I can hardly believe Matilda is now 3 weeks old. It still feels like it was only yesterday that she was inside my stomach, and now she’s this huge fat thing who’s developing her own personality and puking at every available opportunity.
Re the puking; we’ve definitely had more than our fair share of it over the past couple of weeks, but this past week has been a bit of a stinker. We even made an appointment with the GP to have him check Tilds for reflux, but he said that he couldn’t diagnose or treat reflux at this point, so it was a wasted trip. I’ve been trying different things to help Matilda at home, including tummy massage and managing her feeds so she’s not taking so much in at once, but the only advice the doctor could give us was to feed her little and more often, which is the opposite of what I’m trying to do to get her away from the cluster feeding. But I can’t be expected to choose between my own sleep and sanity, and my daughter’s ability to keep her food down; hence trying to find a middle way.
We also had 2 more midwife appointments this week, as we’ve remained under their care until Matilda gets back up to her birth weight. But because she weighed in at 6lbs 12oz at our Monday appointment, the midwife for our Thursday appointment didn’t even bother bringing her scales with her, the assumption being that by that point she would have been at her birth weight or so nearly there that the difference would be negligible. Instead, the focus was put on answering any remaining questions we had about the birth, the previous 3 weeks, or the weeks to come, and also on making sure that I have all the necessary tools and contacts to keep working on my own emotional and mental wellbeing.
I do feel a lot better this week, helped in part because Tilda has been getting more sleep at night, and also because R and I have settled into a routine where he takes her in the evening from about 9pm so I can get at least 3 hours of uninterrupted sleep before he brings her up for the first of her night feeds. Last night was a bit crap, as Tilda puked all down her sleepsuit and had to be changed, then needed winding for almost a full hour, but this morning we had a lovely time doing skin to skin in bed while daddy had a lie in, so it more than made up for it. My girl is already the best cuddler in the world. I’m so looking forward to when she’s a bit older and we can have proper mummy-daughter snuggles.
We’ve also been working hard this past week to do more concentrated play time, instead of just random play when Matilda is snuggled up after a feed. She’s been on her play mat enjoying looking at and listening to all of her dangly rattle toys, and I’ve been narrating stories about her toes and fingers to her when she’s having her tummy and leg massages. She’s so cute – when she’s super interested her eyes get all round and a bit cross-eyed, and she makes an ooh shape with her mouth that I call her ‘french face’; whenever she does it we always say ‘ooh la la Matilda’ and tell her how fancy she is. She’s way more responsive now than she was last week, so if I purse my lips at her or stick my tongue out she gets super interested and will sometimes try to do it back to me. I love those little moments when it’s just me and her making faces at each other. These are the things that are sustaining me through the ongoing sleep deprivation. But all those people who have been giving me advice were right – it does feel a bit easier when they start communicating with you. Maybe it’s because you can see how your hard work is paying off, or maybe it’s just because it makes those long hours seem a little less lonely. Either way, I feel like we’re properly in this together now.