Sleep is a lot better already (at least as far as Zoe is concerned - Bethany on the other hand has been waking in the night and having long noisy tantrums). Zoe typically feeds about 9 or 10pm, then I go to bed, then she sleeps until about 2 and cluster-feeds for about an hour, then sleeps until about 5 and cluster-feeds for another hour. It feels manageable. She's also having a late morning nap quite reliably, and an afternoon nap, although the timing of that is less predictable.
She had her first bath and hated it, cried all through. Not hugely surprising since she likes to be bundled up and held, not sat naked in a bath seat. Maaaybe I could try taking her in with me instead.
Rob and Bekki took some lovely photos of Zoe and Bethany.
She continues to be adorable, and I'm already feeling a bit wistful about her fleeting newbornhood. I didn't really get like that with Bethany; she was more difficult as a baby and I just wanted to hurry through it.
Bethany is a wonderful big sister. She's always excited to see Zoe, and cheerfully exclaims "Zoe!" when she first sees her in the morning or after going out. She commentates on her actions: "Zoe's waking up. She did a REALLY big yawn. She sneezed two times. Zoe's a bit sad. Do you want MORE milk?" She likes to cuddle her (which is lovely except during a feed) and try to comfort her when she's sad, by singing to her or repeating over and over "Poor Zoe, oh dear-a-dear-a-dear-a."
Zoe is lovely and cuddly, and likes to be held upright next to my chest, which I really love as well. She's nestling there in a sling now as I type this; a sling that Bethany never took to, because she always liked to lie flat and sprawled out.
Bethany as a newborn had no concept of day and night; it was all the same to her. Zoe already has a very clear division into day and night - they're just the wrong way round from the rest of us. She's already in a fairly reliable routine, just not a convenient one. She has a very long sleep in the late morning, and sleeps quite a lot in the afternoon and evening, but she's awake pretty much solidly between midnight and 8am, and feeding nearly constantly, which is very tiring. The nights I've been alone in the hospital with her, which is the majority of the nights so far, that's been especially difficult because I've had to take care of her by myself all that time; whereas Wednesday night and last night were a bit better because Alex was there to help, and we had our bouncy crib, which is wonderful and allowed her (and us) to snooze briefly between feeds rather than going straight from one to the next.
She's quieter and easier than Bethany was during the daytime, and will lie happily looking at things or just cuddling. I don't know how much of that is a genuine personality difference and how much is just her being a bit lethargic from the jaundice - I don't want to enjoy that aspect if it's actually a consequence of her illness, but I think it's OK - I think Bethany was unusually active and demanding and probably most newborns are more like Zoe is.
She's already quite patient at waiting a minute or so for a feed while I faff about with pillows etc. She seems to intuit that milk is on the way, and wait contentedly. When she's not content, her cry is very high-pitched and actually relatively quiet, almost like a whistle, and it's only after a couple of minutes of that that she progresses to full-on yelling.
(Making lots of posts today because my internet connection has been down all week and has just come back, so I'm posting all the stuff I composed offline.)
So Zoe and I came home from the postnatal ward on Monday evening. It was uncertain until about 5pm whether we could go, or have to stay in another night. They were a bit concerned about jaundice, and were waiting for a test, but the test was just on the right side of the line, so we were allowed home. Yay! Monday evening was great - bringing Zoe home, introducing her to the house (she looked around wide-eyed at the books, games, and Bethany's animal mural), and spending time together as a family (Bethany really likes her, it's delightful). Alex's mum was still here (she's been wonderful), and she cooked us one last meal before she had to leave, and we ate it while I fed Zoe, and all was right with the world.
Then a couple of hours later while I was feeding her again, I noticed a dark bruise behind her ear, which we hadn't seen before. I was concerned - some kind of internal bleeding in her head? I phoned NHS Direct, and they said they couldn't rule out meningitis and we should take her to A&E! Argh!
Alex's mum had gone, so we couldn't both go in and leave Bethany here. There was no good solution - I'm recovering from surgery so am exhausted and also not allowed to drive, but I'm breastfeeding her so should stay with her. In the end Alex drove her in, hoping that they wouldn't be away too long. I tried to sleep, exhausted after the birth and two nights alone in hospital with Zoe, and aware that if I was at home then sleeping was the best thing I could do for everyone; but I was very anxious and missing my little baby. A&E said it wasn't meningitis, but they were concerned about her jaundice again. They didn't know what caused the bruise, but said its breaking down would contribute to her jaundice levels. So they kept her in and put her under a UV light and Alex came home about 3am.
In the morning all three of us went to see her (we offered Bethany the choice of coming with us or going to her childminder, and she chose to come with us). I was desperate to see her, both emotionally and physically (my milk had come in properly in the night, and I hadn't fed her for about 12 hours so was feeling uncomfortably full). We got in and saw her and I cuddled her and cried a bit. I tried to feed her but she was too drowsy and I couldn't wake her. Then later she woke up a bit but they wouldn't let me feed her until after they'd done a blood test, and it was all busy and chaotic and inefficent and no one would tell me when the blood test would be or why I couldn't feed her before it, and when the blood test eventually happened it was done by a very inexperienced doctor who took ages about it and made her suffer for far longer than necessary.
The main problem was that she has a condition which is pretty standard on the postnatal ward, and they're used to dealing with it there, and they have plenty of doctors, nurses and midwives who understand newborns and are experienced in taking blood from them efficiently. But once you're discharged from the Rosie, you can't go back, and even though she was only 3 days old, younger than many of the babies still in the Rosie, she was now a pediatric patient and had to make do on the children's ward with the big kids. (The one slight plus side of this was that there was plenty to entertain Bethany on the children's ward, which there wouldn't have been at the Rosie.) We stayed with her all day, and there was lots of chaos and confusion and very little communication. She was under the UV light most of the day. There was supposed to be a blood test saying whether she could come off the light, but it got lost or something. Then in the early evening they did another blood test which actually worked, and said she was well enough to come off the light, but would have to stay in until the early hours of the morning to wait for another blood test to see if she'd be allowed home or have to go back under the light.
I couldn't bear to leave her there, where it was so chaotic and she'd get so little care and attention and if anything bad happened to her it'd be hours before anyone noticed. I really didn't fancy staying there myself either - I needed to be at home being looked after and recovering myself - but I stayed overnight (Alex went to fetch me an overnight bag). She stayed up all night feeding and it was exhausting. She had her test about 5am and it was better but not brilliant, and they said we could go home but have to come back in for another one at 2pm. I wonder if letting us go wasn't so much for our benefit as to free up bed space, because we got kicked out of our bed space and had to wait in the lounge, just as she'd finished her night-time feeding marathon and settled for a long morning nap.
Alex kindly took her back in for the test at 2pm and I had a much-needed sleep. Thankfully she was allowed back home, but she still didn't have the all-clear. The community midwives were meant to come and check her and see if she needed to go back in.
I think she's basically fine, maybe a bit jaundiced but will recover naturally at home. Even if she does need treatment, I think she should be able to go in for scheduled UV treatment each day and then come home, and have regular tests until she's clear; rather than all this faff and uncertainty and waiting, going in for treatment and then waiting hours for tests and then having to stay in because it's night time rather than for any medical reason.
UPDATE (Thursday afternoon): The community midwives came and they were wonderful. They didn't even do the test - no one had told them and they hadn't brought the equipment - but they agreed with me that she was fine and didn't need to go back in. Yay!
I haven't got any books on it yet. It is registered to my existing Amazon account, and it has an option in its settings to view your Amazon wishlist. It then tells me I have no items on my wishlist.
Because I have no Kindle books on my wishlist, only paper ones. Because I didn't have a Kindle until yesterday!
You'd think, armed with my wishlist, Amazon would be practically shoving down my throat opportunities to buy my wished-for books on my new Kindle - either in the Kindle's wish list feature, or in some kind of recommendations page, or both. You wouldn't think I'd have to log in on a PC, load up my wishlist, and painstakingly copy or convert every paper book on it to a Kindle book before I could buy them on the Kindle. You wouldn't think such a huge and obvious marketing opportunity, which as a user I would welcome rather than see as spammy, would have escaped a company like Amazon. Am I missing something?
We're trying to choose a name for the new baby. We have a kind of shortlist of five, although TBH none of them seem completely right. I want to try and discuss them without mentioning the actual names.
Name 1 is nice, and we both like it, but it's maybe a little bit, I don't know, ordinary or forgettable. It also sounds similar to another name and could be mistaken for it.
Name 2 we both like a lot. Its only drawback is that there's a couple we know who had a stillbirth a couple of years ago and they gave their baby this name. We actually asked them if it would be OK with them if we used the name, and they said OK; but it's still a bit awkward. If/when our mutual friends hear we named the baby this, they'll immediately think of the other baby, and they won't necessarily know we asked permission. Then, after about a year, I expect this name will only mean our baby, for everyone apart from the other couple; but that's a bit wrong too, like we're effacing people's memories of the other baby.
Names 3 and 4 both have two roughly equally common standard spellings (like Katherine/Catherine, but not that, because my sister is Katherine). If we give her either of those, she'll be forever getting the other spelling, and/or having to introduce herself as Katherine-with-a-K. Also, name 3 is probably Alex's least favourite of the five, and name 4 is probably my least favourite, so we're less likely to end up going with either of those.
Name 5 has a slightly different orthographic problem (and this is where, of necessity, I get closest to revealing one of the names). It is spelled with an accented character. In this digital age I'm very reluctant to saddle my child with a name that can't be written in 7-bit ASCII. It's setting her up for a lifetime of database problems and encoding bugs. You can spell it with just the normal unaccented letter, and I've discovered recently that this is more widespread than I realised: maybe even more common than the accented version. (I recently read some discussions on baby-name forums of whether to use the special character in this name or not, and ironically, in the first such discussion I found, there was an encoding glitch on the character in question.) But we (well, Alex in particular) feel that giving her the non-accented version as her official name would be giving her a name that is spelled wrong. An obvious solution is to officially name her the accented version but accept that 90% of the time it won't be used, but that's a bit weird. What actually is this child's name? She might still get database problems if she's recorded with the accented character and they search without, or vice versa. Also, when she's learning to write, no set of alphabet blocks or magnetic fridge letters will allow her to spell her name properly, and if she turns out anything like Bethany, or like me as a small child, that will frustrate her.
Thoughts? Which of these problems are less of an issue than I'm making them out to be?