Friday, November 29, 2013

You're a Good Mom

Sometimes things don't work out the way we've planned and hoped that they would. With my first two children I planned on breastfeeding. And if you've followed this blog for a while, you've probably seen at least one blog post about how that didn't work out. We never knew why that didn't work out. Was is just because I didn't give it enough effort? Maybe, that seems to be the answer most people give for why they or others they know stopped breastfeeding. Was it because those sweet little boys were lazy eaters? That's what the lactation specialists at the hospital told me. BUT I had hoped that this time, the third time, would the the charm for me and my new baby. Breast is Best after all, at least that's what I hear EVERYWHERE. I figured that since I had worked hard to be in much better shape, before and during this pregnancy, that maybe I had fixed whatever was wrong the last two times- I always felt like something was wrong- I mean, my milk NEVER came in. That's weird in my opinion. But anyway, This time I was going to do EVERYTHING RIGHT, this baby was not going to get a pacifier, she was not going to get bottles in the hospital AND I was going to take herbal supplements that promised to increase my milk supply. 

In the hospital we had some ups and downs but in the end, I felt confident that everything was going very well and THIS TIME it was all going to work! And so we went home and Thursday night and Friday went very well. The baby nursed on demand, which at times was every 1 to 1 & 1/2 hours, and she nursed for quite a long time too- sometimes 15 minutes per side, sometimes 30 minutes per side. By Friday I was sure that my milk was coming in and my baby girl seemed to be catching on to the fact that there was more there too. But on Saturday, things changed. We took her into the pediatricians office for a weight check. The PA that was there said that her Jaundice looked good BUT she had lost about 12 ounces, weighing 5 pounds 15 oz at the time of our visit. They do give breastfed babies 2 weeks from birth to return to their birth weight, but I would want to watch her closely and make sure she was getting enough when she ate. We were asked to come back in on Monday for another weight check. All that day my baby was fussier than she had previously been and she stopped pooping. She was still having wet diapers, but she was also jaundiced so not having messy diapers was not a good thing. I prayed and prayed and prayed to know what to do and I felt different bits of inspiration all throughout the day. I was able to help her get calm and sleep by holding her close to me, kangaroo care style- skin to skin, if she was laying on my chest, head next to my heart, she would sleep! So that is how she slept. I didn't get a lot of sleep that day or night. She nursed and nursed and nursed some more but it seemed like every time she nursed it lasted longer and longer and she was never really satisfied. Finally at about 4 AM on Sunday Morning I had another thought. And that was to give her some formula. I had just nursed her for 40 minutes and then I gave her a bottle with 2 oz of formula, she ate about 1.25 oz- the size of a 4 day old babies stomach- and then she sat back, happy and satisfied. This was kind of heartbreaking to me. I thought I was feeding my baby, and I guess for the first 3 days of her life I had, but I apparently just don't lactate! I cried, I mean, I was happy that we knew what to do, that we knew we needed to at least "supplement" with formula, BUT I kind of broke down at this point and asked Ken, and God, why I'm broken? Why I can't do what so many other woman can do? It still hurts today to think about it. 

A couple of hours later the baby was hungry, and she nursed for about 10 minutes before letting me know she was done with that. Once again I gave her some formula, and once again she was quickly satisfied. The next time she was hungry she didn't want to nurse at all, she just cried and cried and fought with me. Finally I brought her upstairs, got a bottle ready and sat down. She saw the bottle and quickly stopped crying and sat patiently. I had to laugh and call Ken's attention what she was doing. This was the biggest sign to me, she knew where the food she needed was going to come from. Over the next day or so I would try to nurse her at different times with different levels of success, but eventually I just started pumping what I could get and feeding her formula with a 1/2 oz of breast milk here and there when I could accumulate that much. On Sunday we realized that we didn't have enough formula samples to get us through until Monday so I put a request out on our neighborhood facebook page and before we ran out of our samples we had a good supply of formula for our baby. On of our neighbors said that she wanted to help us out because she couldn't stand the thought of a baby having to go hungry in the middle of the night. I am thankful for our neighbors.

So it's been almost a week since that day when I sadly discovered that I just wasn't giving my baby enough. She has been fantastically happy baby ever since. Like I mentioned in the previous post, she eats and sleeps and fills diapers like a champ (I would like her to poop a little bit more- BUT I'm trying to remember that formula fed babies sometimes only poop once a day). Her coloring is much less yellow and she is gaining weight. 

I'm pretty happy too, because I know, no matter HOW I feed my baby, I do feed her! I take good care of her! I look at her and I adore her and I'm pretty sure she adores me. See those eyes, they tell me "You're a Good Mom!" Yes, I didn't get what I wanted, but that's okay, there are plenty of times in our lives when we don't get what we want. So to all of us out there, who are trying to take the best care of our children that we possibly can, Keep it up, You are doing a Good Job! 

1 comment:

Andrea said...

As Brent pointed out, the idea of a wet-nurse has been around for a long time. Some people just don't lactate! You're a good mom!!!