While Maria is taking a nap in her bassinet (yes, she is sleeping in it right now!) I can quickly write about her fifth week with us. In previous posts I already wrote that while she sleeps very well at night, during the day she has a harder time falling asleep. As long as we are moving her – whether it’s in her stroller, carried in the sling or in our arms – she is fine, but as soon as we sit down she wakes up and starts crying.
Last week she was particularly unsettled for a few days, crying even when we were holding her. Monday evening it occurred to me that she might have thrush. Her tongue had be white for quite some time, but I thought it was from the milk. The midwife had even made a remark about it, something like “You’re getting plenty! Your tongue is even white from the milk,” so I hadn’t given it a second thought. Seeing her so unsettled, however, made me have a closer look in her mouth and find out she had some white patches on the inside of her cheek and palate as well.
The following day, I rang the midwife, who told me there was nothing to worry. Even if she had thrush, there was no need to see a GP, and it would not be a reason for Maria to be unsettled. The entire day I watched her while she was crying, thinking whether to see a doctor. By the end of the day and dreading the long night that might be ahead of us I decided to go – if only to put myself at ease.
As soon as the doctor saw her mouth he said it was a “classic” case of thrush. He also told me she was probably unsettled because of it, as it made her mouth sore and feed less. He prescribed a cherry flavoured suspension to give her four times daily, and from the moment I started giving it to her Maria looked happier and more settled.
The visit to the GP taught me two things: to trust my instincts and that Maria doesn’t need to be shrieking for something to be wrong. She can suffer from something and only be a bit more unsettled or weepier than usual. In any case, I will make sure to see a doctor when I’m in doubt. Better be safe than sorry, right?
Other than this, the last week has been going very well. Although it is quite early to talk about a routine (said from experience) I certainly see a pattern of a very happy Maria in the morning, a weepy and more unsettled girl in the late afternoon and evening and a sleepy and settled baby at night.
Maria and I also went to the first session of a “newborn course” at the birth centre last week. It is a seven-week course for parents with newborns and a nice opportunity to ask questions and meet other new parents.
Lastly, my final appointment with the midwife took place last Thursday. She has been a great support since Maria was born, visiting me first daily, then twice a week and until Thursday once a week. It was quite emotional for me having to say goodbye, but I also feel confident Maria and I are ready to go on without her support. Plus, Ahmed and I won’t be on our own as new parents, as Plunket (New Zealand’s largest provider of support services for the development, health and wellbeing of children under 5, according to their own website) has already contacted me and someone from this society will visit Maria and me this week.
Photo credits: Petri van Beuzekom