH and then his mum is having Alfie for the afternoon. He's technically only being 'babysat' for about 4 hours, but i'll be away from him all day which I'm a bit nervous about. I've been stocking up the freezer with milk so there's plenty for tomorrow incase he wants to eat every hour, which he sometimes does and I'll take the pump with me so I can express a few times during the day. I'm looking forward to having a nice relaxing day to myself though, and I definitely need a shoulder massage after the last few weeks of slumping over to feed/change him and carrying him around. It'll be very strange not having him with me all day though as I've not spent more than an hour without him and that was only once when I nipped into town and left him with OH. Fingers crossed theres no problems because we might be leaving him for much longer if we decide not to take him to the wedding.....

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