So it’s been months. heh.
Down right lazy and busy.
Baby Davian Tarun David (hereon referred to as DTD) arrived two days post due date.
Based on Gynae’s instructions to induce labour if no signs of labour were seen by due date; 6 dec. After checking into the labour ward at about 5pm on the 7th, and seeing signs of labour from 11:30 the same night… DTD slides his way (forceps assisted birth – only because despite being numb waist down [ yes i screamed for the epidural ] i was dead tired of pushing and with a bit of help of pulling him out) after 12 hrs. Yes, DTD was born 11:27am on the 8th.
Now, i may not really have to say this, but this will serve as a good recall incase my memory fails in the future. Nurses will tell you not to scream only because they know there’s no point to it. they expect you to breathe (inhale via nostril, exhale through the mouth) which helps in relieving any form of pain. I was pushing as hard as i can – believe me… being numb gives you no clue if the pushing has any effects. 12 hours of realising contractions and water bag bursting and the waiting… i was dead tired. good thing i had a tuna sandwich just minutes before feeling the pain of the first contraction – which let to the confusion if i wanted to poop or pop the baby out. eventually it was poop first… then baby. highly embarrassing but i must say that i’m thankful that the husband is a pretty matured guy when it comes to understanding such situations. he was clueless as to how he could help through out the whole ordeal. But I’m proud of him. He did his very best! When the gynae came into the labour ward, he was smiley until he asked me to push and i screamed that i can’t. Funny to think of it now, but Boy! did i make him mad! so obviously, his frustration led to me with one big push and whoosh… as told by hubs, DTD skidded out into the world. and i suppose that led to one disappointment, the husband didn’t get the chance to cut the umbilical cord – which apparently is a practice. hmmm.
not sure of how bad the damage it is down there (I’m still apprehensive to find out) but the gynae took long enough to sew and it took me an extra day at the hospital before i was able to be up and about. another two weeks saw me cringing in pain to sit. oh well. it’s really a wonder how i was told (from the canteen stall aunty to the antenatal doctor) that all these graphic details will be forgotten once you see and hold your baby. 3months postpartum, and i am still able to visualise every bit of the agony. I’m still in two minds about the second child – whether i should consider the option of a C-Sect to save all the hassle would be one of the consideration. I do wish i could turn back time and go through the delivery process differently, but oh well, life is such.
so baby is born. people came and left to visit baby. now what’s left on the table is me, parents, hubs and yes, baby. i should have done my due diligence in reading about life after baby. should have read up on breastfeeding, should have read about baby’s growth spurts, baby’s crying signals and what nots. i was two months late into that. regret number 2. better late than never? i still wish i had done this earlier and i believe i would have had a better peace of mind. parents will be trying to relive the good ole days. what they don’t realise and own up to is their failing memory and over enthusiasm. what we as parents, or primarily as a mother don’t realise and own up to is being selfishly not being stripped away from baby.
my parents were overly enthusiastic with the baby, they panicked and reacted to every coo and cry of the baby not understanding the problem. This is where the reading would have come in handy – especially during the first 2 weeks of the baby’s arrival.
Read: I wish i’d known
my mother kept assuming baby is hungry just coz he was crying. then she assumed he was colicky. then she assumed he had too many evil eyes casted upon him (a common belief amongst the overly protective indians when a child is regarded by the relatives and friends as just too adorable – but hey, aren’t babies suppose to be such? would you rather have them say, “why does the baby look like that?”). so she was trying every possible way of making baby sleep. so here’s the actual reason to why the baby was crying non-stop once he came back home.
- he is adjusting to life outside the womb and now after the hospital stay he is adjusting to new smells, sounds of the new environment called home.
- he needs the warmth and touch of the mother. yes, it does work miraculously. baby went all silent n cozied up into my arm the moment he felt me.
- he needs a diaper change.
- he needs milk – every 2 hours. who cares about sleep. i lost my sleep on day 2 when baby was crying non-stop. i had to resort to calling the on call nurse int he middle of the night to have him taken care in the nursery. DTD was all attention seeking from 9pm to 7am. one good thing, i was bed ridden with a urine bag attached. so i needn’t worry about getting up to pee and hear him wail uncontrollably.
- he needs his comfort sucking.
but primarily, he just wants comfort and warmth of the mother. i had to fight with my mother to get her to understand that he just needs me.
Additional read: Week 1 with Baby.
one thing to understand though, parents are all pro-formula. my mother enjoys feeding us; her family in abundance – and I’m not complaining. but what’s more important is knowing the capacity of the stomach of a new born. and since the baby is always crying my mother assumes he is still hungry and she feeds him over and above. till he knocks out into sleep. that puts her into her comfort zone. as to all other grandparents out there.
now i’ve come to realise that’s just not it. Babies and their Stomachs < one of the first few reads that put me in perspective.
regret number 3: wish i’d known better and researched into what to expect; especially with breastfeeding.
DTD was supplemented on top of him breastfeeding – like i mentioned according my mother baby is still hungry coz he is still fussing n crying. It’s extremely important to know the capacity of a baby’s stomach, coz a formula milk tin never gives you the measurements of how much to prepare for you baby’s age. the above read is actually one of the best articles around. their well known picture example:
what i’ve learnt in the past 1month of total breastfeeding and with the help of extensive research through articles, blogs and a Facebook group for breastfeeding mothers, babies cry for reasons and although it takes time to understand why you’ll get a hang of it soon enough. heck, it took me 2months 3weeks to get to know my baby; albeit late, i believe i’ve come a long way and I’m glad at least now i know!
Cue 1: Hunger
Try not to wait out the cry to actually figure out he is hungry. well, as a human, or at least a mother with hormones you wouldn’t be able to bear to hear him wail. DTD starts to cry and his whole face turns red like a fully riped tomato. so i can never stand the sight of DTD crying even for a bit.
so he’s hungry, you pick up baby, and latch him directly to your breast. Advised by lactation nurses and helpful aunts-in-law, always offer both breasts. if you offered the right first for this feed, offer the left first for the next feed. these are rules that are required to follow.
but what happens if your bub like mine, fusses non-stop. u know how everyone keeps saying it’s nipple confusion because you offer the bottle too… and they just stop at that (i mean here we are asking for a solution and all these people do is just offer reasons? like seriously!). well, i’ve got the solution to end of that sentence. keep offering alternate breast until baby is properly latched on and happily sucking. properly latching on is one of the most important things too – learnt it from a very helpful lactation nurse on midnight rounds during my stay at the hospital – baby’s lips; up and bottom gotta be inverted out and fully latched onto the areola for a good suction of the breast. So on how people tend to say there’s a nipple confusion, i don’t believe in that. Baby just wants your undivided attention and expects you to work as hard he does. And if baby is still fussing and throwing tantrums and looks like he’s not happy, have him latched on and start walking about. This method has proven to be extremely helpful especially during the evening feeds which are between 6pm to 8pm. Got to know about this fussy period only at about the 1month mark. Walk around and talk to baby or sing to baby, he’ll eventually settle down within seconds.
so here’s another information i keep coming across, forceful letdowns being one of the reasons, not quite sure on what that really is, but i don’t see my baby being anywhere near irritated with the milk letdown despite being supplemented with bottle-feed during his first two months.
Read: Fussy Baby
One very important lesson learnt while breastfeeding, never time the feeds! Like Ever! i was told to latch baby on for 30minutes each side. and i stuck by that rule and that’s probably why baby was always crying. Let baby come off the nipple. if he still cries, that’s your cue to switch breast for feeding. babies take their time during feeds, especially younger babies below 3months. they can take up to one hour. and here’s the other part to this, yes, babies feed every two hours… so if baby feeds for an hour, he usually feeds into his next feeding time. never to panic if he’s still crying even after you’re torn apart and worn down by having baby latched on for hours. from what i’ve read, this happens when babies are going through growth spurts! voila! and growth spurts only last a couple of days! so fret not! and parents and in-laws need to understand about these growth spurts and when they happen so it doesn’t seem like you are hogging onto your baby every second. see that’s the other point, everyone wants to hog the baby. and that displeases both parties. oh well, that’s really how you deal with family.
Read: Growth Spurt
Another thing about breastfeeding, there is no such thing as low supply based on what i’ve read. i used to be demoralised because my mother kept saying not enough milk and baby is thus, hungry all the time even after feeds. what i realised soon after was, 1st i didn’t latch him on until he was satisfied (read: the 30minute mark) and so my supply basically didn’t really match up to what it needs to be.
once i moved into my in-law’s – 2months postpartum – i was encouraged and with much less pressure from my mother of supplementing, to breastfeed as much as i can and lest i digress but still on topic; i had to go through baby adjusting to a new environment all over again; having baby orientate to the new place, room… ahhh the tiredness never goes away. so back on track. i started the journey of having totally breastfeeding my bub although 2months late i was encouraged by coming across articles.
however, i have yet to master pumping successfully. i have about two odd weeks before i begin work and I’m actually considering staying home instead. directly latching on demand is far easier.
Now, current research and reading is all about pumps and effective pumping techniques. i own the Phillips Avent single electric pump however it’s not as effective as hand expressing. i used to yield a good 4oz in a single session… however, i suppose my laziness and also attending to the baby has gotten me no where.
Cue 2: Burp
Baby cries for Burp! so while feeding you realise he is coming of the nips which is signalling that he’s full and he’s crying… try carrying him and burping. now, that’s something i’ve learnt. so Burp the baby. usually DTD burps on his own… but as of late, i gotta do it for him. someone i reckon is becoming a pet.
Cue 3: bored
Yes, baby gets bored no matter the age. Try nursery rhymes – in my case, he admires my singing of Rock-a-by-baby-, try going for a walk – i carry DTD to show him the various parts of the house or put him in his pram and go for a spin under the block – or simply just talk to him – he seems to enjoy listening to the tamil speaking grandparents than my english! and most of the time you get replies in coos and gaas and in my case, DTD shouts his enthusiasm. yes shouts. hmm, what am i to take of that? no, his ears aren’t blocked, they get cleaned every two days.
Ultimately, TV works. DTD enjoys his fast tempo dancing numbers. This is probably the after effects of producing a variety show with fast tempo songs (it’s a deepavali festival concert, you can’t blame me!) and baby was kicking from within throughout sound recordings and the show recording. hm. oh and as of late, Baby TV is magic. I’m truly amazed at the quality of production of programmes created to grab the attention of babies. normal cartoon channels don’t do the trick. it’s babytv that does the trick. and i’ve learnt to enjoy the shows along with him too. it’s those big round eyes that grab the attention of babies!
whatever it is, it’s a life saver!
Cue 4&5: Diapers and Sleep
Diapers, well DTD is a clean Freak. Any slight bowel movement irritates him. and there goes diaper money. and having adequate diaper outputs are actually pretty important too. now what i’ve yet to learn is the difference between diarrhoea and breastfed poo. both are expected to be runny. but i believe the breastfed poo is a rather thicker version of a runny poo. and colour matters too – brown, yellow and green are acceptable.
Sleep. in my case we always assume his cries are for sleep. so we plonk him either in his rocker or the pram and rock him to sleep. and usually, our instincts are right, he dozes of eventually. not sure if all babies are light sleepers, but mine is. Boy oh boy! DTD, any slight movement of the doorknob, of me inching on my bed and that’s it, sleeps over and I’m off to comfort latch him to sleep which takes even longer! oh wait, have i mentioned how hard is it for him now to even lay down to sleep because of the warm climate. argh. now we’ve placed a fan just for him. at the very beginning, he was against any form of wind. and now due to the weather he is perspiring all the time and that is irritating him. that’s an additional cue we have to look out for. and i believe because of the constant sweating, he is losing water fast, and i have to feed him more to keep him hydrated.
so these are my basic analysis of why a baby cries.
During breastfeeding, I’m thankful of having a tv in the room and my smartphone. they keep entertained and also, it’s while breastfeeding, that i got to research and read up about it. so i’ve made use of the time to build my knowledge. and knowledge is power. knowing what to expect, and knowing there’s support and many more persons out there going through such trials comforts the soul and encourages us moms further. I’m also thankful for parents who understand, the hubs who encourages me fwd with his amazement at my achievements (even though it is a minor one) and friends who are always there for encouragement and entertainment. all else fails, the FB group for breastfeeding mums are a big source for motivation, inspiration, encouragement and support. don’t mistake me as being a pro-breasfeeding mum – after all my DTD was supplemented with formula from day 2. I’m just expressing my journey thus far. and for all you know, he might go back to being fed by both the breasts and the formula if i can’t cope with work and pumping.
ok it’s been quite a long post and this took me the whole day in-between feeds and sleeps, and now time check: 10pm and i’m just about done with this post and the day. baby will be latched on for his last feed and off to tomorrow – his dreaded 5-in-1 Jab.
this is DTD the cheeky bub(2months – he looks bigger in photos than he does in real life):