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