Saturday, January 31, 2009
As most new mothers would probably say, having a new born is both wonderful and horrible at the same time. Things are better than they've ever been and worse than they've ever been at the same time.
The hardest part for me has not been the lack of sleep or the crying or whatever. He really does okay with sleep (waking up once or twice to eat during the night) and only cries when he's hungry and tired. The problem I've had is that he's been hungry so often... because breastfeeding has not been our friend.
It has been so intensely frustrating. Initially it took my milk a few extra days to come in, and then he was gaining weight so slowly that we were afraid I had really low production. The nurses in his pediatrician's office were all up in arms when he hadn't gained his birth weight back by 2 weeks. Mind you, he did gain some weight, and the doctor didn't seem alarmed... but the nurses were. They wanted me to come in every few days to get him weighed. This was a pain and after 2 weeks I put my foot down. Putting him on the scale doesn't make him gain weight any faster and it was really just stressing us out.
I wasn't alarmed initially, but breastfeeding was really hard. I knew it would be to begin with, but 3 and 4 weeks along it was still really hard. I tried everything I could think of. I took this and this, and drank this (I'm actually still drinking that), and I even tried this (I actually might do that again, it really did increase my supply). I read all kinds of things--one of the most helpful being this website that my dear friend Ann Marie found when helping me research things--and was confident we were latching on correctly.
Some of these thing seemed to help temporarily (hence the *highs*), and the supplements I'm sure were beneficial, but nothing really improved our situation (ever so many *lows*). Breastfeeding is supposed to be the wonderful bonding thing between a mother and child, but I'll admit that my son and I mostly had 10 fights a day for almost six weeks straight. I talked about giving up every day.
But I didn't WANT to give up. It's not that I have anything against formula, its perfectly adequate. I know many a happy and healthy baby that were formula fed (my niece, hello? she's a genius!) and they are all fine. Formula is perfectly adequate. But that's the thing, i'ts adequate. No matter how you spin it, its not the best possible thing for my baby. Studies have been done on breast milk, and they discover new properties in it all the time. How can formula be AS good, when they don't even know what all is in breast milk? Also, studies show marked difference in different mother's breast milk - because mothers will produce just the right amount of calories, vitamins, and nutrients that their babies need.
I have been DETERMINED to give my son just that. But around 4 weeks I started to wonder just how long I was supposed to keep trying. How long do I listen to my son cry after feedings cause he's still hungry? And around 5 weeks I broke down and started supplementing with a bottle after every feeding, because I just couldn't keep listening to my baby cry from hunger. I had been supplementing on occasion before that but I utilized a breast pump, so often the supplement was with my breast milk, and occasionally with formula. Some days it was hard to pump often enough though, so the formula was a blessing - but I hated it at the same time. Again, I really want my baby to have the milk my body makes just for him.
I had decided that I was going to give up on breastfeeding and just pump and feed him from a bottle exclusively. I figured that even though it was twice the work, at least he'd still be getting my milk. But, I also decided to see one more Lactation Consultant before I gave up entirely. This was the best decision I made.
I met with new lactation consultant on Thursday, and she took one look at him and said, "The problem is with his frenulum." We still continued with the session, so that she could determine that I had an adequate supply and that we were latching correctly, but in the end she was sure that the problem was that his tongue was being handicapped by his frenulum. She said she's rarely seen a baby work so hard to try to get to his food. And she, kindly, applauded me for not giving up sooner. She said I was patient and dedicated. I told her that coming to her was my last ditch effort, and that I was, in fact, about to give up. She helped me set up an appointment for Friday (the next morning) to get the frenulum clipped.
Initially I was hopeful, but then ended up being incredibly discouraged for the rest of the day on Friday. He was incredibly fussy - probably because his tongue was sore, and the breastfeeding didn't go any better. Indeed, it was kinda worse. I put in a call to the lactation consultant, and she reminded me that usually a problem with the frenulum is caught earlier (she'd been irritated that his doctors, nurses, and former lactation consultants had not caught the problem) and at this point he'd probably take a couple of days to relearn to breastfeed... and recover from his sore tongue.
The good news is that the story appears to have a very happy ending. As of Saturday afternoon, he was feeding from me just fine. And coming away from each feeding satisfied. The last two days have been so much better. My baby is acting so much happier, and I'm feeling so much less stress. It's such a beautiful thing not to have your baby crying from hunger.
Here's to hoping that he gains a ton of weight now and becomes a super chubby baby boy.
So yeah, that's the story.
Sunday, January 25, 2009
Tuesday, January 20, 2009
Developmentally, John is doing really well. His is 4 weeks and 1 day today.
He's been grabbing our fingers for some time now:
And he just recently achieved the first toy grabbage:
He actually grabbed it before I had the camera, which was so exciting I went to get the camera. He let go before I was ready, but I decided to take a picture of the moment anyway. And THEN he reached for it just as I was snapping the shot. He's such an accommodating little thing.
He's also standing up, (with some help of course):
This is the closest shot we have. He's actually trying to walk up my abdomen, hence the one bent leg.
He's also super good at eye contact:
And sometimes he thinks I am interesting:
And sometimes he does not:
PS If you're not on Facebook, you're missing out. I upload pictures to Facebook for safekeeping pretty frequently. Think of all of the reveling you could do if you were on Facebook!
Friday, January 16, 2009
10 THINGS I'M GRATEFUL FOR
- FAITH - I'm grateful for my relationship with my Heavenly Father and my Savior. This sustains me and is the reason I am who I am. I'm grateful for church and the scriptures, because they help me develop these relationships.
- WILLIAM - It is my most favorite thing in my life to be married to him. As a single woman I was told for years that I was too picky and my expectations were too high. But I waited, and I got my guy. He not only meets, but exceeds all of my expectations for the most wonderful husband ever.
- JOHN - After three years of trying to get pregnant, and then having the pregnancy from hell... there is no question that I would do it all over again. Best thing I have ever done.
- FAMILY - Crazy though we be, my family is really great.
- FRIENDS - I've been really lucky throughout my life to collect the best group of friends. Its unfortunate that you all don't know each other.
- EDUCATION - Albeit I'm in the air right now about finishing my PhD, I'm grateful that I have an MPA. And I'm grateful for the opportunity to improve myself and further my education, even if I don't finish my PhD. Knowledge is a powerful thing, and I hope to always attain more of it. Which leads me to...
- BOOKS - I love to read. All kinds of things. I love to be taken to new worlds and to take in new ideas.
- INTERNET - What else would I do with all of my free time?
- MEDIA ENTERTAINMENT - Including TV, MUSIC, MOVIES, etc. Again, with the free time.
- FOOD - I didn't get squishy without appreciating food. Food is not just fuel, it is FUN.
10 Tags: Mubba, Sara C., Christine, Chelsea, Chanda, Kelly, Debra S., Jana, Whitney, and Meagan (cause you have a blog now!)
Sunday, January 4, 2009
Thursday, January 1, 2009
Last year I made a few resolutions... that I didn't really care about. I did start to learn Spanish, but never got into it. Certainly didn't brush up on my French. I did start using labels on my blog posts though. I know we've all enjoyed that.
Mostly I made those resolutions to give me something to do, because I gave up long ago making resolutions about things that I want that I can't control. But this year... this year I got what I wanted. Hence the other resolutions going by the way side. I don't have any resolutions for this year. Life is what I want it to be.