The lovely Blooming Boo has started the “Moaning Mummy Monday Linkup”, and naturally this is something I’d love to take part in! This week’s topic is “things you wish you’d known or considered before having a baby…”
There are 101 things that I wish I’d known before having a baby. Like just quite how deprived of sleep you ACTUALLY are. Like how difficult I would find breastfeeding, as a result of Os tongue tie, mastitis and blocked ducts. And like how awful the dirty nappies are of a breastfed baby. For those who haven’t experienced this, they’re MINGING.
But the one thing I’d like to have a really good moan about is… *drum roll* …Health Visitors.
When I found out I was pregnant, I didn’t even know these people existed. What the heck is a Health Visitor?! Well, according to the NHS, they deliver child and family health services from pregnancy through to 5 years old. They make new birth visits and
force their opinions offer advice on feeding, weaning and sleeping, carry out physical and developmental checks and provide families with support and advice on things such as Post Natal Depression (PND).
Now this is something that my Health Visitor did help both of us with – if you’d like to, you can read my PND story (Am I a Bad Mum?) and A’s PND story (Baby Blues Affects Daddies Too). Our Health Visitor set us in contact with the Counselling service that provided Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) that helped us both tenfold.
Although my first encounter with my Health Visitor wasn’t quite so positive…
Firstly, they make an appointment to visit you and your newborn baby at home. Then turn up 3 hours late, without a phone call or text message to say they’re running late! They arrive whilst baby is sleeping. This is following an hour’s feed where you’ve been stuck on the sofa with the remote just out of reach, with re-runs of Jeremy Kyle on the TV. And of course, they want you to wake the baby. *pulls hair out*
Did no-one ever tell these people – you never, ever, wake a sleeping baby?!
Obviously not! The baby is crying because you just woke them so that the Health Visitor can poke them, prod them and undress them to be weighed so they end up being cold and even more irritated.
I asked the Health Visitor to check O’s latch in the first few days at home as I didn’t think I’d got it quite right. She was pretty sure that he had a tongue tie and referred us to the Royal Victoria Infirmary at Newcastle for O to have surgery. This was great, she’d found the cause of an issue and was dealing with it. Perfect.
She then went onto explain that the procedure involved cutting O’s tongue. This would make him cry a lot and there would be A LOT of blood. I should be prepared for this happening.
Are you having a laugh?! I had my first baby 8 days ago and you think that telling me this is necessary?!
This left me a quivering wreck in the waiting room and the moments leading up to the actual cut – but it really wasn’t all these horrendous things that she’d led me to believe. O let out a little cry, more because he was being held in such a way that he couldn’t move, and there was a tiny speck of blood. My stress and worry was all swallowed up after he fed and latched well for the first time. O even had his first trip to Pizza Express afterwards!
Following my referral to the RVI, we didn’t see the Health Visitor much… and now we’ve moved, we’re yet to meet the Health Visitor at our new surgery 9 months in. Thank God!!
I really could go on but I think I’ll leave it there today… Big thank you to Blooming Boo for organising the link up.