"...Have faith in your dreams and someday,

your rainbow will come smiling through.

No matter how your heart is grieving,

if you keep on believing,

the dream that you wish will come true..."

Monday, April 25, 2011

The first month.. post-partum...

(Professional photo taken at 13 days old)

Wow, I can't believe Kaedence is a month old. It feels like those precious days that I was so looking forward to when I was pregnant, are gone forever. There are a few things I wish I could have done differently, but in the end, she is here, and so are we, so we make the best of now. Please pardon the following rant, but I've got to put it down.

Breast feeding has not gone well from the start, and it is heartbreaking. Breast feeding was my "one" crusade. It was the one thing I wanted to do, at all costs, but there have been many factors that have not helped the situation. First, Kaedence will NOT open her mouth wide enough, so getting a good latch is impossible. I think I have nursed her once in the last month when it hasn't hurt. If she does manage to get a good latch, she will take a few good gulps, get the milk flowing, then use me as a pacifier. When she does this, she pushes my nipple to the front of her mouth (just behind the gums), then bites down...OUCH!! I have been told by a lactation consultant that the constant "on-off" dance that we do with the latch causes friction damage, and it is no wonder it hurts. My first day home from the hospital, I ended up getting sick with a chest infection and they put me on really strong antibiotics. These antibiotics gave poor Kaedence the "poops" and burned her little bottom. So after some research, and talking with a Pharmacist, the decision was made that I would have to dump my breast milk for the remainder of my prescription + 48 hours (to allow the drug to leave my breast milk). So Kaedence was on formula for about a week. This allowed my nipples (which were cracked and bleeding) to heal, but the antibiotics also gave me a yeast infection on my nipples. I don't know if any of you ladies have ever experienced this, but it feels like razor blades when you nurse, and for an hour or so afterwards. So I was put on an antifungal for that. Once we got that all cleared up, my milk supply plummeted. So now, I'm taking Fenugreek and pumping every 3 hours (because I still can't stand the pain when I feed her), to try and boost my supply. I don't know if it is working. My supply is almost back to what it was, but it isn't getting better beyond that. I am only able to pump off enough milk to give her about 1 or 2 bottles of pure breast milk a day (6 ounces a day or so)... The last resort is a prescription medicine called Domperidone, and I don't know if I want to go that far or not... As of right now, all the medications, the pump, and the time, have cost me more than straight formula feeding ever would have!

The lack of success breast feeding is a huge blow for me. I hate the fact that I have fought with her for the first month of her life to feed. I feel inadequate as a mom for not being able to feed her... my one job as a mother... I also feel like for the first month of her life, I haven't really held her unless she is crying. I looked after her when she had a messy diaper, or when she needed a bath, or when she fussed, or when she needed to be fed (when we were breast feeding this was an awful fight!). After she was settled, and warm, everyone else got to hold her. I seldom got to snuggle her when she was content, because by the time that opportunity came I had to put her down otherwise she would have been up all night. It was always more important that someone else hold her, and now I can't get that time back. It won't be replaced with another baby because we likely will not have another one. I feel like I am just getting to know her now... which was my biggest fear when I was pregnant.

I am struggling with the decision to call it quits on the pumping. I spend at least 3-4 hours a day right now hooked to the pump. This is at all hours of the day and night because I am supposed to be pumping every 3 hours. I am still not making nearly enough milk to feed her. I know that what I am giving her is still important, no matter how little. But on another level, I just want the throw out the pump, bind my breasts, and spend this time with her instead. I think I am done with the direct breast feeding. I am at least able to enjoy her when I can, rather than resenting her for the pain whenever she touches my breasts. I am thinking that unless my supply dramatically increases, she will end up being a formula baby...which was the last thing I wanted. I am feeling that until I can let this breast feeding thing go, I won't really get to enjoy her. The public health nurse is coming tomorrow to help us with breast feeding...I think it is time for "a talk".

For the good news, she is healthy and alive. She does not have CF, and she is not even a carrier of the condition (like her Dad and I are). She has better genes than we do! She is growing SO fast now. It took her some time to get back up to her birth weight, but once she did she started gaining quickly. Last week she weighed 6lbs 15 ounces. I am positive that she is about 7 1/2 pounds now. I feel like this is an awful thing to say..but I am glad she is still small. I still have my "newborn" in size. She still fits into Newborn clothing, but I can see that she will be growing out of them very quickly.

I have wondered if I am going a bit "post-partum". I have talked with a few other Moms and they felt the same way when they went through it. Then I feel so fucking guilty. What do I have to be upset over? No one (other than me) cares how she is fed... she is alive...she is healthy..she is growing.. I don't think she hates me (yet)...

*sigh* I can't believe she is a month old... the time has slipped right past me.

I'll stop my bitching and moaning now and go back to my baby now... Oh, here are a few highlights from the past month!

One hour old!

One day old!

2 days old (napping on Daddy's chest)

One week old.

One week old...she gets to snuggle with her big sister (Kherrington's ashes are stored inside this bear).

2 weeks old (almost)..

3 weeks old (all dressed up and going for dinner!)

4 weeks old


  1. So, first a comment on your most beautiful, adorable baby! She's gorgeous!

    And second, perhaps more importantly, on to you! I am so sorry to hear breastfeeding has been such a painful expereince - both physically and emotionally. While I have yet to experience it, I can imagine myself feeilng very much like you do. I am so determined to breastfeed my baby - and while I know it doesn't always go easily, I am so *hoping* it will work. And if it doesn't, while I can *know* I will do all that I can, I think I'd still feel guilty and bad for not being able to breastfeed. So - I say this as encouragement for you to take it easy on yourself. You have tried so hard, you are trying so hard, and whatever you decide to do will be what's best for you and Kaedance.

    Your post also spoke to one of my greatest fears - other people getting to hold my baby more than me (and/or at "better" times, like when she's all comfy, cozy, and quiet). Right now I can say that I won't let that hapepn, but I know that's easier said than done. My own reaction to you writing that is that I feel angry and sad. I'd love to come and fend everyone off for you if that would be helpful!

    I know you are such a wonderful mama to Kaedance!

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  3. If I may, I am sad to hear that you think your only job as a mother is to breast feed her. It is a physical attribute only females hold, but it is by FAR the only thing you have to give to your daughter. And as far as the physicalities go, be proud! You just spent 9 months with her in your tummy and she came out alive and healthy! I am sorry it's such a struggle to do something you were so attached on doing, but it's not hurting her, and it's not your fault, either. There is plenty left for you to do. You get to be a mom now. You're the one to calm her; to watch her grow; to support her; to love her unconditionally. Believe me, all I've known is a Mom and she has done more things than I can even comprehend. You and your daughter are bonded for life. Even if her milk does come out of a bottle for a little while.

    I think you should take a day or two a week for just you and her (and Daddy), no visitors. Spend time.. If you want to hold your baby, hold your baby! I think you're allowed to be selfish right now :) I bet all her life, there will be nobody MORE important than YOU and her Dad to hold her. And as for time passing by- as far as books and movies and peoples' stories tell me, it's something to get used to. I think every parent experiences how quickly time flies by once they begin a family. You have to make sure you take the time to cherish every moment. (Even when she's crying, or is old enough to talk back! eek.)

    In any case, she is gorgeous. I think you're doing a wonderful job as a Mother :) All my love.

  4. What a precious baby girl! I love the Kherrington bear - what I great idea - I am not a big fan of the urn my first son is currently in.

    I exclusively pumped for 14 weeks or so. I did feed my son about 25% formula, 75% BM - because I had a lower supply and went back to work at 5 weeks so I didn't pump every 3 hours at all. I heard the most important pump is the ~5 am one when prolactin levels are the highest.

    I decided to quit pumping when it just wasn't worth it anymore. Yes, I still wanted to give him BM, but I wanted to be able to hold him and cuddle him when I got home - not run to the pump. I wanted to be able to feed him bottles - not make new ones while my hubby fed him. Also, I wanted to sleep ! My decision was hugely impacted by going back to work. I am happy I pumped as long as I did - but eventually I felt like I was missing out on good quality time with my son.

    Whatever you decide with pumping - it will be o.k. I am sorry it has been such a struggle :(

    ps I found you through a friends blog today!

  5. Congratulations on the birth of your beautiful little baby girl. (I stumbled upon your blog while Googling about cord issues...my little miracle was born just over a year ago with an eight inch cord that was wrapped around her neck. She was unable to descend and ended up an emergency c-section).
    Please know that as mamas we join a rank of wonderful, hard working people who tend to be highly critical of ourselves dragging around a ball and chain because "so and so gets up to bake her own bread every Wednesday at 5:30 a.m...."
    Meaning to say that "Congratulations! You did an amazing job procreating and bringing this beautiful being into the world."
    Do something for yourself each day (take a shower, eat some chocolate, put on a funny movie, listen to an audio book, paint your toe nails) and know how wonderful you are doing!
    I began breastfeeding my first baby twelve years ago. It was all new to me and she (our little lady) had a rough go of it. She was rehospitalized at 10 days old for RSV/pneumonia which is what I had when I gave birth to her but was unmedicated for by my OB.
    She/we developed thrush. I suffered from cracked sore and bleeding nipples, mastitis,sleep depervation, baby blues, pumping fatigue and nipple confusion etc. There was quite a learning curve! I learned breastfeeding is a partnership and may take some time to learn (for baby and mama).
    There is a Youtube by Unicef called the Breast Crawl which you may find interesting.
    I called a group I had not heard of before her birth called Le Leche League (the Milk Group in Spanish). LLL for short, they are an accredited mother-to-mother breastfeeding support group who publishes The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding and volunteer their time (so it is of no cost to you) to help support mothers who desire to breastfeed. You can Google LLLI (le Leche League International) and find where you live and call a mother who has breastfed to ask her questions.
    Also, I found the book Birthing From Within to helpful before this last baby (my sixth pregnancy and fifth live birth). I was trying to overcome my many fears from prior births.
    In the book she mentions how even if you did not have the birth you envisioned, at the right time for you (mama and baby) you can bathe together and picture the birth you wish you had had. Also, I planned on baking chocolate chip cookies during labor or a birthday cake--my water broke and emergencies set in. After the trauma settled down, I baked that cake to help me celebrate the little life born to us.
    Best wishes healing from birth and in your breastfeeding endeavors. I know you will do what is right (meaning best) for you, your baby, and husband. You are more amazing than you realize!