It’s kind of turning in to this birthweek, huh? We left off with me and Chris thinking we had it all together…little did we know, Mr. C was about to wake up and let his presence be known! My dad, Teresa and Grandma were all here for our first day/night at home. C was still in his dazed phase for the first day home and he almost tricked Grandma into thinking that we didn’t need her for the first week. Thankfully, Chris convinced her to stay and oh boy are we glad she did! I’m fairly certain that one of the three of us would not have made it through the first week without her!
I think every new mother who is going to attempt breastfeeding has all the same fears. Will my baby latch on properly? Will I produce enough milk? How do I know he is getting enough to eat? Will I even be able to do this?
We were really lucky that C took to breastfeeding very well and we never had any real problems with him latching on properly. The lactation consultant at Baylor was very helpful and gave us lots of great advice. The problems came (as they always do) when we got home. The first few days while I was still producing Colostrum and Campbell still wasn’t eating much were fine, but when I stopped producing Colostrum and he started to wake up we had big problems. Campbell was born on Friday and we came home on Sunday, thankfully, we had an appointment with the pediatrician and the lactation consultant at their office on Monday. Everything still seemed fine, my milk was slowly starting to come in and C was still latching on great. They took his weight and he was down to 6lbs 4oz from his birth weight of 7lbs 2oz. The lactation consultant didn’t seem overly concerned, but wanted us to come back in on Wednesday for another weight check. Monday night things took a turn for the worse.
All of the sudden C became really frustrated every time I tried to feed him, he would scream and fight latching on. He was pretty much inconsolable the whole night. None of us got much sleep at all and I think at one point we were all crying. It was so frustrating that we had been doing so good at feeding and then all the sudden it seemed like he had forgotten what to do. The next morning we called the lactation consultant. Side note, she is our savior and we would be feeding C formula right now if it wasn’t for her. She gave us her cell phone number and told us to call her after every feeding to let her know how it was going. At the morning phone call (I was hysterically crying) she told me to calm down and take a warm shower. She explained that my milk still hadn’t come in fully yet and gave us a list of things to start doing to tide us over until it did. First, she wanted Chris and C to do skin to skin time and for Chris to pacify him with his finger…it was like a magic spell! This child who had been crying all night instantly calmed down and fell asleep (why doesn’t anyone tell you these things beforehand?!?!). Second, she wanted us to go rent a hospital grade pump and start pumping after every feeding to encourage the milk to come in. It’s a good thing we were still in the “honeymoon” phase because this stage of his life was really rough. C was still refusing to latch on so after I pumped we would feed him the pumped milk (+/- 1oz) with a syringe and feeding tube. This got us through Tuesday and Wednesday morning and then we went back to see the lactation consultant on Wednesday afternoon. Going in, I told myself that if he had just maintained his weight I would be happy. Well, he had gained 2 oz! I was so happy and relieved that I could have just cried! She finally got C to latch back on in the office and we haven’t looked back since. My milk came in fully on Thursday and we haven’t had any problems since then. At his 2 week check-up he was up to 7lbs 4oz, 2 oz above his birth weight! I was so happy and the news just kept getting better, we were able to move his feedings to every 3 hours and only when he woke up at night. I felt like a huge weight had been lifted. Before that, we had been feeding him every 2 hours around the clock so I had been getting 1 hour of sleep max between feedings…and even less when I was pumping after every feeding. I don’t think Chris and I stopped smiling all day!
If you noticed from the pictures, the first two weeks we only dressed him if he was leaving the house. It was just easier to keep him swaddled and not have to worry about clothes when we were changing diapers all the time! Don’t worry, we do dress him every morning now!
We were so lucky to have my grandmother help out that first week. She was great at knowing when to step in and when to let us figure it out. Chris and I both agree that if people told you how hard the first two weeks were, no one would have kids! But, we survived and it really does get better every week. We are so lucky to have a healthy little boy and wouldn’t change our experience for anything.