Tuesday, November 3, 2009

A Moment of Triumph

I am sharing this to give hope to other new breastfeeding moms:

Among the many worries I have had since Gabriel was born, my biggest has been my concern for his weight gain, weight loss, food intake, etc. He was born 8 lb. 7 oz., and when we were sent home from the hospital he weighed 8 lb. By Friday of last week, he weighed 7 lb. 8 oz., and I became somewhat internally frantic. I have wanted to breastfeed my whole life, and I knew that looking in the face of his weight loss (just over 10%), I was coming to that place where the pediatrician says it is time to supplement.

What was somewhat comforting on Friday was his sudden increase in stools and wet diapers (rising from 0 to 3 stools, and from 3 to 6 wet), and I was happy to say I was heading into engorgement. Just let me say being engorged really is definitively unpleasant... your breasts are hard, leaking perfusely and filling breast pads like crazy, you are super duper sore, your nipples become smaller as they are stretched by the great increase in milk-- making it hard for your little one to latch on, and oh, on top of that, I was already wearing a very plus size bra size... I don't even want to know what cup size I would have been that day if measured. I would HONESTLY guess it would be somewhere around J or K, if those sizes even exist.

In any case, my pediatrician was very nonchalant about his weight loss, saying he would be fine as long as his stools increase and his wet diapers number at least 6 per day. Well, then this weekend, on Sunday, he had 12 wet diapers and 5 stools, and yesterday he had 12 wet diapers with 4 stools. He was weighed again yesterday at our home nursing visit (one very awesome perk of my husband's insurance plan), and he had gained a WHOPPING 14 ounces! He is now 8 lb. 5 oz., and I was given the go ahead to sleep up to 5 hours straight without waking him in the middle of the night because he is thriving.

I was nearly devastated and terrified on Friday that he was not going to hit his markers in creating 'waste,' and then suddenly everything came together for us. Seeing him on the nurse's scale yesterday with the number 8-5 was a moment of triumph for me as a first time Mom, and I had to share it. Am I still worried about weight gain? Yes! I count his diapers like a nutcase, and I sit anticipating his next bowel movement. I feel comforted and a bit more confident, but I still feel like this is a critical time to be cautious and meticulous in making sure Gabriel is hydrated and well-fed. I finally got him to sleep for 4 hours straight after his 5:30 feeding today (I had hopes of this happening earlier in the night, but he wanted some food!), and now I feel nervous about him making enough diapers today because of a 4.5 hour break between feedings instead of his 'usual' 2-3. And I guess that is why they say Moms worry, no matter what.

BUT my point is in all of this...
If breastfeeding seems not to be working at first, and you really want it to work, please keep fighting!!

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