Tuesday, December 15, 2009

bumps in the road

Wow, no one said breast feeding is easy, but I never expected to run into this kind of difficulty! Here's how things have been going lately:
For the first three weeks of life with Owen, I was nursing him and everything was going great. I heard that the region was sending their lactation consultants back to help nursing moms, so I called to set up an appointment for a bit of feedback on how things were going with Owen and myself. All the nurses in St. Catharines were booked, so I decided to see a nurse in Welland. She watched us, gave me lots of amazing pointers and corrections and said that we looked like we were doing great. She then had a concern about his lack of weight gain.
Owen was not gaining at the rate he should be. The nurse gave us a plan to try, which didn't seem to show any results on our next appointment. Then there was another plan, which, again, didn't seem to give us the results they were looking for. Finally, the nurses started to get worried and asked that we see our family doctor. This is when I started to get worried. As a last effort, I was given a plan to feed at least every three hours (which we've always done), pump whatever is leftover (with a hospital grade breast pump - ouch!), and then supplement an extra 2 oz of what I had pumped or with formula. This is very all consuming. It takes an hour and a half to two hours from start to finish which leaves us an hour of free time. Of course, this is going on 24 hours a day. When I get help, I can pare the routine down to an hour. I felt like a failure of a mom because it seemed as though I was the reason he wasn't growing fast, so I was dealing with a lot of guilt. Not only that, this extreme feeding schedule landed right on Nuno's 30th birthday which was crappy timing.
Yesterday was Owen's weigh in and after many appointments of disappointing news he gained 11 oz in 4 days (where he only gained 3.5 oz a week prior). I'm still on this crazy nursing plan to keep beefing the little guy up, so needless to say, I'm very tired. I probably get 4 or 5 hours of sleep per day. It's OK though, I don't feel tired, I'm just getting very forgetful.

Another thing I'm dealing with is every crappy physical post partum related issue in the book short of post
partum depression. I won't go into details here since I don't want anyone chirping under their computer desk, but suffice to say, it's been a month and many physical issues are continuing to aggravate me.

I feel like this entry is a pity party for me but I don't want it to come across that way. I have to say this is all worth it! Every time I look at Owen I'm so in love that all of this seems like very little in the scheme of our lives.


Leslie said...

Oh my goodness! I wish I'd known about all this on Saturday when I saw you. I can completely relate to the forgetfulness after being exhausted.

If you ever need a shoulder to lean on, just email. I can call you right back since our long distance is free!


Emily said...

But the main thing is, you are not giving up... it would be so much easier just to go to formula 100%, but you aren't. I am so proud of you!

Has your doctor put you on that medication that helps you produce more milk, faster? My sister in law is on it (her daughter is five months and she is still pumping EVERY feed for her... they just could not get her to latch on, even with the help of a lactation consultant). It sounds like "dom perignon" (like the champagne).

It is exhausting those first couple of months, especially when it feels like baby is feeding constantly. I found that it got better after about eight weeks. I hope the same for you.

You are doing amazing. If you need to talk or anything, please email me or send me a message on Facebook.

PS: I HATE that "average" weight BS. The first couple of times we took Cooper to the lactation consultant, we were told that he wasn't gaining enough weight. Then he was gaining at twice the normal weight (0.5oz - 1.0oz a day). You know that it is stressful enough dealing with worrying about whether your baby is eating enough (on top of every other worry that you have as a new mom). Every baby is different and not every baby is going to gain what they should, and some gain MORE than they should. Please try not to worry too much. (Easier said than done.. this is the pot calling the kettle black here :)