Bathing babies

Bringing baby Max home ~ a reflection

The hospital’s care was great, Nat got through a caesarean (Max was 12 days late and just not coming not matter what we tried) and Max was doing ok. Then 4 days later we are sent on our way. We just leave the hospital with him, scary really.

We were having a tough time getting Max to attach and expressing was taking forever and I was worried that we would be doing this for the next year.

I felt lost, especially as a partner. We needed real help. I remember my sister was also having trouble 2 years ago and she said that Cath really helped her and was great. I went with Steph that time and appreciated Cath’s direct approach and the way she really got to know Steph, which helped tailoring to her specific needs.

Now it was our turn, we got out of the hospital on a Sunday; I called Cath the next day and she said she will be there that night after work. Just to do what we were doing and she will sort it out then. Well, I can’t tell you the relief of just hearing those words over the phone.

Cath flies in like a superhero and gets Max to attach really well. He has a good drink for the first time. She stays for about 2 hours, talking to us, helping Nat, showing us techniques. From then on I felt like we really have someone who cares and who will be there. Cath calls us the next day. Then the next and the next.

Week 1 was tough. It’s all about calories. We top him up with formula, but as Cath explains, he is just so little and to ‘fill up his legs’. She changed our perception about formula and breastfeeding. Breastfeeding is the goal, and we will get there, it’s just a different path. As Max gets bigger it should be easier for him to attach and not fall asleep after 10 minutes of sucking. Breastfeeding is hard. The more you talk about it with others, the more you find out how hard it was for most people. It just so happens that out best friends had no trouble with it so we were kind of expecting the same.

Cath never felt like we were asking stupid questions, she always answered them, even if we had already asked it the day before. She has just been so reassuring.

Week 2. A visit to the maternal health nurse has knocked our confidence around a bit. Apparently Max has only put on 10 grams in 4 days. We ring Cath, she says ‘Poppycock’. We deduce the scales are wrong; they were different from the ones he was weighed on initially. We decide to go back in another 4 days to see how he is going.  If Cath wasn’t there, we would feel like failures and that we were starving our poor child. 4 days later and he has put on 125 grams. We needn’t have worried and glad we listened to Cath.

I was worried about Max sleeping on us, while we were lounging on the couch. I didn’t want him to get in a bad habit. You hear that a lot, don’t let them get into bad habits, but Cath reminds us he is only 2 weeks old, you can’t give him enough love. Another mind twisting statement.  You can’t give him enough love. If he wants to sleep on us, for the first bit of his life, then I am happy to provide. As the other parent, this was our special time. I am guilt free for having my little breathing, warm, sleeping son on my chest.

Its week  3 now. Max has already changed a lot. He sleeps a lot at night so as Cath said he needs a lot of feeding during the day. Sometimes, he will go down for only 20 minutes, even after a top up, and then wakes up hungry again. Cath says this is ok.

We have been in contact with Cath pretty much every day. Either by phone or by text.  There seems to be a plethora of information out there, but nothing specific to you. For us, it’s all about one voice. Sometimes that voice is telling us what do; sometimes it’s a much needed pep talk. Each as important as the other.  It’s a voice we can trust.  She literally has changed our lives, our perspective and ultimately our happiness. We are still tired, and we still worry, nothing can really change that, but we feel like we are doing the right thing by him.

Sam Redman.

Mother of Max Redman. Born 16th Jan 2013.