Friday, May 27, 2011

Gaining, gaining, gaining

My little N is finally on a roll.

He is gaining weight like he is supposed to.

Breastfeeding is going well.

I couldn't be any happier!

Yesterday N turned a month old. Has it really been a full month? It all seems like a bit of a blur. We've been to the ER twice (once for me and once for the little guy) and to the hospital several times for weight checks.

With this being my third baby, I thought I'd have this labor, delivery, breastfeeding, and diaper changing thing all down pat.

But it seems that I still have things to learn.

Our biggest challenge has definitely been N's eating and gaining weight. He was born at 8lbs 2 oz. At first he only lost a couple ounces, but by his 2 week check up, he was still 6 oz under his birthweight. I was devastated. I didn't want to supplement with formula, but I knew that is what the pediatrician would tell me I needed to do. Fortunately, she gave me a plan to make him eat more. Basically, I needed to feed him every 2 hours during the day and at least every 4 hours at night. I was going to have to wake him even more than I already was for more feedings.

I did this plan as best as possible and then went in for a recheck the following week. I was just sure he would have gained weight.

But...he hadn't gained a single ounce!!!

This time I broke down in tears in the pediatricians office. I KNEW she'd make me supplement. I felt like a horrible mommy. I felt so sad that my little 8lb 2oz baby was still well under 8lbs. at 3 weeks old. He was still so tiny and newborn looking.

I pretty much begged the doctor to let me go upstairs and meet with the lactation consultant before making me use formula.

Let me back up. I am not against formula. Both my previous babies were mostly formula fed. It was (still is) just my very strong desire to breastfeed this baby long term. I knew I needed to establish my milk supply. I knew I needed to continue to improve latching and bottle feeding just wasn't going to help. Plus, formula is expensive. I didn't want to go down that road AT ALL.

Okay, back on track. I guess my tears worked because the doctor agreed to let me see the lactation consultant. She actually told me I didn't even need a follow up appointment the following week. She left me in the lactation consultant's hands...I called her before I left the doctor's office and left a rather frantic message.

By the time I got home, the lactation consultant returned my call. Of course I burst into tears when telling her that my now 3-week-old was still so far under his birth weight. She had me turn right back around and come see her.

I love lactation consultants.

She put me on a very strict plan of feeding, pumping, and supplementing with the pumped milk. She taught me how to use a syringe and a tube that ran along my body and down to the breast and right into N's mouth so I could avoid bottle feeding. She also told me it seemed that N had a "poor suck." He just wasn't an effective sucker. I could only pray that he would eventually learn how to suck better. I came home armed with a hospital grade breast pump (rented for FREE - Thank you Tricare!!) and a renewed sense of hope.

After several days of pumping, feeding, and recording every last thing I did, I returned for a weight check. I was so nervous. What if he hadn't gained weight? What if none of this was working?

8lbs 2oz! Yay! He had gained 6oz in 4 days!

I was so incredibly happy. But I still thought it was a fluke. The lactation consultant instructed me to come back again in 3 more days.

8lbs 6oz!! I could officially stop pumping and supplementing...

And just to make sure everything was still going well, I returned today (4 days later).

8lbs 13oz!!! Praise the Lord!

I finally feel that breastfeeding is going well. My little guy is latching well. He is draining my breasts when he eats. He is more alert. He is more content. He is peeing and pooping regularly. Most importantly, he is gaining weight. I can't even express how relieved I am about this whole issue.

I wanted to breastfeed so badly. I am absolutely thrilled that it seems like I am actually going to be successful!

I even returned the breast pump today :-)
(Don't worry, I have one of my own. Its just not as amazing as the hospital grade one, haha)

Check out how big my precious baby is getting...okay maybe "big" exactly the best word. He's still pretty little!


  1. WOO HOO! I am sooo happy for you and your sweet, growing, breast-feeding-like-a-champ babe!

  2. I am so happy for you. You and little N have been in my thoughts a lot lately. Here's to an easy road from here on out!