Today, Q is 10 weeks old. That time has passed so quickly but seems we’ve always had him too! We’ve been on our breastfeeding journey for 10 weeks now and I thought I’d document how we’ve been getting on.
In Q’s birth story, I briefly mentioned that he had a tongue tie. In the minutes after he was brought back to me, one of the first things I said to A (and I can remember it as clear as day) was, “He’s got a tongue tie. I want that sorted. ASAP.”
You see, when O was born I was adamant I was going to breastfeed. It was the best thing for my baby, etc, etc. I had no idea how hard it could be and nobody picked up that he had a tongue tie until a couple of weeks in. Then we had to be referred to Newcastle’s RVI Hospital as not a single doctor in Cumbria – the whole county – was able to cut his tie. A tiny snip. Not one. And the waiting list was such that he didn’t actually get seen until he was around 5 weeks old. We had already established a poor latch and I suffered terribly with mastitis and blocked ducts whilst I persevered to give my baby breast-milk for 4 hard, long months.
I couldn’t have had an experience that was more different with Q. I mentioned the tongue tie to the midwife once I was moved back up to the Maternity/Postnatal ward and she said the breastfeeding midwife (the only dedicated one in the county) would come to see me tomorrow [Thursday]. Awesome. She diagnosed an almost complete tongue tie and, because of the issues I had with O, referred me to clinic straight-away. She expected that he would be seen the following week, and I was happy with that. It was much improved on the situation with O as I now only needed to travel to Carlisle hospital.
Needless to say, I was stunned when I received a phone call later that afternoon asking us to take Q the next day [Friday]! He would only be 2 days old and our problems would be sorted. I was ecstatic. Already, our breastfeeding journey was becoming more and more positive. I was discharged from hospital and the next morning we attended our appointment at Carlisle for his tongue tie snipped. He remained asleep throughout the entire thing. Success!
Since then, we’ve had no issues. I can’t quite believe I’m saying that as it was so very different with O. When he was three days old, we were taken back into hospital to treat his jaundice. My milk had come in with a vengeance (I could have fed a village, as the midwife said) and I needed relief so I expressed. I remember being told that if I wanted O to take a bottle as well as the breast, I should introduce one before he turned two weeks old. So I expressed enough from one breast in 10 minutes for two feeds for Q! He took the bottle with no issues and I suddenly felt like the stars were aligning and I was going to be able to do this.
Q has self-latched with ease for around 4-5 weeks now, and it makes feeding in general a whole lot easier. He’s putting on weight like he should and growing like he should. I’ve been expressing a little every now and again, mainly when I know I’m going to need to leave Q for a couple of hours and leave a bottle of milk in the fridge. The last week or so, I’ve been expressing once a day so we can build up a little supply in the freezer. I’m really looking forward to a meal out with hubs and a bottle of wine in the near future!
I’m still not feeling 100% confident with feeding in public but I’m getting there. I’ve fed Q a few times in the car where I’ve not felt comfortable feeding in full view – soft play being the main culprit there. Hubs took me out a couple of weeks ago to a fancy hotel in Keswick for a belated birthday lunch and Q wanted fed whilst we were there. It had quietened down and there were only two other couples in the restaurant with us so I thought, why not?! I fed as discreetly as possible and in that moment, I felt like I was winning at motherhood.
I’m feeling really proud of myself and of Q as I really didn’t expect this to work out. I came into my second pregnancy thinking it’s not the end of the world if things don’t go how I would prefer them to, and I fully expected to be using bottles of formula milk by now. But we’re not and I’m so happy. I’m enjoying this journey so far and I hope it can continue for some time. I haven’t set any goals as I don’t want to pressure myself. We’ll take it as it comes and enjoy the ride.