Thursday, July 15, 2010

Settling into Motherhood

Things are finally starting to settle down over here at the Kanable household.
Elise kind of has this routine going where she's awake most of the day, then settles into sleep around 9 or 10 at night, waking up once or twice in the night and back up around 7-7:30. Although right now she's fast asleep in the sling because I took her out in it when I walked Bijou, so I'm sure the movement against my chest lulled her to sleep.
As for me, I'm absolutely loving motherhood. I love looking into my baby's eyes and seeing her gazing right back at me. If I'm lucky, I will get a smile too!
The past couple of weeks were a little tricky however, as we struggled a bit to have Elise regain her birth weight. We have been to the pediatrician's office numerous times for weight checks, and on week 3 or so, Elise was still not up to her birth weight. We tried everything too, I took Fenugreek (still taking it), drank the Mother's Milk Tea, ate more, drank more water, tried not to stress, tried to get rest, I just think for some reason Elise was not getting enough nourishment from me. And we're talking round-the-clock nursing here, she was ALWAYS eating and I was never away from the couch to get up and do anything! Reluctantly, I supplemented with a little formula, and now Elise is above and beyond her birth weight, at 8.5 lbs! To be honest, I never thought I'd be one of those people to resort to formula and it still makes me cringe that we couldn't exclusively breastfeed, but I also could not stand seeing my baby starving and deprived of nourishment. I have even been pumping to supplement with my own milk so that she could get less and less of the formula because I'd much rather have Elise feed from me. However, pumping has not been entirely successful either. I only get a tiny amount when I pump, so I've had to wait a day or two to get enough for a 2-3 ounce bottle. This worries me because I will be going back to work after Labor Day and how is my supply going to magically produce enough milk to leave with her caregiver?! I have heard that supplementing with formula dwindles your supply, but I feel like I never really had a big supply to begin with. Anyway, long story short, we are working on this and I don't consider us over the hurdle yet, but we are doing all we can to make sure my milk is the majority of what she gets. It is more important to me, though, that my baby eats, regardless of how it may hurt my pride. I can't beat myself up about this because it's not healthy.
SO, aside from that minor setback, things are great. We have been getting out of the house more and more with our daughter, taking her to birthday parties, restaurants, street fairs, farmer's market, church, etc. It is finally starting to feel like summer to me as I was getting SOOOO fed up with sitting around the house all day!! We are settling in quite nicely over here and I hope to have lots of good news and reports in the weeks/months/years to come! :)

8 comments:

Mommy Instincts said...

I too struggled with breastfeeding my daughter. I had low supply issues, plus major post partum depression that kicked my butt so hard I gave up. But you guys sound like you are on the right track. Good luck. I'm rooting for you! ;-)

Adventures In Babywearing said...

I'm so glad you're loving motherhood! You're doing a great job. Elise is SO blessed to get you for a Mama!


Steph

Anonymous said...

There r a couple things wit bf that I hope helP. Dairy Can inhibiT production. Much WaTer can increase. Feeding every 2hrs is almosT a must 2 boost supply which doesn't even regulate 4 the first month. Supply and demand. The more bottle the less milk. I use2 PumP while baby slept as 2boost milk. VerY Tiring but I found successful when I had gallons of frozen milk. MuCh love n luck. I have so much more 4u anytime!!!!

Kelly

kelleyann said...

Jen, I had similar issues and it was very frustrating. Canaan gained his birth weight back but he would feed for 1.5 hours and then sleep for 45 minutes in order to get enough ... around the clock. I was going crazy. When I figured out he wasn't sleeping b/c he was hungry all the time things got so, so much better. He still does some formula every day - I was never successful at coming all the way up supply-wise - but I'm okay with that at this point b/c he is primarily breast fed. I'm realizing motherhood is not just about the baby. It's a compromise b/w the whole family and what works for everyone to stay sane!

Michelle said...

Jen, I was wondering if you've had a really good lactation consultant look at Elise's latch? Sometimes a poor latch won't get enough milk, also if she is tongue-tied (tongue too short) she won't get enough milk either. Just a thought. This happened with a couple I know - though their situation was much worse and the baby just COULDN"T eat at all. I hope you are able to figure out something that works for the two of you :)

Jen K. said...

She has a REALLY good latch, and her tongue is plenty long enough, trust me-you need to see this thing. I feel bad sometimes because I feel like she is doing everything right, latching on perfectly and I can't reward her with an adequate supply. We had a great day the other day though, she just needs to nurse constantly, I need to surrender and just let her nurse all day long if that's what it takes. The only problem is, I am not able to pump a supply for when I go back to work yet, because she's always nursing. So I have no time to do this, which concerns me.

Michelle said...

So glad she has a good latch! My little girl has to be on me all the time too. It's crazy. Sometimes I just feel like one big boob all day. I think on Sunday she was on my 100% from 1-6:30. I don't get much when I pump either, and then I just feel like a cow. :) I think whatever milk you are able to give her is better than none, and when the time comes to figure out if you need to supplement or what, you'll know what you need to do and be content that you did all you could :)

jil said...

jen, thanks for commenting on my post! I know this is late- but your breastfeeding situation sounds so similar to my experience with emerson. you're right- the most important thing is that Elise is getting enough- it doesn't matter how that happens. so don't ever beat yourself up over it- I struggled with that. Elise is a doll and it sounds like you're doing a fantastic job!