My, oh my, what a week.
We’ve hit another major stumbling block with the breastfeeding. In a nutshell, August sucks at it (by not sucking at “it”) and, in turn, my body has begun to reduce the amount of food it is making for his consumption.
This is especially shocking, since I thought we were rolling along so well. On Tuesday, he ate all day. I mean every hour, he was on the breast. But he didn’t seem to be sucking all that hard. That night, he was very fussy. I just figured he was having a growth spurt. The next day, he slept all day. I had to wake him up to eat! Again, he seemed to have a weak suck. This also was mildly alarming, but I thought he was just tired from being up so much the day before.
Now, my mom was up at the time, helping out around the house and generally being a lifesaver (thanks, mom!). She thought he looked like he was gaining weight, I thought he looked great. Tim thought he was looking good as well. Well, turns out we were all fooled.
At his two-week checkup yesterday, he was only 6 pounds 3 ounces. That’s up only 2 ounces since he was 4 days old! He’s supposed to be gaining an ounce a day! I was totally shocked. I was devastated. I was a blubbering mess for the rest of the doctor’s visit. The doc recommended to see a lactation consultant STAT, and to start supplementing his feedings with either expressed breast milk or formula.
I cannot tell you how much I felt like a failure. We’ve been working so hard! I mean, between Tim’s and my mom’s help, I haven’t had to concentrate on anything other than August. Why weren’t we getting this right? I went home and cried the rest of the day, sure that I was killing our son. Every time I looked at him, I would burst into tears. It was my fault that he wasn’t growing. My fault that he’s not getting what he needs.
Guess what? It’s not my fault.
I met with the lactation consultant this morning and she explained that we were still in that “vicious cycle” I referenced last week. He doesn’t have a good latch on my breasts, so he had only been getting the barest minimum of food to get by. For that first week, that was enough. But now that he’s getting bigger (or supposed to be), he needs more. So we came up with a plan — yay, plan! — of using a breast pump and a neato little device called a breast shield to help both of us get back up to speed. The bad news is that until I start pumping enough, he’s going to have to get some formula. At this point though, I really don’t care. I just want him to get food. In fact, I say thank goodness for formula! Even if it is stinky and disgusting.
So hysteria over somewhat. And can I just say that watching the Regis repeat of their Mother’s Day show this morning was a really, really bad idea?
Now we have to report back to the pediatrician’s office tomorrow morning for weigh-in. Send your fattening thoughts August’s way!