Week 3 flew by in a blur. So much so, that I completely forgot to write about it! Week 4 on the other hand, was a tricky one and definitely eventful enough to talk about! Mikey went back to work on the Monda…which I was totally prepared for… up until the weekend before he started. On the Saturday I noticed that my boob was slightly more tender than usual when I put the breast pump on it, but thought nothing of it. On Sunday, we went to visit family and my trusty electric breast pump broke! That was slightly stressful as breast pumps are one of the ‘bigger’ items to buy and I’d obviously have to buy a replacement. I wasn’t overly concerned with the urgency though as I had a manual at home which I could use in the meantime.
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Well! Remember that slightly sore boob I was telling you about? That bad boy turned out to be a blocked milk duct. That, coupled with the manual pump and my first day on my own at home with two kids…it tipped me over the edge and I spent my entire morning crying. My boob hurt, I hadn’t thought about having to change my pumping schedule so that I could pump either before or after the baby needed changing and feeding and the manual breast pump wasn’t cutting it when I had so much to do during the day.
I felt very overwhelmed and that Monday was the first time I’d cried since giving birth. I had been so proud of myself; somehow I’d beaten the baby blues, but mainly I’d avoided post natal depression this time around. Monday morning shattered that pride and I felt like a failure. How was I going to do this all on my own?
I ended up calling my sister in tears and begging her to come over. I needed the support, the company and somehow, I also needed to get my entire clan down the 6 flights of stairs and into town to buy a new pump. In the end, I did manage to get a new breast pump, the Philips Avent Electric Breast Pump (currently on sale!), which works a lot better than the one I had before. We also managed the trek into town and somehow I got all the kids and equipment down the stairs. It wasn’t graceful and definitely not something I can do on my own.
Baby Wearing Fails
Because of the housing situation, I bought myself a second hand Moby Wrap when I was pregnant. I’ve been trying desperately to get it right but I just can’t seem to figure it out. It’s really upsetting me as I’m starting to feel a lack of independence. I can’t put the baby down at home and I definitely can’t leave the house. I’m feeling very trapped, which adds to that feeling of stress. I also wanted desperately to prove to my other half it was worth the money, but that doesn’t seem to be working out for me either. We got given a carrier by one of our downstairs neighbours, so now the plan is to give that a go and see if we can work out how to use it. It hasn’t come with instructions, so I’m going to have to do a web search and see if I can find a PDF or something.
If nothing works, it looks like I’ll be stuck inside with a baby attached to me forever. Did I mention that school starts again in one week…?
Cluster Feeding and Mastitis
Oscar has been permanently attached to me this week as throughout week 3 and 4, he has been cluster feeding. As if that wasn’t stressful enough, my blocked duct I mentioned earlier turned into Mastitis.
This lead my milk supply to drop and I had to top him up with formula. I have no problem with formula feeding babies, Luke was almost completely formula fed because I couldn’t master breastfeeding. The formula did give Oscar a bit of blockage the next day though and he was quite uncomfortable and windy, which lead to more crying and the need for more comfort. By the end of the evening he had managed to sort himself out, but it was a very long and difficult day.
By now, I had tried every trick in the book to help clear a blocked duct and nothing had worked. My boob was very sore and had now started to go red, so off to the doctors I went to get a course of antibiotics! Thankfully, my sister was ok hand to babysit so I didn’t have to navigate the millions of stairs again and I was able to get a good hour of ‘me time’; the first ‘me time’ since Oscar’s birth.
As you may have seen, I wrote up my gift guide for 5 year old boys and celebrated Luke’s birthday. Luckily for him, it lands on the August bank holiday which means we have time to enjoy a nice day out. We decided we’d head to the New Forest Wildlife Park, a wonderful attraction in Hampshire that Mikey and I have visited before. The drive down is around an hour and a half, but thanks to Luke’s new birthday present – the Amazon Fire 7 Kids Edition – our drive went smoothly. Oscar fell asleep straight away and Luke was occupied watching Tom and Jerry cartoons and playing Daniel Tiger games. Unfortuately for us, it also rained really, really, really heavily and everyone except Oscar got soaking wet within seconds. Oscar was nice and cosy in his Jane Epic and Matrix Light 2 Travel System, which is an amazing buggy and perfect for soggy days out and off roading adventures. Even though we all got drenched, we had a great day and Oscar slept most of the time we were walking around.
Towards the end of the week, my Mastitis started to get a little better thanks to the antibiotics that the dr gave me. I am starting to feel a little less overwhelmed, although I do struggled when the baby is crying, I need to pump and Luke is demanding attention. I suppose it’s something that we all need to get used to! Let’s see what week 5 is like…