Part of the purpose of this blog is to document Baby N. for my own memories, along with keeping the world in the loop about how we're doing. I've wrestled with the idea of posting this, but since it's part of N.'s journey, I feel like it's important to put it down. That being said, all these events have come about after much thought and soul-searching by Hubby and me, and no choice was made lightly. We're at peace with our decisions. The last thing I need in my sleep deprived state is to be told I did the wrong thing, especially because we truly believe we did the right thing for our baby.
*steps down off soapbox*
The appointment that I'd alluded to in my last post didn't go so well. Baby N. still only put on a couple of ounces, much much less than he should have considering the time period and the ammount of supplementation he was getting. We got to see the chief of the pediatrics department who, I must say, I fell in love with. Hubby described it well - he was the most un-doctor-like doctor, in the best possible way. Part doctor, part baby whisperer, part young buddy-buddy type guy. We were hitting close to N.'s 6 week birthday, and he still hadn't re-gained his birthweight, so we all were worried. There was still the issue that I was suffering from a bit of a supply/demand problem, but with that you can never be sure. Assuming that he wasn't getting enough from breastfeeding, what we wanted to know was whether or not N. *could* put on an appropriate amount of weight if he was adequately calorically challenged. And, in the back of my mind, the little nagging voice was reminding me that my baby is building not only muscle and bone and tendon and cartilage right now, but he's building little neurons and connections and that requires enough food.
We'd been reluctant to add formula from the very beginning, because I really wanted to give breastfeeding enough of a chance to get started (which I think I did, and I *will* be continuing it exclusively until 6 months, and keeping it going after he starts solids). I also have to say that I never once felt pressured by our clinicians to switch, and they all are very quick to encourage me to *keep* nursing through whatever may happen. They're so supportive, I love each and every one of them (except for that one in the hospital who was so mean, but we won't talk about him anymore).
So, after discussing it with my new favourite doc, Dr. D (second only to my favourite nurse practitioner, CNP M.), we opted to supplement N. with 1 oz of formula per feeding, along with the pumped breastmilk. I would've supplemented with 2 oz of breastmilk, but I just physically couldn't pump often enough, or at high enough quantities, to have another extra oz per feeding. Hubby and I had been thinking about it for weeks, and agreed that at this point, the important thing is to get N. up to his birthweight and past (since he was about 4 weeks late in reaching that milestone), and that we would continue with the breastfeeding at each and every feeding. It's been challenging, both to keep him on a good feeding schedule and to find the time to pump enough to have that extra expressed milk to have at all feedings. And, it's not only finding time to pump, but I have to make sure to keep hydrated and eat extra well to up production. It's been a tough couple of weeks to say the least.
But, it's all worth it -
We're thrilled to say that N. has surpassed his birthweight!!!!! He's happy, healthy, and putting on weight at a good rate.
(plus, he sleeps better now that his poor little tummy-tum isn't empty all the time)
There's a part of me that feels guilty for those first four weeks - when I thought he was just being fussy, he was actually starving, poor little guy. The thing that kept me going (and still does) is that he's a very contented baby in between. My father came for a visit, with his car, so we went on big outings several days in a row, and N. slept contentedly the whole time (even when we weren't moving in the car, which he seems to love). He's interactive, he's trying to make noises to us, and he smiles and giggles all the freakin' time :-)
So, we'll see how things go at our two month visit... CNP M. gave us the go-ahead to back off the formula and see how he does, since it also seems like I'm producing much more milk now.
In other fun news, N. was baptized yesterday, and didn't say boo the whole time... It was a beautiful little ceremony, and we had both my Dad and Hubby's aunt and uncle there. I felt very emotional, especially after I saw one of the photos that Dad took - Hubby and N. and I - we're a little family!!! Pictures to come soon!