Thursday, August 25, 2011

Grow, Baby, Grow

Breast is best. That is what I heard over and over during my pregnancy (and after as well). It got to a point where that got incredibly annoying. Not because I didn’t agree, but because I had made up my mind from the beginning that I wanted to exclusively breastfeed my baby. There was no doubt in my mind, so I didn’t need to be convinced that breast is best. I do understand that people out there needed to be educated on the benefits for mom and baby, so it is wonderful that breastfeeding is being promoted so much.

Before Baby C was born, I was worried that I would have issues with milk production. It was a constant prayer to not have complications. Too many women in my life have had difficulties with breastfeeding their babies. So, as you could imagine, I was thrilled when my little guy latched on from the beginning, and other than soreness, things seemed to be going well. My milk came in when it was supposed to. The lactation specialist even said everything looked great. When we left the hospital he had only lost about 4 oz, which from what I hear is better than most. I was so relieved that there didn’t seem to be any problems with breastfeeding.

That was until we had his first doctor’s appointment when he was 1 week old. He weighed 7 lb 2 oz, about 8 oz less than when he was born. His pediatrician wanted us to bring him back in 2 days for a weight check.
June 8

At his weight check, he weighed the same as he did 2 days earlier. Not good. I felt like a failure. I wasn’t providing enough for my baby. I have never felt more horrible. There were lots of tears that day, as well as many days after that. The doctor suggested that I pump after EVERY feeding and feed that to him in addition. So, I had to go out and buy a breast pump (something we had not budgeted for). I cried the whole way to Target, choked back tears while in Target, and cried the whole way home. It was so overwhelming. I felt like a slave to the pump. Feedings were taking so much long. He would nurse for about 40 minutes, then I had to pump for 10 minutes (and of course it took longer due to assembly) and give him the pumped milk by bottle. Don’t forget the time it takes to clean everything up. It’s not that one time is bad, it just gets grueling when you do it 8 times a day. Needless to say, I was exhausted because it was cutting in on my sleep time and I felt like I wasn’t able to simply enjoy my new baby. But, I was bound and determined to NOT put my baby on formula, so I pumped away. And prayed without ceasing.
June 10

We went back to the doctor often for weight checks. The first time back he had gained 3 oz in 3 days. His doctor was very pleased, as were we. However, she wanted me to continue pumping at every feeding for the next 4 days. Hoping that this was all temporary, I agreed. I would do anything for my sweet boy.
June 13

Four days later, he gained 6 oz. He finally had passed his birth weight! I also didn’t have to pump after every feeding, only half of them. Huge relief. And, he didn’t have to take the bottle every time I pumped, only when he didn’t seem content and that was rare. But, we weren’t out of the woods, yet.
June 17

We were scheduled to come back in 5 days. Unfortunately, he didn’t gain enough, only 1 oz, during those 5 days. We were back to giving him the bottle after 4 of his feedings. I was still pumping 4 times a day. I just couldn’t understand. He was one of the most content and alert babies I had ever seen for his age. He never displayed any signs that we were starving him. He also was dirtying up diapers like he was suppose to, actually more.
June 22

We were back in the pediatrician’s office 2 days later for another weight check. He was no longer my 7 lb baby. He weighed in at 8 lb even, which was a 4 oz increase in 2 days! I still had to pump 3-4 times a day and supplementing with the pumped milk.
June 24

A week later, we had his 1 month well-baby appointment. He was a very healthy, 8 lb, 12 oz baby! That’s 12 oz in a week! It’s funny, though, because that is how much my husband weighed when he was born. With how well Baby C was gaining weight, the doctor decreased the amount of pumping and supplementing to 2 times a day. She was a little hesitant to cut it out completely, as was I, even though I was more than ready to stop pumping. I just knew the end was in sight.
July 1

Since it was too long of wait for his next well-baby appointment at 2 months to make sure he continued to grow properly, his pediatrician wanted to do a weight check after 2 weeks. He weighed in at 9 lb, 14 oz. And, the best news: I no longer had to pump and supplement! That meant I was providing enough for my baby. Victory! I finally was able to relax and truly enjoy him.
July 13

At his 2 month well-baby appointment, he weighed 11 lb, 5 oz. Breastfeeding was clearly going well! My baby was growing well! Everyone was happy!
August 1 (so pitiful from his shots)

In his first 2 months of life, I think we ended up going to the pediatrician 9 times. I’m so thankful for a pediatrician that supported my efforts to exclusively breastfeed.

Now, at 12 weeks and after LOTS of prayer, I’m guessing he weighs around 14 lb (I weighed myself on our home scale several days ago, got back on holding him, subtracted the difference, and calculated 13 lb, so I’m sure he is closer to 14 lb now). And, I am still breastfeeding exclusively without having to supplement by pumping or with formula! Praise the Lord! I LOVE nursing him. It is no longer exhausting, but an amazing and beautiful experience and such a sweet moment with sweet boy. Oh, and that precious little smile of his after he is just finished nursing and still laying in my arms that only I get melts my heart every time. He is growing way too quickly in my mind. But, I am so thankful that he is healthy. I love his little baby fat rolls!

1 comment:

  1. You go girl...not just because you stuck to breastfeeding but because you have overcome one of the many "obstacles" you will face as a mom. It's not something to be taken lightly. It's exhausting and down right overwhelming at times to be a mom but you made it through your first (second if you count delivery) major hurdle. He's adorable and he is blessed to have you and Logan as parents. Enjoy these special moments with him....and thanks for all the great pictures.