Thank you for all your sweet words of encouragement. It feels so good to be a part of something bigger than myself. Learning together, struggling, encouraging, and supporting. I can hear your words and take them to heart. They especially mean a lot in the wee morning hours when it seems that the world is sleeping...at least I know some of you are awake too :) I wrote this post a few days ago, and wasn't sure if I would post it after yesterdays but it seems to be a more padded out version of some of the experiences which I eluded to yesterday so I thought I would.
"How's it going?" A question we have been asked many time in the days since the birth of our precious boy. In all honestly, moment to moment our answer would probably change.
Before my milk came in, Levi and his appetite were having a hard time. Finding how to help him felt like our first big parenting decision. We consulted our pediatrician and she suggested supplementing an ounce or so of formula after each feeding to give him a sense of satiation. I had always heard how difficult breast feeding could be and how you can't bottle feed a baby because then they reject the breast etc. etc so we talked it through with the lactation consultant at the hospital who was very supportive of our decision as parents to do what we thought best, but she did mention some of the issues I was fearful of in terms of negatively affecting breast feeding. We decided we would try and stick it out just with the breast feeding and pray my milk came in soon.
However, later that night, when the answer to, "how are you doing?" would have ended in me bursting into tears because my son was frantic but wouldn't latch - that happened a couple of times, we changed our minds. We just wanted to soothe him . We had been given some pre-made formula samples when we left the hospital and at about 100pm when we couldn't take the screaming anymore, and the shushing and bouncing were not cutting it any more we broke down and tried it out. Consoling ourselves, that if he didn't like it or it didn't make a difference, we would have at least done everything we could. A few gulps of the magic juice and instant relief. He calmed, and was chill enough that when I offered him the breast again he took it without any problems. And
When my milk came in a few days later he was happy to latch without issue and has been totally content with that since. Looks like our formula days are over.
Sleeping longer than a couple of hours at night is already a distant memory but last night Levi slept so much better than he has before. He fed for longer periods and slept for longer periods in between too. He didn't cry once. His grunts let me know when he was hungry but otherwise he was super content. Waking after the longer stretches of sleep felt great! As I looked down at my son when I was feeding him, or rocking him to sleep my joy was overwhelming.
I am trying to rest and recover from my surgery as well as adjusting to being a mama. There is a lot going on. I have loved having Jeremy home on paternity leave. We have been trying to find the balance between resting and getting back into the world. We have run some errands and taken the baby on his first lunch date to Panera bread. This morning we walked to Starbucks and I had my first public breastfeeding experience along with my Java chip Frappuccino. I also hanged my first diaper in a public restroom, Levi wasn't heavy enough to keep the change table fully horizontal and kept rolling into the wall!
Even with the challenges the first few days have been thrilling, anxiety ridden, joyful, frustrating and every emotion in between. We are surviving :)