?

Log in

Previous Entry | Next Entry

Sunday --So, Ethan came into the world at 8lb 9oz, no small chunk of change.

Tuesday--His discharge weight (2 days old) was 7lb 15oz.  I think he dropped a lot then because of water weight - I was getting IV fluids for 6 hours before he was born.  He also loaded up no less than 3 diapers with meconium poops before we left the hospital.  Anyway, this constituted a 7% weight loss, so the Mother/Infant Clinic in the hospital wanted to see him again in 48 hours for a weight check, as per policy.

Wednesday -- My milk came in the next day, but I didn't really start getting letdowns until...

Thursday  -- Ethan is not latching on really well to get a lot of milk as we are still learning, I am engorged and exhausted, and he's doing a lot of the sleepy newborn thing.  Thursday (5 days old) we go for his weight check and he is 7lb 11oz.  So he's still dropping, but not as dramatically.  However, the charge nurse comes in and talks to us and says that since he is at a 10% weight loss, we need to start supplementing with formula.  She handed us a bunch of ready made formula and nipples and sent us home.  I'm fairly educated about breastfeeding, and I know it's a supply and demand sort of thing, so formula at 5 days post-partum, for a mom whose milk is just coming in, is NOT a good idea.  Not to mention that 5 days out is generally expected to be the max weight loss point.  And oh, did I mention that it can take breastfed infants upwards of two weeks to get back up to birth weight?  Especially babies like mine that were "bigger" at birth.   So they tell us to come back in 24 hours for yet another weigh in as per policy.

Friday -- after an exhausting night of feeling inadequate as a mother and milk producer, we bring Ethan back in.  I had diligently woken myself up every two hours to feed him (but I couldn't make him eat when he was sleeping soundly) and I pumped after every feeding and gave him the leftovers (usually less than an oz).  I can't even describe my emotional state at this point...baby was latching better on my left breast, but hardly ever ate from my right.  Since I was waking him up to feed him, almost every feeding was a fight that resulted in both of us crying.  Steve's back had gone out by this point so I was doing everything by myself.  It was horrible and I thought that I was abnormal and couldn't breastfeed.  But on the scale, it said that in a scant 24 hours, he had gained 1.5oz.  Steve and I were so relieved.  The nurse, however, said, "Well that is still a 9% weight loss, so we need to see him again tomorrow, and he needs to eat every two hours, at least 30 minutes per breast, per feeding."  We were flabbergasted.  How do I make my baby eat like that?  I was stuffing him as it was!  How good can it be for us to keep brining our days-old baby to a hospital full of sick people just to get weighed?  It was unreal.  All this is really making me think that Ethan and I can't breastfeed, or at least not well.  Formula was getting really tempting, just to get them off my back.  The thing was that he wasn't jaundiced at all, was having plenty of wet and poopy diapers, and generally looked pink and healthy.

Saturday -- Steve called up that morning and made some excuse about his back (true) and his in-laws being in town (true) and we're not coming in.  They rescheduled us for Monday.  This took an enormous amount of pressure off of me and over the weekend and as a result, Ethan and I started meshing.  He was latching well on both sides, eating for a good amount of time, pooping more than ever.  I was so happy (still am) everytime he latched well and stayed on, and especially happy when he would take the other side.  I was still waking him to feed him, but not as often.

Sunday -- I start feeding Ethan when he wakes up rooting on his own.  He eats even better than before, since he's actually hungry at that point.  My mother thought it was ridiculous that we were waking him up to feed him when he wasn't hungry.  She talked me down from my feelings of inadequacy, and gave me peace about feeding him on demand instead of on the nurses schedule.  It only makes sense to feed your baby when he's hungry, but it is hard when you are a post-partum mother being told her baby may need IV fluids if he doesn't put on weight ASAP.

Monday -- We went in today for our weight check.  He has gained a little under 3oz in as many days.  They said he's at 7% weight loss so they want to see him in 48 hours.  We politely decline, telling them his 2 week ped appointment is on Friday, so we'll have him checked then.  We assure them that he is eating well and often, plus he is pooping and peeing up a storm.  They confirm he is not at all jaundiced.

I keep thinking if I hadn't been as educated, or known what I know about breastfeeding, I would have just given him the formula they gave me and I bet I would have a supply problem with my milk right about now.  How many people say, "I had a big baby, so I just couldn't feed him enough."?  When really, someone told them their big baby was eating all the time and that was somehow wrong?  Or that he was sleeping a lot, so that was somehow wrong?  Yeesh.  I'm going to talk to the ped about the policy when I see him on Friday, and see what he thinks about it.  I understand they don't want starving babies, but I think for breastfed infants they are really going about things the wrong way.

Comments

( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
telemicus
Oct. 2nd, 2007 12:47 am (UTC)
there are no words.
(well there are, but they are rude ones)

I wish I could shake some sense into those idiots at your hospital, THANK GOD you are so educated, because those nurses are MORONS

argghhhhh!

Basil went from 7'11 to 7lbs even and there was no sign of my milk after 3 days but my hospital (which were idiots about the birth) were much wiser about nursing. I must have asked a thousand times for formula because I was convinced he was getting starved and dehydrated, but they just said "keep trying" and "he's getting something" and released us with zero followup. I think they released us too soon for a first time mother with insane post partum bleeding and no breastmilk to speak of, and obvious anxiety issues, and a baby losing so much weight, but they were right that he didn't need formula at least and that I just needed to keep trying with the nursing. I am so inawe that you were so strong and knowledgeable, and doing all this with the awful sleep deprivation too. Anyway, YOU ARE AMAZING just ignore those nurses, sheeesh.

Also, we bought a baby scale for home for < $20 on ebay VERY worth it
twirlingecho
Oct. 2nd, 2007 05:00 am (UTC)
I was on vacation last week with no internet access, so I missed your birth announcement. Congratulations! Ethan is adorable!

I'm glad the nursing is going better. Our hospital nurses also seemed to be trying to sabotage breastfeeding for Sadie and me. During the times when they took her for doctor's checks, etc. they kept giving her a pacifier even though I specifically said not to, and one time, they gave her formula... also against my instructions. Then when she was in the NICU, it was even worse! The nurses kept telling me to go home and rest, and that they'd give her formula so I wouldn't have to be there every three hours nursing and pumping. It was so frustrating, but I was so glad I stubbornly fought them and stuck with nursing, even though it was difficult and stressful. So yay for you for being knowledgeable enough to stick with it even though the hospital was making it difficult. I wish everyone had the benefit of such knowledge.
ste_noni
Jan. 5th, 2008 06:09 am (UTC)
Hi - I followed my way over here from your link in breastfeeding. I just had to comment because my experience with my daughter was so similar, although not quite as dramatic. Basically, she had a great 3-day check-up with the pediatrician who then asked if I wanted to see an LC, since they had one on staff. I figured, why not? We were still having some latch issues and expert advice can only help, right?

Well, after two hours, she finally let us leave, but not after making me feel like I was starving my baby and a total failure as a mother. Thank goodness my mother and my doula were around to encourage me. (We are still nursing after 2.5 years, so guess we did the right thing, you know?)
dararachel
Jan. 6th, 2008 12:52 am (UTC)
amazing. i can't believe they kept stressing this is such and such weight loss instead of he's now gaining! I'm so glad you knew what to do. good job!
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )