Grace is 5 weeks old today! 5!!! I know people say time flies but this is crazy.
The days do seem to go quite quickly, however. She’s eating a lot this week (my poor boobs), but I’m anticipating a growth spurt. But a typical day can be something like: morning feeds will be 2-3 hours apart then in the afternoon, it can feel like she is attached to me the entire time. Yesterday afternoon, she was feeding every 90 minutes across the day, until it hit 3pm and she was feeding on and off for 3 hours, so that must’ve been a cluster feed (how do you definitely know if it is?!).
I’m still using nipple shields and did attempt without but she wasn’t having any of it and cried, which isn’t the best feeling. However, when we were staying at the hospital we had some great help on breastfeeding including from the charity, Gloucestershire Breastfeeding Supporters’ Network, who came by every Wednesday to the hospital to help Mums on the neonatal ward. They have a meet up every Thursday for Mums to pop along if they need any support and I will be going to one of their meet ups in Cirencester to get some help on potentially removing the shields. I am very nervous but the shields can be a faff when you’re out and about especially if you have a very wriggly and handsy baby. My Mum, Sister, Grace and I went to Bourton on the Water the other day and Grace started rooting and crying (bad idea to go there when sunny….it was rammed with people) so I used a large Muslin as a pappohuse and got my nipple shield out (whilst standing up) and Grace was wriggling about with her arms moving around too, knocking the shield off - my mum was trying to cover me but my boob was definitely visible to passers by. So I gave up and got a bottle out for her but I’ve seen friends mastering feeding whilst out and I was determined, but I thought maybe trying to remove the shields could help it become easier, one less thing to think about?! So I will keep you posted on how the breastfeeding meet up goes! We are currently combi feeding as it helped with her gaining weight so I do a couple of bottles a day to also give me a break as well and I can ask Rob to take over. So moments like I had at Bourton can be dealt with a lot easier for me.
The weather this week has been up and down, my next panic was what on earth to dress Grace in. I put her in a pram suit and went into town with Mum and just kept touching Grace’s face, neck and chest to make sure she was okay temperature wise! My mum kept trying to reassure me she was fine but it’s these constant thoughts that makes this journey EXHAUSTING!
Your brain is non-stop!
This week has been a week of constant googling! It feels that Grace is feeding or crying constantly. I WISH she could tell me what’s wrong. I have been googling ‘can you over feed a baby?’, ‘causes of crying?’, ‘my baby is feeding every 90 minutes, is this normal?’. I, again, spoke with friends and I am, AGAIN, not the only one googling these and I’m starting to realise I should stop because every baby is different and you can’t over feed a baby….if you do they will sick out the milk and even if she is using a boob as a soother during some crying fits, is that so wrong? I don’t know the answers but this is what I’m currently learning. I have also been googling ‘routines for 5 week olds’, ‘when to start a routine?’, ‘awake time for babies at 5 weeks’ …. you get the gist. Anyway, I’m going to drive myself crazy if I think I can get a routine with Grace when she is so young. I just keep getting ads popping up on this subject for newborns so I keep thinking it’s something I HAVE to do but I don’t think I do 🤷🏼♀️
On the flip side, I feel like Grace is doing better sleeping. We are co-sleeping and I wouldn’t have it any other way. She sleeps, so I sleep, which means I can function and supply milk and look after her. I am doing whatever it takes to get through this time of change and make sure Grace feels safe, secure and loved at all times because everyday I feel a stronger bond with her and want her to feel it too. I just want to say I know there are mixed advice on co-sleeping so I am not recommending it, it is just what is working for me right now.
My next week is a week without my Mum’s help, whilst Rob is at work. So it’s just me and Gracie. I am making plans with friends to make sure I get out and build up my confidence getting out. Today in the supermarket, Grace started crying and I internally was panicking but as I moved around more, she started to settle (until I stopped again!) so I want to make sure I can handle these situations when I’m alone as well.
Wish me luck 🍀
Day 35 - new things completed & conquered:
1. I registered Grace (she’s officially a person!!)
2. We had the longest journey, so far, with Grace in the car - 45 minutes to Daylesford farm to meet my Aunt & Uncle and introduced them to Grace.
3. I changed Grace in a public toilet (at Daylesford)
4. Spent a few hours in a pub garden with friends and their babies. Grace met a few friends for the first time and had cuddles from multiple people and she was absolutely fine …. I have to say when I’m with friends and their young ones or their newborn babies, it makes me feel a lot better and really gives me a boost, so getting out and seeing people really does help!
Until next week….