Thursday, July 12, 2012

Baby Updates, Some Boob Talk, and Pictures (not of boobs, sorry)

Baby Caroline is almost two weeks old!  So, some updates...

She's a great sleeper.  Don't hate me, but she's so great at sleeping at I worry about her.  Shouldn't she be waking me up crying every two hours all night long?  Not so much.  She sleeps for 3, 4, and even 5 hour stretches at night, and usually I'm the one who wakes up because my boobs are about to explode.

I think we've gotten the hang of this nursing thing.  With the help of Lanolin, soothing gel pads, these plastic air-bubble things that look ridiculous but keep your nips from rubbing against your bra or breastpad, and trial and error on the latch technique, we are past the toe-curling, skin-crawling agony of those first few days of nursing.  How thrilled am I that my nipples are no longer bleeding?

Very.

Very thrilled.

Caro is a very efficient eater, which has also had me worried.  (I know, I'm totally obnoxious, I really need to shut up because my baby is SO GOOD at EATING and SLEEPING.)  But seriously.  You know I'm going to worry no matter what is going on.  She attacks my boob like a starving baby vampire, sucks and gulps like crazy (sometimes choking and coughing, which scares the hell out of me, even though she seems totally unfazed and just gives me this tired little sigh after coughing like, "Okay, already, put me back on the boob, I'm good.").  And then...  she's done.  After like 5 or 6 minutes.  So I switch to the other side and she does the same thing.  I can tell that my boobs go from feeling full to feeling empty and squishy (Is this the sexiest post ever?  I think so.) and I can see her get all limp and milk-drunk, so she seems to be getting full, but it just doesn't seem like enough time, you know?  Especially when I was reading about newborns eating for 20-45 minutes.  On EACH boob!

So I went to a nursing moms' support group today at the hospital and talked with the lactation consultant and some other moms.  It was slightly awkward because there were moms there with serious supply issues, with thrush, with bleeding nipples after eight weeks of nursing, with babies who are twelve weeks old and still nursing every two hours around the clock, and then I was there to ask, "Should my baby really be eating for fifteen minutes total and then sleeping from midnight to 5am?" without sounding like a totally obnoxious douche because SERIOUSLY it's freaking me out that she's not the high-maintenance newborn I expected.

The thing that eased my mind the most was weighing her and seeing that she was up to 8 pounds 7 ounces.

So... here's her growth chart (because of course everyone on the interwebz cares about this as much as I do).

June 29:  8 pounds even
July 1:  7 pounds 9 ounces
July 3:  7 pounds 12 ounces
July 7:  7 pounds 15.5 ounces
July 12:  8 pounds 7 ounces (enormous sigh of relief!)

Of course, the July 12th weigh-in was back at the hospital, not at our pediatrician's office (where July 3 and July 7 occurred) so it's possible that the scales are off an ounce or two, but I still feel okay about that.  I figure that either way, it's a good indication she's getting enough to eat.  I'm totally psycho with tracking what time, how long, and how often she nurses (and then worrying vaguely about whether having my iPhone next to us at all times is exposing her to radiation) so it was SUCH a relief to see that things are working.

So far we're still exclusively nursing.  I'm sort of dreading the pump (and just now feeling like we're getting the hang of nursing), so I haven't messed with it yet.  But I talked with the lactation consultant about this, and she suggested introducing a bottle when she's about a month old, so I still have some time (well, only two weeks!).  I want to do it because I want David to be able to feed her at 5am (yesssss!) and because she needs to get used to taking a bottle before I go back to work, but I'm still a little unsure how to balance feeding and pumping.  I guess we'll figure it out.  I mean, that's what you have to do, right?

One thing that my pediatrician discussed with me is the fact that part of the reason that nursing seems to be going well for us is because this isn't really the first time my boobs are doing this.  I mean, obviously I haven't been able to nurse a newborn before, but the hormonal changes, the milk coming in, all of that happened after Eliza was born also (in fact, physically it was as traumatic for me as her birth).  As excruciating as that experience was, it helped to prepare my body for this time around.  Knowing that information makes me really sad, even though it's a relief to not be struggling with a low supply--I'd much rather be struggling to breastfeed and have two living babies.  I guess that's obvious.

As we started the little group meeting, everyone went around and introduced themselves.  We told our babies' names and then said whether the baby was our first (everyone there was there with their first baby).  I talked a lot about Eliza when I was pregnant with Caroline--it actually got easier to talk about her--and I told almost everyone who asked that this was not our first baby, so I felt like I was an old pro at this kind of thing.

But today when I said that we lost our first baby, I cried.  It just felt so unfair to be there with all these moms who had their first babies who were just fine, and to think about all of them feeling sorry for me, and at the same time feeling so glad that I was able to be there with Caroline.  It was too much.  Cue the tears.  I couldn't even finish my sentence because I got all choked up.

Fortunately, it wasn't a huge deal.  The lactation consultant leading the group was super nice and understanding and said how glad she was that I had a healthy baby there with me now, and then someone else's baby started crying so at least I wasn't alone...  The rest of the meeting went just fine, and the weigh-in was reassuring.  Plus I figure that no one is begrudging me my perfect eating/sleeping baby, considering what I've been through.  So we just keep on doing what we're doing.

Which is a lot of this:

flash card tummy time with Daddy

Sitting out on the deck in the evening


Snoozing - the dramatic arm over the face was a favorite pose of hers during ultrasounds

blurry, but adorable smile

shopping with Grams

more snoozing

tummy time!

zonked out after nursing group

cutie cute - we love the ducky headband!

18 comments:

  1. meganalisonsmith@hotmail.comJuly 12, 2012 at 4:10 PM

    Oh my gosh, I want to eat her up! Can't wait to see her next month!!!So glad things are going so well! Oh and my 9 month old doesn't sleep that good...although he used to until we moved him out of our room at 5 months old (not to scare you or anything). He must have got things reversed b/c when he was a newborn he slept like a 9 month old, and now at 9 months old he's up all the frikin' time! Oh well, I enjoy the quiet time with him rocking in the middle of the night and just try to keep telling myself that before I know it he'll be all grown up and won't want to cuddle with me anymore...so it helps me get through each night. Oh, and the pumping isn't so bad. It's kind of relieving to empty the huge full boob feeling that you get. You'll figure it out. ;)

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  2. She sounds like a Sloanie baby--sloane slept so well! I hope she keeps it up for u! Love the Dickie headband. I guess Caro likes her b/w flash cards? Tried it w K again today and he was bored. Love the pics!

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  3. She's adorable and you are doing GREAT!!! So thrilled about your nursing success!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  4. She is soooooo cute(specially the blurred pic..looks like she is winking :))...Love her. Am glad things are going well with you guys. Wonder how your dogs are taking the new boss around :-). Keep the pics coming..plz!

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  5. We have those flash cards too, though weren't so great about using them.

    She sleeps better than Luke does at 14 months! (And he was a 45 minute nurser, easily, if not longer, especially this early!) I am glad you got lucky with her eating and sleeping after your birth experience and losing Eliza. Enjoy it because your next one (in 2014ish ;) ) might not be so easy! And I think there is a lot of ebb and flow to babies, Luke slept through the night, the whole night, from 2 months till 6 months. (I was probably pretty proud about that.) He's not *regularly* slept through the night since.

    I'm glad everything is going so well! Let me know if you want to get together sometime.

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  6. Most importantly,

    OMG she is GORGEOUS! I love all her pretty outfits!!!

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  7. Some kids are just good sleepers! And what great weight gain! Go Caroline! And I love those pictures! The flowered onesie and the headband are adorable! (I could end every sentence with an exclamation point!)

    I remember how overwhelming pumping seemed when I first started -- but it really does get much easier to manage as you go. You totally shouldn't stress about it (although I know that's easier said than done). But if you're going to stress out about something, I hope it's something totally manageable like pumping!

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  8. She is so gorgeous I can't stand it!!

    To create a supply of extra milk with the pump I just added a "feeding" between two other feedings that had a long-ish interval between them. After a few days your body will adjust and you'll get a good supply going at each feeding. Then you'll have some extra that you can use to replace other feedings (at work, etc). But you will still need to pump that feeding. Gah pumping math is stressful, but it makes sense when you are doing it. You will figure it out. Sorry for the assvice.

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  9. It took us 12 weeks to get the hang of the boob thing without cracked and mutilated nipples so I'm SO glad it has been quicker for you. Angus used to feed up to 40 mins a side, which I think was part of the problem as he was just using me as a pacifier but we did get there in the end. Don't feel bad that it has been easier/quicker for you, just feel relieved! She is so super duper cute. Gosh, I want another one....
    xo

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  10. She is SO freaking cute!!! That is amazing she's already sleeping so well & wow so glad the nursing is going smoothly now as well! Glad you're enjoying your time together, she is such a doll!

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  11. I love the comment about about pumping math and "assvise" and have some of my own (that I tried to write earlier on my stupid iphone but couldn't "publish". . .anyway).

    So first, I'm so glad she is sleeping so well - ANOTHER good sign that she's full and satisfied. Finn was a super quick nurser as well - like 10 minutes total and done. It worried me for the same reasons and in fact, one of the biggest downsides for me with breastfeeding was the constant stress about how much they are eating and how much milk I was producing. It only got worse for me going back to work because then I was super worried about my supply all the time. We introduced a bottle at 3 weeks (maybe just one a day if that at first), but I was also pumping at least once a day. I was freaked out about getting mastitis (which I never did thankfully) and wanted to totally drain my boobs at least once a day. It helped build up my freezer supply too and if you have a nice little stockpile before you have to go back to work, it'll make you feel a little better. I also only got six weeks off and took two of my own on top of that (thank you Army) so hopefully you have more time than that. I used the stuff in the freezer for his daycare bottles and then froze whatever I pumped from the day. At first when I returned to work it was great and I was pumping more than he needed, but eventually he drank more and my body adjusted to more pumping and less nursing and I had a dip in my supply. There are lots of great tips and things to help you increase your supply and I'd be happy to offer any help with what I had to do - but hopefully that's a non-issue for you when you return to work.

    Anyway, enough boob-advice - you'll get into your own pattern and figure it out on your own anyway so on to more important things. . .like how freaking adorable little Caroline is. I just love seeing what joy she brings your family. I love that you get to use that stroller, love that she is clearly spoiled by her grandma, that she has her daddy wrapped around her finger. . .love all of it!

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  12. Oh Brooke, I am thrilled for you that Caro is so a good little baby for you. Avery was an AWESOME sleeper and was just generally do good that we jolted that we didn't know what it was like to have a newborn. Then everyone would say, "well don't expect your next baby to be like that!!". We were expecting to get our asses handed to us when Harrison arrived, but guess what! He friggin' rocks too!! So, some babies are just born knowing how to rock this whole baby thing, and it sounds like you got yourself one of those. Woot!! Just enjoy it, enjoy her, and enjoy falling more in love with her every second.

    So glad to see how happy you are Brooke. Loves it!!

    Hugs to you and baby Caroline.
    Xxxxxx

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  13. Jolted was supposed to be "joked". Other mistakes are iPhones fault. Sorry!! :0)

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  14. Congrats. She is adorable. I have been following your journey through your pregnancy and I am constantly awed at your strength.

    While I have had my own struggles with infertility and finally had my son after my second IVF

    On a side note, my son used to sleep through the night ever since he was born and he used to sleep 18-20 hours a day. I used to ask my doctor at every visit if there was something wrong wtih him. I even maintained a diary of his movements (eat, shit, sleep really) for almost 40 days because I was so paranoid. Welcome to motherhood

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  15. So cute! Glad to hear she's such a good eater and sleeper. :)

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  16. ADORABLE.

    Is that a dress I see in Grandma's hand??

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  17. She is beautiful! congratulations! And I appreciate reading all things nursing and boob-related. My daughter nursed all day, all night long in the beginning and I produced so much milk I really thought I was a dairy cow. Then, at 8 months, I had to stop nursing for two weeks and realized that I 1) I wasn't producing nearly as much as I thought and that's why she still wanted to nurse frequently at night (and was a poor sleeper:) or 2) pumping doesn't require as much as nursing and wasn't a good indicator of how much I was producing. Regardless, it's freaked me out and now my daughter is 9 months and becoming a less-willing nurser and I'm in a quandary of what I should do?? So, reading about it, even newborn days, is very interesting to me. I feel like a lot of breastfeeding moms who are prone to worry anyway would agree:)

    Sorry this is longwinded...thanks for your post and your blog!

    Tracy

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  18. My first daughter ate for up to an hour. My second did the 5-minute thing (less as she got closer to a year old). And even though I worried like you, I don't know why I did. Her thighs were ENORMOUS! She clearly was getting fed. She was just very efficient. Now, at 2 years old, she's kind of the opposite. She eats a ton, but is teeny tiny (super healthy, though). Either way, I think she's just real efficient, like Caroline.

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