Rosie has hit the double digits – 10 weeks old!
This has been an awesome/awful week. First, the awesome news (other than Rosie hitting 10 weeks):
Daddy is now Dr. Daddy!
Justin successfully defended his dissertation – and even earned honors! We’re very proud of him. But mostly, Mitchell is just happy to have him home. Justin was only gone a few days, but it felt like forever!
Now to the awful. Rosie and Mitchell both had RSV a couple weeks ago. Rosie was diagnosed at her 8 week appointment, where she weighed 10 pounds 9 ounces. When she was born, her weight was in the 55th percentile, but that weight put her at the 35th percentile. The doctor was worried, but not terribly, because she was sick and expected to regain that weight once she felt better. She scheduled her for another weight check (as well as daily breathing checks). At the next weight check, she’d gained about an ounce. Hooray for weight gain, but it still wasn’t enough to get her off weight checks. On Wednesday (the day Justin left to defend his dissertation), we went to another weight check, where she weighed 10 pounds 13 ounces. Again, she gained weight, but had dropped down to the 27th percentile in weight. The nurse had me nurse her, then weighed her again. She’d gained two ounces. The nurse said that was a great weight gain, but made several comments about needing to supplement with formula because I must not be producing enough or nursing enough because she wasn’t gaining enough weight. She even said something about second babies needing supplemented because the mom is always busy with the first child and unable to properly breastfeed. My hormonal (and already slightly irrational) brain heard: “You’re starving your child because you aren’t paying attention to her. You’re a failure of a mother.” They scheduled another weight check for Friday, which was also the day Mitchell met with the doctor to discuss his speech development.
Wednesday and Thursday I nursed Rosie pretty much constantly. I also wore her in the ring sling and tried to focus on her as much as possible. Between this and Justin being gone, Mitchell decided to push every boundary he encountered. I generally am very proud to take him out and about. He walks along with me and behaves very nicely usually. Wednesday and Thursday, though, he ran in every direction, grabbed stuff off shelves, etc. But I was still pretty confident going to the appointment on Friday because Rosie had been nursing a lot and was so happy and healthy, I thought for sure she’d gained several ounces.
Nope. One ounce. She gained a single ounce. The doctor said it was time to start pumping and offering her a bottle after every feeding. So the feeding routine would consist of nursing (twenty minutes per side, forty minutes total), offering a bottle (who knows how long that would take), and then pumping (at least a fifteen minute ordeal). And I’m supposed to sit there doing this while Mitchell entertains himself. I’d be doing so much couch-parenting I’d start to resemble Gilbert Grape’s mom, both physically and in parenting style.
Mitchell was also referred to speech therapy, but the doctor assured me he displayed absolutely no signs of autism or disabilities She was actually more pleased with his progress than I thought she’d be. He’s been gaining at least a word a week for the last couple months, but he still only has 15-20 words that he uses regularly. His favorite word right now is “beep beep”. He’s constantly asking me to make my car go beep beep.
Anyway, I came away from the appointment Friday morning feeling like a total failure of a mother. All day Friday, I tried the doctor’s recommendations with Rosie. Needless to say, it didn’t work well. I cried, Mitchell cried, Rosie cried. I convinced myself I was a total failure. The more I stressed about it, the harder it was to nurse Rosalynn, and I even dried up Friday afternoon/evening. My failure to nurse was pretty devastating. At a couple weeks old, Mitchell was taking 6 ounces per feeding. The ladies at the breastfeeding clinic treated me like a rock star. I encountered many issues (mastitis, clogs, etc.), but throughout it all, Mitchell nursed and gained weight and lingered at the top of the charts. So to be told I wasn’t sustaining Rosie on my own…the one thing I did really, really well…it hurt. A lot. I can’t even describe all the emotions that were racing through my head. It was awful. Basically, when Justin got home Friday night, he got less than the enthusiastic homecoming he was probably expecting. I considered it a success just to not be curled into the fetal position crying.
I ended up contacting one of the La Leche League representatives here locally, and she made me feel a lot better. She said, based on my history and everything I’d told her, I wasn’t actually drying up. I was probably still producing just as much as ever, I was probably just sensitive to stress and unable to nurse while I was stressing out about it. Between her reassurances and Justin being home, Saturday and Sunday I was able to nurse Rosalynn with no problems, never dried up, and even pumped a few times. I figure building up my supply isn’t a bad idea.
We have another weight check this week. I’m not sure what I’ll do if it turns out badly, because I’m feeling so confident right now.
Moral of the story: hormones are bad, m’kay? But my children are adorable.
Mitchell was running a random fever and fell asleep on the couch the other night. It was so weird. But kinda adorable.