The first six days of a new addition to the family

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Finally have some time to blog about my progress. Mil's a great help.. ZY too. Without them, I wouldn't be able to lie on bed and blog.

L is almost 6 days old now. For the last 6 days, I experienced different emotions everyday.

Day 1: This was D-day. Since 13:08 hrs, my life changed completely. A new addition to my family of three. Tiredness set in, and the reality of total breastfeeding too. The three-hourly wake-up calls from the nurses at KKH for L's night feeds became a dread. By the 2nd night feed, ZY was so alert and jumped out of his sofa bed (in fright?) when the nurse turned up in our room with L. But L was a quiet boy. Even the nurses commented that he just slept throughout in the nursery and didn't make any noise.

Day 2: Home sweet home. It was peaceful for the first few hours as Ch was still at my mil's place. No one at home. By the time she came back, we were already exhausted. But seeing Ch's enthusiasm in playing with us and L, I just couldn't bear to "push" her away from me. 

When night came, it was the real test of parenthood. L woke up almost every hour, and wanted to suckle. He kept crying and refused to be put down on his cot. It brought back dreadful memories as Ch was like this for many nights. ZY and I took turns to pacify L, carried him around the room, sang to him, rocked him, etc. Eventually he slept (in our arms), but only for a short while, and the whole cycle started again. 

Day 3: L didn't meet the minimum requirement for poo and urine. I was worried, but as the lactation consultant of KKH does not work on weekends, I called up the Ask-A-Nurse hotline. Was surprised to learn that L must drink at least 60ml of milk per feed! I don't think I even produce so much! Gosh! And he continued to be very sleepy during the day. Made it worse and more difficult to feed him. Was advised by the nurse through the hotline to supplement with ebm or formula feed. Also brought him to the polyclinic for the jaundice check-up. His jaundice reading was 166. Mild jaundice, just like Ch. Safe level. I was relieved.

When night came, I started to dread it. Recalled the previous night when I din even have a 2-hr sleep. Fortunately, the situation became slightly better. At least he slept through from 11pm to about 2 am. So I had 3 hrs of sleep too. Woke up more refreshed, and started disturbing L to wake him for his feed. He merely suckled for about 20min and fell asleep again till the next feed. 

I also started to have sore nipples. Could see the cracks, and blister-like protrusions on my nipple. Some were even filled with blood! It was so painful when L nursed.

Day 4: ZY and I were getting more worried about him not meeting the requirement for poo and urine. By now, he should be having 5 wet diaper changes and 3 greenish yellow stools for the day. He only had 2 and 3 respectively, despite us giving expressed breastmilk for 3 of the feeds. He was also turning more yellow.

Also started to feel engorgement. So painful that I had to use warm towels to relieve my pain. Then I realised that it's the wrong method. Should use warm towels only when milk is leaking. I was told to use cold towels or cabbage when feeling the pain. *note: using cold towels or cabbage may result in a drop in breastmilk.

Day 5: Finally managed to get the LC from KKH. She told us to supplement with 40ml of ebm/ infant formula after letting L nurse for 30 mins. I faithfully pumped out my milk while L nursed on the other breast. Couldn't juggle with handling L and pumping, so I got ZY to "milk" me. He is a great farmer indeed. Massaged my breast, and held the pump. Of course, the massage is not the "shiok" kind. He had to unclog the blocked ducts and remove the lumps... hence "tortured" my tender breast by squeezing my nipples (ouch!!) and forcefully rubbing and pressing my areola and breast. Ch even helped out!! Finally, my engorgement was relieved.

L's feeding progress became better after I took up the LC's suggestion. He actually had 5 wet diapers and 4 yellow stools! Yippee!! For the first time, I was happy and relieved! All the pumping and the pain I endured from the sore nipples paid off!

Day 6: Dunno why, but I was very weepy the whole day. Perhaps due to the hormones change. It's always the hormones we blame, don't we? I dropped tears almost at anything that was said to me. I got frustrated too, when so many people were giving me instructions and talking to me. Also started the malay massage. It felt good, as my aching bums and shoulders were relieved of the aches. But I didn't like the oily skin and hair after the massage. Supposed to endure this until the next day before I can wash it off, but I didn't care. Wiped off the oils from my hands and legs right after the massage lady left. Also felt very hot and sticky the whole day.

When evening came, I was so frustrated and irritated that I just started to cry inconsolably in my room. Tears just dropped out and I cried my heart out. It felt good, but ZY got very frustrated. He can't stand it when I cry for any reason or no reason. I almost felt like shouting at him too. I also kept messaging close friends for comforting words. However, the more I read, the more I cried. Just don't know why.

L slept better this night. I was also able to sleep more. He woke up after close to 3 hours, nursed a little, then slept again. But he also met his daily requirement for poo and urine. 

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  1. Its funny yet useful.. Now I know how being a mom feels like.. Hmmm..


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