Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Bumps in the Road

I don't want to jinx anything but my little one is actually sleeping.  Last night I rocked her for awhile [don't judge me] to be certain she was asleep.  I ended up rocking myself to sleep as well, but I did put her in her bed at 12:45.  She didn't wake up until after 5!  We snuggled, ate, and changed her pants and then went back to sleep for another 2 hours...whoa!  AND...she has eaten again and is now sleeping peacefully in her swing.  I don't know what to do.  Justin already folded all the laundry. 

I think I mentioned yesterday that Kathryn is not much of a sleeper.  In the hospital it was hard to tell because of all the nighttime interruptions.  I sort of assumed that all newborns slept like 18 hours a day.  I hear that some do, but they must come from a different part of heaven than my daughter did.  It's only been in the past 3 days that she has taken decent naps.  She's more of a power napper; she'll close her eyes and breathe deeply for about 10 minutes and then her eyes pop right back open and she's ready to go for another four hours.  We even had some days when she did take a nap but didn't close her eyes again for 12 hours.  That makes for one tired mama!

In the hospital, we did have a few hiccups.  On Sunday [the third day] she gradually became fussier and fussier.  Well, let me back up.  On Saturday & Sunday I had a really hard time feeding her.  I didn't know that my milk wasn't just readily available, and neither did Kathryn.  She was hungry and I wasn't getting it right.  I spent a lot of time with the lactation consultants on those 2 days.  Of course she could latch on while they were there but every other time she needed to eat was a struggle.  So, fast forward to Sunday, and we were headed toward an international incident.  For 8 hours or so, she screamed.  We tried everything.  At some point [I think around 4am] our nurse took Kathryn for her nightly assessment and told us that she had lost 14oz that day, taking her weight down to just 6lbs.  She lost almost an entire pound in one day!  Our nurse told us that we may need to supplement with formula, gave Kathryn back to us, and left.  At that point we were at our wit's end, and Justin called the nurse back and asked for formula.  I'm not sure why she didn't give it to us in the beginning.  Kathryn was thrilled and so were we.

One other problem Kathryn had was that her frenulum needed to be clipped. Apparantly it was all the way to the end of her tongue.  Thankfully, the wonderful pediatrician at the hospital did that for us the morning we went home without us even knowing.  The problem with her having that type of frenulum is that in the womb she learned to suck incorrectly.  So she is having to learn to suck all over again.  I nurse with a shield which is a lifesaver, but she is slowly getting interested in nursing without it.  Here's one of her milk drunk faces.  :)

Two days after we came home from the hospital [5 days old; 3 days since she lost the 14oz] we went to our pediatrician for a weight check.  She had gained back 5oz, but her doctor told me she wasn't getting enough to eat.  We were excited about the weight gain but our bubble was burst when I felt like I had been starving my child.  No wonder she had been screaming all night!  Giving her formula--not to mention discovering gas drops--was making her feel much better.  The next week at her appointment, she had gained another 5 1/2 ounces, but that still wasn't enough.  So I started giving her 2 ounces of formula after each time she nursed.  Ever so slowly, she became a more calm and satisfied baby.  Last week at her appointment, she weighed 7lbs and 1.5oz--victory!  She goes back on Monday for her one month [I can't believe it] appointment.  She should weigh pretty close to 8 lbs by then. 

Nursing is still pretty tough, but it's much better than it was.  I'm offering her less formula and nursing more often.  As in, almost every hour in the evenings but only every 2 or 3 during the day.  Hey, whatever works for her!  I'm not very sore, although sometimes I have to remember that nursing her for an hour [she likes to savor each drop] is way more important than anything else I could be doing. 
All in all, we are thankful for such a healthy little one and we realize that our "bumps in the road" are totally normal and nothing compared to the struggles that so many other people have to endure with their precious babies.  We are thankful every day for this sweet face.

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