Hello folks! No, I haven't forgotten about you. Still trying to get our schedule figured out. I can't believe that Reese is 3 weeks old as of yesterday! It's amazing! She's growing like a weed. First I will update you about Reese's progress, then I will talk about how awesome my husband is and we'll throw in some breastfeeding issues just because I can.
I don't know where I left off in the birth story, so I'll sum up here.
Initially, we weren't allowed to leave the hospital on Sunday as planned because Reese had lost 12.8% of her body weight, whereas they like to see under 10%. We added formula to her diet through this horrible system called S and S (a tube that went in her mouth with the breast linked to formula) - annoying as all get out, but got the job done. We were allowed to go home on Monday, our 8th wedding anniversary - what a wonderful gift! Tuesday, we headed to the pediatrician's office for our first visit. Her weight was even higher than the day before, so Dr. Kids said to wean off the formula - only ever other feeding or so. At this point too, I was feeling very "full" in my mammories, so we figured my milk was in and all was well! Flash forward to Thursday of that week where we'd had a few rough evenings with Reese where she'd been absolutely inconsolable and when finally given the bottle (we'd scrapped the S & S by now - stressful for both of us) she'd slurped like we'd been starving her, but I'd been breastfeeding every few hours. So we headed back to Dr. Kids for an update, and she was again down, down to the weight she was when they wouldn't let us leave the hospital. So we ramped up the formula again after a long conversation with Dr. Kids. Back to the doc on the following Thursday for her 2 week appointment, and low-and-behold, she was up 8 oz! YAY! So continue on the path they said. And we were back at the doc's on the following Tuesday for a weigh in at which she was not only up another 13 oz and had grown another 2 inches long! Holy cow, she's a weed already! Now, unless we deem necessary, we won't head back to Dr. Kids until her 2 month appointment, but we're free to call/email as needed with questions. It's been a bit of a roller coaster! But since she is now eating enough, she's very alert (except when she's asleep!) and her personality is starting to show through.
Everything about this pregnancy and birth has amazed me. I was never aware of how difficult breastfeeding could be. I'd only seen friends pop out their breast and feed with no issues. But once we started having serious issues and I reached out to friends, I started hearing a slew of issues and learning a lot. Why is infertility and breastfeeding issues not common knowledge?! Another thing to add to my list to get more people to know about.
Yes, we had breastfeeding issues. First my milk wasn't enough (see the summation above about Reese's weight), so we had to add formula. Then my milk came in and then just as quick, seemingly disappeared. Then we had nipple issues (mine were so bad - cracked, bloody, not fun - at one point I think Reese got more blood than milk!). I am so thankful for Dr. Kids Lactation Consultant who introduced me to the nipple shield! It saved us! My toes were curling for the first few moments of feeding! While we don't use the shield anymore, it gave me enough time to heal and still feed. I wasn't able to pump very much. It's been a drama. Now, we're doing much better, but still supplementing with formula because sometimes she doesn't seem to be satiated enough by my milk. But I am able to pump more (thanks to MBM's sister giving me a better pump that is quiet and efficient) so we also can feed her some of that milk. So many people came out of the wood work with helpful hints about breastfeeding. I'm so very blessed.
Now, speaking of "blessed" I have to say that my husband amazed me at the hospital and even at home. First off, he hardly left my side the entire 5 days and 4 nights we were at the hospital. Initially, he thought he would come home daily and shower, etc, but because his parents were staying at our house and caring for our animals, he didn't have to. He slept on an awful pull out "bed" if you could even call it that. He got up every time Reese cried or the docs came in or whatever. (Because of how high my bed and bassinet - poor planning on the hospital designers part - I couldn't get to Reese without getting out of bed which was neither quick or easy for me.) He even did things that you wish you'd never have to ask anyone to do for you, especially your partner that should find you beautiful and sexy. Like drying your legs off after the shower because you can't reach them due to the 6 inch incision in your belly! There's some other less attractive things he did, but I'll leave those out! Anyway, I was so impressed with him, even through his lack of sleep and back pain due to the "bed." He was happier to come home than me for sure so he could sleep in his bed. Anyway, he was a gem among gems and I'm so grateful for all he did at the hospital and continues to do at home. The first few days at home, I was still moving quite slow and I would text him if he wasn't in the house when I needed something. He was always back in a flash. He still gets up (even though he has gone back to work) with Reese for the first feeding of the night and changes her and gets me a bottle for after she's been breastfed. We've had a couple rough moments due to lack of sleep, but we've made up and we're pushing through!
Okay, longer post than I intended, but who knows when the next one will be. We have family photos tomorrow, so will have those to post in a while. And hopefully from here on out, I'll just post updates and photos of our little Reese!
Thanks for sticking with me Bleeps! Our adventures continue....