Sophie was just placed on me and she lay there and probably for about an hour, an hour and a half and just, like, she, I think she breastfed, I wasn't really aware of it, but she definitely suckled and, I think did latch on and in my notes they've said that she was feeding for about an hour. As I say I wasn't totally aware, she was just lying there and then my husband would pick her up and give her a cuddle if she got a bit sort of, and then put her back on me so that was, sort of for four hours I was in there. And then we were taken up to the antenatal recovery part of it, antenatal ward, I was put in a transitional care unit because she was premature and because she was a healthy weight and seemed to be feeding fine we were left to our own devices, and sort of not given any special attention. And so then the first, first day she slept a lot of the day, I can't really remember how frequently she fed, probably every two or three hours I think. But there was a lot of lying around just watching her sleep and during the night as well she kind of, she just would wake up, sort of start to cry a little bit her mouth would go, she would suck her sleeve and that would be a cue to feed me. And so that was sort of the routine sort of throughout the night as well. The first night I think was alright, she did feed periodically and I slept periodically, I don't remember very much of it, the second, second days and things we had, again a lot of sleeping during the day and a bit more frenzied activity during the night the midwives were very good because they'd come and, sort of in the end they did take her away just for a couple hours to let me sleep and then brought her back, just when she really was very hungry, because they, they thought maybe she'd just got into a bit of a routine of smelling me and stuff, I'm not really sure, but that was, that was sort of the, the time in hospital. And then day three my, my milk started to come in, up to that point it was just the colostrum, and that was a very strange experience, you know, you, you sort of, your breasts just go rock solid, just absolutely stretched within an inch of their lives, and then the sort of milk appears and during that third night we had a bit of a tough night because Sophie was doing everything she was meant to be, by encouraging my milk to come through by wanting to be fed lots. But we had, you know, continual sort of every hour, every half hour I think for a period of three hours her wanting just to, to feed a bit more and, you know, I didn't really know it was my milk coming through. I couldn't tell the change but, you know, that was her and so that was, you know, that was hard because it was just an unknown, you know, when your, when your nipples are really sore and your breasts are really sore and you're not really sure what on earth's happening. That was quite, quite hard because I didn't know whether I was giving her enough or whatever but, she seemed, she seemed fine and we, the next day she'd settled down after the night because she definitely sleeps more during the day than at night. And we had a normal day again of her sleeping three plus hours, I think, and then waking up for a feed and then feeding of, you know, feeding for a while and then going back down and that was the sort of case for the first three or four days.
Okay, and were you offering both breasts at each feed?
I wasn't actually, she, she feeds for about ten minutes was her maximum to start with and then she'd just go, go down and she wouldn't want any more. I mean when she, she begin, or began to sort of not settle immediately I'd try wind her although she hasn't been a very windy baby. Recently being a whole fifteen days old she's now, you know, maybe a bit windier than she was initially but I did take her off and then put her back on the same one and that seemed to be fine. Now I have tended to, it's again about fifteen minutes is the maximum she'll ever feed in one go and then I've changed her nappy or winded her for ten, fifteen minutes she'll then either go back on or if she comes off that bit quickly but still not settled then I will pop her on the other one, and that she tends to take, I think six minutes, seven minutes has been the most she's ever taken off the second one. She may, you know, waken up an hour later and want some more, and that happens it seems to go in frenzies it's like she'll have a three hour break and then she'll have a spell of like, a sort of, ten minute feed, twenty minutes off, a ten minute feed, twenty minutes off and that's been kind of just a spell for an hour, and hour and a half and then she's lasted, and she's obviously had enough, it's complete guesswork, she'll tell you when and then we'll have another stretch of two or three hours of a break in one go so. No routine just completely random but she seems to be quite happy with it, so.
And what about coming home, how was that?
Coming home was always very daunting. We got out at, sort of day four instead of five for good behaviour because she was putting on weight and I was, I was feeling alright. And just by chance the first thing we did when we came home was feed her, just because she was hungry and we didn't plan it that way but I kind of had a first outing in the car and then, she came home, the first thing we did was feed her. And then I think she slept a bit more as she does during the day and then that first night was, I think she did feed quite a lot, I was obviously quite anxious but what, what we decided to do was I didn't want her in bed with us, neither of us did, and so we had a crib, she's got a baby cot and we ended up putting that on the spare bed, it's a double bed in the spare room, and I lay next to her. And that was purely for my benefit, not for her she was quite contented but it meant that I could just check, we have baby monitors, and we're now using them, and I'm sort of in the room next door and I can hear her fine but for those first couple of nights it was just so I could open an eye and check that she was alright and feed her. And now she's just in a crib in the room next door and I mean we both hear her very quickly and I then go and feed her and make sure she's settled, which sometimes takes ages, you know, sometimes it can take an hour by the time she's, sort of decided she's had enough food, and winded, and changed a nappy, and decided it's actually night time and I don't want to play, and then I go back through so for us that's worked, you know, quite well. A lot of people have taken them in but I was just too paranoid, it's just, you know, every snuffle you hear so for me it's better that she's out of sight now, but only sort of ten feet away really through walls so that's worked.
So at night time you're feeding her on the spare bed?
And during the day?
Down, down in the living room really, just we've got various cushions, I've got a V cushion and I've also got a cushion from my friend from the States that's, a round one which is better. But again because she's quite light I'm finding it, it's still fine to hold her. And she will just feed wherever really, she's not fussy, we've fed her in a restaurant, we've fed her in the living room, she seems to be quite fine as long as I've got a big, pint of water next to me because I'm very thirsty, feeding, so I make sure I've got that first. And if I'm on my own, a phone, so I don't get bored, and we settle down and she feeds just in the, in the living room, just on me.
Oh I don't know really, any final words, I don't really have any words of wisdom there's, there's nothing, you just figure it out as you go along. Don't try and get in a routine too soon, I read a book, was determined to follow that to the letter, and there's no way I could've done. My, sort of indication of my contented baby has been one that's putting on weight, is smiling, is changing day by day, and seems to be quite happy, and I think, you know, we will have to get into some form of ideal but just now we're just figuring out how much she needs to feed and, I'm just figuring out how much I can, I need to produce to feed her so, I'd say go with the flow and just enjoy the time and, everybody says 'go rest' and bin the housework and I have to agree with that [laughs], you know? It's very hard to do that because you always want to do too many things but, you know, she's growing up, she's changed so much in fifteen days.