This post has been in my draft for the longest time. Still learning how to adapt with 3 kids in the house. So here goes..
And so I survived the first week post delivery of baby #3.
The past week flashed by in a blur. I was mostly in the sleep-deprived mode, emotional post-natal and in pain.. Lots of pain, everywhere. The stitches from episiotomy, sore nipples and occasional backache.
The first 2 nights after baby came back, I had to attend to the night feeding, late night diaper changes and soiled clothes from diaper change accidents. The girls had disturbed sleep and kept waking up to check what’s going on. Hubby woke up to check too and went back to sleep. Occasionally I’d raise the white flag and get hubby to help get baby to sleep so I can catch up with some sleep.
Then comes the jaundice report.
The Jaundice Episode
Both my girls had jaundice few days after birth so we were prepared that #3 would get it too. We were just hoping that it won’t be serious. Turns out, it was high jaundice of almost reaching 300 (baby needs to be admitted jaundice score of >300). And his weight was dropping, which meant that he hasn’t been drinking enough to keep hydrated. I was feeling depressed when I learnt about it. It might be a better idea if I had given in to use that standby tin of formula milk powder instead of trying to rely on the not-yet-established supply of milk.
The paediatrition gave us an option to rent the phototherapy machine back but we decided immediately to admit baby instead.
We tried the first option way back during baby #1’s time and it failed terribly. We couldn’t do it as efficiently. Imagine the discomfort of baby having to sleep on the hard machine bed for 2 whole days and 2 whole nights! All the crying and screaming.. No! We are not going through this again.
So off baby went, to hospital for a 2-night stay. During baby #1’s time, we admitted ourselves as well as we thought I needed to hang around for the breastfeeding. We thought this would be the case again this time round but the experienced nurse adviced us that there was no need for us to hang around. Latching baby for a 1-hour feed each time only shorten the treatment time and it made a lot of sense now that it’s our third one already and I was even all ready for that feeds of formula milk just to keep baby hydrated through the treatment. On my part, I tried to pump 2 times a day and bring to baby whatever little supply I had then.
Meanwhile, back at home, everyone missed the presence of baby but everyone had some quality sleep on these 2 nights.
While baby was not around, I also had some time with the girls and I tried to do some stuff with them too, hoping they won’t feel left out after arrival of their brother.
And baby’s jaundice dropped to a safe level 2 days later and was discharged from hospital. And our ‘nightmares’ came back again.
The Nipple Confusion Episode
After baby was back at home, I tried to latch him on for milk, same as before he was admitted to hospital. To my worst fear, he developed nipple confusion. He couldn’t remember how to latch on and tried to suckle with the bottle teat method. It was really depressing as it couldn’t get him to drink properly and it was so crucial.
The worst times was during the night. He couldn’t sleep since he wasn’t full and everyone else couldn’t sleep as well. Hubby and mother in law and myself took turns to feed baby and make him sleep. But it was so hard.
I asked around among some friends how they managed and some say they didn’t really try to resolve the confusion, just went ahead to pump and feed by bottle. I thought about this option but I thought I would still like to try my best to be able to continue with direct latching before giving up to the bottle. But it was a tough try.
My mother in law who helps out with the night sleeping was already dropping hints on how fast baby finish feeding by bottle and can go back to sleep faster. And it’s even better when fed with formula because he can sleep for longer. Double sob.
It was the same situation back when it was baby #1’s time and I remember that I was almost falling into postnatal depression. The familiar feeling came back, crystal clear. The difference was that I could now manage that depression better and I was going to just standby my own decision and ignore/KIV all other voices, all other suggestions or expectations. I think I will do better this way. Only thing was the bad feeling that I’m causing others to lose sleep because of my attempts to try.
I just hope this period will tide over faster and I can decide to either continue latching or bottle feed.
Managing Milk Supply
After baby was discharged for the jaundice treatment we had to be cautious to make sure baby is hydrated to make sure it doesn’t bounce back to a high level, although PD said it would definitely bounce back a bit.
My milk supply was not in yet and it was a known fact that the supply will be lower than demand on the first week.
So we supplemented with formula. Instant stress relief. At least we know baby is getting enough milk and which in turn will help in reducing jaundice. The total breastfeeding thing? Leave it for later. Just continue to religiously latch and pump whatever amount there is. Milk will come eventually.
Managing the older siblings
At just week 1, I was still trying hard to adapt and adjust. I could only try to do my best not to neglect the 2 girls. Hubby, my MIL and helper helped out with the daily tasks during this time. Talk about recruiting all the help that you can get. It really works.