Sunday, February 21, 2010

Dear Luke (3 Months)

Dear Lukas, April 15, 2009

We struggled a little this month. At your 3 month appointment, you were an entire pound behind what you should have been. You were still gaining, so Dr. T wasn't "alarmed", but it wasn't nearly enough. I couldn't understand how my strong, solid, little man wasn't thriving. You were miserable more than you weren't. We blamed part of this on your frustration over not being able to move as much as you wanted to, but Mommy also started putting things together (along with Dr. T). You nursed with a panic almost, and you were never happy afterwards. We would sit there for an hour and a half sometimes, and you would still cry and be upset after. I'd have to calm you down with your pacifier and sing to you to get you to fall asleep...and you'd wake up raving mad. Dr. T suggested that I supplement you with formula....and while I wanted to avoid this at all costs, I could see that you were suffering. You weren't getting what you wanted (and needed)....it was obvious by both the scale and your demeanor. Your soft spot was sunken like you were dehydrated. I agreed to "top you off"....as in, nurse you, and then give you 2oz of formula after a feeding. I didn't want you to have formula but I also refused to starve you. This would take up my entire day....you would stay latched on for an hour to 1.5, and then I'd give you the bottle....eating for you was a 2 hour production most times, and you'd be hungry again an hour later.

Mommy tried everything to keep up with you. She asked everyone - friends & relatives who breastfed, spoke with LC's, consulted books & websites. I tried drinking extra water, eating oatmeal, drinking a beer here and there, fenugreek seed twice a day, mother's milk tea (which, for the record, tasted like a mixture of beef stock & black licorice). We'd nurse for hourssss sometimes, and I would even pump between each of your feedings. I would sit there with the pump for an hour, and only come up with 1/2 oz each side. Even after 2 or 3 straight days of nursing for hours & pumping in between (essentially doing nothing but feeding all day long)....I could never get more than 1/2 oz....1 oz total. While this was going on, you were taking your supplemental formula and guzzling it. You would drink it like you'd never been fed. By the end of this month you got SO frustrated with me, you would cry anytime I tried to nurse you and wouldn't stop until you were given a bottle. For a couple days I had Daddy give you full bottles so I could do nothing but pump and see if that made a difference. Nothing. Both of those days I only came up with 3-4oz, TOTAL, for the whole day....and it took me ALL DAY to get that.

I finally broke down one day and decided that you'd made your choice. I was stressing myself out (which probably didn't help) over not keeping up with you, and I was so caught up in that I wasn't listening to your pleas for the bottle. You just wanted to EAT. So as soon as I listened to you and gave you what you wanted, you were instantly happier. I struggled with this for days....crying, feeling like a failure, laying in bed in a semi-depression that your Daddy had to talk me out of. But after seeing you come to life with your new eating routine...it was hard to stay sad. Mommy also realized that most of her feelings of failure over it were mostly rooted in fear of judgment - what people would say about me for only breastfeeding my baby for three months instead of 6 or 12. I needed a happy, well fed baby more than I needed their approval, so I made peace with our decision and moved on.

Your Grandma & Grandpa W****** were here for Easter. We all went to cousin Mike's house for dinner. You couldn't fall asleep for the longest time and Mommy felt bad. You finally fell asleep and napped in my lap for a while. You looked so cute in your Easter outfit! The Easter Bunny brought you a stuffed blue duck and some hockey cards for the collection Daddy is building for you!

You also got sick this month! You had a little cold and ear infection. Aunt **** was here to visit you when you had them. Poor guy...we had to go see Dr. T and she gave you some meds. You were feeling better in a couple days, but you were pretty cranky when Aunt *** was here!

Your personality has really started to come through now that you’re more content. I’m looking forward to getting to know this new you! I love you soooo much baby doll! : )

Love,
Mommy

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