Combo feeding is HARD!!! It takes 3 times as long to feed my boy than if I “picked a side”, so to speak. So I did… BFAR fail, once again. Anyone wanna buy a barely-used hospital-grade pump???
Otherwise, despite an epic infection that had me on 3 days IV antibiotics and 10 days oral, recovery from my c-section is going great! I feel great and baby boy is an awesome baby!! He really is everything I could ever have asked for! He ended up spending a total of 9 days in the NICU, we brought him home last Wednesday.
I must say it’s certainly been an adjustment. Gremlin is full-on into the terrible twos. It’s been a pretty steady stream of screaming, kicking, flailing temper tantrums from her for about three days now. She loves her brother and wants to help out so much. We let her do what she can, but she’s gotten really impatient and has regressed pretty badly in her vocalization. Where she used to ask so nicely for things, she’s been doing the scream and point a lot more this week. I’m hoping things settle down soon- could be wishful thinking though, since we’ve just completed the master bedroom floor and therefore will be moving back up to the main floor from our basement for sleeping. eek!
As far as the difficulties go though, it really isn’t so bad. I’m tired, still slightly sore, but I have a huge help in having my husband home, a once-a-week house cleaner, and a really content, easy baby.
I’ve also had a lot of success as far as my weight-loss goes. I was “banded” in March of 2011, and had lost a fair bit of weight before getting pregnant, about 35lbs from my heaviest weight. Well, I’m thrilled to say that I’m now at the lowest weight I’ve been in about 4 years. I’ve still got about 45lbs until my pre-marriage weight, and 90lbs before I’m at my ‘goal’. I almost crapped my pants when I stepped on the scale today, I was honestly half-expecting to see an increase in my weight- even though I can see the visible differences the loss has made. My face is less full, my wedding ring even is fitting different. I’m still all jello-y and post-partum doughy round the middle- but I’ll take it!!
baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahahaahahahaahahahhahahaha…. yeah. that was a bad joke…
I’m pretty certain most, if not all, of my loyal readers are already aware that Little Man is here! This is the story, a few days late of how shiz went down.
As you already know if you’ve been keeping up with my drivel, I’ve been experiencing “prodromal” labour for a couple of weeks now. Which sucked. The contractions seemed to be increasing in severity, but never getting any regularity whatsoever. I’d contract every 5 or so minutes for an hour, just to have them slow down to about every 20 mins for an hour then pick up again… In any case, I was told by the OB covering for Dr. Awesome that if I started bleeding or leaking fluid to get my ass to the hospital. None of that ever had a chance to happen.
Friday night was pretty miserable, I barely slept, and just felt a general state of total fatigue and crap- contracting constantly, again without any rhyme or reason. I tried taking Ty.lenol to calm things down with minimal success. Saturday was worse…. much much worse. I knew the contractions I was having were labour contractions, but because they never came closer together or had any regularity whatsoever, I was extremely reluctant to go get checked out. (believe me, it’s really NOT fun to drive 1/2 an hour to the hospital to get told to “suck it up princess- it’s just false labour; faking it will not get you any sympathy here” <— yes, I WAS actually told this during my last pregnancy during the five weeks of prodromal hell I experienced- it was one of many many horrible awful very bad no good things spouted to me during that time). So anyway, by 11pm Saturday night, I was in the tub writhing in pain that was enough to bring me to tears, a very epic accomplishment considering I live in constant pain from the fibro, and so have a very very high pain tolerance. My husband, knowing this, became pretty concerned, and called L&D, who, obviously, told him to make me come in… so I argued with him for about half an hour and told him I’d just take more Ty.lenol and try to sleep it off… hahahahaahahaha
Needless to say, my husband won the argument… I went in to L&D to discover their equipment actually works, and although irregular my contractions were most definitely measuring in the level of “painful”. I was checked for dilation and given a very brief external U/S to ensure the stitch had not already ruptured. Lo and behold, my asshole cervix was opening- I was 1-2cm, with a guessed length of about 1/2-1cm only. GO ME!! There was some discussion among the OB on call and perinatologist who I love- she was the perinatologist whom I met with during my previous hospital stay- and myself on the best course of action. I was given two choices; wait it out and hope upon hope that the labour stopped, risking the stitch rupturing, hemorrhage, big mess and possible hysterectomy OR deliver this “term” baby NOW. Given the U/S dating, we all assumed I was closer to 37 weeks than 36, and because I’d been given steroids already to help with lung development, everyone agreed that was our safest course. Hubs left the hospital to take our surprisingly un-exhausted Gremlin home to bed, and I was prepped for surgery; Getting an IV started was a bitch, I got poked about 5 or so times for that, and twice to get bloodwork drawn. Then was taken down to the OR to try and get a spinal started. It actually worked out in my favor that we weren’t able to get it started, because the OB got called away to do a delivery!! By the time he go back, the spinal would have worn off- so right out to sleep I went.
The surgery went well, and at 4:07 am July 29th, 2012 my wee man was born!! A whopping 8lbs 13oz and 20 inches long! (my little short-ass!)
Unfortunately, the tale doesn’t quite end there… I awoke in a room and was asked if I would like to see my boy. It was explained that he was slightly more premature than was suspected- his estimated gestational age only 36 weeks, and that due to that, and the fact that I had GD (which can cause delay in lung development, even when controlled well), he was having a bit of trouble breathing and would need to be in the NICU. They wheeled him in to see me, CPAP mask in place, and removed his little cap to show me his abundance of dark, slightly wavy hair- he looks just like his daddy!!! I quickly dozed back off, I’d been given a goodly dose of morphine after surgery (I also had my tubes tied), but I dreamed of my sweet, dark-haired little love.
It’s now four days later and I’m your typical, exhausted, post-partum mom. Recovery from the surgery has been very hard, and complicated by the high level of activity I’ve had to maintain due to trips to the NICU, both in hospital (long friggin walk from my ward to there), and now being home, with an active toddler making daily trips to the hospital (more long friggin walks from the parkade to the NICU); almost complete lack of ability to have any sort of real “rest” between 2-3 hour wakings to pump so that wee man can get every single drop of breast milk available to him, and the stress of having a babe in NICU. For the most part, I can’t say a single bad thing about the staff at the hospital here- they have done so much and been so kind, and helpful- the complete opposite of the experience I had with Gremlin, but it’s still stressful all the same- and made harder by the fact that I do have my little Gremlin and have to divide my time between a toddler who can’t understand why mama has to be gone so much time, and a little man in the hospital who I want to be with so desperately it’s almost physically painful.
The positive side of it all is this- my sweet boy-child is here, and he is doing very well. He spent a day and a bit on CPAP, moving up to nasal cannula, and has been doing trials on room air since Wednesday. He was able to start taking the breast Wednesday night, and is a voracious little piggy! He’s definitely his father’s boy- apparently hubs’ mom used to cry when she had to feed him because he was such an insatiable little hog!! He’s a lot more alert every day, he wakes when he hears my voice every time I come to visit now and starts wiggling like mad to be picked up. He loves his paci like it’s a part of him, and is the most amazing little snuggler- when doing kangaroo care he literally tries to wrap his wee little arms around you, or grabs your finger like a lifeline- he just never wants to be let go. He is the most amazing little miracle and I love him more than life itself. I can’t wait to bring him home and have our family all together again under the same roof.
So, like all newborn moms… I have almost no time to blog… it’s also summer and that means no school for PMG, and so with my husband also having time off- we’ve been doing a lot of “spring cleaning” that didn’t get done in the spring… I am a hard taskmaster!!! lol I also have had a really hard time writing this post- it’s fraught with angst and shit… I had to really examine my own feelings and come to terms with a lot of guilt in order to allow me to get this out there. But, after an experience this week, I realized that through adversity comes strength and maybe my downfall can help another through a difficult situation… so here goes…
I used to be a breastfeeding N@zi. I was a rabid card-carrying member of the “breastfeed or ELSE!!” club. I honestly, truly was one of those women who, while not likening formula to poison, felt that moms who didn’t even TRY to breastfeed their babies might as well be child abusers. Obviously, my opinion has changed. I have aged, grown more tolerant. I have also had a breast reduction.
And for the first time in my life, I actually regret that decision.
It was not a decision I made lightly. I did my research. I knew it could affect breastfeeding, which is why I questioned my surgeon on the ability to breastfeed after surgery, even though, at the time I was a single mother with NO intention whatsoever to have more children. I was given the answer of having an 80% chance of successful breasfeeding after my reduction surgery, barring complications. I didn’t hesitate in the least- I had wanted this surgery since I was 16!! My surgery was booked for the day of my 23rd birthday. I saw it as the best birthday present I could ever give myself. And it was!! It was such a relief to have people NOT comment on how huge my chest was. It was a whole new world for me actually being able to look people in the EYE and not have them stare at my chest (and women are just as bad as men when confronted with a ginormous rack). I could wear button-up shirts for the first time since hitting puberty- and buy bras that DIDN’T cost an arm and a leg and look like something your grandmother wouldn’t even be caught dead in. I could wear a strapless!!! omg!!
Fast forward to today and I am broken-hearted. The 80% success rate for breastfeeding- didn’t include me. I’m sure I could have tried harder to build my supply- I could have gotten the prescription for Domper.idone. I could have pumped after night feedings. I could have spent more time and energy trying to convince my sleepy, jaundiced baby that latching onto a flat nipple is not that hard. I could have, should have…. But didn’t.
I read the BFAR book, I visited the website. I spoke to a LaLeche League consultant. I had an at-breast supplementing system. And I still failed. I failed myself, and I feel, my baby.
Was it because I had difficulties with supply due to not only my reduction, but PCOS? It’s very likely. Because I wasn’t able to even ATTEMPT breastfeeding in the first 24 hours due to the shitheads in the NICU? almost definitely. Flat nipples and breasts that, despite reduction, are ridiculously large are also huge contributing factors. Not to mention the fact that I capitulated on the supplementing with bottles far more easily than I likely would have if I’d been given any other option for getting my girl home.
And so, I formula feed.
Does my baby care? Nope- not one bit. She still gazes at me adoringly as if I am the alpha and omega and the be-all-and-end-all of her existence. She prefers mama cuddles to everything else. Does my husband care? Only so far as it was painful for him to watch me frustratingly and exhaustingly struggle to get our baby to latch, only to have to supplement with the bottle anyway and then painstakingly spend the better part of an hour pumping for a mere ounce of breastmilk. And to repeat this grueling process every 3 hours… all the while with the thought hanging over my head that if my girl did not feed effectively- I would have to take her back to The SUCK-U.
The only person who seems to care is me. I long for the closeness of having my child at my breast. I have memories still, of PMG, sleepily suckling until sated at my breast, snuggled into me. The intimacy of mother and child bonding, me feeding her in the way only I could. I admit, I am mildly jealous that I am not the only one who can feed PMB. I purposely let my husband sleep through night feedings so that I can have her all to myself the way I did with her big sister. I long to go back in time and change things so that I wouldn’t feel the guilt that comes with not being able to breastfeed. And there’s the REAL crux- the feeling of guilt. Of feeling that I have done something wrong.
Is there anyone out there who knows this feeling? Who has tried and failed at something so important to them? How did you cope?