As regular readers of my blog will know, two years ago I had an early arrival in the shape of little B who arrived into this world 6 weeks early. Another pregnancy – another new arrival, another very early arrival. This time, baby T decided to outdo his older brother and arrived 8 weeks early. I was expecting early, but not that early. After a fortnight, he’s doing fine in the Special Baby Care Unit and will be for another week at least. In order to come home he has to achieve three things; 1) be above 4lb in weight – he was born weighing 4lb 13oz so he’s already done this one. 2) He has to maintain his temperature – this was a bit more of a struggle after a little battle with jaundice and with a fairly heavy snowfall on the ground outside lowering temperatures generally, but he’s fought this little battle and seems to be winning. 3) He has to be feeding independently – either breastfeeding or bottle – this is our current battle.
As a result of his very early arrival the ward staff have had to tube feed him using my expressed milk and we’ve had to teach him to use his sucking reflex so that he will be able to breastfeed successfully before they’ll let him leave. On some days this has seemed like an uphill battle. He’s so tired and so tiny that just holding him in the right position to feed has required a fair bit of trial and error. The jaundice didn’t help as it left him incredibly sleepy and completely disinterested in feeding. I’m determined to succeed so that they will let us bring him home. It might be easier to give in a teach him to use a bottle but I want to be able to feed him (and I can’t really be bothered with bottles if I’m honest).
It feels very strange with all my work colleagues returning to their desks and classrooms tomorrow, I’m completely absorbed with the task of teaching the little man to feed – how life has changed in the last fortnight!