This little chunk is THREE MONTHS OLD! Pearl is definitely not a newborn anymore – she’s a fully fledged baby that is starting to develop and show us the person that she is growing up to be. She is discovering the world and turning into such a sweet little girl with the calmest, sweetest personality. We’ve had a few bumps in the road this month, it hasn’t been the easiest but she has changed and grown so much too. Here is her three month update….
A BAD START
So, this month Pearl has been quite poorly. A couple of weeks ago, we noticed that Pearl had developed a bit of a cold. She then seemed to be struggling to breath, pulling her ribs in with every breath, being sick after every feed and not being herself at all. We decided it was best to take her to A&E, so we took her straight to our local Children’s hospital, which is luckily only 10 minutes away. After a few hours in observation it was decided that she had Bronchiolitis – an infection that is really common in babies under one. We were sent home and told to keep and eye on her. That afternoon she seemed to worsen quickly, she wouldn’t keep feeds down and the difficulty breathing continued. We went back into A&E and the Dr decided to keep her overnight, saying we’d go home the following morning. We ended up staying in hospital for 3 days in end. It was a long, tiring experience but I’m glad we were kept in as Pearl seemed to worsen so we were reassured by the constant observations and that we were in the right place.
The view from our hospital room
During our stay at the hospital I didn’t sleep a wink, I sat up all night constantly watching Pearl – it seemed like I was permanently attached to the breast pump and when I did doze off on the odd occasion it seemed like a nurse would arrive to do more observations so I’d wake up anyway! It was handy we had a decent view from our window and good phone signal! I ate my way through the entire vending machine selection and by the third day we were so pleased to get home and (touch wood) Pearl has been fine since.
On the 20th November it was Pearl’s Embryo Day! This isn’t a day most babies will be able to celebrate but I love marking it for our girls. It’s a year from the day of my Embryo transfer (the full story is here) – this blows my mind even more for Pearl as she was a frozen, so her little embryo has been through such a big journey to get here. What a difference a year makes!
Pearl as a five-day blastocyst, lucky rainbow socks and Pearl now a year later!
This has been a tricky one. I wondered whether to share this on my blog as it’s been a month of struggle in the feeding department and I’ve made a very personal decision I’ve previously been keeping to myself. Previously to Pearl’s stay in hospital I had been over the moon with how well our breastfeeding journey had been going, however as Pearl started to develop Bronchiolitis she also stopped being able to latch at the breast. I asked the Dr about this and he said it was common as babies can’t breathe when they are feeding, so they often want a bottle at this stage. In hospital I pumped and pumped and fed her exclusively. I decided to rent a hospital grade pump to take home to continue at home, as well as trying to latch again (and trying EVERYTHING) with no avail.
This worked for us quite well to start with but a couple of weeks down the line I realised that my entire life and schedule revolved around pumping. I would be up before the babies pumping, late to bed, pumping in the middle of the night. During the day, both girls would be needing my attention and I’d be sticking the TV on to distract them so I could pump, ending day trips early to pump – it was just ridiculously difficult.
I got to one point where I Pearl was crying and I was rocking her bouncy chair with my foot and Violet was bored, tired and hungry – I’d just stuck Peppa Pig on for her and she was glued to that like a zombie. I asked myself is it really worth it? Would Pearl not rather I just pick her up for a cuddle, then make Violet’s lunch instead of neglecting her needs too?! I decided cuddles, attention and being present with my girls was the most important thing to them, they won’t remember what milk they had, but they will remember me being there for them.
I decided to gradually cut down on pumping and only a few days ago, I stopped completely, which was a bit painful for a few days but it seems to be evening out now. I have been devastated our breastfeeding journey is over – it’s been the most difficult journey, riddled with guilt that I’ve stopped feeding, then guilt that when I was pumping I wasn’t a present mother. I couldn’t win. Although it wasn’t the end I wanted, I’m am proud of the 16 weeks we did manage and I know I’ve given Pearl a really good start to life with the best I could offer.
Pearl is waking up every 3 hours throughout the night for a feed and this pattern just doesn’t seem to be stopping any time soon. She wakes up like clockwork, sometimes to the minute! She truly is a creature of habit and a hungry baby so I can’t see us sleeping through any time soon. Although she wakes up 3-4 times a night, the good thing is she settles very quickly and easily as soon as she is fed, which is so different to Violet who would need to be rocked and took a long time to settle but would then sleep longer. At the moment I’m just riding it out – hoping one day she will sleep longer. Maybe in two years time!!
I just love this point in a babies first year – they suddenly go from being a newborn to a little person, full of personality. Pearl has started to hold her own head up really well, she is batting toys on her playmat and starting to grasp at things too. She absolutely loves to chat and makes the cutest noises, babbling and chatting away all day! She’s such a laid back chilled baby, she rarely cries and smiles so much. The Dr at the hospital was surprised she was even smiling when she was really poorly!
WHAT WE’VE BEEN UP TO
It’s been a tricky month for days out as V has been away with work for most of it, but we have squeezed in a couple of days out to The Sealife Centre and Drusillas. These are Violet’s favourite places to go so it was lovely to take Pearl for her first time too.
Pearl also had her first swimming lesson, she started Water Babies Chapter One and loved being in the water! She was so calm and was just taking it all in.
Feeding: Mainly breastfed, but transitioned to formula now.
Weight: When she was poorly she was 11.5lbs, I’m sure she’s even heavier now!
Sleeping: She is still waking every 3 hours for a feed, but settles well afterwards.
Skills: Chatting, babbling, smiling lots, batting at toys, grasping toys, holding her head up well during tummy time
Favourite things: Milk, sneaking a peek at Peppa Pig when her big sister is watching, Percy the Penguin
Hated things: Waiting for a bottle in the night, putting her arm in sleeves, injections