Is there an App for that?
My little bundle of joy was born nearly 10 weeks ago, and, having found out I was pregnant after only 4 weeks, there had been 36 weeks of eager anticipation before L’s arrival. I - as I imagine many first time mums do - had imagined exactly what I would be like as a mother - but was well aware that my baby was going to be the unknown quantity in this equation. In order to allow for this I had decided that my gorgeous baby would be a nightmare, constantly crying, unsettled, colicky, needy, clingy, etc etc and that my OH and I were going to get one massive wake up call.
So imagine my delight when baby L arrived on July 1st, not a howling banshee of a baby, but a little angel - who wanted to do nothing but sleep, and latched on (I was VERY keen to breastfeed exclusively) like a dream.
Now I’m not saying it was all plain sailing, as we did have some issues with L liking his sleep a little too much - but what I now struggle to understanding is where along the line, in what stream of conciousness - did I decide that what I needed to be a good Mum to this little angel, wasn’t family support, not La Leche League, not forums of other mums I’d spoken to throughout my pregnancy, not friends who’d been through it all before….Oh no - cos I’m too technologically advanced for that - nooo, I needed… an App for that.
So after oooh about a day - I found I’d downloaded a number of iPhone apps to “help” with my breastfeeding (really? how?). I settled into using one called Milk Monitor, which handily told me how long L had been feeding for and on which side, I could pause it and start it again until the end of the feed when I could log off and it would record how long he had fed for and during which time period. Cue - me being unable to tell you for the life in me which boob was due emptying next. Every feed now needed not only me to collect together a cushion, a muslin, as drink of water, a bib, but my phone. Many nights were spent with me settling down to feed only to realise I’d left it behind 2 floors downstairs resulting in much shouting and stamping of feet to attract OH’s attention so he could bring me aforementioned phone and the feed could commence. Heaven forbid I forget to pause the counter whilst L stopped feeding for a burp, only to turn it back on to find at the next feed that he’d been feeding for 3 hours.
Anyhow - my dependence on this App continued to the point where I found myself saying “Well he can’t be hungry, my phone says he only ate 1 hours and 18 minutes ago”. Then I heard myself. But still I couldn’t bring myself to delete the bloody thing.
So imagine my horror when whilst trying to juggle my phone, baby, cold cup of tea down the stairs, I inadvertently deleted the application. Was this horror followed by immediate relief? No. It was followed by me downloading and even more ridiculous application that allowed me to time not only every feed, every pump of expressed milk, but every nap, every waking minute, every wet and dirty nappy.
As I said at the beginning of this post, L is 10 weeks old on Thursday, and at the weekend I came to a realisation that I had been wasting so much of our vital time together. When I should have been looking lovingly into his eyes as he fed, I was too busy documenting his bowel movements (with added comments - “Orange poop - very runny” for example!). This isn’t right people, and more to the importantly, it’s pointless.
Like every other baby, L will sleep when he’s tired, cry when he’s hungry and there’s absolutely nothing I can do about the frequency of his shits.
All the applications have been deleted - perhaps they helped me through the early days - but now I can say that L and I are definitely enjoying our new found freedom, using our instincts and learning all about each other. And there is no App for that.