Three weeks in and night times are not totally sleepless but split into shifts of sleep and awakeness. However it is described, my zombie-like state is becoming more bearable and I think my body is simply more used to it now. The next challenge we are faced with though is the wonderful world of colic. Mr B wasn't sure whether this was actually affecting BB but after a visit from the health visitor following my desperate phone call (with the added crying from BB in the background) she was sure that BB's tantrums were due to colic. We opted to use Infacol and after administering it before each feed for a couple of days it finally kicked in and seemed to help BB to settle. We used Infacol for a good few weeks (until about 12 weeks) when BB didn't seem to need it anymore and babies tend to “grow out” of colic at around this time.
At around this time I was starting to get the hang of breastfeeding so I thought I would give expressing milk and storing it for bottle feeds a go. The actual expressing was not as weird as I thought it would be and I luckily seemed to have quite a good let down (the flow of milk from the nipple) so it didn't take too long. I used a hand pump as I wasn't quite brave enough to try one of the electric ones yet. I decided to try BB on a bottle of expressed milk so as to give my nipples a rest and that eventually members of the family could get involved in feeds should they want to. BB took it straight away so I then tried to give her one bottle of expressed milk each day. She didn't always finish the whole feed so I would top her up with a breast feed but I was pleased that she was able to feed from both – luckily no nipple confusion that I had heard from others about. Unfortunately this only lasted a week. BB suddenly decided that the bottle was not her bag and would squirm before it was even put in her mouth. I decided not to force it on her so gave her a break for a few days as I found pouring my unused milk down the drain demoralising. I then tried to give BB some formula – my thinking being that maybe she didn't want to take expressed milk from a bottle when she could take milk from the breast – again she wouldn't take this from me so I eventually asked my mother-in-law to give it a go. BB took half the feed but when given a break for burping wouldn't go back to it. Still, a minor victory! Unfortunately the bottle feeding is still very sporadic and not always successful. I still sterilise the equipment and prepare a fresh load of cooled down boiled water on the off chance that she may take a bottle, and always take a bottle and powder with me when I am out for a long period of time just in case, but I tend to opt for the old boob which BB is more than happy to take.
A new discovery for me is getting our food shops delivered – why oh why would anyone with a baby or children go to a supermarket – or even without children, it is so much easier when you are busy! This truly makes my life easier, especially in the early weeks – although time does have to be taken to prepare the shopping list so a tip - try and prepare the order when baby is napping or try and set this up before baby arrives so that future shops are much quicker to arrange.
One of my neighbours (who has a two year old) invites me to join them at one of the local toddler groups to meet other parents and little ones. This is a fairly small group and most of the children are actual toddlers apart from a little girl who is 8 months old. Rocking BB in my arms and side-stepping the charging toddlers I am not too sure that I or BB are quite ready for this sort of group, but it is still nice to meet some of the local parents. A couple of days later I get a text from my neighbour letting me know that her little boy has got Chickenpox. I immediately wonder whether BB might have caught it and get straight onto the phone with NHS helpline and let Mr B know, who gets more scared than me and states that BB should not be taken to anywhere until after her first set of jabs! I am told that the symptoms of Chickenpox can take up to 21 days to come out so we are on tender hooks till then. Luckily though these don't materialise so we have had a lucky escape!
At the end of week 5 I have a hospital appointment for physio to help with my divarication of the recti. They go through the exercises that I was already told about before leaving hospital after the birth and I am told that my gap has reduced from 8cm to 1.5cm – I am so relieved! However, when I go to my 6 week check up with the GP I am told that it is more like 3cm – still an improvement though!