Friday, August 17, 2007

I'm a bad mummy

Ok this might all just be hormones, but I am struggling a bit today.

Alex is fine and such an angel. I have to wake him for feeds during the night.

The maternal childcare health nurse came today for our home visit. She thinks I am doing okay with him but - he is losing weight. I have to try to wake him more often and get more feeds in him. I feel like I am a really bad mum. I let him sleep 4-5 hours between feeds because he was sleeping, and was comfortable and I didn't want to disturb him. What I should be doing though is waking him every 3 hours and forcing him to do the breastfeed every time, as well as giving him 50-70mls of formula instead of the 4o that the hospital told me to give him.

She also made me cry by asking about my support structure. She asked about my parents and I cried and told her that they had passed away. I told her I really only have my husband who has to work every day at the shop and my Mum in law, who is lovely and willing to help but just isn't really much help, if you know what I mean. All the stuff she could help me with is just not in her range of talents - such as cleaning and cooking meals. She doesn't do either at home so it isn't natural for her to take over and do any of that here. She means well though and I love her for calling me every day to see how I am and seeing if I need anything. Yesterday she did some groceries for me which was a great help.

So then the nurse asked me about the crying and whether it is just my parents I cry about. I felt like she was assessing me for post natal depression, where if she really knew me she would know that I cry about my parents all the time - pregnant, non pregnant and was doing it way before Alex came along. Alex doesn't make me cry, and I never feel sad or angry or anything about him. It is just a hard time for me - trying to do this amazingly wonderful thing that I have wanted to do for so very long, without my parents being there.

I told her all this - but I just don't know what she thought. Anyway, because he is losing weight she wants to do another home visit next Monday. I think it is to also check me out again, to see if I am still being a bad mum and to see if my house is any less cluttered. She mentioned that my house is quite cluttered and she was concerned about the amount of dust in the house. So looks like hubbs and I will have to work hard on cleaning before Monday.

So I feel a bit down about the visit. I thought I was doing well, and I thought I was doing the best thing for my baby. Turns out I was starving him.

So lets see how I go with filling the boy with milky goodness and getting that weight up by Monday's visit.

I will leave you with a picture of Alex getting his newborn hearing screening test - something they have only just started doing in some hospitals in Melbourne - he passed 100% on both ears.



At 7:25 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Delurking to say congrats on your beautiful boy. Cheers Naomi

At 7:58 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Another de-lurker here to say your son is beautiful and you should be proud. Plus you are not a bad mother! He'll be just fine.

At 8:17 pm, Blogger Betty said...

Don't worry about the weight thing Bugsy. They all loose a bit. My baby girl lost quite a bit and I was so worried. I was beside myself but looking back now it wasn't such a big deal and I think health proffessionals can sometimes get a bit over cautious. Just do what feels right and trust your instincts, even though thats easily said than done. Sounds like Alex is feeding really well and is a contented little man. You are doing a good job. Also your hormones are bloody mad and so expect some down teary days (or weeks) but it doesn't necessarily mean that you have post natal depression. You are just adjusting to what is a massive change in your life and too your body. hang in there Bugsy, it all settles down soon. As for that nurse and the dust comment...phewie..maybe she should stay and sort it out for you if she is so worried!

At 9:15 pm, Anonymous OvaGirl said...

Congratulations Bugsy you have done brilliantly and he is a beautiful babe!
I agree with Betty, re the weight and the hormonal teariness. Pretty much all babies lose weight and it takes a little while just to get back to their birth weight, i know tricky did. Of course you are doing a good job. If your MIL can't cook or clean but can do groceries then get her to buy takeaways or do errands. And if anyone else visits and asks what they can do to help, say: the washing up. Or, the vaccuuming. People do want to help they just need to be told what would be useful. And don't feel bad asking for help, it's hard work with a newborn!! Hang in there!

At 9:49 pm, Blogger Dr. J said...

Every baby I know lost weight, some taking over four weeks to regain their birth weight. From what I´ve seen/heard of in Australia, they´re really over cautious - to such an extent that they drive mothers away from breast feeding because of the pressure that it isn´t enough. Friends in Oz have ended up bottle feeding just because the visiting nurses were being so critical and not giving them both a chance. Relax.

He´s gorgeous, by the way. You did good, girl.

At 3:50 am, Blogger Mother Hoodwink said...

First of all, you are NOT a bad mummy, so stop that business right now.

My Gavin lost two pounds in his first week and he was eating great. I had the same feelings as you. All babies go through that. It's not that big of a deal.

Don't worry too much about your house right now. My house was in disarray for the first two months. It happens. You should be concentrating on your little one.

Just take a deep breath and know that you are the most perfect mom for Alex.

At 5:05 am, Blogger Thalia said...

Bugsy of COURSE you aren't a bad mother. wake alex a little more often, and keep feeding him as much as he will take - perhaps you need to wake him if he falls asleep during a feed and give him a bit more? Don't let the health visitor make you feel bad, you are doing great and he is gorgeous.

At 7:32 am, Blogger Mrs_Pants said...

Bugsy, firstly congratulations on your gorgeous little boy. He truly is beautiful.

You aren't a bad mother at all. Both my sons lost weight when the maternal and child health nurse did her home visit - I was never able to establish a full milk supply and I just upped the formula comp feeds.

My MCHN was a bit of a cow and instead of providing me with support I found her to cause me all sorts of extra stress. It sounds like yours may just be a bit like that too.

Her talking about your cluttered home was bit much. There is one way of saying something and another if you know what I mean? She could see that you were struggling a little bit and she just adds to your stress.

Don't doubt yourself, it seems to me that you are doing a fabulous job.

At 9:13 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Delurking to say congratulations and to echo everyone's words of encouragement. You are not being a bad mother, you are simply taking some time to find your feet as does every other new mother (including I'm willing to bet, your MCHN). I had a similar experience with my son - had been thinking I was doing relatively well until the nurse breezed in and told me I had to get my 5 day old baby to learn to put himself to sleep.

I think her comments regarding your house were uncalled for and had she any intuition regarding new mothers she would realise that calling attention to the state of someone's house a week after they have had a baby is only bound to cause further distress. I'm sure your house is fine.

Can you or hubby perhaps request that someone else be sent for the next visit?

Hang in there Bugsy, you are doing a great job and things will get easier.


At 10:55 am, Blogger Sitting in Silence said...

Please dont ever think that. You are a wonderful woman and you are doing such a fantastic job with everything.
The first few weeks are such a right off and you will feel like nothing gets done and that's because it doesn't.
Remember Ty was born 8 pound 5 and at 3 weeks he was 7 pound 12. He too suffered jaundice and the midiwfe also made me wake him for feeds and to help with my supply.
It takes a while for them to catch up after such high levels.
Dont worry about your house.
Call in a cleaner for a few weeks and buy take away if you have too.
Sleep when Alex sleeps and stay in your P'J's if you want.
Nuture yourself. You are doing a fantastic job x

At 8:27 pm, Anonymous seepi said...

Hey there

try not to worry - the first few weeks are a shocker for everyone.
You should have seen the state of our house - we ended up practically living in the kitchen, it was filled with clutter, and our baby is fine!

If your MIL is helpful, ask her to bring over some takeaway, or else fresh bread and OJ, or even some lean cuisines - anything you can just heat up.

And I know you are supposed to be putting weight on the baby, but give yourself a break - if he will go 4 or 5 hours over night then let him - it will do you both good. If you are well rested you will produce more milk. You need to drink loads of fluids too to help with that.

Just nod and smile when the nurse comes around - they are not God. Ask for her advice on anything you are concerned about, and take her advice only if it suits you.

Go to it MUM!


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