The big review will come but it's big, y'see - and at the moment, our lives come in bitesize pieces, dictates by how exhausted we are / whether His Nibs needs feeding - of which more in a minute.
We are currently seriously in Week One Hell. James has - yes, of course! you guessed it. Jaundice. Why did I think life might be amiable or simple in any way for at least part of the journey?
So. Upshoot *isn't*, thank Christ, me not sleeping (as in - at all) for eight days, and His Nibs readmitted through A&E. It's not that bad, see.
However. It *is* bad enough for him to be asleep almsot constantly over the last couple or days. Which means the journey toward successful breastfeeding right now is *disastrous*. How so? Well you can strip a baby down and put it to your knocker, but if your knocker resembled a torpedo with a flat head because it's engorged (tell me when I'm getting too personal here - we also have a photo of the placenta if you're interested ;) and your body heat sends Jimminy Cricket straight back to sleep, despite open doors, cold wipes on the feet *you name it* then young Jimminy bloody Cricket will pretty soon become Skinny Ribs, the starving baby.
So, what you do is - and I thank my stars I have Mackay here, you try him on the knocker, you try to get him to latch on to your swollen, painful tits (pretty fucking unlikely, frankly), then Daddy takes over, and puts the *last* feed that you pumped out (extremely painfully) last time, in to young James via the "cup" mechanism. A very tiny baby will help and lap (just about) at the side of a wee measuring cup of milk if you give it to them (as well as the odd very small slop in to the mouth to help).So whilst Mackay is manhandling milk in to the baby, I am pumping out the next meal, after having given him a good go on both, at present to no avail.
Problems with this approach:
He's learning that sucking on the knock is not the easiest way to get milk.
It is very time consuming
It's a constant churning cycle which has destroyed our sleep for the last 2 nights. now, I reckon that unless we both get some sleep during the day tomorrow, we're both going to be gibbering wrecks by friday which oh joy! Is when Nora is at home. Not that I'm suggesting having Noo around isn't lovely and brilliant. It's just that right now, it would be lovely if she could go on a holiday to her Nanny and Grandad's for a few days.
Common sense suggests that that is unfortunately a Really Bad Idea re: bonding with James, not feeling excluded, etc.
BIG SIGH. It all just feels like deja vue gone mad right now. Nora's first couple of weks were like something from a living nightmare. I didn't sleep, I was stuck in this cycle of pumping out every 3 hours and getting her to drink from a cup, I was absolutely fucking terrified of her being so ill; no community midwives came because the Lambeth midwives services is so shit - any sense of control or support was lost and my sleep loss meant that by a certain point, all I could do was cry. Constantly. Through inhuman exhaustion. Can you imagine the emotional discharge to Noo? She spent the entire week screaming. It was totally unbelievable - particularly after such a difficult birthing process.
Anyway. this ISN'T the same. He's 80% there. Come on darling, all you have to do is get over your jaundice. Please. Pleeeeeeease.